8 years ago

Volume 17 Issue 3 - November 2011

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

members play

members play renaissance/baroque flutes, violada gamba and lutes/theorbo/early guitars; forthe upcoming pair of concerts, so replete withsong, they’ve added mezzo-soprano voice.If you’re in the Kitchener-Waterloo areaon November 17, you can hear them atthe Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber MusicSociety concert; if you’re in Hamilton onNovember 18, you’ll find them performing atMcMaster University.Academy Concert Series: The AcademyConcert Series’ season opener featuresinterwoven themes of music and drama too.Its centrepiece is a love story, which unfolds in a trilogy of Vivaldichamber cantatas (one having only recently been discovered inVienna) collectively known as L‘Amore per Elvira. We witness thedeclaration of love, the lover’s sad news that he must go away, thereturn amid fears and hopes and finally, the lovers’ reuniting — allpoignantly expressed in both words and music.Along with this is another parallel but modern day love story,placed in Vienna, woven throughout the performance and enacted byactor Vanessa AvRuskin. And interspersed between the cantatas arechamber pieces by Vivaldi that highlight the violin — the instrumenton which he was known for his excellent playing.The evolution of what might be called a musical love story is thestory of the Academy Concert Series itself. Founded over 20 yearsago, it has been constant in its mission to bring historically informedchamber performances to Toronto’s audiences. After a 16 year runas artistic director, multi-instrumentalist Nicolai Tarasov has nowdecided to largely hand over the reins to talented cellist/baroquecellist Kerri McGonigle — a passionate and accomplished musician,who I’ll bet will bring fresh life to an already lively series.“Vivaldi Visits Vienna” takes place on November 12 atEastminster Church.A diversity of othERS• November 13: In Kitchener, Classics At The Registry presents“Guitarra Barroca: A tour of baroque music for the guitar,” featuringa guitarist known for his musicianship and versatility, KevinRamessar, in collaboration with Larry Larson, trumpet and GrahamHargrove, percussion. (Note: This information arrived too lateto make it into the printed listings; see the online listing at Click on “Just In,” and see New Listings–Beyondthe GTA or go to the searchable Concert Listings and click“Concerts Beyond the GTA”);• November 18: In Kingston, the Melos Choir and ChamberOrchestra presents a concert for St. Cecilia’s Day and celebratingthe 300th anniversary of the birth of William Boyce. Programmeincludes Purcell’s Cecilian ode Welcome to all the Pleasures, TeDeum and Jubilate by Boyce, and other lovely music;• November 19: “Glory – Sounds of Baroque Exultation” is the aptlychosentitle of a concert by the Larkin Singers, featuring Handel’ssacred motet Nisi Dominus as well as Vivaldi’s Gloria and Bach’scantata Wachet Auf.• November 19 and 20: In Toronto and Hamilton, Capella IntimaKerri McGonigle.presents “Venice and Beyond,” highlightingcomposers of the Venetian school who leftVenice later in their careers: Grandi, Merula,Agostini, Sances, Valentini and Milanuzzi.Music for tenor and baritone voice, baroqueguitar, organ, harpsichord and gamba.• November 23: “In the Shadow of theVolcano,” traditional music of southernItaly including the villanelle, tarantella,fronna and tammurriata, is presented by theVesuvius Ensemble as part of the CanadianOpera Company’s Richard BradshawAmphitheatre series.• November 25: In the first of four concerts honouring Bach, spreadthroughout the season, Music at Metropolitan presents “BachFest I:Christmas Oratorio, Parts 1–3.”• November 26 and 27: The 16-voice a cappella choir CantemusSingers presents their annual Christmas celebration, “Nowell SingWe,” with carols and motets from the renaissance and baroqueperiods, Giovanni Gabrieli’s Hodie Christus Natus Est for doublechoir, Telemann’s Deutsches Magnificat in G for choir, soloists andorchestra, and other works.• November 27: In Kitchener, there’s a treat of two wonderful Bachcantatas (Wie schöen leuchtet der Morgenstern and Lobet den Herrn),in Spiritus Ensemble’s programme “Bach Vespers for Advent.”• December 1 to 4: Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra is joined byguest director and oboist, Alfredo Bernardini, to present “BaroqueSplendour – The Golden Age of Dresden,” with stunning andvirtuosic music created for Dresden’s remarkable court orchestra byZelenka, Fasch, Pisendel, Telemann and Vivaldi.Simone Desilets is a long-time contributor to The WholeNote inseveral capacities who plays the viola da gamba.She can be contacted at Coburn22 thewholenote.comNovember 1 – December 7, 2011

(Mis)rememberingbenjamin STEINLet us take a moment to celebrate, or perhaps curse, the memoryof misheard lyrics, the finding of which is great fun, and isone of the great time-wasting joys of the internet. Mishearing“breaking rocks in the hot sun” as “a grape skin rots in the hot sun”in the Clash’s I fought the Law’s is a good one. But the serene phrasefrom Psalm 23, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all thedays of my life,” heard as “Surely good MrsMurphy shall follow me all the days of mylife,” is my long-time personal favourite.Iselers at the Distillery: The latterquote — the correct one, I mean — is from theKing James Bible, a translation of variousChristian and Hebrew scriptures, and wasfor centuries the central document throughwhich these texts were disseminated in theEnglish-speaking world. Truly beautifulthough it is, it contains many inaccuraciesand misreadings, particularly of Hebrewscripture, which have been corrected orre-translated by later scholars. But for thosewho grew up with the King James version, these reinterpretationsoften seem to lack richness and resonance. Never mind that anywestern translation of a several thousand year-old text from theMiddle East is likely to miss the original point by a wide, almostunbridgeable inter-cultural gap; our fallible memories createorthodoxies that lead us to strongly resist the unfamiliar and new,especially when the old is so much more singable.While one can challenge its accuracy, no one can deny the poeticmajesty of the King James Bible, which has been a source of inspirationto many great composers. Various musical settings of KingJames-derived material can be enjoyed at a concert on 25 Novemberby the Elmer Iseler Singers, titled “King James and Shakespeare.”(The birth of the King James Bible 400 years ago coincides withShakespeare’s latter years.) The concert takes place in an unusualvenue for the Iselers — the Young Centre for the Performing Arts inthe Distillery District. Jazzmen Gene DiNovi and Dave Young guestand Soulpepper Theatre’s Albert Schulz narrates.The Mendelssohn’s Brahms: Johannes Brahms was a composerwith an acute sense of cultural memory. Conscious of his placein musical history, and highly respectful of his mentor RobertSchumann, he had a sense of responsibility towards understandingand furthering the musical traditions to which he was heir.His famous feud with Wagner — or rather, the feud between fansand advocates of the two composers — centred around the question ofmemory. Wagner’s aesthetic demanded a sweeping away of the old,including old musical forms. Brahms felt that older forms could beimbued with new ideas.Nowadays it is possible to hear elements of both innovation andPETER MAHONSales Representative416-322-8000pmahon@trebnet.comwww.petermahon.comThe King James Bible.musical tradition in Brahms. The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir presentsan all-Brahms programme on November 9. The Alto Rhapsodyand Deutsches Requiem are among Brahms’ greatest choral works,but the evening is notable for two lesser known works as well, Nänieand the Gesang der Parzen (Song of the Fates). Brahms’ choralworks are imbued with his knowledge of baroque contrapuntalpart-writing, and are consistently innovative in terms of timbres andtechniques. They are notably more interesting than Wagner’s choralwriting. Oops, was that my outside voice?Incidentally, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir is programmingsome intriguing choral read-throughs and conducting workshopsin the weeks and months ahead. These are excellent resources forchoral singers and conductors, and are well worth checking out. Goto the TMC’s website and look under “education and outreach.”25th solstice: A choir’s own past canalso be the occasion for celebration. OnDecember 3, Jenny Crober’s East York Choircelebrates its 25th year of existence with“Winter Solstice,” a concert that includesa premiere of a work by veteran Canadiancomposer Stephen Hatfield. The EYChas always been open to folk and popularelements in choral music, and has consistentlyprogrammed works both substantiveand entertaining.And speaking of the solstice, theChristmas choral celebration, fast upon us,St. Michael’S choir SchoolA Christmas concert featuring well-loved carolsfrom lands near and farCome celebrate one of the great traditionsof Christmas with Toronto’s favouriteboys’ choir at Massey Hall.Tickets $ 19 to $ 40www.masseyhall.comMassey Hall 416.872.4255Sat. Dec. 10, 2011 • 7:30pm Sun. Dec. 11, 2011 • 3:00pmNovember 1 – December 7, 2011 23

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