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Volume 20 Issue 7 - April 2015

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eloquent exponentof

eloquent exponentof bossanova, but he isalso a pioneer ofthe tropicalia andBrasileira genres.The New YorkTimes summed uphis monumentalyet affable stagepresence: “delicatebossa novas,Gilberto Gilstrummed rockersand intricatesambas … Mr. Gil didn’t trumpet his virtuosity. It was offered genially,like his melodies and his un-didactic thoughts on love, poetic licenseand mortality.”Taiko meets tabla: April 11 two established groups on the Torontoworld music scene join for an evening of transcultural percussioncentricmusical dialogues. The Japanese taiko group Nagata Shachudirected by Kiyoshi Nagata meets the JUNO-nominated TorontoTabla Ensemble directed by Ritesh Das on the stage of the BrigantineRoom, Harbourfront Centre. Having attended concerts by both groupsfrom their early days, it’s evident that collaborations are importantto each. Nagata shares that “I feel that the primal and thunderoussounds of the taiko are a perfect complement to the subtle and intricaterhythms of the tabla. Ritesh and I feel a certain connection, bothmusically and in terms of how we were trained in our respective traditions.”The personal history the two directors share is an importantlink between their groups. “I am thrilled to be once again workingwith Kiyoshi Nagata,” reflects Das. “[He was] one of the first artists Icollaborated with after coming to Toronto in 1987. When we rehearsedfor the first time in 20 years, I felt a new sense of maturity from bothends, which led to an immediate understanding between us. Togetherwe can create a very rich and elegant Indo-Japanese collaboration.”This respectful fusion not only marks an advanced musical maturity,but is a positive thermometer of the future health of Toronto’s worldmusic scene.At the Aga Khan Museum: A week later the new Aga Khan Museumand the well-established Raag-Mala Music Society of Toronto joinforces for the first time in two concerts at the Aga Khan MuseumAuditorium. Titled “Miyan-Ki-Daane: Raags of Tansen,” the programs,presented in the Hindustani dhrupad and khayal music genres, celebratethe music of Miyan Tansen, a bright star among the composersand singers of Emperor Akbar’s 16th-century North Indian court. Hisbeautiful compositions have been passed on through many generationsof oral tradition through the guru-shishya parampara, theparticular manner of transmission from teacher to disciple in traditionalIndian culture.The first program April 18 features singer Samrat Pandit and bansuri(bamboo flute) player Rupak Kulkarni. The singer received the prestigiousSangeeta Shiromani Award from the State of Maharashtra justlast year, while Kulkarni is widely recognized as a leading bansuriplayer. On April 19 Uday Bhawalkar, among the foremost exponents ofdhrupad singing today, and the respected sitarist Partha Bose, presentan unusual 11am late morning concert. Audiences will thus have arare opportunity to hear raags appropriate to that time of day, a practicestill maintained in Hindustani classical music. It’s definitely worthmaking alternate work arrangements for this concert.April 24, also at the Aga Khan Museum, sounds of the Sahara, theMagreb and West Africa are blended with contemporary pop and funkby the powerhouse Noura Mint Seymali. This compelling singer, a starin Mauritania, was born into a prominent Moorish griot family. She isalso a master of the ardine (nine-stringed harp) and a composer.Andrew Timar is a Toronto musician and music writer. Hecan be contacted at worldmusic@thewholenote.com.Beat by Beat | Early MusicNosky in theUnderworldImiss German composers. They are an unavoidable part of themusical topography for anyone playing music from Mozart toSchoenberg, but in early music, there are only a few chances toplay anything German or Austrian. There’s Bach, of course, and theodd piece by Telemann, which I suppose is enough for most non-Germanophiles. Handel’s Messiah rolls around every December,too and a baroque violinist will occasionally program a Biber violinsonata, but that’s about it. There isn’t, alas, exactly a major movementin the city devoted to reviving Heinrich Schutz, nor is anyone particularlyinterested in programming anything by C.P.E. Bach anymore.Hasse? I never hear him in Toronto. Graun? Forget about it. So I’mparticularly indebted to Opera Atelier for increasing diversity andenlivening the musical conversation in the city by adding a bit ofChristoph Willibald Gluck to their regular repertoire. More specifically,I’d like to throw my support behind their decision to put on his bestknownopera, Orfeo ed Eurydice, this month.Never heard of Gluck? Don’t worry. Gluck is very much a conventionalClassical (with a capital C) composer, so if you know Mozart,you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Gluck wrote Orfeowhen Mozart was just a child, and given that the opera got its firstperformance in Vienna, it’s very likely that it was a direct influenceon the young composer. It’s reasonable to say that Gluck comesacross as an old-fashioned version of Mozart, with perhaps more of aFrench influence (accompanied recits, dance movements, a lot for thechorus to do) but his Orfeo is much more hummable, than, let’s say,Monteverdi’s. Combine this music with Opera Atelier’s diverse andestimable talents, e.g. Marshall Pynkowski’s direction, and accompanimentfurnished by Tafelmusik under David Fallis, and this showis a sure-fire hit. Opera Atelier performs Orfeo ed Eurydice at theElgin theatre April 9 to 18.Tafel in the Underworld: The story of Orpheus, the famed musiciandescending into hell to charm the denizens of the underworld andrescue his princess, has captivated musicians for centuries. As epicstories featuring heroic musicians go, though, the myth of Orpheusstill pales, at least in contemporary relevance, to the ongoing sagaof Who Will Lead Tafelmusik. Finding yourself under scrutiny as apotential artistic director for one of Canada’s top orchestras is notunlike having to face down Cerberus, a comparison which, I wouldventure, is not lost on potential candidates.This month’s installment of the Tafelmusik audition process (aseason with invited conductors/concertmasters) brings us violinistAisslinn Nosky, who will be leading Tafelmusik in a program of musicby Purcell, Charpentier and Telemann. Nosky’s got quite a few thingsgoing for her, as an up-and-coming musician with a following inToronto (her chamber band I Furiosi has just about the youngest audienceI’ve seen at a classical music concert) as well as having a longhistory with the group as both a student and full-time member. IsAisslinn Nosky the next Jeanne Lamon? Does she have what it takesto beat the odds and win Canada’s most coveted music job? Well, wewon’t know that until next year. You can, however check it out anddecide for yourself from April 23 to 26 at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre aswell as April 28 at George Weston Recital Hall.Ahearn at TEMC: There are a number of members of the Tafelmusikcrew who are busy this month with a few smaller (and potentiallyless stressful) chamber music concerts. Tafelmusik violinistPatricia Ahearn will perform a solo concert under the Toronto EarlyMusic Centre banner in a program at St. David’s Anglican Churchthat features a few of the Germanic stalwarts of the early musicrepertoire I mentioned earlier – Bach, Biber and Telemann. Andwhat a solo program! It’s a concert of monstrous pieces – namelyDAVID PODGORSKI20 | April 1 - May 7, 2015 thewholenote.com

an unaccompaniedAisslinn Nosky Telemann fantasia,the Bach unaccompaniedviolin sonata inG minor, and the Biberpassacaglia. None ofthese pieces is particularlyeasy by itself ona program, so all threetogether on the samebill is quite an ambitiousarray of difficult music.Watching Ahearn pullthis off will be a thrillingexperience – she’ll beperforming on SundayApril 19, at 2:30pm.Early at Eastminster:Tafelmusik’s artisticdirector Jeanne Lamonand principal cellistChristina Mahler are alsohighlighting a chamberconcert at EastminsterUnited Church in aconcert of Haydn and Boccherini on April 18 at 8pm. They’ll be joinedby a couple of notable younger musicians – namely Edwin Huizingaand Kerri McGonigle, so this should be an enjoyable performance thatbrings together a couple of established artists with two of Toronto’smost talented up-and-comers.Torture at Calvin: Aisslinn Nosky will also be performing earlier inthe month with her regular band, I Furiosi at the group’s most regularvenue, Calvin Presbyterian Church (26 Deslisle Ave., St. Clair subway).They’re calling it Instruments of Torture, which sounds eitherthewholenote.com April 1 - May 7, 2015 | 21

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