8 years ago

Volume 20 Issue 5 - February 2015

  • Text
  • February
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Symphony
  • Theatre
  • Arts
  • Soprano
  • Composer
  • Orchestra
  • Hannigan
  • Ascending
Volume 20 Issue 5

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and the music critic and librettist Paul Griffiths (who is the Wilma & Clifford Smith Visitor in Music) on March 2. The following day Griffiths will give a lecture with the title “Contemporary Music: A Plurality of Worlds?” Both events are in Walter Hall and are free. Hannigan is a Canadian soprano who is especially known for her work in contemporary opera. Abrahamsen is a Danish composer whose very accessible works form a sharp contrast with the serial music that dominated the mid- and late 20th century. His Let Me Tell You is dedicated to Hannigan and was first performed by her with the Berlin Philharmonic on December 20, 2013. Other Events: The Canadian Opera Company presents a number of free performances at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre in the Four Seasons Centre: on February 3 the sopranos Aviva Fortunata and Karina Boucher will be the soloists in Messiaen’s Poèmes pour Mi (with Kerry DuWors, violin, and Liz Upchurch, piano); on February 9 members of the COC Ensemble Studio will perform and compete in the biennial Christina and Luis Quilico awards; on February 10 the soprano Jane Archibald and the pianist Liz Upchurch will perform a program titled “Songs of Love and Longing”; “Urlicht” is the title of the recital by Janina Baechle, mezzo, with the pianist Rachel Andrist, on February 17 (Baechle is singing the role of Fricka in the COC production of Wagner’s Die Walküre.). The recital by Barbara Hannigan on February 24 is titled “Rapture.” On February 3 students from the classical vocal music performance program at York University will take part in a masterclass with the soprano Rosemary Landry; the singer Brenna MacCrimmon, with Bill Westcott, piano, will perform “Classic Blues” on February 12; singers from the studio of Michael Donovan will perform “Five Mystical Songs” by Ralph Vaughan Williams on February 24. All three recitals are free and will take place in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University. On February 8 the soprano Virginia Hatfield, the mezzo Maria Soulis and the pianist Kate Carver will perform duets by Britten, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and others in a program titled “Sisters in Song” at Rosedale United Church. This is a benefit concert for Rethink Breast Cancer. Jessika Monea, soprano, is the singer in a free noontime recital at Metropolitan United Church on February 12. The Art of Time Ensemble presents “Magic and Loss: A Tribute to Lou Reed” with Sarah Slean, John Southworth, Margo Timmins and Kevin Hearn at Harbourfront, February 27 and 28. The soprano Kimberly-Rose Pefhany will be the soloist in Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate, with Sinfonia Toronto conducted by Nurhan Arman, on February 28 at George Weston Recital Hall. And beyond the GTA: On February 1 the Spiritus Ensemble will perform a free concert of cantatas by Bach (Nach dir Herr verlanget mich), Buxtehude (Der Herr ist mit mir) and Schein (Vater Unser) in the St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Kitchener. There will be a recital at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Queen’s University, February 8, titled “Intimate Expressions - Dances, Stories and Songs” as part of the Queen’s University Faculty Artists Series. The artists are Elizabeth MacDonald, soprano, Jeff Hanlon, guitar, and Karma Tomm, violin. A cabaret on the lives of Debussy and Ravel will be performed by Tom Allen, Kevin Fox, Lori Gemmell, Bryce Kulak and Patricia O’Callaghan at All Saints’ Anglican Church, Peterborough on February 27 and at Fleming College, Lindsay on March 1. And looking ahead: Toronto Summer Music has announced the formation of a chamber choir for advanced amateur musicians, to be held from August 2 to 9. The instructors will be Matthias Maute and Laura Pudwell. The Canadian Opera Company has announced that three musicians will join the COC Ensemble Studio in August of this year. They are the tenors Charles Sy and Aaron Sheppard and the collaborative pianist Hyejin Kwon. Both Sy and Sheppard were prizewinners at the most recent COC Ensemble Studio Competition. Sy, who won the first prize, is a former Fellow of the Toronto Summer Music Art of Song Program. But you don’t have to wait until the summer to hear him. March 1 Sy joins soprano Carla Huhtanen and mezzo soprano Emilia Boteva to perform the “glorious music inspired by the most tempestuous relationships” in Off Centre Music Salon’s “On Love and Other Difficulties.” A Correction: in my recent CD review of the Handel & Haydn Society performance of Messiah I mistakenly wrote that the duet He shall feed his flock was originally a soprano aria. I should have written “an alto aria.” Hans de Groot is a concertgoer and active listener who also sings and plays the recorder. He can be contacted at Charles Sy Violins, violas, cellos & bows Complete line of strings & accessories Expert repairs & rehairs Canada’s largest stock of string music A treasure trove of gifts for string players info@the 93 Grenville St, Toronto M5S 1B4 416.971.6990 • fax 416.597.9923 • SPECIAL SALON CONCERT • Xia String Quartet • Sunday Feb 22 2pm RSVP 416 971 6990 ext 244 (seating limited) Baroque Summer Institute Jeanne Lamon, Director Ivars Taurins, Director, Vocal/Choral Programme TBSI SPONSOR For advanced students and professional musicians June 4-17, 2015 Faculty of Music, University of Toronto Application Deadline: March 18, 2015 22 | February 1 - March 7, 2015

Beat by Beat | Early Music If It’s 1655 This Must Be Bohemia DAVID PODGORSKI A pattern I’m beginning to see in early music concerts in Toronto is something you might describe as musical tourism – rather than a mixed program or a concert built around a particular composer or work, groups experiment with a time and place in history and give the audience a soundtrack to that particular moment. I’m thinking specifically now of Toronto Consort’s “Paris Confidential,” which I saw late last year and quite enjoyed – it was a fascinating look at Renaissance Paris, complete with music from the City of Lights circa 1550. This month, I’d like to look at other Toronto groups who are both geeking out on history and putting together some fabulous concerts in the process. Take for example, Leopold: you have to have at least some background in history to have heard of Leopold I, a very unlikely figure, one might think, to inspire a concert program. Nevertheless, European civilization owes quite a bit to Leopold I of Austria, who ruled over the Holy Roman and Austro-Hungarian Empires for the latter half of the 17th century. Leopold came to power as the King of Bohemia in 1655, after Europe had already been wracked by decades of brutality in the Thirty Years War, which had been waged across the length and breadth of the European continent and had ended when Leopold was just a child. You might think, after three decades of constant warfare, as well as the attendant expense and famine, that a rookie 15-year-old king would welcome a break from fighting and usher in a new era of peace, but the kid wasn’t having any of it. The first thing he did was team up with Poland to wage war against the Swedes for five years. Leopold won that war, having in the meantime become king of Austria, Croatia, and Hungary, as well as Holy Roman Emperor of Germany. This bought Eastern Europe nearly two decades of peace – until Leopold went on to battle Louis XIV of France and the Ottoman Turks multiple times from the 1670s until his death in 1705. In so doing, he established himself as the major belligerent of one of the most violent centuries in human history. Alongside waging constant warfare and his perceived obligation to defend Christendom from the Islamic hordes, the northern barbarians and France, Leopold was, surprisingly, a generous musical patron and composer himself. Many fine Baroque composers, including Antonio Bertali, H.I. Biber, J.J. Fux and Johann Schmelzer owe their careers to his patronage. This month, the Toronto Consort will pay tribute to this magnificent sponsor of European musical life. Lutenist and conductor Lucas Harris will join the ensemble for a program based on a manuscript of music from Leopold’s court in Vienna, including that composed for the emperor’s court and chapel. This all goes down at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre on February 6 and 7. Guadalupe: Blood-soaked European battlefields are fairly common grist for history’s mill. But history can also be built on strange events in the most unlikely of places, as in our next concert, which was inspired by an apparition seen by a simple farmer in a tiny village in Mexico. When the Virgin Mary appeared to a farmer on a hill in Guadalupe (now incorporated as a suburb of Mexico City) and told him to build a church there, the Spanish authorities honoured the pious man’s request by building a monumental cathedral. Centuries later, it is surely an inspiring place. The cathedral at Guadalupe is now a number one tourist destination for Catholics worldwide and the Virgin of Guadalupe is a cultural and religious icon for Mexicans everywhere. The Tallis Choir is dedicating a program to the basilica at Guadalupe on February 28 at St. Patrick’s Church, featuring music from 17th-century Mexico and Spain. The Tallis Choir will be joined The Tallis Choir February 1 - March 7, 2015 | 23

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