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8 years ago

Volume 4 Issue 3 - November 1998

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • November
  • Theatre
  • Choir
  • Symphony
  • December
  • Performing
  • Classical
  • Arts
  • Musical

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11 { > 1 ;~f~ ,,, ''" c. .c u Buy the Cheapseats pass for only 0, pay only to get into any concert listed on the Cheapseats calendar. Plus, enjoy savings on recordings at the Canadian Music Centre, anQ earn free tickets to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. _ Arraymusic Canadian Electronic Ensemble Canadian Opera Company Composers' Orchestra Continu!Jm Encounters '99 E-sprit Orche'stra Glass Orchestra Hemispheres Music Gallery Music Matrix Music Toronto Music Umbrella New Music Concerts Opera Anonymous Toronto Symphony Orchestra Passes available at the Canadian Music Centre (416) 961-6601 and the Music Gallery ' (416) 204..:1 080 Don't miss the best entertainment deal in the city! THE COMPOSER-COMPANION EXPERIENCE continued from page '11 strong opinion on Philip Glass,, which Jeffrey agreed with wholeheartedly. Good. Our taste was more or less in alignment. The Second piece, L'esprit 'des dunes by Tristan Mural!, sent me rifling through the program notes. Two pages worth on that piece alone! "I think there's an inverse relation," Said Jeffrey when the music ended, "between the length of the program notes and how much you're going to get out of it." He was definitely on to my distractedness, having felt it himself. He thought it was hard to hear how the different elements in the piece related to each other, and noted there was an interesting problem in mixing acoustic and electronic elements (as' this piece did) in that the electronic overpowered the acoustic. Again, I agreed. We ·compared notes onjust what we could (or could not) hear going on.· It was very useful to check my own aural experience against that of a very finely-tuned ear. During intermission we spoke more about music in general. I was surprised to hear that Jeffrey only became iQterested in musicin his late teens, citing a live performance of ·Holst's The Planets as the turning point. "There's nothing like going to a live concert," he ~id, , "where you're surrounded by all this sound. Plus the shared experience of being in the hall. There's so much you simply don't get on a recording." This is _ - something I often forget (under t~e influence of my high-end audio) and I made a 'mental note to attend more concerts. The third piece oil the program, Akira Nishimura's A Mirror of Mist, captivated me from the moment go. "As soon as it started," Jeffrey said afterwards, "I thought I wish I could do that! Anyone here could follow what was going on. And although the parts were very detailed, what you had was a siqtple idea, beautifully executed." We also discussed the piece's wonderful use of register, how the bass seemed to appear and disappear without warning or notice. From the incredible silence in the hall when the piece ended, it was clear the audience had been mesmerised. Truly, this is something you cannot get on a recording - the collective listening experience. , So all in all, I have to report that having your own personal 'composer companion' is a very pleasant indulgence. I · come away wishing I always had someone this we!Hnformed to . trade opinions with, to check what I heard against what they .heard li!ld so on. Music, as it turns out, can be amplified, clarified, or illuminated through conversation. Ro.mnne Snider is a lapsed pianist, music reviewer, sho11 story writer and essayist. Her pieces have appeared in magazines and periodicals in Canada and the U.S. Made in Canada at Massey Hall continued from page 10 soloists move from one to the initiative will run every night other. · throughout the festival. And this will be an Recently, WholeNote sent a occasion to experience the journalist to Esprit's world concert premiere of an "Orient/Occident" programme orchestral suite from the music with a composer companion for Don McKellar's recently ' (see page I I). Her account released film Last Night-- . should inspire readers to book -music by composers Alexina composer guides during the Louie and Alex Pauk working weeks ahead and throughout together. the 1998/99 new music season. TwO'S COMPANY The Canadian Music Centre's See you all at the concerts in "Composer Companions" November! David G.H. Parsons is Ontario regional Director for the Canadian Music Centre Chalmers House, 20 St. Joseph Street, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1J9 Tel: (4I6) 961-4057, Fcq: (416) 961-7198, E-mail: cmcont@interlog.com Website: < www. culturenet. ca/cmcl> TORONTO'S ONLY COMPREHENSIVE MONTHLY CLASSICAL & CONTEMPORARY CONCERT LISTING SOURCE

II USICIANS IN OUR MIDST: . ALAN GASSER, trom page 4 One of the ways Alan is working towards the aim of bringing music into everyday life, is the Echo Women's Choir which he co-directs with his wife, Becca Whitlaw. While most choirs · require prospective members to pass an audition, any woman who wishes can join once she has had an "audience" with the directors. Gasser and Whitlaw's choice of repertoire for the choir includes plenty of "entry level" material, rounds and folk music as well as choral masterpieces. I found the "proof of the pudding in the eating" when I went to an Echo Choir fundraising potluck dinner at the Older.Women's Network Housing Co-op. A few minutes before Alan and Becca arrived the whole room more or le~s spontaneously erupted into song, and later, "grace" in the form of a three-part round was sung before the meal began. I asked Alan why it is important for people to sing and for singing to be an integral part of life. "First", he said, "people like to sing, and many people,. such as the members of Echo, want to be part of a community that makes music together. In a choir everyone gets to express' themselves individually at the same time, without argument. And then there's the question of the neurological-physiological feedback, what happens when you listen carefully and sing at the same time while breathing well and giving it all away, that stimulates the functioning of the entire human organism. But above all," he stresses, "it is the sense of com!Jlunity, of being part of something that you can't do all by yourself, that is so important about singing together with others." It is this communal aspect of Georgian music, not its antiquity (it originated in the 7th century) or its exoticism, that interests him. Alan is probably best known here, for his work with Georgian music, initially with the trio Kavkasia and, more recently, with his choir, ~arbazi, which performs this challenging polyphonic repertoire with energy and total conviction. His connection with Georgian music goes back to his graduate school days in the mid- 1980s in Minneapolis where he heard it performed by the Yale Russian Chorus. He subsequently joined a chorus formed by some Yale alumni in Minneapolis to explore the Georgian musical repertoire. After moving to Canada in the 1980s to study music journalism at McMaster University in Hamilton (and two years later to join the Elmer Iseler Singers in Toronto) he sustained the Georgian connection, performing with the trio, Kavkasia, an offshoot of the Minneapolis group. He has also spent several summers, initially with Kavkasia and in 1997 with eleven members of Darbazi, in the Republic of Georgia, performing and studying the art form at the sourc.e. In 1997 the Georgian Ministry of Culture awarded Alan a Silver Medal in recognition of his contribution to world-wide understanding of Georgian culture. In November Alan and Darbazi will be working intensively in Toronto with three members of the Anchiskhati Church Choir, one of the premier exponents of Georgian liturgical music .in Georgia today. Darbazi, which has sponsored the trio's month long residency in Toronto, is also co-sponsor with Deep Down Productions of Anchiskhati's first CD, which will be released 1 here in November. Darbazi and Anchiskhati, will perform together at the Church of the Holy Trinity on November 21st.. Musi~ians in Our Midst is photographed by Michael Shaw, Ashley & Crippen Photographers 200 Davenport Road, Toronto · (416) 925-2222 ROYAL BAN.K __ 1 999 SEASON CANADA'S · NEWY~S CONCERT afuti. riO fi!~qg~ A Magnificent Re~cr~ation of Vienna's World .famous New Year's Celebration .Friday, Janu~ry 1, 1999 .2:30 PM SYMPHONY CANADA KoNSTANTIN ScHENK Con4uctor (Vienna) l . > > TAMARA TROJAN I?· Soprano (Vienna) GIZELLA WITKOWSKY AND FRIENDS (fonner principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada) Post-Concert Viennese Reception available with V.I.P. seats Call (~16) 872-4255 or visit the Roy Thomson Hall Box Office AI~ CANADA @ ~erEtz ~ SWAROVSKI Presented by Attila Glatz Concert Productions and Roy Thomson Hall Programme and artists are subjeci to change without notice.

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