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Volume 19 Issue 2 - October 2013

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  • October
  • Toronto
  • Choir
  • Concerts
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  • November
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Elmer Iseler

Elmer Iseler Singers.2013-2014Friday, October 18, 2013 8:00 pmOn the Wings of SongSt. Thomas’s Anglican ChurchFriday, December 6, 2013, 8:00 pmA Canadian NoëlSt. Thomas’s Anglican ChurchFriday, March 21, 2014, 8:00 pmMeditationsSt. Thomas’s Anglican ChurchFriday, May 30, 2014, 8:00 pmSing a Song ofShakespeareSt. Thomas’s Anglican ChurchPhone: 416-971-9229e-mail: exultate@exultate.netwww.exultate.netspatialization — I know, I know, even the names are off-putting — havealmost been entirely abandoned. Or, they are being combined withan aesthetic that does not insist on purging music of the elements thenon-specialist listener identifies as music.English composer Thomas Adès writes very much in this conciliatorymode. His Dances from Powder Her Face is being performedon October 31 and November 1 and 2 by the Toronto Symphony, theToronto Mendelssohn Choir and Toronto Children’s Chorus. Theconcert also includes Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn andStrings and Carl Orff’s choral favourite Carmina Burana.Carmina was a hit when it was first performed in Frankfurt in1937, and has never waned in popularity. Orff wrote in a manner thatwedded the varied and complex sonorities of the modern orchestrato music of deceptive simplicity. In some ways Orff’s music can beseen as the distant ancestor of the groove-based compositions of postmodernistsGlass and Reich. Adès’ music also shares certain qualitieswith Orff’s, combining fun with edginess and possessing an earthy,sensual quality that seems to evoke bar fights and assignations ratherthan concert halls.Dances from Powder Her Face, a Canadian premiere, is presumablya suite of music from Adès‘ chamber opera of the same name.The piece may or may not involve choir, but if not, and you want tohear some of his vocal music, take a chance and listen to the operafrom which the Dances is derived. I think many listeners ought to beintrigued by some of the arresting vocal and instrumental writing thatillustrates the scandal-ridden story of the Duchess of Argyll.Britten’s Serenade is also a brilliant work. Many ensembles willbe programming Britten’s works this year — 2013 being his birthcentenary — and if you are willing to take a leap into unfamiliar20th-century music, Britten is a very good place to begin.Britten worked throughout his career almost entirely within theframework of “extended tonality.” What is this, exactly? Extendedtonality is to traditional tonality as X-Man Wolverine is to pocketknives — that is, more dangerous but cooler.On October 19 the Grand Philharmonic Choir performs Britten’sWar Requiem, considered to be one of the 20th century’s masterworks.Premiered in 1962, it blends the traditional requiem mass text withpoems by Wilfred Owen. Owen perished in the First World War, butnot before writing poetry that ripped the veils of piety and patriotismaway from the gruesome reality of WWI trench combat.On October 20 the Elmer Iseler Singers will perform St. CeciliaSings! A Tribute to Benjamin Britten, a concert that also includesmusic by Howells, Schubert, Vaughan Williams and Canadian EleanorDaley, who has amassed a body of choral music that is becoming partof the standard repertoire of many Canadian choirs.PETER MAHONSales Representative416-322-8000pmahon@trebnet.comwww.petermahon.comBO HUANG22 | October 1 – November 7, 2013

On November 6 at Grace Church on-the-Hill, and again onNovember 15 at Temple Sinai synagogue, the Temple Sinai EnsembleChoir, Toronto Jewish Folk Choir and Upper Canada Choristers joinforces during Holocaust Education Week to perform music thataddresses the same theme as the Britten requiem — war’s destruction.The evening includes an original composition by cantor/composer Charles Osborne titled I Didn’t Speak Out, based onthe famous indictment of apathy in the face of evil attributed toGerman theologian Martin Niemoeller. The concerts are free. Moreinformation can be found at, modern composition reaches back to ancient tradition, asthe Pax Christi Chorale hosts the Great Canadian Hymn Competitionon October 6. PCC has fashioned itself the sponsor of new worksin an area that is notoriously conservative — hymn singing. As withconcert music, the continued vitality of the tradition depends on newworks. Hosting the event is one of Canada’s greatest singers, CatherineRobbin. More information can be found at Stein is a Toronto tenor and theorbist.He can be contacted at his website at MetropolitanMusic at Metropolitan2013-2014CONCERT SERIESSaturday, November 16, 7:30 pm: Beethoven and SchubertArnold Tirzits, piano; Janet Obermeyer, soprano;Jonathan Krehm, clarinetFriday, March 28, 7:30 pm: Ken Cowan, organistGood Friday, April 18, 7:30 pm: St. John Passion by J. S. BachThe Metropolitan Festival Choir and Orchestra,Patricia Wright, conductorSaturday, May 10, 7:30 pm: Musicians On the Edge – LutenistcomposerBenjamin Stein and the Elixir Baroque EnsembleAdditional concerts, admission prices, soloists to be announced –stay tuned!NOON AT MET:Free recitals on Thursdays from 12:15-12:45 pm.New series begins Thursday, September 12OTHER EVENTS:Friday, Oct. 25, 10 pm: Phantoms of the OrganA Hallowe’en howl of unearthly delightsSunday, Dec. 8, 1:30 pm: Carols United – Sing favourite carolswith the Metropolitan Silver Band and organSunday, Dec. 22 , 7 pm: Candlelight Service of Lessons and CarolsMetropolitan Choirs, Patricia Wright and Angus Fung, organistsMetropolitan United Church56 Queen Street East (at Church Street), Toronto416-363-0331 (ext. 26) October 1 – November 7, 2013 | 23

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