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Volume 26 Issue 4 - December 2020 / January 2021

  • Text
  • Choir
  • Composer
  • Jazz
  • Symphony
  • Recording
  • Toronto
  • Orchestra
  • Musical
  • January
  • December
In this issue: Beautiful Exceptions, Sing-Alone Messiahs, Livingston’s Vocal Pleasures, Chamber Beethoven, Online Opera (Plexiglass & All), Playlist for the Winter of our Discontent, The Oud & the Fuzz, Who is Alex Trebek? All this and more available in flipthrough HERE, and in print Friday December 4.

world annually. Only

world annually. Only available on iTunes, this recording with the Colorado Symphony dares you to try to listen without feeling good, tickling your ears with new, dynamic, energetic inspiration weaving in and out of the music you know so well. And on December 13, 2020, catch the launch party of Messiah/ Complex with Against the Grain Theatre. Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah led by Marin Alsop DIGITAL CONCERT QUICKPICKS The Toronto Children’s Chorus presents A Chorus Christmas: Holiday Journeys. The annual Christmas Concert put on by the Toronto Children’s Chorus is a huge affair with hundreds of performers spread across the stage and into the rafters of Roy Thomson Hall. This year, the many choirs making up the TCC community join together for a digital concert this year. The TCC Alumni Choir has a long tradition, bringing back familiar faces to sing lobby carols. This year, the alumni will be recording a virtual choir presentation of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” December 19 and 20. Register at The Elora Singers present an ambitious three-concert series for the holidays. A Quiet Village, December 5. A Village Messiah, December 12. And A Festival of Carols, December 19. All online at www.elorasingers. ca. A Quiet Village features harpist Julia Seager-Scott and works by Canadian composers Tawnie Olson and Marie-Claire Saindon. The feature is Britten’s Ceremony of Carols for mixed choir (originally written for a treble choir). Wolcum Yole! For a fun sing-along, the Guelph Chamber Choir is crowdsourcing some holiday cheer with a livestream carol sing-along on December 13 at 7pm. They’ve been working towards a virtual recording of Mozart’s Laudate Dominum which will have its premiere during the concert. Check them out on Facebook for more information. If you’re watching the AtG Messiah/Complex on December 13 and miss the Guelph Chamber Choir, you can have another chance to participate in a sing-along with the Amadeus Choir on December 15. The choir is hosting a “Virtual Carolling Party.” There will be an hour of fantastic favourites; all livestreamed with special guests, performances, and festive cheer. Register online at Whatever you do this season, add some music to your holiday, with a safe livestream or your favourite recordings. Follow Brian on Twitter @bfchang. Send info/media/tips to EARLY MUSIC New Bottles for Old Wine? and Sing-Alone Messiahs MATTHEW WHITFIELD Over the last few issues of The WholeNote, this column has explored some of the ways that presenters, festivals, orchestras and other performing groups have pivoted and adapted to 2020’s unexpected and unforeseen challenges. With the arrival of a second pandemic wave, a surge in case numbers and consequent public health interventions – most recently through the implementation of a second lockdown here, Toronto-area performers have had to dig in their heels even deeper and continue to use technology to bridge the gap between themselves and their audience. As announcements of vaccine developments are released and plans for mass distribution are devised by governments around the world, it appears more likely that the waning of the pandemic itself is on the not-too-distant horizon, a hopeful and encouraging revelation after months of uncertainty. Far less likely though is that the return to concert halls will be suddenly reinstated as before, not with the technological advances made by so many through livestreaming and the broadcasting of pre-recorded material. And why should it? Although the maintenance and operation of remote viewing technologies is another line on the expenditures sheet, it is also an opportunity to increase audience bases (and revenue) by engaging with audiences that would otherwise be unable or still reluctant to attend in-person concerts. The Internet has no borders and is the perfect vehicle for making both domestic and international connections without in-person touring by planes, trains and automobiles, especially for those unable to fund such globetrotting ventures. This pandemic has brought the future closer to us, accelerating the development of technologies that support interpersonal connections and introducing us to different ways of meeting and greeting our friends, acquaintances, and even complete strangers, and it is very unlikely that we will simply revert to our old ways once COVID-19 is relegated to the history books. 12 | December 2020 - January 2021

The Toronto Consort’s All in a Garden Green with Alison Melville (L) and Katherine Hill Even before the arrival of the pandemic, streaming services were hugely popular, allowing anyone with a compatible device and an Internet connection to access a near-infinite variety of entertainment. Within this vast expanse of material, classical music occupies a miniscule slice of the market, primarily through and a few other, smaller services, which present a wide range of performances and documentaries for enthusiasts everywhere, performed by an equally wide range of musicians, orchestras and ensembles. Last month the Toronto Consort joined the party by launching, an on-demand online streaming service devoted entirely to the Consort and featuring a variety of audio and visual material. Although still in its infancy, this service clearly has great potential and is a commitment on the part of the Consort to remain active and present, regardless of external circumstances. While classical musicians can occasionally be rather backwards-looking, engages with the majority of available technology and is accessible through web browsers, apps on iOS and Android, streaming through COLIN SAVAGE Apple TV, Amazon, and Chromecast, as well as a soon-to-be-released RokuTV app. This means that no matter your choice of device, operating system and mode of access, will be available for viewing everywhere that there is an Internet connection. When looking at a streaming service, the two fundamental questions that must be answered affirmatively are: “Is the interface intuitive?” and, “Is the material good?” In the case of EarlyMusic. tv, both questions can be answered with a resounding “Yes.” The online interface is very straightforward, if not slightly understated, and content is easily explored, filtered and toggled through. Visitors are able to choose between video presentations, searchable by period, composer and arranger, as well as the Consort’s album library and individual audio tracks, which are also able to be searched and filtered. The Android app is similarly streamlined, a mobile-friendly reduction of the online website, with identical options to the desktop site. In addition to the aforementioned filtering options, the app contains a universal search function, which returns all applicable video and audio results for the search thread, such as “Byrd” or “Guerrero.” The well-thought-out nature of the app is particularly appreciated, as it makes the process of accessing content straightforward and simple, with easy access to both audio and video. If the mode of accessing content is particularly good, the content itself is exceedingly so, with high-quality video and CD-quality audio across the streaming service. The audio tracks are taken directly from the Consort’s previous recordings, providing the listener with a superb auditory experience. The videos are brilliantly done, enhancing the traditionally static concert experience by providing close-ups on soloists and ensemble members throughout, with lighting and acoustics that enhance, rather than detracting from, the musical works themselves. For anyone with a passion for early music, is a terrific resource to reconnect with one of Toronto’s finest performing groups. The streaming service is straightforward enough that even the least tech-savvy person can navigate it, and the content itself is both engaging and satisfying. With a variety of material already available and more to come as Consort invites contributions from other early music practitioners, is there a better way to whittle away the winter 20 21 BUY NOW OPERAATELIER.COM Something Rich & Strange DEC 12, 2020 7PM LIVESTREAMED FROM KOERNER HALL, TELUS CENTRE A fully-staged new creation exploring the realms of dreams, visions and the supernatural, coupled with a new composition by Edwin Huizinga for Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman. FEATURING: Colin AINSWORTH, Mireille ASSELIN, Measha BRUEGGERGOSMAN, Christopher ENNS, Edwin HUIZINGA, Danielle MACMILLAN, Cynthia SMITHERS With Artists of Atelier Ballet and musicians from Tafelmusik (Elisa CITTERIO, Music Director) Production Underwriters The Dalglish Family Foundation & Anonymous Season Presenting Sponsor Season Underwriter Season supported by David Green & Daphne Wagner and Lita & Michael Green Radio Sponsor Media Partner Pictured: Soprano Meghan Lindsay and Tenor Colin Ainsworth Photo by Bruce Zinger December 2020 - January 2021 | 13

Volume 26 (2020- )

Volume 26 Issue 1 - September 2020
Volume 26 Issue 2 - October 2020
Volume 26 Issue 3 - November 2020
Volume 26 Issue 4 - December 2020 / January 2021

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
Volume 25 Issue 6 - March 2020
Volume 25 Issue 5 - February 2020
Volume 25 Issue 4 - December 2019 / January 2020
Volume 25 Issue 3 - November 2019
Volume 25 Issue 2 - October 2019
Volume 25 Issue 1 - September 2019
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)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)