6 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 1 - September 2004

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COVER STORY PETER B 0uNo]IAN rowsing the 04/05 season listings at the February '04 season launch, something had jumped out at me: an April 2005 concert featuring Beeth- May. Very important piece for "The Dance of the world it- me. Beethoven apparently once self. Defiance, wild joy, the wail stated, when asked, that it was of pain, love's transport, utmost oven's Opus 131 String Quartet, arranged for string orchestra by the greatest of all his works. bliss, grief, frenzy, riot, suffer- Certainly it is a remarkable and ing; then lightning flickers, thun- innovative creation, one that will ders growl." He laughs. Oundjian himself. TSO Possibly a nice starting point for a conversation, I thought, because of his career as first violinist with the Tokyo Quartet, a connection with Toronto also BY DAVID PERLMAN 1 spoke with Peter Oundjian in dating back to 1981, when he early August by phone. He was joined them. (They had been home in Weston, Connecticut, "a corning to the city, courtesy bit fried" after a trip from As- Music Toronto, since 1974.) pen, Colorado. "The flight from "There was a big fuss made Denver was fine, but they fly when he joined," recalls Jennifer these ten seaters out of Aspen Taylor, Music Toronto general and prefer to run them full. So manager. "He was fifteen years they cancel on one excuse or younger than the others, and not another till there's a crowd. And Japanese. But they loved him. you wait." He was a very exciting musician, capable of the perfect unison for Wi e'd met previously, which they were renowned, but briefly, at the TSO's also witty enough to set the cat 00415 season launch in among the pigeons, so to speak. February. With much fanfare They were, along with the Jui!- (literal and metaphoric) he had liard, the best; and I'd say in his gone from being "Music Director years with them they were at Designate" to the full-blown, their best. Just this past spring unhedged version of the thing. when the A very Fisher A ward Standing in the wings that day went to the Emerson String was Walter Homburger, who had Quartet, the first time it has gone given Oundjian his first major to an ensemble, the Emerson solo violin appearance, with the said, in accepting, that they TSO in 1981. "I was not inwished it had gone, before them, volved in the selection process to the Tokyo or the Juilliard." for music director," Mr. Hom- Digging a bit deeper after the burger said, "but I'm happy launch, I found the Op.131 again: about it. Peter is not only a gifton the program of his farewell ed musician, but he also is a appearance with the Tokyo String great communicator. I look for- Quartet in Houston Dec 6 1996. ward to many great concerts. " Worth asking about, indeed! G '' ood idea to discuss so, finally, we're talking, 131" he wrote back. and he's quoting, with "It was also on my relish and apparently from last program as Music Director memory, Wagner on the suhject of of Amsterdam Sinfonietta last the final movement of Op. 131. always fascinate us all. Mahler Your comment about the tradewas the one who first suggested off is interesting; gaining enorthat the late quartets of Beethoven mous power by risking intimacy were too powerful for just a and clarity. You learned the string quartet to play; he stated in latter as a chamber musician. 1899, when he took over the Can you salvage it? Vienna Opera, that these pieces would become a part of their In the case of this work, loss of repertoire. He did perform Op. clarity in sound picture can be 95 (not really a late quartet) and balanced by the occasional solo Schubert's Death and the Maiden recitative line. But, face it, clarity but seems never to have tran- in general has not been the scribed or performed the others." strong point of the symphony "I feel strongly that certain quar- orchestra since the late 19th centets work this way and others do tury. You have only to think of not. Many aspects of 131 are overpoweringly huge Mozart strengthened and broadened in the symphonic interpretations as an full string orchestra version, others example. These are generally are perhaps less personal in terms large orchestras with a heavy of sound picture, but that depends style pushing to overpower huge very much on the performance and halls. the choices of the transcriber. I try The way the TSO had to push in to retain the intimacy as much as the old RTH? possible by occasionally using solo voices; and to retain the clarity by Exactly. Right back to my first rehearsing in great detail; and mean- time hearing them in the new while to take full advantage of the hall, I found myself saying to the extraordinary power in moments or strings, you don't have to push. movements that require it, especial- Just play the sound you want. ly in the final movement which Wagner described as "the Dance of the world itself..." There's a longer quote I can give you when we actually talk." Can you say more about the path from chamber violinist to conducting? How do you get from Houston December 6 1996 CONTINUES PAGE 9 f"IDEX OF ADVERTISERS ADAM OSINSKI 41 DR. SARAH MICKELER, CHIROPRACTOR 57 MDDREDALE CONCERTS 42 RCM COMMUNITY SCHOOL 39 TORONTO Att·STAR BIG BAND 49 ALDEBURGH CONNECTION 17 EARSHOT CONCERTS 24,43,46 MUKI BAUM ASSOCIATION 47 REBECCA HAAS 42 T DRONTO CENTRE FOR THE ARTS 14 ALEESA SunoN 57 ELMER ISELER SINGERS 59 Music AT SHARON 2004 47 REMOTE RECORDING/PRB 60 TORONTO CHILDREN'S CHORUS 40 Au CANADIAN JAzz FESTIVAL 29 ESPRIT ORCHESTRA 2 Music GALLERY 27 RETURN TO LEARN 55 T ORDNTO CHORAL SOCIETY 19 AMADEUS CHOIR 20 FELDENKRAIS TRAINING TOR ONTO 57 Music ON THE HILL 43 RICK MALTESE 56 TORONTO MASQUE THEATRE 44 AMICI CHAMBER ENSEMBLE 17 FRIDAYS @ EIGHT 45 MUSlC TORONTO 9,46 ROBERT LOWREY PIANO EXPERTS 21 T ORDNTO MENDELSSOHN CHOIR 19 ARRAYMUSlC 25 GARY ARMSTRONG Wooow1Nos 23 MUSICA 54 Roy THOMSON HALL/MASSEY HALL 3 T DRONTD OPERA REPERTOIRE 32 ARTISAN INSTITUTE OF Music 56 GEORGE HEINL 22 MUSICIANS IN ORDINARY 44 Rom OPERA CANADA 71 TORONTO SENIOR STRINGS 17 ARTS RICHMOND HILL 35 GRACE CHURCH·DN·THE·HILL 21 NADINA MACKIE JACKSON 67 S.R.I. CANADA • CHANDDS 4 T DRDNTD SINFONIETIA 14 ATMA CLASSIDUE 67 GUITAR SOCIETY OF TORONTO 43 NAXDS CANADA 61 S.R.I. CANADA • BRIUIANT CLASSICS 65 T DRDNTD SYMPHONY 69 AVENUE ROAD ARTS SCHOOL 53 HANNAFORD STREET SILVER BAND 12 NEW Music CONCERTS 15 S.R.I. CANADA • HYPERION 63 TORONTO THEATRE ORGAN SOCIETY 13 BAY BLOOR RADIO 72 HARKNETI MUSICAL SERVICES 31 NEW OPERA AND CONCERT CENTRE 33 SALVATION ARMY 47 T ORDNTO WORLD UNITY CHOIR 18 BRASH BRASS 56 HEUCONIAN HALL 57 NEW SCHOOL OF CLASSlCAL VOCAL STUDIES 34 SINFONIA T ORDNTD 11 TRINITY-ST. PAUL'S Urn CHURCH CHOIR 18 CANCLONE 60 I FURIDSI 44 NEWTONBRDDK UNITED CHURCH CHOIR 21 SONGBIRD STUDIOS 40 T YPE:MORRIS 18 CATHEDRAL BLUFFS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 16 INTERNATIONAL TOURING PRODUCTIONS 22 NORTH T DRDNTO INSTITUTE OF Music 38 SouNo PosT 23 UNIVERSITY OF T DRDNTO BDDKSTORE 59 C BC RECORDS 68 JANET CATHERINE DEA 40 NDTESCAPE VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE 28 SOUNDSTREAMS 45 UNIVERSITY OF ToRONTO FAc. OF MuSJc 8 CENTENARY UNITED CHURCH 50 JUBILATE SINGERS 18 OFF CENTRE Music SALON 13 STEFAN MILENKDVICH 43 VAGUIF KERIMOV 32,56 CHRIST CHURCH DEER PARK 29 KATERINA BULAT 5 7 ONT. REG. Music TEACHERS' Ass.'N. 38 SUE CROWE CONNOLLY 56 VIVA VOCE VOICE STUDIO 55 CITY OF T DR.: DANCE AND DANCE·ABILTY 22 KEREKES Music LESSONS 55 OPERA IN CONCERT 33 SUSAN PURDY Music 56 VLADIMIR DOUNIN 54 CITY OF TOR.: EARLY Music FAIR 23 KINGSWAY CONSERVATORY OF Music 37 OPERA YORK 33 SwmwATER Music WEEKEND 53 VOCAL ARTS STUDIO 54 COLLABORATIONS 42 L1sTME.CA 25 DPERA·IS 32 TAFELMUSIK 7 WESTBEN ARTS FESTIVAL THEATRE 48 COSMO Music 37 LONG & Mc0UADE 31 ORPHEUS CHOIR OF T DRDNTO 20 TALLIS CHOIR 18 WHOLENDTE 26,50,53 CREATIVE STRINGS 40 MARK TETREAULT 55 PALESTRINA CHAMBER CHORUS CHOIR 21 TEACHING Music WITH COLOUR 55 WOMEN'S MUSICAL CLUB OF TORONTO 17 DAVE SNIDER Music CENTRE 21 MARKHAM THEATRE 70 Pm1E KELLY 56 TEMC: MERIDTH HAll}SYLVAIN BERGERON 46 WORLD Music ON THE DANFORTH 54 DEER PARK UNITED CHURCH 45 MIKROKOSMDS 61 PETER MAHON 18 TIMOTHY EATON ORCHESTRA 56 WORLDS OF Music T DRDNTO 26 DENISE WILLIAMS 56 MISSISSAUGUA CHORAL SOCIETY 19 PHILIP l. DAVIS LUTHIER 23 TOREADOR Music RECORDING FACILITIES 61 YAMAHA Music SCHOOL 39 6 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM SEPTEMBER 1 - OCTOBER 7 2004

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