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Volume 25 Issue 4 - December 2019 / January 2020

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Welcome to our December/January issue as we turn the annual calendar page, halfway through our season for the 25th time, juggling as always, secular stuff, the spirit of the season, new year resolve and winter journeys! Why is Mozart's Handel's Messiah's trumpet a trombone? Why when Laurie Anderson offers to fly you to the moon you should take her up on the invitation. Why messing with Winterreisse can (sometimes) be a very good thing! And a bumper crop of record reviews for your reading (and sometimes listening) pleasure. Available in flipthrough here right now, and on stands commencing Thursday Nov 28. See you on the other side!

Murray Schafer’s

Murray Schafer’s String Quartet No.3 (1981), which the SLSQ played at Music Toronto in 1996 and 2007; and Franck’s emotionally powerful Piano Quintet in F Minor, with guest pianist Stephen Prutsman (who performed the piece with the SLSQ here in 1997). The Passion of Scrooge It wouldn’t be Christmas without Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and its redemptive protagonist Ebeneezer Scrooge. Last year, filmmaker H. Paul Moon’s adaptation of Jon Deak’s opera, The Passion of Scrooge: or A Christmas Carol, arrived too late to be included in our year-end issue, but it’s a worthwhile and timely addition to the joys of the season and deserves to be mentioned. Not only for Deak’s acclaimed score but even more so for Moon’s inventive cinematic adaptation. Part documentary, part performance piece, with a dash of fiction thrown in, the film is structured as a radio play with baritone William Sharp (who premiered the opera in 1997) performing all the parts. Deak, himself takes up the conductor’s baton for the textual climax that never fails to touch the heart. Moon’s trademark floating camera, which hovers curiously before guiding us through the operatic road map with surety and ease, is another key element and given the medium in which it acts, there is no more important star. For more information and to stream, buy or rent: scroogeopera. com. William Sharp can also be found in Moon’s comprehensive and moving portrait of composer Samuel Barber, Absolute Beauty, which was a cinematic highlight of 2018: THE ASSOCIATES OF THE TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 2020 SEASON January 20, 2020, 7:30 p.m. Song Before the Storm Johannes Brahms, Dmitri Shostakovich February 10, 2020, 7:30 p.m. Beethoven: Kreutzer and the Archduke Ludwig van Beethoven March 30, 2020, 7:30 p.m. Folk Tunes Made Classic Carl Czerny, Frank Martin, Antonín Dvořák, Fernandez Arbos April 27, 2020, 7:30 p.m. Clash and Calm: A Folkloric Journey Joseph Haydn, Béla Bartók, Antonín Dvořák May 25, 2020, 7:30 p.m. Augmented 6ix/5 Francis Poulenc, Claude-Paul Taffanel, Ludwig Thuille TICKETS NOW ON SALE! Tickets $25, Seniors and Students Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. Box Office 416-221-8342 William Sharp in The Passion of Scrooge, or A Christmas Carol CLASSICAL AND BEYOND QUICK PICKS !! DEC 8, 8PM: Gallery 345 presents CBC Music’s “next big cello star,” 24-year-old Cameron Crozman and friends (among them, Pocket Concerts’ co-director, pianist Emily Rho) performing music by Britten, Schubert and Fauré (his masterful Piano Quartet No.1). !! DEC 14, 8PM: Kindred Spirits Orchestra presents 16-year-old prodigy Leonid Nediak playing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.4 at Flato Markham Theatre. Another teenager, violinist Ellie Sievers, is the soloist in Vaughan Williams’ exquisite The Lark Ascending; Kristian Alexander also conducts Prokofiev’s Symphony No.4. !! DEC 16, 8PM: The Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society (KWCMS) presents the Penderecki String Quartet in the first installment of Beethoven’s complete string quartets – played in chronological order – beginning on his 249th birthday with Op. 18 Nos.1, 2, and 3 and finishing on his 250th birthday, December 16, 2020. !! JAN 4, 3PM: 5 at the First Chamber Players presents some fancy string players – Yehonatan Berick, violin, Theresa Rudolph, viola, and Rachel Mercer, cello, among others – in “String Extravaganza IX” highlighted by Mendelssohn’s timeless Octet. !! JAN 18, 7:30PM: “Tooting Mozart’s Horn, Naturally!” the latest Pay What You Decide concert from Academy Concert Series features COC Orchestra principal hornist, Scott Wevers, in Mozart’s Horn Quintet in E-flat Major K407 and Hoffmeister’s Horn Quintet in E-flat Major. Mozart’s String Quartet in B-flat Major K458 “The Hunt” rounds out the intriguing program. !! JAN 19, 2:30PM: The Gryphon Trio joins with conductor Bradley Thachuk and the Niagara Symphony Orchestra for a performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. Completing the Beethoven trifecta are the Egmont Overture and the stirring Symphony No.5. !! JAN 19, 8PM: KWCMS presents Ensemble Made in Canada performing Mahler’s Piano Quartet and Brahms’ Piano Quartet No.3 in C Minor Op.60, written within a year of one another. !! JAN 20, 7:30PM: Associates of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents TSO principal cellist, Joseph Johnson, and collaborative pianist extraordinaire, Philip Chiu, among others, in Brahms’ urgent Piano Quartet Op.25 and Shostakovich’s commanding Piano Quintet Op.57. !! JAN 26, 3PM: RCM presents the elegant Louis Lortie playing Beethoven Sonatas Nos.27, Op.90; 28, Op.101; and 29, Op.106, the demanding “Hammerklavier.” In Koerner Hall. !! JAN 27, 7:30PM: U of T Faculty of Music presents violinist Mark Fewer and pianist James Parker performing “Half of Beethoven’s Complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano.” But which five will they play? !! FEB 2, 2PM: RCM presents Gábor Tarkövi, principal trumpet of the Berlin Philharmonic since 2005, with Benjamin Smith, piano, in works by Hindemith, Gliere, Hovhaness, among others. In Mazzoleni Hall. Tarkövi will give masterclasses (free and open to the public) in Walter Hall on February 6 at 1:10pm and 5pm and on February 7 at 10am and 2pm in Mazzoleni Hall. Paul Ennis is the managing editor of The WholeNote. 38 | December 2019January 2020

Beat by Beat | In with the New January’s Distinguished Visitors U of T New Music Festival WENDALYN BARTLEY One thing that has been consistent with the University of Toronto’s annual New Music Festival over the years is the presence of a visiting composer from another country or Canadian city. During last year’s festival in January 2019, it was Toshio Hosokawa, a leading composer from Japan, and the year before that in 2018, Canadian Nicole Lizée was given the honours. This visitorship is named the Roger D. Moore Distinguished Visitor in Composition, and was established by Roger Moore, a longtime supporter and philanthropist of new music. Sadly, Moore passed away in March of this year, and there will be a concert, as part of the festival, to honour him on January 21. More about what is on the program for that night below. This year’s visiting composer is André Mehmari, a leading Brazilian composer, pianist and arranger in both classical and popular music. Because of his diverse artistic accomplishments many of the events of the festival span both the jazz and contemporary music worlds, with the opening concert on January 12 combining electronic jazz, visuals and live electronics. The festival continues to January 21 and interestingly, the various concerts, masterclasses and talks will be interwoven with the Royal Conservatory’s 21C Music Festival (see my story on Laurie Anderson elsewhere in this issue) which runs almost concurrently, a short walk from the U of T Faculty of Music. Having a plethora of new music events to choose from in the dead of winter is shaping up to be one way to beat the cold and gloom of January. André Mehmari: As has been the case with some U of T festival Distinguished Visitors in Composition, you probably know less about André Mehmari now than you will come the end of January, by which time you will have introduced yourself to his wide-ranging repertoire. The January 15 concert, “From Bach to Latin America,” will feature a mixture of Baroque and jazz works with Mehmari on piano and Emmanuele Baldini on violin. These two performers will team up again the next evening, January 16, along with members of Orquesta de Camara de Valdivia, an ensemble from Chile directed by Baldini, for a concert of chamber works. Mehmari’s jazz and improvised music will be heard on January 18 in an evening with the U of T’s DOG Ensemble along with U of T jazz faculty members. Check his two composition masterclasses, January 14 and 15 at 10am in Walter Hall; and a songwriting class, January 17 at 7:30pm in Walter Hall, when students and the public alike will have an opportunity to engage with Mehmari in a more informal setting. Karen Kieser Prize Concert: Another regular event at the New Music Festival is the Karen Kieser Prize Concert, with this year’s happening on January 14. This award is given annually to a promising graduate student in composition and this year’s winner is Francis Ubertelli, whose piece, Quartetto 2, will be performed by Montreal’s Quatuor Cobalt. The program this year will also feature the work of two Vancouver artists: Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa, on piano, performing two works by composer Hildegard Westerkamp – Klavierklang and Like A Memory – as well as a third electroacoustic work, Attending to Sacred Matters, to be diffused by Westerkamp. Clear Things May Not Be Seen VOCAL CHAMBER MUSIC OF BOB BECKER Never in Word (1998) To Immortal Bloom (2017) Cryin’ Time (1994) Clear Things May Not Be Seen (2018) André Mehmari Klavierklang, composed in 2017 for piano, spoken voice and twochannel audio and commissioned by Iwaasa is a sonic-musical journey into the complexities of piano playing. The piece arose out of conversations between Iwaasa and Westerkamp on the challenging and inspiring experiences they have had with piano teachers. This focus spans topics such as how their mothers’ ears influenced their musical development and how the piano became both a sanctuary for exploration and sound making as well as a site of trauma and discouragement. The sound materials and inspiration for Like A Memory, a composition from 2002 for piano and two-channel audio, began back in 1985 when Westerkamp recorded the sounds of an old, broken and rat-infested piano she discovered in an abandoned house along the shores of Slocan Lake in B.C. She says in the program note she sent me after our conversation about this piece that she had discovered “a prepared piano in the deepest Cage sense and delighted in improvising on this instrument.” Some years later she travelled back to the same area to work on another project focusing on ghost towns and again recorded sounds from abandoned industrial sites she discovered featuring sopranos Lindsay Kesselman and Andrea Ludwig with string quartet, clarinets, piano and percussion Tuesday, Feb. 4 (noon) Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, COC FREE CONCERT SERIES Thursday, Feb. 6 (12:10pm) Walter Hall, University of Toronto Faculty of Music FREE CONCERT SERIES December 2019January 2020 | 39 HEDWIG MARIA

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