7 years ago

Volume 17 Issue 9 - June 2012

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Beat by Beat | Art of

Beat by Beat | Art of SongNew Kid on theArt Song BlockHANS DE GRootIn the may 2012 issue of The WholeNote, editor David Perlmanannounced that this particular beat column was here to stay, andinvited contributors. I feel very much like the proverbial “new kidon the block” but I am beginning to find my way and I think I shallenjoy the work.Few artists have done as much for the art of song and for the developmentof Canadian talent as Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata,the pianists who direct the Aldeburgh Connection. For many yearsthey have presented an annual program in Toronto and a few yearsago they added an annual summer program at Bayfield, on theshores of Lake Huron. This year’s program looks especially enticing:on June 8 at 8pm, Adrienne Pieczonka, soprano, and LauraTucker, mezzo-soprano, present a recital with works rangingfrom Alessandro Scarlatti to Richard Strauss; on June 9, also at8pm, Alexander Dobson, baritone, sings Schumann, VaughanWilliams and Ivor Novello; on June 10 at 2:30pm, a vocal quartet(Andrea Cerswell, soprano; Alexandra Beley, mezzo-soprano;Andrew Hadj, tenor; David Roth, baritone) will celebrateQueen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee by presenting a variedrepertoire ranging from Handel to John Beckwith.Readers who, like me, have a special fondness for the sopranoMeredith Hall will have two chances to hear her thismonth. On June 17 at 2pm, as part of Music at Sharon’s summerseries held at Sharon Temple, she will be singing Dido in a concertperformance of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the baritoneTodd Delaney as Aeneas. They are accompanied by the TorontoMasque Theatre, directed by Larry Beckwith. Hall is especially wellknown for her performances of early music, from medieval plainchantto the operas of Mozart, and also for her recording of Scottishsongs (Robert Burns and others) with the ensemble La Nef. OnJune 29, however, she and the pianist Brahm Goldhamer will moveinto different territory with a program consisting entirely of thesongs of Franz Schubert, at 8pm at the Heliconian Club, 35 HazeltonAve.; admission is pay-what-you can. Hall tells us that she has beena lover of Schubert’s songs ever since her student days, that sheand Goldhamer have been singing and playing a large number ofSchubert songs during the last year and that the recital on June 29,entitled “Oh, for the love of Schubert,” will give us a selection ofthese. Hall and Goldhamer will be joined by Bernard Farley, guitar.Frank Nakashima used to be a counter-tenor; he has sung withthe Toronto Consort and with The Gents. I have a reason to knowthis since, many years ago, he gave me a series of lessons. He is nowa tenor and will be performing Elizabethan music (Byrd, Holborne,Dowland, Gibbons, Bull) with the Cardinal Consort of Viols in aconcert organized by the Toronto Early Music Centre, St. David’sAnglican Church, 49 Donlands Ave., on June 17 at 2:30pm. Well,voices change: David Daniels moved the other way since he beganas a tenor and became a counter-tenor early on; Placido Domingostarted out as a baritone, became a world-famous tenor, and is abaritone again, at least part of the time; I myself, to compare greatwith small (as Milton would have said), started off as a baritone, hada stint as a tenor (a mistake), then a counter-tenor and now I am abaritone once more.From July 4 to July 15, Music and Beyond willbe held in Ottawa. There will be furtherdetails in our Julyissue butTenor Frank aresome details about aconcert on July 5 at 8pm: WallaceGiunta, mezzo-soprano, John Brancy, baritone,and Peter Dugan, piano, will perform “A Lover andhis Lass,” a concert which will include music by Mozart, Schumann,Britten, Rossini, Vaughan Williams and Bernstein. Giunta is an excitingsinger. She is primarily known for her work in opera: she wasa member of the COC Ensemble Studio and will sing Annio in theCOC production of La Clemenza di Tito in February 2013. The Ottawaconcert will give us another chance to hear her in recital (she was atMusic Toronto in March) at the Dominion-Chalmers United Church.Later in July it will be time for the 2012 Toronto Summer MusicFestival. The July issue of The Wholenote will provide a detailedaccount but here is an advance notice: the line-up includes twooutstanding singers, Colin Ainsworth, tenor, and Gerald Finley,bass-baritone.Chris FramptonINSPIRING ARTISTRY IN A BREATHTAKING VENUEMost Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdaysat noon or 5:30 416-363-8231MEDIA SPONSORSHilario Durán and Robi Botos, Photo: Chris Hutcheson22 June 1 – July 7, 2012

Here are details for some other events taking place in June orearly July:!!June 3 at 5pm: Hallie Fischel, soprano, and John Edwards, luteand guitar, will also celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubileewith a concert featuring music from the time of Queen Elizabeth I, atSt. Olave’s Church, 36 Windermere Ave.!!June 7 at 12:15pm: Marina Tchepel, soprano, and PatriciaWright, piano, will give a recital at Metropolitan United Church, 56Queen St. E.; admission is free.!!June 8 at 7pm: the Swedish Women’s Educational Associationwill present Josefine Anderson, mezzo-soprano, and NigarDadascheva, piano, in a concert of music by Grieg, Stenhammar,Sibelius, Schumann, Schubert, Mendelssohn and others, at AgricolaLutheran Church, 25 Old York Mills Road.!!June 8 at 7:30pm: Guy Moreau and Pamela Hyatt will present“Cabaret a la Franglaise” at The Annex Live, 296 Brunswick Ave.!!June 12 at 12:10pm: the University of Toronto Community willpresent a program entitled “Music and Dance for Haiti.” Singersinclude Laura Hare, soprano, and Sam Broverman, baritone. Theconcert takes place in the Music Room at Hart House, 7 Hart HouseCircle.!!June 13 at 7:30pm: in a concert presented by the Danish andSwedish Consul Generals and the Icelandic Consul, the NordicSingers (Randi Gislason and Cecilia Lindwall, sopranos; MagnusGislason, tenor; Hans Lawaetz, baritone), who last performed inToronto in 2012, will sing Scandinavian music, Nielsen to ABBA, atthe Danish Lutheran Church, 72 Finch Ave. W. Most of the group aremembers of the Royal Danish Opera.!!June 14 at 12:10pm: Claudia Lemcke, soprano, and ChristopherDawes, piano, will perform at Christ Church Deer Park, 1570 YongeSt.; admission is free and donations are welcome.!!July 2 at 12:15pm: as part of the Musical Mondays series, KristineDandavino, mezzo-soprano, and William Schookhoff, piano, willperform a program which will range from Saint-Saëns to Gospel atthe Church of the Holy Trinity, 10 Trinity Sq.Beat by Beat | Choral SceneGadfly Season?BEN StEINPerhaps it is the beautiful weather outside, but I cannot get myhead around a way to thematically link this month’s concertstogether in my usual artful, elegant, insightful manner. Forgetit, I give up. Here instead are some column topics at various levelsof quarrel-picking provocativeness. I invite you to use them as yourown argument-starters with family, friends and colleagues. (Noamount of bribes or flattery will induce me to reveal which, if any, ofthe following statements I actually agree with, though readers arecertainly welcome to try.)– Very few choirs should ever attempt to sing Bach.– Choirs should rarely —actually, never —use a piano in rehearsalwhen singing a cappella music. Even when pianos are in tune,they’re not in tune. Pianos are to choirs as that big wooden horse wasto Troy.– Music died with Brahms. Pretty much everything composed inthe 20th century should be avoided.– On the other hand, most choral music written before 1700 iscompletely boring. Program it and watch attendance drop at bothconcerts and religious services.– Why bother programming Canadian music? There’s tons of superiorAmerican and British stuff out there.– Choral diction is a contradiction in terms. In this region you mayas well stick with German/French/Italian repertoire, because no oneunderstands what you’re singing anyhow. Seriously, what’s the pointof drilling consonants on something like “She’s like the swallow thatflies so high” when all the audience is going to hear is “cheese bites,Postscript: As I was about to send this off to the publisher, I read thesad news of the death of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. It was my goodfortune that I heard him twice in concert in the early 60s: once withElisabeth Schwarzkopf, once in a program that consisted of the completeMörike Lieder by Hugo Wolf. He has left a very extensive legacy ofrecordings. I particularly prize his 1955 performance of Schumann’sopus 39 Liederkreis and his 1971 performance of Schubert’s DieWinterreise, both with the incomparable Gerald Moore.Hans de Groot taught English Literature at the University of Torontofrom 1965 until the spring of 2012, and has been a concert-goerand active listener since the early 1950s; he also sings and playsrecorder. He can be contacted at Fr. Nino Cavoto3055 Bloor Street West, justwest of Royal York RoadFree Lunchtime OrganConcert SeriesWednesdays 12:15 – 1:00Music and Artistic DirectorGordon D. MansellEnjoy free lunchtime concerts everyWednesday throughout the summer.Be inspired by a different artist each week.One of the most stunning Baroqueinstruments in the worldJune 1 – July 7, 23

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