Running late. Quick bite of dinner. Out the door. Why do we even try to wear high heels in Lausanne? Was this a good idea? Netflix on the couch would be so nice. It’s Monday and we’re already tired. Arrive at the theatre. Pick up the tickets. Find seats. Settle in. Readjust. Check phone. Probably should have stayed home to pay those bills tonight. Can’t forget to send that email. And tell that person that thing and …

And then the music starts.

Photo Credit: Anne-Laure Lechat

We cannot believe that, after all these years, this is our first experience of the Orchestre Chambre de Lausanne.

The concert begins with a semi circle of strings, a composition we’d never heard but quickly loved. The musicians smile playfully, using their stomping feet as percussion. Without realizing it, we’re drawn in and the preoccupations that just moments before distracted our minds melt away.

We won’t pretend to be experts, but we are human: there’s something about such excellence and passion that makes our fingers tingle, our hearts soar.

In the first part, buoyed by the familiar melody of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, we leaned in, hanging on every note. The concert then took a distinctly contemporary turn with a woeful homage in Rest These Hands by Anna Clyde. After the intermission, the joy and solemnity of Beethoven washed over the audience with horns and percussion announcing triumph and urgency.

Elegance, elation; madness and mourning. The concert was a celebration of life, it’s relinquishing and the seizing of it.

Not bad for a Monday night!

The Chamber Orchestra is celebrating 75 years of existence this year, and it’s marking the anniversary with fresh new energy and surprising collaborations. This year’s program includes a lineup of concerts, like the one we went to this week, at the Salle Metropole; but it also invites you to experience the orchestra in unexpected places – like Les Docks, the movie theatre, and even in your favorite bar. There are several concerts for kids, and even a series of Sunday morning concerts where parents can drop their children off for an educational music program while they go and enjoy the show (we’re sending a virtual high five to whoever came up with that idea!).

In short, if you aren’t already an OCL enthusiast, this is probably the year.

We walked away from the Salle Metropole this week with the renewed conviction that for its small size, the cultural offer in Lausanne is extraordinary. The concert was such a gift. It left us breathless. And grateful. And eager for many more musical Monday nights.

Thank you, OCL. The happiest of birthdays to you!

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