8 years ago

Volume 12 - Issue 8 - May 2007

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When the concert's done

When the concert's done ...head east of Yonge for jazzcontinued from page 51Book Shelfby Pamela Marg/esseven) nights a week.What will I hear? AI ,range oflocal musicians,ranging fromtraditional jazz, tobig band to contemporary.Wednesdaynights featureLisa Particelli 'sGirls' Night Outajam sessiongeared specificallyto be vocalistfriendly, and Sundaysfeature aCourthouse Chamber Loungebroader jam session hosted byNorm Marshall Villeneuve.Cover: Varies from show toshow. Check website for details.Menu: Great food, reasonablypriced. This writer recommendsthat whatever you have, you haveit with the sweet potato fries.There is an almost mystifyingnumber of beers to choose from,but Dominion makes it easy byoffering a Tap Sampler special.Atmosphere: Very relaxed.Adjoining rooms to the main barhave pool tables and big screenTVs. On any night you are likelyto find a mix of jazz fans, andneighborhood people looking for abeer and a good meal.4. Courthouse ChamberLounge, 57 Adelaide St. E.www.liveatc·ourthouse.comConceived by Patrick Taylor andNick di Donato, the Courthouse isthe newest addition to Toronto'sjazz club scene.What Will I Hear? A huge rangeof local and out of town guests,playing a range of jazz includingbebop, swing, fusion, latin andblues.Cover: Varies from show toshow. Check website for details.Menu: The entree menu includeseverything from lamb satay andhome made burgers, to poutine,goats cheese and Portobellofrittes, and runs from .Atmosphere: High sweepingceilings and two levels of seatinggive the room a grand, classy feel.The calibre of musicianshiponstage is enough to inspireserious listening, but the room isbig enough to allow for conversation.Please note, this venue is19+.60~~~ .';!r2o&:5. Boiler House (Distillery),55 Mill St.www.boilerhouse.caLocated in the historic DistilleryDistrict, the Boiler House, withits high ceilings and multi-leveldining areas can accommodateevents for up to 700 people. Italso features live jazz Thursdaythrough Saturday nights as wellas a jazz brunch on Sundays, allbooked by music director,Grammy nominated trumpeterand vocalist Kevin Clark.What will I hear? A range of localtalents - this month, performanceswill include Kevin Clark, Tonino,and their Jazz Masters series, withRoss Wooldridge, Pat LaBarberaand Terry Promane.Cover: None.Menu: Executive chef JasonRosso has put together twomenus- one for dinner and one forbrunch. Dinner entrees range fromaround - and offer a rangeof dishes in the vein of wildmushroom and roasted eggplantcannelloni or northern venison.The brunch menu has somethingto suit just about anyone.Atmosphere: While you can hearthe band throughout the restaurant,you should specify if youwant to be able to see, given thesize of the room. High ceilingsand wood paneling give the rooma classy feel.Finally ... A couple of othervenues to visit in the neighbourhoodinclude C'est What (67Front St. E. the Hot House Cafe (locatedin Market Square), both of whichalso offer-live music!Next month we'll broaden oursweep to the horse-shoe aroundthe downtown core.Diagnosing Genius: The Lifeand Death of Beethovenby Fran~ois Martin MaiForewbrd by Anton KuertiMcGill-Queen's University Press288 pages, photos and tables;.95WWW. THEWHOLEN.OTE.COMHow could Beethoven composesuch sublime, serene, and meaningfulmusic when 'his body waswracked with illness'? In DiagnosingGenius, Canadian psychiatristFrancois Martin Mai exploresthe effects of Beethoven'shearing loss. 'With the courageof genius,' writes Mai, 'heturned his crisis into an opportunityand a challenge.'But it wasn't just his hearing.Mai looks at the surprisinglycopious material evidence available,including doctors' recordsand analyses of Beethoven's hair,to examine Beethoven's varioushealth problems. On top of - orbecause of - his serious physicalailments, he suffered from depression,anxiety, anger andinsomnia. Mai concludes that heprobably had bipolar disorder.'I was on the point of putting anend to my life - The only thingthat held me back was my art. 'So wrote Beethoven in theshattering Heilegenstadt Testament,which Mai rightly treats ascentral to his study. If Beethoven's'prodigious energy','soaring spirit', and ability tointernalize his music helped himdeal with his deafness, the innerpeace he was able to find in hismusic helped him overcome thedifficulties of his various otherdiseases.By delving so deeply intoBeethoven's physical state, andits relationship to his psychologicalstate, Mai, who is also apianist, is able to offer freshinsights into the music. In theprocess, he provides a fascinatingglimpse into the complex relationshipbetween illness and creativity.Lorenzo Da Ponte: The Adventuresof Mozart's Librettistin the Old and New Worldsby Rodney BoltBloomsburyThe thought that the librettist ofThe Marriage of Figaro, DonGiovanni and Cosl fan Tutte endedup running a grocery store in NewYork City seems like fiction. Infact Lorenzo Da Ponte' s entirelife, in Rodney Bolt's lively narrative,could be read as novel if itweren't for the detailed notes,bibliography and index at the end.There actually exists plenty ofdocumentary evidence on Da Ponte's life, including his own memoirs,although Bolt takes pains toshow how unreliable and selfservingthey are.Da Ponte lived a very long life- he died in 1838 at age eightynine.Throughout, he showed asingular ability to 'tum gold todust'. Bolt blames this on hisobsessive self-absorption. Hespent his life getting in and out oftrouble over women, money orpolitics. 'There was somethingpreternatural about Da Ponte' scharm,' writes Bolt. 'No matterthe scurrilities of which he mightbe suspect, in spite of his impetuousness,petty arrogance and attimes infuriating manner, personafter person melted to his allure.'He was born Jewish, but convertedto Christianity as a boy.Although he was ordained as apriest, he had many affairs, andeven married. But he followed hisown principles no matter what theconsequences. His librettos forMozart are, in fact, remarkable fortheir profound humanity.Bolt quotes an early draft of thememoirs, where Da Ponte wrote,'I think that poetry is the door tomusic.' If only there were moreevidence about how Da Ponte andMozart worked with each otherand 'delicately stitched the comicand serious together' to producethose three masterpieces ..MAY 1 - JUNE 7 2007

Brass Scholarship in Review:Proceedings of the Historic BrassSociety Conferenceedited by Stewart CarterPendragon Press316 pages, illustrated; .00In 1999, musicologists, performers,museum curators, even anorthodontist and a mathematiciangot together in Paris to explorevarious aspects of historical brassinstruments and their players.This collection of papers documentsthat meeting.The title may be unprepossessing,but the contents are thoroughlyengaging. There's a report on apresentation by British conductorAndrew Parrott, who is in Torontothis month to conduct Opera Atelier'sproduction of Gluck's Orpheus andEurydice. He discusses howrecordings provide a 'catalyst fornew ideas' and allow lesserknownrepertoire and performersto be heard around the world.There is a call for the developmentof an 'ergonomic mouthpiece',since the most comfortableposition for the player is notoften the one that produces thebest sound. Topics include howthe once-popular comet prettywell disappeared from the repertoireduring the 19th .century; andwhy, given how popular AdolphSax's instruments like the saxophonewere in his day, none havebecome permanent members of theorchestra. Robert Philip discussesthe globalization of sound, withthe loss of distinctive nationalcharacteristics like the 'extraordinarilywild vibrant brayingsound' of Russian brass hearaon early recordings.There are wonderful illustrations,and, fortunately, an index.As the use of period instrumentsbecomes more and more influentialon performance practicestoday, this book offers numerousfascinating ways to approach thesubject of brass instruments asthey were before our time.Outsider: John RockwellOn the Arts, 1967 - 2006by John RockwellLimelight Editions567 pages, .95John Rockwell holds a singularposition among music critics. Asone who aims to 'blur the divisions'between different artforms, he gets accused of beingtoo egalitarian. Yet he also getscalled an elitist. In any case, thisselection from his critical writingson classical music, pop,rock, dance, theatre, art, film,books and 'all manner of indefinablecross-genre performance'makes it clear that he is neither.Rockwell wrote appreciativelyabout John Adams, Philip Glass,Peter Sellars, Mark Morris, andRobert Wilson long before theybecame icons. He saw the vitalimportance of Shostakovich to 20thcentury music before it becamegenerally accepted. At the sametime he was praising Linda Ronstadt,Meredith Monk and AndrewLloyd Webber. He treatsrock music as a profoundly significantart form.This selection covers articles fromthe past forty years, mostly writtenfor the New York Times. For somepieces Rockwell has added a preface,calling Herbert von Karajan andMorton Feldman in Heaven, from1989, 'maybe my favorite.'Rockwell favours clarity andpungency over wit or didacticism.But he is a stylish writer. He hasno axe to grind, beyond· searchingout 'intensity of feeling and passion'.He will even report theenthusiasm of the audience at aconcert he wasn't crazy about, asin his review of Astor Piazollafrom 1989.He seems to be more interestedin the art itself than the people whomake it. Writing about his experiencein Friedelinde Wagner's masterclassin Bayreuth in 1965, hesurely .could have come up withmore details about this odd, fascinatingwoman herself. But he's atrustworthy companion, and thiscollection offers a valuable look atthe culture of the times we haverecently lived through.John Rockwell moderates a conversationwith Philip Glass andLeonard Cohen in Toronto, 2pmon June 2 in the Winter GardenTheatre.SMALL W.RLDpresentsA CD release concertfor; Kiron Ahluwaria's WanderlustTimes Square FQT-CD;. 1802Saturday, May 1~. 8:00 p.m .. Enwave Theatre231 Queen's Quay West416-973-4000Wcmderlust will be availablein stores from May 8.M AY 1 - J UNE 7 2007WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM

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