3 years ago

Volume 25 Issue 6 - March 2020

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FEATURED: Music & Health writer Vivien Fellegi explores music, blindness & the plasticity of perception; David Jaeger digs into Gustavo Gimeno's plans for new music in his upcoming first season as music director at TSO; pianist James Rhodes, here for an early March recital, speaks his mind in a Q&A with Paul Ennis; and Lydia Perovic talks music and more with rising Turkish-Canadian mezzo Beste Kalender. Also, among our columns, Peggy Baker Dance Projects headlines Wende Bartley's In with the New; Steve Wallace's Jazz Notes rushes in definitionally where many fear to tread; ... and more.

Georg Philipp Telemann

Georg Philipp Telemann Valerie Gordon beauty and this comprehensive performance is ideal for anyone looking to become more familiar with his delightful music. Bach’s St. John Passion Last year, Tafemusik collaborated with conductor Masaaki Suzuki, founding director of the Bach Collegium Japan, to present an extraordinary performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. This year, from March 26 to 29, Ivars Taurins leads the Tafelmusik choir and orchestra through the St. John Passion, a work that, although smaller in scale than its massive counterpart, is no less satisfying in its profundity and reflection of Bach’s genius. Written during Bach’s first year as director of church music in Leipzig, the St. John Passion was first performed on April 7, 1724, at Good Friday Vespers at the St. Nicholas Church. The structure of the work falls in two halves, intended to flank a sermon, and compiled from recitatives and choruses narrating the Passion of Christ as told in the Gospel of John, ariosos and arias reflecting on the action, and chorales using hymn tunes and texts familiar to a congregation of Bach’s contemporaries. This music is sublime from beginning to end and is an ideal introduction to Bach’s vocal writing, for in the St. John Passion is found a comprehensive overview of every characteristic feature which we associate with the master, from earth-shaking choruses to tender and intimate reflections on the pain and suffering commemorated on Good Friday. This concert is highly recommended and will undoubtedly sell out, so plan ahead and book your tickets well in advance. Is there a characteristic German sound, a way to determine the linguistic underpinnings of a piece of music through its compositional components? Such a question may be ultimately unanswerable, grasping at the intangible, but the existence of an unbroken tradition, passed on and evolving through subsequent generations, is undeniable. For where would the musical world as we know it be without Bach? And where would Bach and Telemann be without Schütz and Rosenmüller? This month Toronto’s audiences have a fine opportunity to explore these early days of German musical culture which, as the world celebrates Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, has even greater potency as the idea of Germanic genius fills concert halls throughout the world. But don’t take my word for it… listen for yourselves! EARLY MUSIC QUICK PICKS !! MAR 7, 7:30PM: Music at Metropolitan. “Sprezzatura! Music of the Forgotten Galant.” Metropolitan United Church (Toronto), 56 Queen Street East. The galant was an 18th-century phenomenon, characterized by a return to simplicity and immediateness of appeal after the complexity of the late Baroque era. This concert explores Italianate works by Galuppi, Scarlatti, Leo, and Handel, and provides a worthwhile look into the post-Bach musical landscape. !! MAR 21, 1PM: Royal Canadian College of Organists Toronto. “6th Annual Bach Walk”. Celebrate Bach’s 335th birthday with this year’s Bach Walk. Featuring three organists at three different venues, this annual event is ideal for fans of Bach’s astonishing organ music. With both solo and ensemble repertoire, there will be something for everyone. Best of all, all three events are free, with birthday cake after the last recital! !! APR 6, 8PM: Confluence Concerts/St. Thomas’s Anglican Church. “Baroque Music by Candelight.” St. Thomas’s Anglican Church (Toronto), 383 Huron Street. Featuring the music of Handel, Telemann and Bach, this concert was made for this month’s column. Explore works from the German Baroque and see for yourself if cultural identity can be expressed through sound. Matthew Whitfield is a Toronto-based harpsichordist and organist. David Bowser, Artistic Director and Conductor Trumpet Concerto in D major Leopold Mozart Andrew McCandless, trumpet Church of the Redeemer 162 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON Requiem, K 626 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Soloists from the 2020 Toronto Mozart Vocal Competition Toronto Mozart Players Pax Christi Chamber Choir 30 | March 2020

“The sound filled the church… What glorious sounds! DAVE RICHARDS, TORONTO CONCERT REVIEWS SACRED MUSIC FOR A SACRED SPACE TMC photo: Brian Summers GREGORY BATSLEER GUEST CONDUCTOR Take a moment for contemplation in the midst of our hectic urban lives. Enjoy the soaring beauty of English motets from the 16 th century by Thomas Tallis and William Byrd up to contemporary atmospheric works by John Tavener, James MacMillan and Eric Whitacre. All in the beautiful setting of St. Anne’s Church. The Choir will be under the baton of Gregory Batsleer, chorus director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Wednesday, April 8 and Good Friday, April 10 7:30 pm St. Anne’s Church 270 Gladstone Ave. to , with VoxTix for patrons 30 and under. Call 416-408-0208 or go to Gregory Batsleer PASSIONTIDE & HOLY WEEK AT YORKMINSTER PARK BAPTIST CHURCH PASSIONTIDE DEVOTION SUNDAY, APRIL 5TH 4:30 PM Music for Passiontide and Holy Week by Willan, Vierne, Purcell and Allegri The Choir of Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, William Maddox, Organist and Director of Music, Christel Wiens, Associate Musician. IONA LITURGY HOLY TUESDAY, APRIL 7TH 7:00 PM Iona based liturgy with the musicians of Iona Passage Meditation - Visio Divina with the St. John’s Bible - the first hand written Bible illumined with art and calligraphy in over 500 years. Yorkminster Park Baptist Church FREEWILL OFFERING, ALL WELCOME 1585 Yonge Street | 416-922-1167 | March 2020 | 31

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