A Single Note


And so it was over with a single note. No thundering climax. No plangent tones fading into
silence. The concert ended with a single note from the piano.

The violinist and the cellist sat motionless. The pianist needed only his left hand. After all the
beauty, the drama, the complexity, it came down to a quarter note, one of the first things a child
learns about music theory. A below C below middle C.

Such a simple ending, like an unassuming period closing the final sentence of War and Peace.
And then the silence as the audience held its collective breath before the spell broke and wild
applause erupted.

In that moment, the period was transformed into an exclamation mark. Indeed, the concert
brought by James Ehnes, Bion Tsang, and Andrew Armstrong was one of the most climactic
season-ending performances in my memory.

It was a season that began so hopefully in October when we rejoiced to be back in a concert hall
to hear Vetta Chamber Music play the glorious music of Beethoven and Brahms. Then there was
not another concert until March. The devastating flood cancelled our November plans, and the
pandemic delayed the February concert and masterclass.

Finally, beginning with the performance by the Canadian Guitar Quartet on March 11, we were
able to keep to a planned schedule. It was a complicated season to manage, but at least it was a
season. Better than 2020/21 when there was no live music at all in the Matsqui Centennial

I would like to express my thanks to all those of you who joined us for some or all of this season.
In program after program, we were reminded how inspiring the shared experience of live music
can be. And for the first time in two years, we have expressed our optimism tangibly in the form
of a brochure that lays out exciting plans for next season.

That same optimism was shared by numerous audience members whose response to the
brilliance of Ehnes, Tsang, and Armstrong was to announce their plans to subscribe for 2022/23.
A single note ended the concert, ended our season. But what a note! It takes the genius of a
master composer like Tchaikovsky to generate even more power and drama for a profound piece
like his piano trio with such a simple ending, an ending that leaves us wanting more.

John Wiebe
The Valley Concert Society