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Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018

  • Text
  • September
  • Jazz
  • Toronto
  • Musical
  • Symphony
  • Quartet
  • Orchestra
  • Festival
  • Theatre
  • Violin
In this issue: The WholeNote's 7th Annual TIFF TIPS guide to festival films with musical clout; soprano Erin Wall in conversation with Art of Song columnist Lydia Perovic, about more than the art of song; a summer's worth of recordings reviewed; Toronto Chamber Choir at 50 (is a few close friends all it takes?); and much more, as the 2018/19 season gets under way.

Beat by Beat | Classical

Beat by Beat | Classical & Beyond GRAHAM ISADOR 2017 time – contains images and concepts that today would be recognized as problematic. A challenge for the creative team and company will be balancing this intriguing and daring 1918 world with the more familiar world of 2018, and focusing the play in performance so that the audience will receive it in the way the playwright intends. Chan says that Lauzon is “gifted in layering all these complex ideas in a really articulated, clear way.” According to Chan, the play is about Tsianina Redfeather at the turn of the century but “it is also about this young Métis man in an opera program, and what it means for him to encounter and be impacted by this music. That’s the beauty of how we find the ways to leak the music in and take it out, to stay with the emotional journey of the young Métis opera singer.” Intriguingly, when I suggest that there was a time travel element to be experienced, Chan says that they are aiming for something even more complex: “the thought that if we might expand what we know around us we could reach it; that they are existing at the same time.” Ultimately, says Chan, the goal of the team is that “the audience should be able to come in and experience the journey of a young man reaching back into his culture – and reclaiming culture and music that belongs to him.” I Call myself Princess plays September 9 to 30, at Native Earth Performing Arts’ Aki Studio, Toronto. MUSIC THEATRE QUICK PICKS Donna-Michelle St. Bernard – Sound of the Beast !! SEP 28 & 29, 7:30PM: Sound of the Beast. Theatre Passe Muraille (followed by a national tour): Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, who collaborated so wonderfully with Tapestry Opera last season on the Persian inspired Tap Ex: Forbidden, is the solo artist here as emcee “Belladonna the Blest,” and, using a combination of hip-hop, spoken word and storytelling, tells truth to power with a brutally honest take on policing in Black communities. !! SEP 18 to 29: Grand Theatre. Prom Queen: The Musical. The High School Project - Grand Theatre London, 471 Richmond St., London. The Grand Theatre’s annual high school project aroused controversy earlier this year in the city of London because it tells the true story of Marc Hall, who in 2002 wanted to take his boyfriend to the school prom. Originally developed at Sheridan’s Canadian Musical Theatre Project, the show has earned rave reviews elsewhere and here will have a large cast of real high school students, 50 onstage and 30 backstage. !! SEP 13 to OCT 7: Musical Stage Company. Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life. Heliconian Hall, 35 Hazelton Ave., Toronto. The latest creation by the talented Johnson sisters, Britta and Anika, this co-production with Mitchell Cushman’s Outside the March company promises to be “immersive” and very different from your usual musical. At the historic, tiny, Heliconian Hall in Yorkville. Toronto-based “lifelong theatre person” Jennifer (Jenny) Parr works as a director, fight director, stage manager and coach, and is equally crazy about movies and musicals. Calidore Q&A and the Horizon Ahead PAUL ENNIS The Calidore String Quartet (Jeffrey Myers and Ryan Meehan, violins, Jeremy Berry, viola, and Estelle Choi, cello) made a name for themselves in 2016 by winning the 0,000 Grand Prize in the inaugural M-Prize International Chamber Music Competition, the world’s largest chamber music prize. More recently, they were awarded the 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant. During the upcoming season they will complete their three-year residency with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. They took time in August for an email Q&A in advance of their Mooredale Concerts recital of their “Music and Conflict” program in Walter Hall, on September 30. WN: Please tell us about when and where the Calidore String Quartet began. CSQ: We met at the Colburn School in Los Angeles where we were completing our music studies. Estelle and Jeff had been in a different quartet and we were looking to continue working together. Jeremy on viola was the next addition followed shortly by Ryan on second violin. The quartet officially formed in 2010. How was your “Music and Conflict” program conceived? Given the chaotic and uncertain world that we live in, we wanted to find guidance in the music that we spend our lives studying and performing. How did the great artists in our field take conflict and channel it creatively? How did they make their voice heard? Taking the Mendelssohn Op.80 as the anchor piece of the [new] album, we then began building the program by looking at composers who faced different challenges throughout their lives. This led to the addition of Prokofiev’s Second String Quartet, Janáček’s “Kreutzer,” and finally Golijov’s Tenebrae. What is your approach for each of the four works on that program? We tried to learn as much as we could about the circumstances each of the composers faced that led to them to write the works. Where were they in their lives, both physically and mentally? How did they resolve the cacophony around them? In the Prokofiev, the composer was evacuated due to the Nazi invasion of Moscow, so this displacement must have left him feeling homesick and unsure of the future. Despite all of this he wrote a piece drawing on the folk music that surrounded him and produced a piece that evokes a sense of pride and an optimism for the days ahead. Prokofiev also conveys a wistfulness in the second movement, perhaps recalling better days. While Prokofiev faced an external war, Janáček battled a personal struggle in his marriage. It is no wonder he felt that Leo Tolstoy’s novella, The Kreutzer Sonata, spoke to his own situation of being locked in a loveless marriage. In the novella, a husband becomes increasingly mad from jealousy. His pianist wife has begun learning Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” violin and piano sonata with a dashing violinist. He arrives home late at night to find the two of them conversing intimately. This drives the husband to kill his wife out of madness. In this piece, we become actors, playing all the different roles from the married couple to the new violinist and even including the husband’s growing insanity. This string quartet requires a playing style that is very physical and aggressive while also being able to sing with lyricism and tenderness. It is a visceral experience that Janáček has created, so it is important to highlight the physicality of the work. 22 | September 2018 thewholenote.com

From the brutality of the Janáček, we felt a sense of calm was needed to balance the tumultuous story of Tolstoy. Golijov’s Tenebrae acts as the fulcrum to the album. It takes the quiet serenity of the cosmos, and intersperses it with the chaos and conflict of the Middle East, drawn from the composer’s experiences closely tied to each. The experience of seeing the world as a tiny blue dot at the planetarium contrasted with the devastating violence in Israel and led Golijov to write this piece that brings light to a world often shrouded in darkness. Finally, the Mendelssohn Op.80 string quartet closes the album. This work is a sharp contrast to all of his others and was written towards the end of the composer’s short life. Having lost his sister unexpectedly, Mendelssohn was swimming in grief, unable to write music from the sheer weight of the tragedy. In an attempt to elevate himself from the loss, he took to composing to channel the hurt, frustration and anger of the departure of his family member and dearest friend. The nostalgia of the slow movement evokes the tenderness of their relationship which launches the listener back to the turmoil of his mourning in the fourth and final movement. Even in his darkest days, Calidore String Quartet Mendelssohn gave the world an outlet to help both himself and the audience to cope and rise above the difficulties of life. How did your relationship with the Emerson Quartet come about? How important was it to your development as a quartet? Our relationship with the Emerson Quartet first began when we first played for David Finckel in 2012 at the Aspen Music Festival and School. We simply approached him and asked if he would have any Cathedral Bluffs SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Norman Reintamm Artistic Director/Principal Conductor 2018-2019 Season NEW SEASON OF GREAT CONCERTS 1. Saturday november 10 8 pm Verdi Overture to Luisa Miller Dvořák Slavonic Dance, Op. 46 4. Saturday March 9 8 pm Debussy Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun Arvo Pärt Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten Schumann Symphony No. 3 (Rhenish) 2. Saturday December 15 8 pm nighT aT The opera Favorites from Johann Strauss Jr., including Overture to Die Fledermaus Auf Der Jagd Polka | A Night in Venice Overture | Overture to The Gypsy Baron Unter Donner und Blitz Polka | Tritsch-Tratsch Polka | The Blue Danube Waltz Lehár Overture to The Merry Widow 3. Saturday February 2 8 pm Tango! a collaboration featuring PAYADORA TANGO ENSEMBLE Robert Horvath Tangos for Orchestra Piazzolla The Four Seasons (arr. Carlos Franzetti) Stravinsky The Rite of Spring Erik Kreem Tone Poem for Symphony Orchestra 5. Saturday May 25 8 pm SeaSon Finale We welcome the YOU dance Apprentices of the National Ballet of Canada for our season finale, presenting favourites from ballets such as Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and other well-known masterpieces. Subscribe Today & Save! cathedralbluffs.com | 416.879.5566 thewholenote.com September 2018 | 23

Volume 26 (2020- )

Volume 26 Issue 1 - September 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
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Volume 25 Issue 4 - December 2019 / January 2020
Volume 25 Issue 3 - November 2019
Volume 25 Issue 2 - October 2019
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Volume 24 Issue 8 - May 2019
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