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Volume 27 Issue 2 - November 2021

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  • November
  • Toronto
  • Symphony
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • December
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Live events on the up and up while creative live-and livestreamed hybrids continue to shine. October All-star Sondheim's Follies at Koerner Hall headlines the resurgence; Zoprana Sadiq brings MixTape to Crow's Theatre; Stewart Goodyear and Jan Lisiecki bring piano virtuosity back indoors; Toronto Mendelssohn Choir's J-S Vallee in action; TSO finds itself looking at 60 percent capacities ahead of schedule. All this and more as we we complete our COVID-13 -- a baker's dozen of issues since March 2020. Available here in flipthrough, and on stands commencing this weekend.

” Nocturnes are poems

” Nocturnes are poems written in the moment”: Jan Lisiecki, online from Poznań, Poland; in an Ottawa Chamberfest “Chamber Chat” with Eric Friessen (September 30, 2021) Gustavo Gimeno Conducts the TSO STUART-LOWE key and of course according to atmosphere as well. I believe they form a very nice line from the very beginning to the very end, while also presenting the Nocturnes which, as I said, was my first goal.” I see that you are playing the Op.10 Études in ascending order from 1 to 12. So how did you decide which nocturnes to program and where to place them? Putting the Op. 10 Études in order from No.1 to No.12 was a very simple choice made purely because the first Étude is a fantastic opening and the last is a fantastic closing, and everything fits very beautifully in between. Since that was sort of a backbone, it didn’t make sense to shuffle things up – there was no point in doing so, and the Nocturnes could be fitted in between the Études. Toronto Symphony Orchestra: Heralding a return to live concertizing in front of an audience, the TSO and their new musical director, Gustavo Gimeno, got together for a surprise livestream event on October 14 for donors and patrons. The program ranged from Joseph Bologne’s elegant Symphony in D Major Op.11, No. 2, to Gary Kulesha’s arrangement of Nathaniel Dett’s melancholy “His Song”, to Brahms’ Serenade No.1, Op.11, a work foreshadowing the soaring melodies of the symphonic composer we’re familiar with. Smooth and balanced, the program was a big step back into orchestral waters – “typical of the different musical perspectives we plan for this season,” as Gimeno described it. Gimeno’s long-anticipated in-person debut as TSO music director comes just as audiences are able to return to Roy Thomson Hall for the first time in 18 months, November 10 to 13. Anthony Barfield’s Invictus – a 2020 composition that reflects on this unique moment in time and delivers a stirring ode to humanity’s capacity for resilience – serves as the season-opening fanfare, followed by Haydn’s Overture to L’isola disabitata, then by the Jazz Age spirit and celebratory flourish of Hindemith’s Concert Music for Strings and Brass. Schubert’s free-flowing melodic gifts are on full display in his Fifth Symphony which rounds out the program. The TSO’s November 17 and 18 concert, also conducted by Gimeno, focuses on the orchestra’s strings. An 11th-century poem by Omar Khayyám inspired pop-influenced grooves in the music of Sri Lankan-born Canadian Dinuk Wijeratne; fellow Canadian Kelly- Marie Murphy’s Rains of Ash and Embers extols our country’s natural wonders. Mahler’s heart-rending Adagietto from his Symphony No. 5 and Schoenberg’s sensuous Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) are among the most stunningly beautiful works in the classical canon. The TSO’s woodwind, brass and percussion sections take centre stage on November 19 and 20 in a lively program: Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, No.1 (in the composer’s words, “dedicated to women who take risks and are adventurous”), Dvořák’s charming Serenade in D Minor, Steve Reich’s mesmerizing Music for Pieces of Wood, and Stravinsky’s colourful salute to Debussy, Symphonies of Wind Instruments. The program, which marks Gimeno’s final TSO appearance of 2021, closes with the Sinfonietta for Winds and Percussion from one of Canada’s most acclaimed 20th-century composers, Oskar Morawetz. Rounding out the month, Peter Oundjian returns to Roy Thomson Hall for his first concert as TSO conductor emeritus, on November 24, 25, 27 and 28, in a program headed by Beethoven’s “Egmont” Overture, Strauss’ lovely Serenade in E-flat Major and the radiant music of Florence Price. All of which serve as prologue for Tchaikovsky’s uber-Romantic, unforgettable Violin Concerto with Canadian rising star Timothy Chooi, just 27 years old. Approximately 60% of available capacity will be offered for TSO performances in November at Roy Thomson Hall (roughly 1,550 seats out of 2,600). Proof of COVID vaccination is required; masks must be worn at all times except when eating or drinking. FRIDAY NOON AT MET RETURNS world class organ & livestream broadcast Nov. 5 Joshua Duncan Lee Franck, Arauxo Howells Dec. 3 David Simon Advent Alliteration Nov. 19 Cari Astleford Buxtehude, Scheidemann, Pepping Dec. 17 Dr. Patricia Wright & singers For the season PRESENTS Marie Bérard, violin Winona Zelenka, cello Rémi Pelletier, viola With guest artist Philip Chiu, piano Season 9 Fantasia Jean Cras String Trio Schubert Fantasia arr. for piano quartet Lekeu Piano Quartet November 7th, 2021- Live performance, limited audience November 14th, 2021- Virtual performance release Cidel Bank Canada Questions? Contact 10 | November and December 2021

QUICK PICKS NOV 7, 3PM: Trio Arkel (Marie Bérard,violin, Winona Zelenka, cello, and new member Rémi Pelletier, viola) open their new season with Jean Cras’ inventive string trio. Montreal pianist Philip Chiu joins them for Schubert’s enthralling Fantasia (arranged for piano quartet) and Guillaume Lekeu’s Piano Quartet. Lekeu died of typhoid fever at 24 before finishing the work, commissioned by fellow Belgian, noted violinist Eugène Ysaÿe. Vincent d’Indy, who considered his former pupil a genius, added seven bars to complete the piece. The concert, which takes place at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, will be available on demand for 14 days from November 14. NOV 9, 8PM: Music Toronto presents pianist Stephen Hough in a varied program that climaxes with a Chopin grouping – a ballade, scherzo and two nocturnes. Hough’s playing is always thoughtful and often astonishing, making any Hough recital unmissable. NOV 18, 8PM: The St. Lawrence String Quartet’s affinity for Haydn will be on display in a Jane Mallett Theatre Music Toronto presentation of four of the master’s Op.76 string quartets, Nos. 4, 2, 5 and 3. Expect an ebullient performance led by first violinist Geoff Nuttall and an exuberant verbal commentary from him as well. NOV 20, 7:30PM: Kingston’s Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts presents “A Celebration of the Violin” with violinists Jonathan Crow and David Baik and pianist Philip Chiu in works by St. Georges, Ysaÿe, Brahms and Moszkowski. NOV 21, 7PM: Stratford’s INNERchamber Ensemble presents “Love Story – Selected Letters by Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms”. Between movements of Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio op. 17 in G Minor and Brahms’ PIano Trio op. 87 in C Minor performed by Emily Hamper (piano), Andrew Chung (violin) and Ben Bolt-Martin (cello), Marion Adler and Scott Wentworth read from the two composers’ intimate letters. NOV 25, 1:30PM: For the next concert in the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto (WMCT) season, percussionists Beverley Johnston, Aiyun Huang and Russell Hartenberger will roll out a broad range of instruments – from marimba and vibraphone to drums and flower pots – with (literally) lots of bells and whistles from the percussion studio directly behind the Walter Hall stage. Flutist Susan Hoeppner and violinist Marc Djokic join them in a program that includes Bach on marimba, 20th-century classics by Lou Harrison and Astor Piazzolla as well as Eagles, by Russell Hartenberger, a WMCT commission premiere. Paul Ennis is the managing editor of The WholeNote. NEW DIRECTIONS IN MUSIC NEW DIRECTIONS IN MUSIC 2021/2022 Love Songs Music that contemplates our place in the universe. Works by Claude Vivier and Christopher Mayo. PREMIERES NOV 19, 2021 Tickets at SEASON SUPPORTERS Koerner Foundation The Mary-Margaret Webb Foundation JB Doherty Family Foundation November and December 2021 | 11

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