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Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016

  • Text
  • December
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Arts
  • February
  • January
  • Symphony
  • Theatre
  • Performing
  • Faculty
  • Volume
What's a vinyl renaissance? What happens when Handel's Messiah runs afoul of the rumba rhythm setting on a (gasp!) Hammond organ? What work does Marc-Andre Hamelin say he would be content to have on every recital program he plays? What are Steve Wallace's favourite fifty Christmas recordings? Why is violinist Daniel Hope celebrating Yehudi Menuhin's 100th birthday at Koerner Hall January 28? Answers to all these questions (and a whole lot more) in the Dec/Jan issue of The WholeNote.

visitors food and drink

visitors food and drink and try to guess their identities. The third tradition Burry uses is that found in the parts of Newfoundland settled by the Irish. This involves the mummers carrying a dead wren – nowadays just a likeness of one – and asking for money to bury it. Wren Day is December 26 and it is theorized that the wren represents the death of the old year, with December 25 as its last day. Musically, Burry’s task as a composer was to blend his own modern classical idiom with the folk idiom of Newfoundland while allowing for audience participation in the singing of hymns and carols. Burry says that the greatest challenge was finding musicians who would be comfortable in both classical and folk traditions, especially in the case of the flutist, Ian Harper, who has to play the flute, the penny whistle and the uilleann pipes. The opera also contains the only known classical solo for the Newfoundland ugly stick, a homemade instrument made of a mop handle, a rubber boot and bottle caps nailed to the handle. In The Mummers’ Masque, Carla Huhtanen will sing St. George, Marion Newman will be the Rival Knight and the Dragon, Christopher Mayell will be Princess Zebra and Giles Tomkins will be Father Christmas. There will also be step dancers and a children’s choir. Larry Beckwith will conduct the five-member band from the violin and Derek Boyes is the stage director. TOT’s Student Prince: The main production for Toronto Operetta Theatre always straddles the old and new year. This season the operetta will be The Student Prince by Sigmund Romberg from 1924 playing December 27, 28, 31, January 2 and 3. The Student Prince was the longest-running work of music theatre in the 1920s with hits like Golden Days, Deep in My Heart, Dear and the tenor aria Overhead VOICEBOX OPERA IN CONCERT Guillermo Silva-Marin, General Director www.operainconcert.com CANADIAN PREMIERE! by Antonio Salieri (in Italian with English Surtitles) Kevin Mallon, Conductor ARADIA ENSEMBLE The VOICEBOX Chorus Robert Cooper, Ch. Director Sunday Feb. 7 2:30 pm Allison Angelo Neil Craighead Colin Ainsworth Kevin Mallon Conductor 416-366-7723 | 1-800-708-6754 | www.stlc.com Toronto Operetta Theatre’s The Student Prince the Moon is Beaming. Since 1974 the operetta has been performed annually in the original English in its nominal setting at the University of Heidelberg. This will be the operetta’s third staging by the TOT – the first in 1989, the second in 2001/02. The story uses one of the main plot clichés of operetta, the disguised aristocrat who falls in love with a commoner, but here the focus is not on the particulars of the plot but rather the universal feelings of nostalgia and regret for past deeds. Tenor Ernesto Ramirez sings Prince Karl Franz, who as a student falls in love with the local barmaid Kathie, soprano Jennifer Taverner. Tenor Stefan Fehr and baritone Curtis Sullivan are also in the cast. COC resident conductor Derek Bate is at the podium and TOT general director Guillermo Silva-Marin is the stage director. COC’s Siegfried: The COC begins its winter season with a remount of its highly acclaimed production of Richard Wagner’s Siegfried by François Girard. The production debuted in 2005 and was last seen as part of the COC’s complete Ring Cycle in 2006. German tenor Stefan Vinke, one of the finest Siegfrieds in the world, makes his Canadian debut in the title role. Returning in the role of the warrior maiden Brünnhilde, after universal acclaim as Brünnhilde in Die Walküre earlier this year, will be American soprano Christine Goerke. Austrian Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke makes his Canadian debut as the sly dwarf Mime who raises Siegfried for malign purposes. British baritone Christopher Purves makes his COC debut as Mime’s evil brother Alberich. The COC has informed us that American contralto Meredith Arwady, who sang the role of Death in the 2011 COC production of Stravinsky’s The Nightingale and Other Short Fables, will sing the role of Erda. American bass-baritone Alan Held sings Wotan, known in this opera as The Wanderer. Canadian bass Phillip Ens reprises the role as the dragon Fafner, who guards a golden hoard. COC music director Johannes Debus conducts his first Siegfried. Siegfried is sung in German with English surtitles and runs January 23, 27, 30, February 2, 5, 11, 14. Christopher Hoile is a Toronto-based writer on opera and theatre. He can be contacted at opera@thewholenote.com. James Campbell clarinet Leo Erice piano Leslie Fagan soprano Sunday Jan. 10, 3pm Heliconian Hall 35 Hazelton Ave www.syrinxconcerts.ca 416.654.0877 20 | December 1 2015 - February 7, 2016 thewholenote.com

Black CMYK an Ontario government agency un organisme du gouvernement de l’Ontario Beat by Beat | In With the New Spectral Spotlight WENDALYN BARTLEY Over the past year in Toronto’s new music scene, composers working within the spectral and post-spectral composition aesthetic have been making their voices heard. First of all, in March we heard the music of Britain’s George Benjamin, the featured composer at the TSO’s New Creations Festival, followed by the music of guest composer Kaija Saariaho from Finland at the 21C Music Festival in May. Philippe Leroux: And now in the early days of December, another major figure is coming to town – Philippe Leroux. Although originally from France, Leroux now calls Montréal home, thanks to his permanent teaching position at McGill University. His influence on the compositional aesthetics in North America is growing fast, with many students being drawn to working with him. WholeNote readers may not be that familiar with Leroux, but three concerts planned for December 6 and 8 can change that unfamiliarity into an opportunity to dive deeply into the creative oeuvre of this remarkable composer. First, on December 6, New Music Concerts is performing two of his chamber works: AAA for seven instruments and Ailes for baritone and 15 instruments. And December 8 is a double concert day with the performance of his piece Total SOLo for 28 instruments as part of the COC’s free noonhour concert series, followed by five of his works at a special concert at the Music Gallery. Leroux is this year’s Michael and Sonja Koerner Distinguished Visitor in Composition at the U of T Faculty of Music. It’s interesting to note that both concerts on December 8 will be performed by advanced student musicians: artists of the Glenn Gould School New Music Ensemble conducted by Brian Current (the COC event) and doctoral students from U of T’s gamUT Contemporary Music Ensemble, conducted by Wallace Halladay (Music Gallery concert). Not surprisingly, both Current and Halladay have been personally influenced either by their studies or performance experiences with Leroux’s music. I got together with Halladay to find out more about that relationship and discovered the passionate commitment Halladay has for Leroux’s music. In answer to my question as to how they met, Halladay told me how he went out on a limb and contacted the composer, still living in France at the time, when he discovered that Leroux was coming to the Université de Montréal as a visiting guest artist. He had been a fan of Leroux, within a contemporary trend in European music, and wanted an opportunity to talk with him. He followed up that meeting by organizing a concert in Toronto of Leroux’s music in 2011, hiring local professional musicians. What he discovered was a composer who was completely committed to working generously with musicians, helping them to interpret the score; and musicians, in response, absolutely stimulated by the interaction. This type of communication is, in part, what has led to Leroux’s appeal to different ensembles – performers just love working with him, resulting in many commissions. If you’d like to experience this firsthand, the public are welcome to attend a talk at the Faculty of Music on December 7 (5:30 to 7pm) as Leroux works with performers in preparation for the December 8 concert. Philippe Leroux For Halladay, the excitement comes from the challenge of the scores, which often call for a wide range of sounds not always translatable into standard notation. This is why the communication between composer and performer is so important. Leroux is always learning and listening carefully to the sounds being made by the performers, open to how they could be notated, or other possible ways to achieve what he is imagining. In my conversation with Leroux, he amplified this idea: “I compose to create a relationship with the listener as well as with the musicians. I write a page or two, and then try to listen as if I was the first listener. I always try to listen to my music as a normal listener, not as a composer.” No doubt this refined approach to listening is one NEW of DIRECTIONS the results IN MUSIC of the years Leroux spent working at IRCAM, a research centre for NEW DIRECTIONS IN MUSIC sound and electroacoustic music in Paris. This research allowed him to become completely immersed in the complex nature of sound itself, and understand all the variables that make up a given sound. This knowledge of the full spectrum of the sound and how it can be used to define the compositional structure is what defines the spectral school of composition, which originated in France in the 1970s with the work of Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail. As someone influenced by this aesthetic, Leroux continues the tradition in his own way. During my conversation with him, he spoke about how his starting place is with sounds he finds both interesting and beautiful, sounds that have the biggest potential for development and variation, whether that be in their harmonic colour or their trajectory of movement. After the computer-based analysis of these NEW DIRECTIONS IN MUSIC NEW DIRECTIONS IN MUSIC sounds, he may come up with as many as 400 different chords, each one created by the different pitch components – the spectrum – of the SQUEEZEBOX FEB 10, 2016 AT 8:00 PM | TRINITY-ST. PAUL’S CENTRE A celebration of classic and contemporary music for the accordion and its extended family! Featuring: Joe Macerollo, Michael Bridge, Héctor del Curto, gamin and a world premiere by Anna Pidgorna. Call 416-408-0208 or visit soundstreams.ca thewholenote.com December 1 2015 - February 7, 2016 | 21

Volume 26 (2020- )

Volume 26 Issue 1 - September 2020
Volume 26 Issue 2 - October 2020

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volume 25 Issue 9 - July / August 2020
Volume 25 Issue 8 - May / June 2020
Volume 25 Issue 7 - April 2020
Volume 25 Issue 6 - March 2020
Volume 25 Issue 5 - February 2020
Volume 25 Issue 4 - December 2019 / January 2020
Volume 25 Issue 3 - November 2019
Volume 25 Issue 2 - October 2019
Volume 25 Issue 1 - September 2019
Volume 24 Issue 8 - May 2019
Volume 24 Issue 7 - April 2019
Volume 24 Issue 6 - March 2019
Volume 24 Issue 5 - February 2019
Volume 24 Issue 4 - December 2018 / January 2019
Volume 24 Issue 3 - November 2018
Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018
Volume 23 Issue 9 - June / July / August 2018
Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018
Volume 23 Issue 7 - April 2018
Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018
Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018
Volume 23 Issue 3 - November 2017
Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017
Volume 23 Issue 1 - September 2017
Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017
Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017
Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017
Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017
Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017
Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017
Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016
Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016
Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016
Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
Volume 21 Issue 5 - February 2016
Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016
Volume 21 Issue 3 - November 2015
Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

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