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Volume 18 Issue 3 - November 2012

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

Right: Quartet’s

Right: Quartet’s stars, PaulineCollins and Maggie Smith.Below: director Dustin Hoffman.In the September issue of The WholeNote,Paul Ennis previewed a selection of TIFFfilms from a musical perspective. Post-TIFF,the coverage continues: here is an excerptfrom his latest entry to The WholeNote blog.Now that a few weeks have passed since thefinal screening of the 2012 edition of theToronto International Film Festival (TIFF),TIFF’s impact is really just beginning. Severalof its almost 300 feature films have alreadyopened in theatres with many more to followin the months ahead. It’s the gift thatkeeps on giving with a half-life of at least ayear. With a number of pre-screenings inaddition to the festival itself and post-TIFFopenings, I’ve managed to see more than 75of TIFF’s offerings. What follows is a snapshotof a score of movies in which music plays anintriguing role.Quartet (set to open January 11, 2013 andMUSIC & THE MOVIES @TheWholeNoteThe High (and Low) Notessure to be a crowd pleaser) is a rarity. RonaldHarwood’s screen adaptation of his 1997 playmanages to fuse the acting talents of someof the UK’s finest (and the directorial debutof 75-year-old Dustin Hoffman) with a cornucopiaof musical excerpts from Verdi’s LaTraviata and Rigoletto, Puccini’s Tosca, G&S’sThe Mikado, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville,Haydn’s “Sunrise” quartet and “Military”symphony, a Boccherini string quintet andthe Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Bach.Harwood was inspired by Tosca’s Kiss,Daniel Schmid’s loving documentary depictionof the residents of the Casa di Riposo perMusicisti, which Verdi founded in Milan asa residence for elderly singers who neededmaterial help.Music percolates everywhere in BeechamHouse (named after Sir Thomas) with MaggieSmith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, PaulineCollins and Michael Gambon playing outBette Davis’ maxim “Old age is not for sissies.”As a group of opera singers preparingfor a house fundraiser, their love of life isinfectious. And with many of the home’s residentsplayed by musicians, from sopranoDame Gwyneth Jones (unforgettable in “Vissid’arte” from Tosca) to former BBC Symphonyprincipal clarinetist Colin Bradbury and versatiletrumpet player Ronnie Hughes (hisresume even includes the Beatles’ “Martha,My Dear”), the quality of the musical contentis guaranteed. Be sure to stay through thebeginning of the credits where many of themusicians are pictured in their youth.—Paul Ennis, October 30, 2012The rest of this story, featuring such filmsas Terrence Malick’s “To the Wonder,” PeterMettler’s “The End of Time,” Paul ThomasAnderson’s “The Master,” and 16 others, canbe found at thewholenote .com/blog.THEWHOLENOTE.COM/BLOG is whereyou will findconcert reviews,concerted rants,videos,expandedcontentand …CONTESTS!Enter to win a New Music AlliancePassport simply by emailing us atcontests@thewholenote.com with thesubject line “WIN WIN WIN!!!” TheNew Music Alliance Passport grantsyou access to a show from each ofthe following presenters: Arraymusic,Continuum Contemporary Music,Esprit Orchestra, New Music Concerts,Spectrum, Toy Piano Composers.FROM OUR BLOGLegendary jazz vocalist Mark Murphy visitedToronto last month, presented by Jazz.FM91at the Old Mill Inn. Mim Adams and HollyClark reviewed the concert for our blog:Watching Mark Murphy slowly weave his waythrough the Old Mill dining room to the stage,leaning on the arm of a helpful young man,is surely a testament to his own comment,“I’m eighty!” As he was seated carefully on hischair centre-stage with his music stand closeby, I felt the wistful sadness of seeing thisicon, a survivor of the classic era of jazz andone of a select few who can call themselves aninnovator, on the decline. Yet Murphy’s firstwords to the audience were fully disarmingand the opening phrase of “What Is This ThingCalled Love” completely erased my uneasiness.His is still the voice we know and love.His characteristic tone — the way he almostcries out his notes, how he dips into his lowerregister then soars effortlessly into his falsetto— is clear and energetic. Age has notdiminished his breath control, his ability tohold a straight note or his time feel. He singswith a seemingly careless ease.His trio of relatively young players supportedhim flawlessly, consisting of AlexMinasian on piano, and two Canadians,Morgan Moore on bass and Jim Doxas ondrums. Doxas’ sensitive syle was particularlyimpressive, with seamless dynamicphrasing and flowing sounds that seem tosimply appear.Murphy is an expert craftsman whosqueezes all there is from every syllable ofa lyric. And squeeze the lyric he did on hisaching performance of another Cole Porterstandard, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” Heintroduced Porter as being “the best” and a“consummate composer” because he “controlsall parts of the music,” referring ofcourse to Porter composing the chords, melodyand lyric of each of his songs. WhileMurphy sang his unorthodox arrangementthe room was silent. It was a spacey, tenseversion of the standard with an almost skeletalaccompaniment by Murphy’s trio.—Mim Adams and Holly Clark,October 4, 2012Read the full blog at thewholenote.com/blog.70 thewholenote.com November 1 – December 7, 2012

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