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Volume 20 Issue 6 - March 2015

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Beat by Beat | Art of

Beat by Beat | Art of SongRosedale Ya YaHANS DE GROOTOn March 8 the concert presented by Recitals at Rosedale atRosedale Presbyterian Church will include a world premiere,the song cycle Ya Ya [Tagalog for caregiver], by ElizabethRaum. The cycle was written in honour of Geraldine Vida-Soverano,the Filipino nanny who looked after the children of Raum’s daughters;first Jessica’s two children, then the four children (three of whomwere triplets) of Raum’s younger daughter Erika, the noted violinist.This is what Raum herself has written about the songs: “Ya Ya isa testament to the strong sense of duty that the nanny feels is hercalling. She is more than a caregiver; she is a second mother who lovesher charges as if they were her own. At the same time, she is not theirmother and is in a foreign country and, although it has become herhome, at times a sadness leaks into her consciousness. The words, ‘Icome from another place...’ are optimistic at first, but the second timethey appear in a minor key and, although the melody is the same, thesense has changed. As well, she is wistful when she utters, ‘I wish...’But the cycle ends optimistically with the nanny content and proud ofher profession.”The songs will be sung by the mezzoMichèle Bogdanowicz, who will alsoperform a song cycle by NorbertPalej, written for her and due to berecorded by the Canadian Art SongProject. The soprano Gillian Keith willperform early songs by Debussy andthe tenor Charles Sy will sing songsby Strauss, Schubert and Schumann.The program will conclude with duetsby Viardot, Gounod and Rossini. Syis much in demand. He recently wonfirst prize in the Canadian OperaCompany Studio Ensemble competitionand can also be heard, alongwith the soprano Carla Huhtanenand the mezzo Emilia Boteva, in theOff Centre Music Salon concert atthe Glenn Gould Studio on March 1.Later in the month Bogdanowicz willalso sing in the concert performanceof Charpentier’s Louise at theSt. Lawrence Centre March 29. Nextseason Recitals at Rosedale will bemoving to Mazzoleni Hall in the RoyalConservatory of Music. The dates arealready set: November 1; March 6,2016; May 1, 2016. I wonder whether that will mean a change of namefor the series. After all, the Conservatory is not in Rosedale.Elliot Madore: The programs presented by Music Toronto tend toconcentrate on chamber music or piano, but every year there is onerecital by a singer. In the recent past we have heard Erin Wall andPhillip Addis. This year the singer is the baritone Elliot Madore. Hewill perform Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen by Mahler, Banalitésby Poulenc as well as songs by Ives, at the St. Lawrence Centre onMarch 26 . Not that long ago Madore was known, if at all, as a hockeylovingkid from Etobicoke who once sang O Canada at a Leafs game.That changed when he won the 2010 Metropolitan Opera NationalCouncil Audition. Most of his performances have taken place inEurope. He has just finished a series of performances of Harlekin inStrauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos in Zurich and will soon return to Europeto sing Pelléas in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, first for the CroatianNational Opera, then for the Bayerische Staatsoper.At the Bradshaw: There are three vocal concerts in March in theCanadian Opera Company free recital series in the Richard BradshawAuditorium in the Four Seasons Centre: “Opera Interactive” by artistsof the COC Ensemble Studio March 19; a performance of Janacek’s TheDiary of One Who Disappeared sung by Owen McCausland, tenor,and Charlotte Burrage, mezzo, March 25; and a preview of Errol Gay’sopera Alice in Operaland, performed by the Canadian Children’sOpera Company on April 1.Hannigan: The soprano Barbara Hannigan gave a recital in theRichard Bradshaw Audtiorium on February 24; she also sang, withthe Toronto Symphony Orchestra, in George Benjamin’s A Mind ofWinter on February 28. There will be two more opportunities to hearher. On March 4 she will sing, with the TSO, let me tell you by HansAbrahamsen, a work which sets the words of Ophelia as spokenin Shakespeare’s Hamlet; on March 7 she will sing (again with theTSO) in a concert performance of George Benjamin’s opera Writtenon Skin, along with Krisztina Szabó, mezzo, Iestyn Davies, countertenor,Isaiah Bell, tenor, and Christopher Purves, baritone (both in RoyThomson Hall).Other Events: Another TSO concert that is worth mentioning isthat to be given on March 11 (repeated on March 12 and 14) when thedistinguished soprano Adrianne Pieczonka sings the Four Last Songsby Strauss and the Liebestod from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. Theconcert is conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and will also include myfavourite Beethoven symphony, the Seventh in A.Tapestry Opera presents the soprano Carla Huhtanen, who is especiallyknown for her performances of contemporarymusic, and the Montreal composer, turntable artistand electronics specialist Nicole Lizée in a multimediaconcert at the Ernest Balmer Studio in theDistillery District March 20 and 21.There is some speculation that the composerJohn Dowland was actually Irish and that his nameis a variant on Dolan. That is the starting point forDowland in Dublin, a concert at Trinity-St.Paul’sCentre March 27 and 28, in which tenor MichaelSlattery and Ensemble La Nef will give us an Irishversion of Dowland’s songsOther Events: Capella Intima and the GalleryPlayers of Niagara present “An Evening of AntientMusic” at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre on March 6. Theprogram includes music from Purcell’s Dido andAeneas as well as a selection of rounds, catches andairs. The singers are Sheila Dietrich, soprano, JennyEnns Modolo. alto, Bud Roach. tenor, and DavidRoth, baritone.“Fairest Isle,” a concert at Rosedale United Churchon March 8 of English music, includes works byDowland, Purcell, Handel, Vaughan Williams andBritten. The singers are Deborah Overes, contralto,and Robert Missen, tenorThe Talisker Players present “On a Darkling Plain”at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, March 10 and 11 Theprogram will include Dover Beach by Barber, theSeven Romances on Poems by Alexander Blok by Shostakovich andthe Akhmatova Poems by Tavener. The singers are Ilana Zarankin,soprano, and Joel Allison, baritone.Tafelmusik presents Bach’s St. John’s Passion at Trinity-St. Paul’sCentre March 19 to 22. Soloists are Julia Doyle, soprano, Daniel Taylor,countertenor, Charles Daniels, tenor, and Peter Harvey, baritone.Maureen Batt, soprano, performs in a recital of new music fromNew Mexico to Nova Scotia at Heliconian Hall March 27.A free concert at the Canadian Music Centre at 2pm March 28 willinclude the Visions infernales d’après des poèmes de Max Jacob byHenri Sauguet, to be sung by the baritone Grant Allert.Danie Friesen, soprano, will sing Schumann’s opus 39 Liederkreisand Fiançailles pour rire by Poulenc at the Gallery 345 March 29.Michèle BogdanowiczHans de Groot is a concertgoer and active listenerwho also sings and plays the recorder. He can becontacted at | March 1 - April 7, 2015

Beat by Beat | BandstandWinter TalesJACK MACQUARRIEOn more than one occasion in the past I have opened thiscolumn by grumbling about the weather. Unfortunately, OldMan Winter has interfered with plans once again. His relentlessdumping of snow has kept me from attending a very specialconcert. I had planned to travel to Waterloo for the Wellington Windsconcert February 22. However, mountains of snow and poor drivingconditions forced us to cancel the 310-km round trip. The WellingtonWinds were performing the Canadian premiere of Dutch composerJohan de Meij’s euphonium concerto with Canadian soloist RobertMiller. In part, this performance was in memory of former euphoniumsoloist Harvey Gleiser who played with the Winds for about 20 years.Gleiser met de Meij some years ago when de Meij first conducted theWellington Winds.De Meij studied trombone and conducting at the Royal Conservatoryof Music in The Hague, since then earning international fame as acomposer and arranger. His work includes original compositions,symphonic transcriptions and arrangements of film scores andmusicals. His Symphony No. 1 “The Lord of the Rings,” based onTolkien’s bestselling novels of the same name, was his first compositionfor wind orchestra. Some years ago he received the Dutch WindMusic Award for his role in the worldwide advancement of windband music. Besides composing and arranging, de Meij is active asa performer, conductor, adjudicator and lecturer. As a tromboneand euphonium player he has performed with many major orchestrasand bands in many parts of the world. In 2010, he was appointedregular guest conductor of the Simón Bolívar Youth Wind Orchestra inCaracas, Venezuela. In 2014, de Meij became principal guest conductorof both The New York Wind Symphony and The Kyushu WindOrchestra in Fukuoka, Japan.For those band members, especially euphonium players, who arenot familiar with de Meij’s work, there is no better time than now toacquaint yourself and your band with his music. I have played a few ofhis works; they are challenging but very satisfying.Resa’s Pieces: When talking about Resa’s Pieces the question iswhere to start. Since Resa’s Pieces Concert Band was the first unit ofwhat has grown over the years into a number of ensembles, that’s asgood a place as any. Resa Kochberg continues as music director of thisensemble which she started some 16 years ago. The band welcomesnew members on an ongoing basis, and has a current membershipof 56.Some years after the concert band was formed and doing well,Kochberg decided to branch out and start a group where beginningstring players could find a place to develop their skills. Thus Resa’sPieces Strings was born. Now this group is thriving under its newconductor, Ian Medley. As a full-time professional string specialistwith degrees in both education and musical performance, Medleybrings new strength and experience to the group.Once the string group was on its way, Kochberg decided that shejust couldn’t discriminate against singers. Ergo, Resa’s Pieces Singerswas hatched. Under the baton of Robert Graham, pianist, accompanist,vocalist and repertoire coach, the choir has grown to over65 members.In case you might be wondering, yes, there is now going to be aResa’s Pieces Symphony Orchestra. For their inaugural concert, windplayers from the band will join the string orchestra to perform a feworchestral selections. As music director of Resa’s Pieces, Kochbergguides all ensembles in all music-related details and sticks by herfoundational mantra of: “Just do your best and have fun”!So what’s next for Resa’s Pieces? Might it be a banjo band or aukelele ensemble? I doubt if it will be a pipe band, but I wouldn’t beton it. All of Resa’s Pieces groups will be performing their concerts inJune. Watch for their listings in your favourite music magazine.Resa KochbergPlumbing Factory BrassBand: From time to time,in this column, I havereferred to Henry Meredithand his Plumbing FactoryBrass Band. How did thisband come by this name?Well it turns out thatDr. Hank (as he’s affectionatelyknown) is acollector of brass instruments.I stress the termcollector and not thederogatory word hoarder.Over the years Dr. Hankhas amassed somewherearound 6,500 instruments.“Plumbing Factory” is theterm that was originallybestowed upon his homebecause of the ubiquitousbrass instruments that livealongside Meredith, hiswife, Victoria Meredith,associate dean at Western’sFaculty of Music, and their dog Nema. This amazing collection of brassinstruments inspired Meredith to establish the Plumbing Factory BrassBand in September 1995.With the collection growing, Meredith recently has focused moreon quality than quantity. An example is his 1830s ophicleide, aconical brass instrument in the bass register with woodwind-likekeys. Probably his oldest and most valuable instrument is a valvelesshunting horn in D that was made for King George I by JohnBandstand continues on page March 1 - April 7, 2015 | 31

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