Ivars Taurins’ Bach Tapestry SARA CONSTANT For Tafelmusik Chamber Choir director Ivars Taurins, one concert this year will be especially personal. Titled “A Bach Tapestry” and running February 9 to 14, the concert is an all-Bach program - but not the “greatest hits” playlist you’d expect. Instead, the show will be a medley of excerpts from J.S. Bach’s oeuvre that often don’t get heard in concert: choruses and chorales from several of his cantatas, portions of the G-Major Mass, and instrumental Ivars Taurins interludes. “It’ll be a concert completely devoted to Bach,” Taurins explained in an interview with publisher David Perlman in the fall. “And it explores the choral works that we don’t know. It’s the tip of the iceberg. We get to hear the great cantatas. We know the great choruses. But of the 100-plus cantatas that Bach did write and the church cycles he composed, there are so many hidden gems - not only in entire cantatas but in arias and choruses.” They may be lesser-known gems, but Taurins knows them inside and out - he selected them. “What I did was basically go through all of the cantatas one by one and go, ‘Whoa, ok! That’s gotta be on it!’” he explained. “I have an album in my iTunes where I just dragged all of the ‘ok, this is interesting’ Bach.” Taurins has been the Tafelmusik choir’s director since its inception 35 years ago in 1981 - but before that, he was a founding member and violist with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in 1979, and remained in that role for 23 years. Interestingly enough, Taurins credits the viola for his years of success as a director and conductor. A 2006 review of a Tafelmusik performance in The Globe and Mail spoke of Taurins as a conductor who “allowed the many internal voices to be heard clearly, letting the music loose when Bach’s spirit called for it.” Ten years later in The WholeNote office, Taurins talks about how this ability to understand music from the inside is idiomatic to the viola – and is a fundamentally Bach-like interpretation. “When you’re a violist, sitting in the orchestra, you’re hearing stuff from the middle,” he says. “And apparently Bach liked it best when he sat in the middle and played viola.” The online program notes for February 9 to 14 – “Johann Sebastian Bach” in bold at the top – contain a grand total of 16 musical excerpts. Nine of those excerpts are Tafelmusik firsts. For Taurins, the format lends itself well towards a new exploration of one of the ensemble’s bestloved composers. It also, when taken as a whole, provides a beautiful impression of Bach himself; when Taurins’ musical selections are all strung together in this way, they paint a clear picture of the composer’s musical style and vision. “I fashioned a concert that weaves these disparate elements, some of which you’ve probably never heard of or heard played - weaving in instrumental works as well,” says Taurins. “A true tapestry.” Tafelmusik’s “A Bach Tapestry,” directed by Ivars Taurins, will be presented on February 9, 10 and 11 (8pm) and February 12 (3:30pm) at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, and on February 14 (8pm) in the George Weston Recital Hall at the Toronto Centre for the Arts. The above interview with Ivars Taurins has been excerpted from his audio interview with WholeNote publisher David Perlman in October 2016. That interview exists in its entirety in podcast form, available for streaming/download on the podcast app of your choice or on our website at http://www.thewholenote.com/podcasts. 2016-17 Season Identities Robert Cooper, C.M. Artistic Director Edward Moroney Accompanist Beginnings With Glowing Hearts Sunday February 26, 2017 3:00 p.m. Grace Church on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Rd. Awaken glowing hearts with Canadian pride as we celebrate our nation’s 150th birthday. Orpheus Choir’s tribute showcases Ruth Watson Henderson’s The Magic of God’s World, and Derek Holman’s Laudis Creationis, together with premieres of two specially commissioned works by Mark Sirett and Laura Hawley that reveal the 1867 and 2017 faces of our home and native land. Guests: Toronto Children’s Chorus Tickets: ; senior; student www.orpheuschoirtoronto.com BMO Financial Group Financial Group Orpheus Choir’s season sponsor BMO Financial Group The Jackman Foundation an Ontario government agency un organisme du gouvernement de l’Ontario 28 | February 1, 2017 - March 7, 2017 thewholenote.com
Beat by Beat | Early Music Barthold Kuijken DAVID PODGORSKI I’m glad that Toronto’s early music scene has such a wide variety of talent. But every so often, someone shows up and makes even the best musicians in the city take notice. This month, Toronto has a rare opportunity to hear a soloist who’s spent decades becoming one of the living legends of early music. You may not have heard of the celebrated Belgian flutist Barthold Kuijken (pronounced CAUW-ken) but to hear him in concert is to appreciate an artist who has mastered some of the most ornate and technically demanding works of music in the classical canon. I’ll do my best to describe Kuijken’s influence on the early music movement without resorting to superlatives, but it won’t be easy. He belongs to what’s effectively the first generation of early music players (the previous generation being largely a bunch of eccentrics rather than professional musicians) who, finding modern classical performance practice unfulfilling, left promising careers as modern musicians to find a new style of performing. Given that there was no existing generation of musicians to teach them how to play differently, Kuijken et al. were complete autodidacts with only a handful of musical artifacts and historical treatises to guide them. Since then, Kuijken has become an educated performer and amassed an enviable instrument collection and library of historical sources. But what makes him unique is that, unlike other musicians of his generation, he didn’t have to do it alone. His older brother Weiland is one of the movement’s great viola da gambists, and another older brother, Sigiswald, not only became one the great violinists of the movement, but also founded La Petite Bande, one of the great European early music orchestras, in 1972. Having family on his side helped Barthold Kuijken. Since moving Barthold Kuijken to early music, he has performed extensively with Sigiswald’s orchestra as their principal flutist, played chamber music with both his brothers, and not incidentally also enjoyed a stellar career as one of the genre’s eminent soloists, generating a staggering discography along the way. This month, Baroque Music beside the Grange brings this legendary flutist to Heliconian Hall in Yorkville for a program that should serve to demonstrate Kuijken’s reputation as one of the greats. J.S. Bach’s sonata for unaccompanied flute, a piece by C.P.E Bach written for Frederick the Great, a couple of Telemann fantasias, and a suite by French composer Michel de la Barre are all pieces that were written for flutists to show off both artistic mastery and technical prowess, and I’m willing to bet that Kuijken doesn’t even find these tunes a fair match for his skills. If there’s one concert to make this month, this is it. Catch it on Sunday February 12 at 2:30 pm. Profeti della Quinta: One generation inspires the next, and while the first generation of early music players tended to have the same musical and cultural background (Western European, conservatory trained, institutional misfits) the movement they founded means thewholenote.com February 1, 2017 - March 7, 2017 | 29
Stuart’s heartrending tenor solo
from master musician Keith Jarrett
voices can be appreciated on Credo.
See Avi Avital In Concert! DOVER QU
KOERNER HALL IS: “ A beautiful sp