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Volume 16 Issue 9 - June 2011

  • Text
  • Jazz
  • Toronto
  • Festival
  • Concerts
  • Musical
  • Summerfestivals
  • Symphony
  • Orchestra
  • Arts
  • Trio

THE ALDEBURGH

THE ALDEBURGH CONNECTIONArtistic Directors: Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukatapresents the fifth annualBayfield Festival of SongTown Hall, Bayfield, Ontario June 3 – 12, 2011Come to a beautiful village on Lake Huron for eight concerts ofclassical song with Colin Ainsworth, Lindsay Barrett, Peter Barrett,Lucia Cesaroni, Allyson McHardy and many othersTickets to Call 416.735.7982 or 519.565.2435bayfield@aldeburghconnection.org www.aldeburghconnection.orgChoir As SocietyBEN STEINLast issue I explored some of the reasons that people join choirs,focusing on such things as improving musical skills and singinggreat choral works. For many, the community aspect of groupsinging is of equal importance to music. If one is looking for a pas-these needs.But one can also see choral singing as a metaphor for the kindof cooperation that is necessary to make the world function. Eachability. Some aspects of the group are more noticeable than others –altos tend to get buried in the mix – but each part is crucial to makingup the whole, and the good quality of the choir is dependent oneach section being able to make a healthy, secure and blended sound.Still, music making is not an inherently democratic activity.The choir-as-society metaphor becomes more problematic when itis applied to the conductor, whose role is most regularly that of abenevolent dictator. But the conductor’s rule often only applies to themusic making alone, while the larger power structure of the choirorganization usually resides in a volunteer board of directors.A dictatorial or abusive conductor may be tolerated for a time ifthey are getting an exceptional sound from the choir, but ultimatelychoral singers prefer to be treated well when making music, andknow that musical excellence and courtesy in rehearsal are notmutually exclusive.Any arts group has to negotiate the tension between focusingon the fun of the performance and maintaining a healthy cultureof regular rehearsal. This mirrors the societal tug-of-war betweenrewarding achievement (tax breaks, incentives, high salaries) andlooking after the mundane but necessary aspects of everyday life(roads, education, a social safety net).TICKETS ONSALE NOWJULY 8 - JULY 31, 2011World-class performers in intimate settingsElora Festival SingersKarina GauvinMichael Burgess & Rebecca Caine David Eggert519.846.0331 · 1.888.747.7550Chattanooga Boys Choir.Many choirs use music to fundraise and to champion causes. Twofundraising concerts of interest take place this month. On June 11,the Chattanooga Boys Choir sings works by Purcell, Schubert,Bach and Rutter to raise funds to help with the maintenance of theCasavant organ at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church. On June16, the Coro San Marco – a local choir that specializes in Italianrepertoire – is performing a concert of opera arias and choruses, insupport of Japanese earthquake relief.Composers themselves can also directly address social concernsthrough their compositions. Paul Winter’s Missa Gaia/Earth Massappeared in 1982. It uses the Mass text only as a jumping off pointfor settings of other lyrics including poetry and hymns that take thehealth of the earth as their focus.The Karen Schuessler Singers were founded in 1993, and theywork out of London. They have a strong reputation for craftinginventive seasons and commissioning new works. They have madetheir own performance tradition of the Missa Gaia, and have beenCINDY COULTER20 thewholenote.comJune 1 – July 7, 2011

How Size CountsJIM GALLOWAYKaren Schuessler Singers.performing it since 1994. This year’s performance, on June 4, willinclude displays by Salthaven Wildlife Rehabilitation and EducationCentre. Salthaven’s focus is on the rescue and rehabilitation of sick,displaced, injured and orphaned wildlife. They also do local educationand outreach to raise environmental awareness.Mozart’s Mass settings have become compositions for the ages,but at the time of their writing Mozart was as mired in politics asany working artisan. He wrote the majority of his mass settings inSalzburg, under the patronage of Archbishop Colloredo. Mozart washeld to strict structural controls regarding both the style of musicand length of composition that he was expected to produce. Hedisliked the autocratic style of the Archbishop, and wrote scathinglycontemptuous letters to his father about the musicians for whom hewas forced to write. For all that they were composed under arduousconditions, his Salzburg masses remain consistently popular. Theyare never less than professional, and all of them have moments ofboth inventiveness and insight. The Voices Choir performs Mozart’s1779 “Coronation” Mass on June 25.Politics is inherent in the traditional British Proms concert, inwhich ethnic pride is celebrated and satirized at the same time. Noconductor does this better than Bramwell Tovey, who leads theTSO’s “Last Night of the Proms” with the Toronto MendelssohnChoir, on June 21 and 22.Some other events of interest during the summer months:The excellent choir of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene has aFriday concert series on June 3, 10 and 17, featuring Mass settingsby Victoria, Guerrero and Palestrina.Further into the summer, the Elora Festival Singers performseveral choral concerts each week of the the Elora Festival. Ofparticular interest is the July 21 performance of famed composerArvo Pärt’s Passio, an intense setting of the Passion story. I can’tremember the last time (if ever) that this piece was performed in thisarea – this is a good opportunity to hear it live.Finally, Choirs Ontario is a valuable resource that is perhapsless known to choral audiences than it is to choral organizations.It both fosters and coordinates choral opportunities for youngsingers, and is an important resource for the province’s choirs. Theorganization’s website (www.choirsontario.org) is worth checkingout for a number of workshops and choral camps taking placebetween June and August.Ben Stein is a Toronto tenor and theorbist. He can becontacted at choralscene@thewholenote.com.PETER MAHONSales Representative416-322-8000pmahon@trebnet.comwww.petermahon.comJazz Festival season is well underway and it doesn’t get any eas-the question as to what constitutes jazz. The parameters havechanged drastically and the word jazz has been embraced by everythingfrom airlines to deodorants. But for the sake of this discussionlet’s use the term classic jazz which will range from Buddy Boldenand King Oliver to Miles Davis and John Coltrane. And if you questionsuch diversity of styles, bear in mind that this year’s JUNO forbest traditional jazz went to John MacLeod’s Rex Hotel Orchestra.But classic jazz and major concert halls?Yes, you can successfully present the Dave Brubeck Quartet,Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Centre Orchestra and All-Starpackages like Return To Forever, but more and more festivals haveto turn to performers with only a passing acquaintance with jazz.This year, Tom Jones headlined at the New Orleans Jazz & HeritageFestival and one of the headliners at the Vienna Jazz festival is –wait for it – Liza Minnelli! With all due respect, she has as much todo with jazz as I do with ballet dancing.I remember a disastrous attempt in 1991 by Kiri Te Kanawa tomake a jazz album with Andre Previn on piano, Mundell Lowe onguitar and Ray Brown on bass. It’s just not that simple. You can’tjust decide to be a jazz performer overnight.In Toronto, one of the major attractions is Jessye Norman andI’m sure she will be more successful than Kiri Te Kanawa, but itjazz festival.Canada’s Bechstein Selection CentreYoung Chang Piano GalleryWorld Class Repairsto all musical instruments10 Via Renzo Drive, Richmond Hill(east side of Leslie St., just north of Major Mackenzie Dr.)905.770.52221.800.463.3000cosmomusic.caJune 1 – July 7, 2011 thewholenote.com 21

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