8 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 3 - November 2004

  • Text
  • November
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Theatre
  • December
  • Arts
  • Orchestra
  • Musical
  • Ensemble
  • Symphony


MASSEY .. \HALL EOitors's OPinion R.OY THOMSON HALL mezzo-soprano Wed 10 Nov 2004 8:00 pm mm MARTIN KATZ, PIANO One of the great mezzos of our time sings American, German and French art songs including selections from Canteloube's exquisite Chants d'Auvergne. I chose this image from the upcoming production of Christos Hatzis' Constantinople to illustrate this inaugural column because it shows, more spectacularly than our cover photo could, the extent to which Constantinople is neither a "stand and sing" affair on the one hand, nor a musical on the other. "Music as theatre" is the phrase the creators of Constantinople came up with when they were struggling to find words for what the work was, rather than what it was not . The phrase "music as theatre" helped them bridge a gap in the work's journey, by enabling them to see it in a certain way. The work itself, of course, seeks to bridge chasms far deeper and wider. It feels good to welcome home a major work whose origins were documented in these pages four years ago. THE TALLIS SCHOLARS PETER PHILLIPS, DIRECTOR Tue 7 Dec 2004 8:00 pm mm Britain's a cappel/a superstars of Renaissance choral music! Program includes Palestrina, Lassus, Zielenski and other masters. TICKETS BY PHONE: 416.872.4255 Mon Fri 9AM-8PM, Sat 12rwo 5PM TICKETS ONLINE: TICKETS IN PERSON: V1s1t our Box Office at Roy Thomson Hall 60 Simcoe St. (corner of King and Simcoe) Mon Fn!OAM 6PM,Satl2NoON-5PM Intimate]y Powerful This issue is so chock-a-block editorially that an over-enthusiastic columnist could flog the aforementioned "gap-bridging" metaphor to death without ever repeating himself. So here goes. Following the cover story, the first of our two "Snapshots" introduces Mary McGeer of Talisker Players and a world of chamber programming that moves easily between musical styles old and new:"Tales of olden times heard through modem ears" is how they describe their first offering of the season. Jhames Lee, in our second snapshot, proffers the thought that the worlds of Toronto and Montreal jazz are solitudes waiting to be bridged, and puts his money where his mouth is. World columnist Karen Ages' interview with Ensemble Noir's Bongani Ndodana is in large part about one individual's drive to bridge immense cultural and musical divides. Guest columnist Jonathan Bunce dares even the already-converted new music lover to venture further: to cross the line into the world of music outside the concert hall. Paul Steenhuisen's "Composer to Composer" interview with Montreal electroacoustic composer Jean Piche is largely about how Piche's combined video and sound compositions are a struggle for that difficult balance between sound and image, attempting to find what he calls "synchrese - a theoretical construct of synchronization where you unequivocally know that the sound you have just heard is produced by the object you are seeing". In "Musical Life" Masha Buell brings us three moments of memorable linkage -- Eve Egoyan, Matthew White and Felix Deak all talk about "how I met my teacher." Even publisher Allan Pulker gets into the act in "Quodlibet" bravely striding out across the lake to Rochester, now that the ferry's gone. And choral columnist Larry Beckwith extends a WholeNote hand to you, to join him and us at the second of our nine Monday Salons, November 1, for an evening of "Voices Joined." Is it dead yet? David Perlman, editor WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM NOVEMBER 1 - DECEMBER 7 2004

COVER STORY Music as Theatre Christos Hatzis' Constantinople by David Perlman S1rr1 G STRUGGLING LO find a starting point for this story. I opened up my file of November concert listings and searched for the word Hatzis. Constantinople came up, of course, November 10-13. But so too did two other references: well two and a half, actually. The first: November 4. ·the St. Lawrence Quartet plays Hatzis' String Quartet #1 The Awakening in their Music Toronto program at the Jane Malleu Theatre. The second: November 26, in a program lilied Percussiveness, the Amici Chamber Ensemble premieres a new work by Hatzis, Parlor Music for vibraphone, clarinet, cello & piano, lo be performed by Beverley Johnston. percus ion; Peter Longworth. piano; David Hetherington, cello; and Joaquin Valdepeiias, clarinet. And the half? Well, November 14, the indefatigable Gryphon Trio. prime collaborators in Constantinople, are doing an afternoon concert (followed by a traditional tea) for Associates of the Toronto Sy1J1phony Orchestra, at the Arcadian Court, 401 Bay Street. And dollars to donuts (or scones more likely), one of the pieces on their program that day will be either Dance of the Dicta/Ors, or Old Photos. the fifth and seventh movements of Conswntinople. Old Pho!Os in particular has become almost the Gryphon Trio's signature piece. "We have programmed il over a hundred and fifty times" cellist Roman Borys said, speaking by phone from Amsterdam. "Everywhere we play it, it evokes this extraordinary response." For the purposes of this story I couldn "t have planned those twoand-a-half references any better if I'd planted them myself. They encapsulate, the way Roman remembers it, how Constantinople came Lo be. As he tells it, the origins of the work can be traced back to when Gryphon Trio's violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon NovCMBER 1 - DECCMBCR 7 2004 joined Amici cellist David Hetherington (along with violist Douglas Perry and violinist Carol Fujino) for a perfonnance of the very same string quartet (The Awakening) that the SLQ will be perfomling November 4. "It was 1996 I think," says Roman. "She came home from the perfonnance saying we must commission something from Christos" says Roman. "So we did." Originally conceived as a twenty minute work for the Gryphon Trio and mezzo soprano (Jean Stilwell), Constantinople then took another defining tum, as Christos Hatzis describes it, as the result of a playing engagement by his wife, virtuoso percussionist Bev Johnston. "Simply, it gave rne the opportunity to hear Maryem Tollar sing, and the potential for the whole drama became apparent to me - Constantinople as an 'unplace · , a u-topos, where East and West, Islam and Christianity, monophony and polyphony, improvisation and pre-compositional control, can coexist." It was a moment for him of what he describes as the "dramaturgy" of the piece falling into place. "A vision of convergence" he called it. Roman Borys took care of the small detail of infonning Music Toronto's Jennifer Taylor Lhal the little twenty minute commission was now a sixty-to-seventy minute work with which the Gryphon would launch their 2000 season (as ensemble in residence with Music Toronto). On October 17 2000 the premiere concert perfonnance of the work Look place at the St. Lawrence Centre, performed by The Gryphon Trio, Jean Stilwell mezzo-soprano, and Maryem Tollar alto, and including a small sampling of the proposed visual component by Robert Lepage key associate Jacques Collin. Most but not all of that original creative nucleus is still in place for this momentous homecoming, as evidenced in the photographs on our cover and page eight. Jean Stilwell, whose extraordinary call-and- response improvicoNTINUEs Christos Hatzis 's · CONSTANTINOPLE The Gryphon Trio Patricia O'Callaghan, Maryem Hassan Tollar Wed. Nov. 10 to Sat. Nov. 13 Premiere Dance Theatre, Harbourfront 416-973-4000 ANTON KUERTI Toronto's grand master plays Beethoven, including the great Hammerc/avier. Tuesday, November 16 torontd arts ouncil ..... ....,_ .... c.o ...... - WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM at 8 p.m. ST. LAWRENCE STRING QUARTET Haydn, Hatzis, Beethoven - whatever they play becomes their own Thursday, November 4 at 8 p.m. CHAMBER SOCIETY Flexible ensemble, fabulous playing. Brahms, Bartok, Dohnanyi Tuesday, November 23 at 8 p.m. A C•Md•Counc:U ConNUdHArt• . lorth•Al1• duC' .. n.d• ARDITTI QUARTET Contemporary programme includes the world premiere of Jeffrey Ryan's Slash Thursday, December 2 at 8 p.m. 416-366-7723 • 1-800-708-67 54 order online at /

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