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Volume 17 Issue 4 - December 2011

  • Text
  • Jazz
  • Toronto
  • December
  • February
  • Theatre
  • January
  • Symphony
  • Choir
  • Musical
  • Arts

going back in time,

going back in time, it’s like the best kept secret!” December 3 inActon, December 4 in Brampton.Pax Christi Chorale’s performance, under the direction ofStephanie Martin, acknowledges children. “The Children’s’Messiah” is designed especially for youngsters, in a condensedversion with narration and acasual, child-friendly setting.December 10 at Church of St.Mary Magdalene.Aradia Ensemble’s “TheDublin Messiah” recreatesHandel’s famous work usingthe original version of thescore, as presented in Dublinon April 13, 1742. And there’sa nod to the dress code ofthe day: as in the originalperformance, they requestthat, “The Ladies who honourthis Performance with theirPresence would be pleasedto come without hoops (hoopframed skirts), as it willgreatly increase the Charity bymaking room for more company.”December 17 at GlennGould Studio.Tafelmusik’s “Sing-AlongMessiah,” celebrating its 25thanniversary, is directed by none other than Handel himself (akaIvars Taurins). Taurins received a Gemini Award nomination thispainstaking research — from Handel’s ruddy complexion (he wasfond of drink) to the type of starch (not powder!) Handel used in hiswig. As their press release says: “Does the audience notice thesesubtle distinctions? Maybe not, but they completely buy into theillusion that Handel has come back after 270 years to conduct themin this three-hour annual ritual.” December 18 at Massey Hall.A Host Of Others To See Out The Old And Welcome In The New: The Tallis Scholars appear at Royal Conservatory’sKoerner Hall, in a programme that features diverse composers’settings of the — glorious choral music from 15th centuryJohn Taverner all the way to late 20th century Arvo Pärt.Toronto Consort celebrates “A Spanishexperienced by the Spanish-speaking nations of the world on bothsides of the Atlantic in renaissance and baroque-period times. Thisis a world the Consort revisits every two years; this year’s presentationincludes solemn motets, lively villançicos, pieces in native I Furiosi Baroque Ensemble presents “Hell HathNo Fury” … like I Furiosi scorned! “Not your average Christmasconcert” so be prepared to be surprised. Sine Nomine Ensemble for Medieval Music presents“Puer natus est nobis: A 14th-century Mass for Christmas Day,” amusical reconstruction of a nativity mass from Avignon. Thisyear the ensemble celebrates 20 years of inventive programming,combining vocal and instrumental music from medieval courts andchurches with readings, drama, and liturgical action, to provideinsight into the fascinating artistic and intellectual culture of theMiddle Ages. Musicians In Ordinary’s annual New Year’s Dayconcerts offer an elegant alternative to the traditional New Year’sfare, with cantatas by Vivaldi and Alessandro Scarlatti, a trio sonataby Corelli and music for solo archlute by Zamboni. Soprano HallieFishel and lutenist John Edwards are joined by violinists EdwinHuizinga and Christopher Verrette, and others. Toronto Early Music Centre’s “Musically Speaking”series resumes at its new location of St. David’s Anglican Church,49 Donlands Ave. Music by Guillemain, Leclair and Telemann isperformed by Alison Melville, recorders/traverso; Elyssa Lefurgey-Smyth, violin; Justin Haynes, viola da gamba; and Sara-AnneChurchill, harpsichord. What away to celebrate your 30thanniversary! Jeanne Lamon’s“gift” to herself is to directTafelmusik Baroque Orchestraand Chamber Choir, alongwith spectacular guest soloists,in a semi-staged performanceof Handel’s rarely performedmusic drama Hercules — adramatic story “seethingwith the destructive power ofsexual jealousy” inspired bya Greek tragedy written bySophocles more than 2500years ago. In Kingston, theMelos Choir and ChamberOrchestra presents “TheItalian Connection: GabrielliFlying start to 2012: Hallie Fishel and John Edwards,Musicians in Ordinary, January 1 and 2.to Vivaldi,” welcoming guestguitarists Jeff Hanlon andChad Yacobucci.Perhapsyou’ve heard him singing with Tafelmusik: the passionate evangelistin Bach’s St. John Passion, the tenor soloist in the B Minor Mass, orthe tenor voice in Purcell’s opera King Arthur. Or with the TorontoConsort, in the Monteverdi Vespers or the opera Orfeo. If so, you’llnot have forgotten the remarkable agility of his voice, or the intensityof his commitment to the text. Now the Toronto Consort presentsthe English tenor Charles Daniels in recital, in “It was a loverand his lass,” a concert of exquisite lute songs from the English andFrench Renaissance. He’ll be accompanied by lutenist David Miller,in works by Morley, Danyels, Campian and Moulinié. The years 1788 to 89 were incredibly creative ones forMozart; he was then at the height of his powers. Academy ConcertSeries performs three of his major chamber works written duringthat time, in “Mozart: A Year In Vienna.” Fellow columnist, lutenist Benjamin Stein, makesthe point that “Improvisation was a natural part of Bach’s musicalmilieu, and this skill, neglected in much classical music training, isone that has reappeared as an essential aspect of training in earlymusic.” In Music at Metropolitan’s “BachFest II: Jam Sessions withBach,” performances of works by Bach and other German composersare combined with improvisations on baroque dance forms andhymn tunes. Taking part are four talented musicians: BenjaminStein, theorbo/lute; Sara-Anne Churchill, keyboard; DanielRubinoff, saxophone; Elyssa Lefurgey-Smith, violin. In “Pergolesi’s Inspiring Stabat Mater,” BarrieConcerts brings internationally renowned musicians to their stage:soprano Dame Emma Kirkby, countertenor Daniel Taylor and theTheatre of Early Music will surely inspire with their performance.The series is sold by subscription only and is virtually sold out;lucky are those who already have their tickets.Finally, a correction to last month’s column: it’s not often Imistake Schubert for Gounod. Granted, they both wrote Ave Marias,but only one of these is based on Bach’s Prelude No.1 from the WellTempered Clavier Book I, stated in the print version of last month’s issue. I guess The Well-Simone Desilets is a long-time contributor to The WholeNotein several capacities who plays the viola da gamba. Shecan be contacted at earlymusic@thewholenote.com.20 thewholenote.comDecember 1 – February 7, 2012ALEXANDRA GUERSON

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