8 years ago

Volume 15 Issue 1 - September 2009

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  • September
  • Jazz
  • October
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eat by beat: early

eat by beat: early musicEarly to riseBy Simone DesiletsThe Early Music scene isn’t called “early” for nothing; the season isbarely under way, and already there are some very interesting presentationsto tell you about.Hildegard von Bingen and the LabyrinthThe ancient labyrinth has long been used as a pathway toward achievinga contemplative state. Music is an important accompaniment inthe winding journey that one takes from circumference to centre andout again, providing a soundscape that can aid in shutting out thebustle of life. In recent times, composers such as John Burke havefound the labyrinth an apt companion in their efforts to create musicthat touches the soul; and I well remember the haunting sounds ofthe traditional Japanese flute, the shakuhachi, helping me along as Iwalked a labyrinth, a decade ago.But it is the exquisite music and poetry of the 12th-century mystic,abbess, philosopher, physician, scientist, Hildegard von Bingen, thatwill accompany you if you choose to walk the labyrinth on her feastday, September 17. Hildegard composed ecstatically soaring vocallines to express her poetic visions, each composition a single melodicline designed for limited instrumental accompaniment left to theperformers to improvise. In the upcoming event, performers includesoprano and Hildegard scholar Krystina Lewicki; Mike Franklin,woodwinds and voice; Ann-Marie Boudreau, voice, sitar, ngoni,harp; and others who contribute the sounds of diverse instruments.Walking the labyrinth is not mandatory but only for those moved todo so; otherwise, one can remain seated and enveloped in this exaltedpoetry and music.The performance takes place inside the Church of the Holy Trinitybehind the Eaton Centre, September 17 at 8pm, and is presented incollaboration with the Labyrinth Community Network of Toronto.The labyrinth itself is patterned on the medieval style of the one setinto the floor of Chartres Cathedral, in the 13h century.Primadonnas and The Colours of MusicSoprano Suzie LeBlanc is a completely delightful artist whose specialtiesrange from baroque repertoire to lieder, to French mélodiesand Acadian folk music, to modern music and improvisation. Herversatility made her a prime choice as the first Singer-in-Residence atBarrie’s Colours of Music Festival (as the Festival’s indefatigable artisticdirector, Bruce Owen, told me). In this role, her activities willinclude concert collaborations with several other Festival artists, aswell as giving workshops to elementary and high school students inthe area – something Owenis very enthusiastic about,as for many students thesewill be rare exposures to thejoys of music-making.The early music componentof LeBlanc’s performancesin Barrie is aconcert entitled “Primadonnasof the Renaissance,” inwhich she will be joined bythe singers and musicians ofThe Toronto Consort. Whatcould be more natural thanto repeat this concert at theToronto Consort’s own series?– and so, you can hearit in Barrie on October 1,and in Toronto on October 2and 3.Suzie LeBlanc appears as Singer-in-Residence at Barrie’s Colours of MusicFestival.And ah! the music is from the Italian Baroque, when opera wasnew; when a ground bass and a few colourful instrumental touchessupporting a melody could express all the fire, all the tenderness, thatany primadonna could hope for. Monteverdi, Castaldi, Frescobaldi,Strozzi and others will lead you into their world of love (requited andunrequited), laments, entreaties, smiles and tears.An all-too-brief mention of several other upcoming performances:September 3, 7pm: Toronto Music Garden presents “Bach at Dusk– with Claudia.” Cellist Winona Zelenka continues her annual exposéof Bach’s Solo Cello Suites in a performance of No. 4 in E flat,joined by dancer Claudia Moore.September 13, 2:30pm: “Tartini meets Hagen”, virtuoso music ofthe 18th century for violin and lute, is presented by the newly-formedBeaches Baroque, with baroque violinist Genevieve Gilardeau andlutenist Lucas Harris.September 23 to 27: In the first of their season’s concerts,Tafelmusik is joined by Montreal’s Arion Baroque Orchestra topresent “Handel: Royal Fireworks,” a programme that also includesmusic by J.C. Bach and Rameau.September 26, 8pm: Toronto Masque Theatre reprises “Purcell:Dido and Aeneas / Aeneas and Dido,” a double-bill of Purcell’s masterpieceand TMT’s commission by James Rolfe and Andre Alexis.October 3, 7:30: Cantemus, a newly formed choir whose focus issecular choral music of the Renaissance, presents “Fairest Isle – ACelebration of Early English Choral Music,” with music by Gibbons,Byrd, Taverner, Purcell and others. Continued on p.12 And don’t forget the 25th annual Early Music Fair held onOPERA BRIEFSSEPTEMBER 25–27, 2009Ernest Balmer Studio at TapestryTICKETS ON SALE SEPTEMBER 7THOPERA TO GOMARCH 24–26, 2010Fermenting Cellar, Distillery DistrictDARK STAR REQUIEMBy Jill Battson and Andrew StanilandJUNE 2010Performance dates / venue TBA NEW OPERA WORKSCARLA HUHTANEN& PETER MCGILLIVRAY© MICHAEL COOPERSUBSCRIBE NOWCALL 416.537.6066TAPESTRYNEWOPERA.COM10 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM September 1 - October 7, 2009

MINSOOSOHNPIANOKIRCHNERBEETHOVENLISZT“ artist, a man who will create a life in music,find listeners, and reward them.” – The Boston GlobeGlenn Gould StudioSaturday 3 October 2009 | 8 pmFirst Laureate, 2006 Honens International Piano CompetitionTickets $15 to Roy Thomson Hall Box Office416 872 4255 | roythomson.comSeptember 1 - October 7, 2009 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM 11

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