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Volume 19 Issue 1 - September 2013

  • Text
  • September
  • Jazz
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • Musical
  • Orchestra
  • Choir
  • Concerts
  • Guelph

While choral and folk

While choral and folk music fans will be keen to catch Harris’ shows,viol player Justin Haynes’ exploits will be of particular interest tolovers of chamber and orchestral music. Haynes’ main group, ElixirBaroque, is already slated to play as soloists with the CommunityBaroque Orchestra of Toronto (CBOT) November 9. “We get a reallygood sense of energy playing with CBOT,” Haynes says. “They’reamateur musicians with a deep love of baroque music. It’s great tofeel that sense of passion ... sometimes professional musicians get abit jaded.”Besides his main gig with Elixir, which will take him to Oakvilleand Brampton this September, Haynes has plans for a concert that willfeature some of Telemann’s Paris Quartets later this fall with AllisonMelville and Kathleen Kajioka. Though perhaps under-appreciated,the quartets are exceptional chamber pieces and are a fitting exampleof Telemann’s musical rivalry with J. S. Bach.And as if Haynes wasn’t busying himself enough, he also has plansto step out from behind the band and perform as a soloist with an all-Forqueray concert of his own in December. “I love French repertoireand Forqueray wrote amazing music for gamba. It’s a good chance toshow off,” he says.The end of August is still early in the classical concert season.For many of Toronto’s music groups, halls still need to be booked,guest performers flown in, concert dates confirmed. But the rankand-fileplayers one sees in Toronto are more than just orchestralemployees; they’re increasingly turning out to be budding impresarios,conductors and soloists, sometimes even ending up exploringmusic that has nothing to do with what they’re playing that night. Sothe next time you find yourself at a concert, pay a bit more attentionto the guys at the back. Next time you might find them running theshow — or with a band of their own. Here’s to ambition.David Podgorski is a Toronto-based harpsichordist, musicteacher and a founding member of Rezonance.He can be contacted at earlymusic@thewholenote.com.Beat by Beat | Choral SceneWhere EnterprisingAudiences Boldly GoIn my last column before the summer I promised to address thereluctance of audiences to attend performances of new music,citing the extreme example of one determined listener who vetted aconcert over the phone in order to make sure nothing on the programwas too modern.This is a problem not just for choral concerts, but for new music ingeneral. The quantity of words committed to paper on this subject isresponsible for the demise of several large forests. In brief, the twoopposing stances are:1) Modern music feh.Why should I pay goodmoney to hear somethingthat sounds like a battalionof cats attacking a giantmutant chihuahua whilea chorus of bull walrusessings the Nauruan nationalanthem backwards?2) Modern music isthe future, this piece inparticular is pure genius,Klingon death ritual.BEN STEINand everyone in theconcert hall gets it exceptyou. What is your problem? Why can’t you get with the program? Goaway and listen to Bach’s Minuet in G on auto-repeat. If you get bored,listen to a can-can by Offenbach or something.Okay, it’s not always so bad, but it’s pretty darn close. Keeping itbrief, let me see if I can both give a bit of historical context and offer asolution to the problem.1) During the last century, classically trained composers wanted toinnovate, like most artists do.2) Some innovators composed music that soundedunpleasant — torturous, in fact — to many listeners. Never ask why thishappened. Believe me, you don’t want to know. If you hear a composerstart to talk about it, run away.3) Some other innovators wrote music that wasn’t quite so scary,but it still was odd enough to spook those who were used to Mozart,Tchaikovsky, etc. This stuff sometimes had key signatures, but a lot ofpeople still found it nauseating.4) But nobody cared anyhow, because as it turned out, you didn’thave to listen to modern music anymore to be all cultured andsuperior. You could listen to the Beatles (rock), John Coltrane (jazz), ornon-Western classical music (“exotic” instruments and timbres) andstill feel like you were a cut above. A lot of this music was just as intricateas the new classical stuff but sounded way nicer.PETER MAHONSales Representative416-322-8000pmahon@trebnet.comwww.petermahon.com26 | September 1 – October 7, 2013 thewholenote.com

ORPHEUSASCENDING2013-2014Celebrating 50 years of Choral Music!Robert Cooper, CM, Artistic DirectorEdward Moroney, AccompanistTRIUMPH OF THE SPIRIT7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 5, 2013Grace Church on the Hill, 300 Lonsdale Rd.In commemoration of the Britten centenary, Orpheus presentsthe Canadian premiere of his rarely-heard 1938 pacifist cantataWorld of the Spirit, complemented by a multi-mediaperformance featuring harrowing personal wartimeexperiences as told by Holocaust survivor JohnFreund – a stirring tribute to the resilienceof the human spirit.WELCOME CHRISTMAS7:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 17, 2013Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, 1585 Yonge SreetEnjoy a festive Christmas celebration with Orpheus,the renowned Hannaford Street Silver Band and YOUR upliftedvoices – a sparkling seasonal gift of big brass and song!SONG OF THE STARS3:00 p.m. Sunday, March 2, 2014Grace Church on the Hill, 300 Lonsdale Rd.Hear the Canadian premiere of Enrique Granados’ luminousCant de les Estrelles (Song of the Stars); Tango Dances, a passionatenewly-commissioned work for chorus and accordion virtuoso;sunny works by Bacalov, Piazzolla, Escalada – and much more!DVORAK REQUIEM3:00 p.m. Sunday, May 4, 2014 Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street WestOrpheus Choir’s Golden Anniversary Season reaches a dramaticclimax with a rare opportunity to hear Dvořák’s richly expressiveRequiem in Koerner Hall. A superb soloquartet of Sidgwick Scholar Alumni, the160 voices of the Orpheus Choir andChorus Niagara, and full orchestra joinforces for this gala celebration.Subscriptions and tickets on sale now!www.orpheuschoirtoronto.comOrpheus Alumni Reconnectthewholenote.com September 1 – October 7, 2013 | 27

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