7 years ago

Volume 14 - Issue 2 - October 2008

wholenoteThe Toronto

wholenoteThe Toronto Concert-Goer's GuideVolume 14 #2, October 1 - November 7, 2008Copyright© 2008 WholeNote Media, Inc.720 Bathurst Street, Suite 503, Toronto ON M5S 2R4Main Tel: 416-323-2232 Fax 416-603-4791Switchboard and General Inquiries: Extension 21Publisher: Allan Pulker - publisher@thewholenote .comEditor: David Perlman - editorial@thewholenote.comAssociate editor: Matthew Tran-Adams - wmieditor@thewholenote.comCD Editor: David Olds - discoveries@thewholenote.comEvent advertising/membership:Karen Ages - members@thewholenote.comProduction liaison/retail & educational advertising:Jack Bue ll - adart@thewholenote.comClassified Advertising; Announcements, Etc:Simone Desilets - classad@thewholenote.comListings department:Colin Eatock - listings@thewholenote.comJazz Listings:Ori Dagan - jazz@thewholenote.comCirculation, Display Stands & Subscriptions:Chris Malcolm - circulation@thewholenote.comProduction Management:Peter Hobbs, production@thewholenote.comProduction Tel: 416-351-7171; Fax: 416-351-7272Thanks to this month's contributorsBeat by Beat: Early (Frank Nakashima); Choral (mJ Buell); New Music(Richard Marsella); Jazz (Jim Ga ll oway, Ori Dagan) ; Orchestra andBand (Jack MacQuarrie); Opera (Phil Ehrensaft); Musical Life (mJ Buell) ;Books (Pamela Margles); Encore' (Matthew Tran-Adams)Features: David Perlman, Terry RobbinsCD Reviewers: Larry Beckwith, Ori Dagan, Seth Estrin, Daniel Foley, JimGalloway, Janos Gardonyi, Tiina Kiik, Lesley Mitchell-Clarke, Cathy Riches,Bruce Surtees, Andrew Timar, Ken Waxman,Copy-editing and photo research: Catherine Muir, Matthew Tran-AdamsEditorial research: Nick TortiProofreading: Karen Ages, Simone DesiletsListings: Colin Eatock, Richard Haskell, Felix Deak, Ori DaganLayout and design : Verity Graphics , Rocket Design (cover)UPCOMING DATES AND DEADLINESNext issue is Volume 14 #3 covering November 1 - December 7, 2008Free Event Listings Deadline: 6pm Wednesday October 15Display Ad Reservations Deadline: 6pm Wednesday October 15Advertising Materials Due: 6pm Friday October 17Publication Date: Friday October 31WholeNote Media Inc. accepts noresponsibility or liability for claimsmadefor any product or service reported onor advertised in this issue.Circulation Statement,September 2008:30,000 printed and distributedCanadian Publication Product SalesAgreement 1263846ISSN 14888-8785 WHOLENOTEPublications Mail Agreement#40026682Return undeliverable Canadianaddresses to:WholeNote Media Inc.503-720 Bathurst StreetToronto ON M5S 2R4Printed in Canada byCouto Printing and Publishing Serviceswww.thewholenote.comfoR OPENERS •••(Too) Many Happy Returns?Many a publicist or music presenter has come to me over the years,confident that their organization's I Oth, 20th, 25th, 30th anniversary ­invariably multiples of five or ten - was a milestone worthy ofWholeNote cover story treatment. Most of them can testify, if asked,that their exciting news was met with an unconvinced grunt - the closestthing to stony silence that courtesy allows.The reason for this puzzling behaviour on my part may be as simpleas the fact that I don 't have the hang of how to recognize a good storywhen I see it. But if it's as simple as that, this editorial is going to beway too short for the space assigned - even if I bump up the font apoint or two.So instead, let's explore, in excruciating detail, why it is that thismonth's cover, screaming "anniversary" madly in all directions, standsout like a sore thumb in the usual Whole Note scheme of things.Well, for one thing, I've never been much impressed by counting infives and tens - it assumes that the thumb is a finger, which defeatsthe whole purpose of having an opposable digit as a counter. (Somecultures understand this.)For another thing, I went through, in my childhood, an extendedperiod of unimaginable terror, before being informed by our evil nextdoor neighbour Stanley Kaplan (Colly's dad) that on my seventh birthdayI would at last be too old to be eaten. I then lost my treble withindays of turning 14; got handed the keys to life at 21; and at 28 startedto worry about my life being a failure. At 35 I put all the pieces of thepuzzle together, and realized that the years of man - the proverbial"three score and ten" - were not, in fact, seven cycles often years, butrather ten cycles of seven. Once I got the hang of it, this way, the bigten, with all its divisions and precisions, entirely lost its power to impress."This is our choir's thirtieth anniversary!" ... Grunt.So why then this month's rush of decimal blood to the head - theabandonment after fourteen ( count 'em!) seasons of my most cherishednumerological principles?I will explain.Seven days ago, at 5:30 in the morning, I stood listening to a child ofnine, Anastasia Rizikov, play Rachmaninoff and Chopin on a grandpiano in the lobby at the New Classical 96.3FM. It was the first of 4820-minute concerts in the lobby within a 24-hour period marking thefirst anniversary of the "relaunch" of the station under the watch ofMoses Znaimer (a master of ones and zeroes if ever there was one).There at the piano, kicking it all off, sat a child, not yet ten, playingRachmaninoff and Chopin, the great piano masters - playing the music,not just the notes - with a sense of pleasure and ease that took thebreath away. "It (the piano) wasn't hard once I got the hang ofit," shetold Michael Lyons who interviewed her after she played.Two hours later she was still there - leaning on the banister of thelobby stairs listening to Natalie Mac Master and Donnell Leahy (the7:40am live concert) as a strathspey spun from their fiddles. Anastasiastood and watched - counting this new thing out on four fingers till shehad the hang of that too.Watching her watching them, the difference between nine and tensuddenly seemed terribly important.I have very mixed feelings about what Znaimer has achieved atClassical 96. The concerts from the lobby, aired live, capture the riskand the breathtaking skill of this beautiful performance art - the dangerinvolved even when the performer has the hang ofit. I love the immediacyof being ambushed by those musical moments, almost as much as Ihate being ambushed by a commercial that snuck up on me by pretendingto be a work of music I love.But seven days ago I got a little lesson in the pleasure that can begiven, and got, playing the numbers game. I pass it on to you.David Perlman, editor6 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM OCTOBER 1 - NOVEMBER 7 2008

FEATURETURNING TENNURHAN ARMAN'S SINFONIA TORONTO"Can you remember what was on the programme of that firstconcert?" (I had dipped back into my WholeNote listings archive andhad the information there in front of me, so it was a test, not arequest for information.) "I think so," he said. "The Grosse Fugue,of course; Mozart's Divertimento Kl36; Tchaikowsky: Serenade.Also Finzi, Ecologue for piano and strings. And one more. Bach .... apiano concerto. In f minor. Jane Coop was our guest artist." "I'mimpressed," I said. After all, the ensemble has close to 60 concertsunder its belt since that October nine years ago, and Nurhan Armanconducts all over Europe as well as here - two tours this pastsummer alone. "Can you remember them all?" "Not like that," hesaid. "That one was very special."The "very special" moment he was referring to took place at theGlenn Gould Studio October 30 1999 - the inaugural concert ofToronto's only true professional chamber orchestra. Allan Pulker,WholeNote's founder and publisher cottoned onto the fact thatsomething special was happening before it took place and put Armanon WholeNote's cover that month. "Why Toronto, and why here andnow," he asked Arman and then quotes the reply (as true today as itwas nine Octobers ago): "First, there isn't a chamber orchestra ofthis calibre in Toronto. Montreal on the other hand has so manychamber orchestras - more than practically anywhere else. There isa great symphony here, there is Tafelmusik whose work I respectimmensely, also the Esprit Orchestra, but this type of orchestra islacking."But it wasn't only size that Arman was offering. They would playstanding (except the cellos) in true virtuosic style, he announced. Andhe had no problem filling the positions with musicians of the calibrehe demanded - 120 applicants for the 14 positions: four first violins,NurlumArmanfour seconds; three violas; two cellos and a bass.Sinfonia Toronto left the Glenn Gould (three seasons ago, duringthe CBC lockout) for the soaring acoustic of Grace Church-on-the­Hill ("a great acoustic for recording too," he says) but Arman pointsto a lack of ideal spaces for an ensemble like his as a curiousdeficiency of the Toronto concert venue picture. "Ideal for us wouldbe 400-500, right on the subway, and affordable. But we are notunhappy here. "Would he go back to the Gould? "Hard to say," he says, "even if itwere a bit larger.You know, it's hard not to sound like a recording inthat room."The ensemble's vision and focus have remained unshaken in thedecade. "We are thirteen now, not fourteen," he says - one violaWWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM 7

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