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Volume 24 Issue 6 - March 2019

  • Text
  • Composer
  • Song
  • Reviews
  • Piano
  • Performance
  • News
  • Events
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  • Live
  • World
  • Choral
  • Education
  • Summer
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  • Classical
  • March
  • Music
Something Old, Something New! The Ide(a)s of March are Upon Us! Rob Harris's Rear View Mirror looks forward to a tonal revival; Tafelmusik expands their chronological envelope in two directions, Esprit makes wave after wave; Pax Christi's new oratorio by Barbara Croall catches the attention of our choral and new music columnists; and summer music education is our special focus, right when warm days are once again possible to imagine. All this and more in our March 2019 edition, available in flipthrough here, and on the stands starting Thursday Feb 28.

in Indonesian community

in Indonesian community life with every town having its own gamelan and local musical traditions. The word gamelan refers to an orchestra of mainly percussion instruments crafted of metal arranged in rows on the floor including gongs hung from carved wooden racks. Other instruments include voice, a wind instrument called the suling and solo string-based instruments. Canadian composer Colin McPhee (1900– 1964) is well known for being the first Ade Suparman Western composer to study the music of Bali and Java, and his associations, with American composers Henry Cowell and Lou Harrison for example, helped to usher in what became known as world music. Despite current sensitivities about cultural appropriation, this phenomenon of bringing non-Western influences into Western concert music has had far-reaching impact. In 1983, composer Jon Siddall, with the assistance of Lou Harrison, established Canada’s first ensemble performing on Indonesian gamelan instruments in Toronto – the Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan. The ECCG will be celebrating 35 years of commissioning, performing and recording contemporary music for gamelan with a concert on March 7 featuring music by master musician-composers Ade Suparman and Burhan Sukarma from West Java, Indonesia; Gilles Tremblay and Estelle Lemire from Quebec; as well as Peter Hatch and Bill Parsons from BC and Ontario. Playing on a grouping of instruments indigenous to West Java known as a gamelan degung playing in the Sundanese style, this pioneering Canadian ensemble has made a significant mark on the global gamelan scene and is committed to including Indonesian musicians and their music in their repertoire, as this concert demonstrates. One of ECCG’s distinctive characteristics is the pursuit of a hybrid sound, combining gamelan, electroacoustics, minimalism, field recordings and elements of acoustic ecology, for example. Currently, they provide opportunities for the larger Toronto community to play their instruments at an ongoing meetup that happens on the second Sunday of the month at Arraymusic. Barbara Croall On March 31, a newly commissioned oratorio, Miziwe… (Everywhere… ), by Odawa First Nation composer and musician Barbara Croall, will be premiered by the Pax Christi Chorale and sung in Ojibwe Odawa with surtitles. In October 2018, I had the great honour of attending another one of Croall’s premieres in Montreal – Saia’tatokénhti: Honouring Saint Kateri. I attended two performances of this work – the first at the Kahnawake Catholic Church located on Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, and the second at St. Jean Baptiste Church in Montreal. The music was performed by the McGill Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Boris Brott, who played a key role at various stages of the work’s gestation, both in terms of his mentorship of Tara-Louise Montour, the work’s solo violinist, and in suggesting that Croall consider composing the music for the project. The texts (by Darren Bonaparte) were spoken in Mohawk by a member of the Kahnawake community. The piece also included traditional Mohawk music sung by community members. The work told the story of Kateri Tekakwitha, a17th-century Mohawk young woman who converted to Catholicism after a traumatic exodus from her traditional homelands in upstate New York due to her villages being razed by fire. She ended up with the Jesuit mission on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River and was believed to have extraordinary healing abilities. She was eventually canonized as a saint. To create that work, Croall spoke at length with elders from Kahnawake and Kanasatake, as well as elders in her own community, particularly about their Catholic faith and how they understand that in light of the church’s treatment of Indigenous people in residential schools. In an interview she gave before the performance, she spoke about how these elders understand their Christian faith as being different from the European form, and in their mind they have transformed Catholicism into a matriarchal belief system, blending Mary with the traditional corn goddess. In this latest commissioned work, Miziwe… (Everywhere…), Croall will be performing on cedar flute and voice along with Rod Nettagog, an Ojibwe (Makwa Dodem/Bear Clan) performer from the Henvey Inlet First Nation who also performed in Croall’s orchestral work Midwewe’igan (Sound of the Drum). Other performers include Krisztina Szabó, mezzo soprano; Justin Welsh, baritone; and the Toronto Mozart Players. Croall has recently been appointed artist-in-residence and cultural consultant by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. IN WITH THE NEW QUICK PICKS !! MAR 16, 8PM: Array Space, Arraymusic. The latest in the Rat-drifting series curated by Martin Arnold features artist and improviser Juliana Pivato. This performance will include various experiments on popular song. !! MAR 19, 7:30PM: Canadian Music Centre. Pianist R. Andrew Lee performs Ann Southam’s Soundings for New Piano. !! MAR 24, 8PM: Esprit Orchestra’s “Grand Slam!” concert features Trompe l’oeil, a world premiere by Canadian Christopher Thornborrow; Japanese composer Maki Ishii’s Afro-Concerto; and Unsuk Chin’s (Korea) Cello Concerto. Jana Luksts !! MAR 29, 8PM: Music Gallery. The latest concert in the Emergents Series with pianist Jana Luksts and the ensemble Happenstance who will present recital projects shaped around reimagining how classical music can sound, transforming the chamber music format into something new. !! APR 5 7:30: Esprit Orchestra presents their New Wave Reprise Festival featuring world premieres by five emerging composers: Emblem by Eugene Astapov; Music about Music by Quinn Jacobs ; Foreverdark by Bekah Simms; as within, so without by Christina Volpini; and Temporal by Alison Yun-Fei Jiang. A keynote address by Montreal composer John Rea will round out the evening. Wendalyn Bartley is a Toronto-based composer and electrovocal sound artist. sounddreaming@gmail.com. 22 | March 2019 thewholenote.com

Beat by Beat | Classical & Beyond Chamber Cornucopia Makes for an Early Spring PAUL ENNIS On March 17, Christian Blackshaw, now 70, brings a selection of works from his acclaimed Complete Mozart Sonata Series, performed and recorded at London’s Wigmore Hall, to Walter Hall. Hailed as “magical,” “captivating,” and “masterful,” the fourth volume of the series was named as one of the Best Classical Recordings of 2015 by The New York Times. Blackshaw’s all-Mozart program for Mooredale Concerts will include Sonata No.11 in A Major, K331 and Sonata No.14 in C Minor, K457. In a 2013 interview with Gramophone after his year-long Wigmore Hall series, Blackshaw spoke of Mozart as a particular passion. “It was a sort of penny-dropping moment discovering Mozart,” he said. ‘”I think I’m a frustrated singer and to me the sonatas can be construed as being mini-operas. I find his whole being informed by the voice and the vocal line.” In the interview he rejected a characterization of Mozart’s music as being “restrained.” “There have got to be elements of joie de vivre,” he responded. His own ultimate goal in performance is a state of “slow, calm release” where he can reach “a sense of communion.” And does he find music more conducive to communion than words? “Yes,” he said instantly. “There’s no small talk [in music].” COC Noon-hour Concerts Born in Siberia to a family of medical PhDs, Nuné Melik started playing the violin at the age of six; her first solo performance with orchestra took place a year later at the Kazan Symphony Hall. A prizewinner of numerous competitions and audience awards, she has performed across the globe, including the Stern Auditorium and Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall and our own Glenn Gould Christian Blackshaw Studio. In 2010, as an umbrella for her exploration of new repertoire, Melik founded the Hidden Treasure International Project, comprising research, performance and lectures of rarely heard music. By way of performances and lectures she also advocates for and promotes the music of the Caucasus, her heritage. Together with her longtime collaborator, pianist Michel-Alexandre Broekaert, in October 2017 she launched Hidden Treasure, a CD featuring unknown works by Armenian composers with Melik’s own original program notes; CBC radio called it a “love letter to Armenia.” A multi-talented artist who speaks five languages, Melik produced and directed a documentary last year about Armenian composer Arno Babadjanian. She has published books of poetry in Russian, which were translated into Armenian by the Writer’s Union of Armenia in 2016. Together with her CD, a book of French and English poetry was simultaneously released in October 2017. COC presents Nuné Melik’s “Hidden Treasures – Armenian music unearthed” Nuné Melik on March 12, with collaborative pianist Michel-Alexandre Broekaert, a free concert in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre of the Four Seasons Centre. The Castalian String Quartet, founded in 2011 and based in London, England, was a finalist in the 2016 Banff Competition won by the Rolston String Quartet. Last year they were named the winner of the first Merito String Quartet Award/Valentin Erben Prize which includes €20,000 for professional development, along with a further €25,000 towards sound recordings and a commission. The award came as a complete surprise to the quartet since there was no application process or competition for it; instead a secret jury SI BARBER April 28, 2019 2pm Church of the Redeemer 162 Bloor St W, Toronto Adults | Students Tickets available online at mozartproject.ca Sonata for Unaccompanied Cello, D Bowser Concerto for Two Violins in D minor BWV 1043, J S Bach Jonathan Crow, concertmaster, Toronto Symphony Orchestra Andrew Wan, concertmaster, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Requiem, W A Mozart Kendra Dyck, soprano Jennifer Routhier, mezzo soprano River Guard, tenor Michael Robert-Broder, bass-baritone David Bowser, conductor Toronto Mozart Players Pax Christi Chamber Choir thewholenote.com March 2019 | 23

Volumes 21-24 (2015-2018)

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

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

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Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)