8 years ago

Volume 17 Issue 9 - June 2012

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FESTIVAL DIGEST!!Jewish Music Week in Toronto:from Bible to BroadwayJune 3 to June 10Various locations, Toronto,!!JVL Summer School for thePerforming Arts and Festival:Music in Summer*July 5 to July 15North Bay, ON416-735-7499 or!!Kincardine SummerMusic Festival*August 5 to August 18Kincardine,!!KOOL FM Barrie Jazz andBlues Festival XVIIJune 7 to June 18Various locations, Barrie, Simcoe County,!!Leith Summer Festival*June 30 to August 25Leith Church, Leith, ON1-888-446-7699 or,!!Live from the Rock Folk Festival*August 10 to August 12Red Rock,!!Luminato*June 8 to June 17Festival Hub, David Pecaut Square,Toronto, ON!!Markham Jazz Festival*August 16 to August 19Unionville,!!Markham Village Music FestivalJune 15 and June 16Various locations, Markham, ON647-931-8889www.markham-festival.orgtheWholeNote 2012 SUMMER MUSIC GUIDE!!Midland’s Summer Serenade*July 6 to August 10Midland,!!Mill Race FestivalAugust 3 to August 5Cambridge,!!Miramichi Folksong FestivalAugust 5 to August 10Miramichi,!!Montreal Baroque Festival*June 21 to June 24Various locations, Old Montreal,!!Muhtadi InternationalDrumming FestivalJune 9 and June 10Woodbine Park, Toronto,!!Music and Beyond*July 4 to July 15Ottawa,!!Music at Port Milford*July 14 to August 11Prince Edward County, ON613-476-7735 or!!Music at Sharon*June 3 to June 24Sharon,!!Music by the Sea at BamfieldJuly 7 to July 15Bamfield, BC250-728-3887 or!!Music in the OrchardJune 10 to June 24Spadina Museum, Toronto,!!Music Mondays*June 4 to September 24Trinity Square, Toronto, ON416-598-4521!!Music NiagaraJuly 13 to August 11Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON905!!Musical Matinées atMontgomery’s InnJune 17 and June 24Montgomery’s Inn,Toronto,,!!Musique Royale*June 24 to September 24Venues throughout Nova!!Muskoka Opera FestivalAugust 20 to August 24Bracebridge, ON,,!!National Youth Orchestraof CanadaJuly 16 to August 9Summer!!No Strings Theatre, SummerMusic Theatre Intensive*July 2 to July 29Toronto,!!Northern Lights Festival BoréalJuly 6 to July 8Bell Park Rd., Sudbury,!!Ode’min Giizis FestivalJune 20 to June 24Peterborough,!!Ottawa Folk FestivalSeptember 6 to September 10Hog’s Back Park, Ottawa,!!Ottawa InternationalChamber Music Festival*July 26 to August 9Ottawa,!!Pender Harbour Jazz FestivalSeptember 14 to September 16Pender Harbour,!!Prince Edward CountyJazz Festival*August 15 to August 19Various locations, Picton, ON613-476-8416 x28 or!!Prince Edward CountyMusic Festival*September 14 to September 22Various locations, Picton, Bloomfield, ON613-471-1991 or!!RBC Royal Bank BluesfestJuly 4 to July 15LeBreton Flats, Ottawa,!!Salmon Arm Roots andBlues FestivalAugust 9 to August 19Salmon Arm,,!!Savannah Festival of RhythmsJuly 22Rose Theatre, Brampton,!!Scarborough Town Jazz Festival*August 9 to August 12Scarborough, ON647-427-8675 or!!S.C.E.N.E. Music FestivalJune 24Various locations, St. Catherines,!!Stratford Summer Music*July 16 to August 2625 Ontario St., Stratford,!!Summer Sintings – Jamaica 50July 5 to July 26Various locations, Toronto,!!Summerfolk Music andCrafts FestivalAugust 17 to August 19Kelso Beach Park, Owen Sound,!!Sunday Afternoon Concertsat Toronto’s Historic Sites*June 10 to June 24Spadina Museum, Toronto,!!SweetWater Music Festival*September 21 to September 23Owen Sound and Leith,!!Tafelmusik BaroqueSummer Festival*June 4 to June 16Various locations, Toronto, ON416-964-9562!!TD Sunfest*July 5 to July 8Victoria Park, London,!!TD Toronto Jazz Festival*June 22 to July 1Various locations, Toronto,!!Toronto Summer Music Festival*July 17 to August 4Various locations, Toronto,!!Tottenham Bluegrass FestivalJune 15 to June 17Tottenham,!!Uxbridge Folk ‘N Blues FestJune 7 to June 9Uxbridge Music Hall, Uxbridge,!!Vancouver Early Music FestivalJuly 29 to August 17Vancouver,!!Waterfront BluesJune 1 to June 3Woodbine Park, Toronto,!!Westben – Concerts at the Barn*June 29 to August 5Campbellford, ON1-705-653-5508 or 1-877-883-5777www.westben.caM USIQUER OYALEA FESTIVAL OF MUSIC IN HISTORIC NOVA SCOTIA27 TH SEASON 2012Season OpenerHalifax Camerata Singersconducted by Jeff Joudrey,organist John GrewChris Norman/David Greenberg DuoSunday, June 24 at 4:00 pmSt. John’s Church, Lunenburg!Wherever you are inNova Scotia this summer,Musique Royalehas a concert for you!A province-wide festivalcelebrating music of our rootsfrom the Baroqueto Maritime Traditional.www.musiqueroyale.com58 June 1 – July 7, 2012

The Reich’s Orchestra:The Berlin Philharmonic 1933–45by Misha AsterMosaic Press286 pages, photos; .95!!In 1944 Britishwarplanesbombed the BerlinPhilharmonic’shome, destroyinginstruments,archives and musicalong with theirbeautiful concerthall. But still theymanaged to keepperforming andeven touring —right up until the day when,as Misha Aster writes, “The Third Reich’sdemise cut the 1944–1945 PhilharmonischeKonzerte series drastically short.”There were many factors involved in theorchestra’s remarkable survival under theThird Reich, not least the determinationof the musicians themselves. But in thisstudy of the orchestra during that periodAster pinpoints the main reason right in histitle —it became the Reich’s orchestra.With his exhaustive research in archivesand obscure private collections, Aster traceshow the orchestra, facing bankruptcy in1933, went from being a self-governing,independent collective to a symbol of theNazi regime. It was clearly a matter of compromiserather than political commitment.Its principal conductor at the time of thedeal, the celebrated Wilhelm Furtwängler,never joined the Nazi party (unlike theirlong-serving post-war chief conductor,Herbert von Karajan). But once it was rundirectly by the Nazis, with Joseph Goebbels,Hitler’s propaganda minister, as boss, it nowfunctioned as an “instrument of culturalpropaganda.” Duties included performing forHitler’s birthday celebrations.Soon enough, the orchestra was purgedof Jewish performers, including its prizedconcertmaster Szymon Goldberg. Jewishpatrons were prohibited from attendingconcerts, and Jewish composers likeMendelssohn and Mahler were removedfrom the repertoire. But Furtwängler’sindignant resignation from the orchestrain 1934 —temporary, as it turned out —wassparked by the Nazis’ political interferencein artistic affairs, in this case a choice ofrepertoire, rather than direct opposition totheir policies.Aster is a Canadian historian living inBerlin. His book was originally publishedin German, and too many traces of that stillremain. Terms and concepts are left in theiroriginal German, and translated only onPAMELA MARGLEStheir initial mention, if at all. Nor are theyincluded in the sparse index, or providedwith a separate glossary. Similarly with thenumerous acronyms —I couldn’t keep themstraight. And many passages quoted in thetext and the comprehensive footnotes areleft untranslated from their original Germanand French.But Aster’s thorough, systematic researchpays off again and again throughout thisbook. His straightforward style proves idealfor uncovering the ambiguities of the orchestra’ssituation, especially when, in the finalchapter, he analyzes how it all adds up. Afterthe war, the orchestra had to answer for itsrecent past and redesign itself. It did so bybuilding on its strongest assets, “its collectivecombative spirit and the group’s shrewdpolitical judgement.” These were the veryqualities that had ensured its survival duringthe Third Reich, as Aster shows so well.Concert Note (for 2012/13 season): ThePhilharmonia Quartett Berlin, made upof members of the Berlin Philharmonic,performs at the St. Lawrence Centre onOctober 11, 2012, at 8pm, for Music Toronto.blow your OWN horn –horn heresies: an anti horn-methodmethodby Fergus McWilliamMosaic Press172 pages, illustrations; .95!!Fergus McWilliamhas played Frenchhorn with the BerlinPhilharmonic for 27years. It’s a wealth ofexperience he shareshere in what hecalls his “anti-hornmethod.” Right nearthe beginning heissues a warning, “Ifyou believe that onefirst needs to acquire sufficient techniquebefore attempting to make music, then thisis not for you. Yours is still a flat earth.” Thepoint he continually makes is that techniqueshould not be separated from making music.“It is musical playing which fosters, nourishesand ultimately builds good technique.Musical playing not only requires, but actuallyencourages and improves technique.”Presumably that’s one of the “horn heresies”he refers to in his title.But McWilliam is equally impatient withplayers who call themselves musicians first,hornists (as he refers to French horn players)second. This is not, it turns out, a contradictionof his emphasis on dealing withtechnical issues within the context of themusic —rather, it seems to be a declaration ofhis passion for the sound of his instrument,“unique and idiosyncratic” as it is. “Whichmusical instrument,” he asks, “can rivalthe horn’s sound for sheer sonic impact?”He tells about first falling in love with thesound of the horn as a kid. And so he issuesanother warning, “We imperil ourselvesif we fail to produce a viscerally excitingsound, irrespective of how wonderful ourphrasing may be.” To prove the instrument’s“nearly unmatched potential for emotionallyexpressive power,” he mentions the horn’ssingle note that opens the final movement ofMahler’s Fifth Symphony.Though McWilliam was born in Scotland,he grew up in Canada and graduatedfrom the University of Toronto’s musicfaculty. Canada is where he began his performingand teaching career. In fact, it wasMcWilliam who arranged for the CanadianOpera Company to obtain its set of Wagnertubas for its Ring cycle. How odd then thatthe biography of McWilliam in this bookmentions nothing about his relationshipto Canada —even though it is publishedin Canada.Even for those who have no intentionswhatsoever of ever trying to play whatMcWilliam lovingly calls this “famously difficultinstrument,” this book is rewarding onmany levels. McWilliam offers insights notjust into horn-playing, but into all aspects ofperforming (and by extension, listening to)an instrument. Enough of McWilliam’s engagingpersonality comes through to makeme hope his next will be a memoir.Pamela Margles is a Toronto-basedjournalist and frequent contributor toThe Wholenote. She can be contactedat HOT SUMMER PicksYour best friend is taking a holiday: which wonderfulmusic-related book would you give them to bringalong?The July / August double issue will feature a list offavourite titles, of any vintage, compiled by you,our the title of the book and the author’s nameto, with the subject lineBOOK CONTEST, for a chance to win wonderful bookprizes from The WholeNote.June 1 – July 7, 2012 59

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