Don't miss the next two Toronto Consort presentations!CQNST~NTINQPLEPRESENTS "7\ I1 ·y11 , , AMOR •••"February 8 & 9, at 8 pmThe Toronto Consort is proud to present the renowned Montrealbasedensemble Constantinople which, since its founding in I 998,has earned an international reputation for its unique juxtapositionof medieval music and the living traditions of the Middle East,especially the classical Persian tradition. led by master setarplayer Kiya Tabassian, in "Ay!! Amor.,. " the ensemble weaves atapestry oflovesongsfrom Persia, Armenia, Iberia and the Frenchtrouvere repertoire, with special guest singer and collaboratorFran(:oise Atlan, whose own Judea-Berber roots have given her adeep affinity for Mediterranean singing traditions.www.torontoconsort.orgToward the Centre:MUSIC FQRA MEDIEV~LLABYR!NTHFebruary 29 & March 1, at 8 pmThe medieval labyrinth.found in many of the great Gothiccathedrals of Europe, is a compelling symbol of the journey tothe centre (and back again), of the perils and the path of life,and of beauty. In the Middle Ages pilgrims visiting thelabyrinth danced in this sacred space, and the TorontoConsort has researched this ancient custom to present astunning program of music for the labyrinth: lively medievaldance-songs, sophisticated renaissance polyphony by JosquinDesprez, even music by J.S. Bach!This concert is part of theSacred Spaces, Sacred Circles Arts Festival,a celebration of music and architecture in the Spring of 2008.For Tickets call 416-964-6337Trinity-St. Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor St. WestEarly, Periodby Frank NakashimaDance of the sugar plum bassets?Isn't it interesting how certainmusic becomes memorable orspecial because of the instrumentsused in making it? Ofcourse, this phenomenon isn 'tnecessarily restricted to "earlymusic" although Johann GeorgAlbrechtsberger's Concerto forJaw Harp and Mandolin doescome to mind . Hmmm, maybethat's not such a good example.In some cases, though, one canhardly even imagine the musicbeing played by instrumentsother than the one for which itwas written. Take the use of aceleste in The Dance of theSugar Plum Fairies (fromTchaikovsky's NutcrackerSuite). Can you hear the musicin your mind in any other way?Sigiswald Kuijken (and his viola da spalla)Tafelmusik, February 13'" to 17'"Well , this month could well add to your list of pieces of music indeliblyimprinted with the sound of the unusual instruments you will havethe opportunity of hearing.Apparently, the basset ("little bass") horn, a rare and oddly-shapedinstrument of the clarinet family, had a special place in Mozart'sheart; he admired the magical, other-worldly sound of it. You willhave rare opportunity to hear not just one, but three basset horn playerstogether, performing Mozart's Divertimenti and his Notturnifor BassetHorn Trio and Voices (February 23). Colin Savage, Stephen Fox, andNicolai Tarasov are the basset horn players who will be joined byMichelyn Wright (soprano), Michele DeBoer (soprano), Esteban Cambre(bass-baritone).It's not likely that one would hear a tuba, for instance, playing musicinspired by birds. Alison Melville's recital of Music for the Birds(February 14), using traverso, recorders, and seljefleyte, demonstratesa better-suited combination of music and instrument. Later(February 23), also under Melville's guidance, a multi-media presentation,The Bird Project, the repertoire ranges from medieval to contemporary,with music by Hildegard of Bingen, Messiaen, Bach, vanEyck, Hans Poser & others.During the past ten years, the Montreal-based ensemble, Constantinople,has earned an international reputation for its unique mixing ofEuropean Medieval music and the traditions of the Middle East, especiallythe classical Persian tradition. Led by master setar player KiyaTabassian, this ensemble brings a living tradition of lovesongs fromPersia, Armenia, Iberia as well as the early French trouvere repertoire,with guest singer Frarn;:oise Atlan who is well-known for herfacility with Mediterranean singing traditions. (February 8, 9)Special guest Sigiswald Kuijken, a pioneer of the early music movementas well as Tafelmusik director Jeanne Lamon's violin teacher,offers the Canadian premiere of a Bach suite played on a viola da spalla.What kind of viola is that, you ask? Go find out! Mozart's "Linz"Symphony on period instruments, and Haydn's Symphony No. 82 nicknamed"The Bear" for the growling bass part, promise to make this anevening that changes the way you listen (February 13-17).And let's not forget the voice as a specialized instrument: Musicwritten in the 1600s for virtuoso women singers, specifically for twohigh voices and accompaniment, creates a very luscious texture. Whensoprano Alexa Wing joins Hallie Fishel and John Edwards for a concertof Early Baroque music featuring works by the great ClaudioMonteverdi and by Barbara Strozzi (February 23), you'll hear vocalfireworks unlike that of any other period of music.WWW. THEWHOLENOTE,COM F EB RUARY 1 - M ARCH 7 2008
Staying with the topic (voice):Handel had a special talent forcomposing music for singers,especially opera. These days, wedon't hear music from his operasmuch. However, this month therewill be two opportunities: a showcaseperformance of a forthcomingU ofT Opera Division productionof Handel's Ariodante(February 26); and an Opera inConcert performance of Tamerlanowith singers Lynne McMurtry, Shannon Mercer, Marcelvan Neer, Jenny Cohen, ScottBelluz, and the Aradia Ensembleunder the direction of Kevin Mallon(February 3).U ofT Opera School alumnaShannon MercerAs part of the Sacred Spaces, Sacred Circles Arts Festival, acelebration of music and architecture, the Toronto Consort has createda program of music for a medieval labyrinth (February 29,March 1) with medieval dances and music by Josquin Desprez andJ.S. Bach, all of which was to be found in a sacred space.Meanwhile, the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and ChamberChoir explore the ancient Hebrew poetry of the Song of Songs whichhas inspired glorious music by composers throughout time. Thisconcert, also part of the festival mentioned above, features music byPurcell, Monteverdi, the Bach family, Healey Willan, Arabic musicsung by Egyptian-Canadian vocalist Maryem Tollar, and a new workby Canadian composer Christos Hatzis (March 6-9).Finally, an event that didn't make it into the listings: Membra JesuNastri by Dietrich Buxtehude is yet another rarely-performed choralmasterpiece, actually a cycle of seven cantatas. Nota Bene PeriodOrchestra (www.nbpo.net), in collaboration with the Menno Singers,presents a performance of this work under the leadership ofartistic director, Borys Medicky, and music director, Linda Melsted(March 1 at St. John the Evangelist Church in Kitchener).Frank T. Nakashima (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the President ofthe Toronto Early Music Centre, a non-profit charitable organizationwhich promotes the appreciation of historically-informed performancesof early music www. interlog. coml - temcMusic at MetropolitanPatricia Wright, conductorpresents The PassionAccording to St. Johnby Johann Sebastian BachThe Metropolitan FestivalChoir and OrchestraEric Shaw, Evangelist; Michael Uloth, ChristusLorna MacDonald, sopranoChristina Stelmacovich, mezzo-sopranoDillon Parmer, tenor; Daniel Lichti, baritoneGood Friday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m.CJ. S. Bach's 323rd birthday)Admission: A Metropolitan United Churchr/ \~ 56 Queen Street East at Church Street, TorontoMETROPOLITAN 416-363-0331 ext. 51 www.metunited.orgDESIGNED BY S T E I NWAY & SONS®UNRIVALED IN ITS CLASSUNMATCHED IN VALUESuperb Sound and Performance, UniqueSoundboard Design, Duplex Scale, Longer Sustains,Smoother Breaks and Responsive TouchExperts, Makers and Dealers Since 1890Southwestern Ontario ~ On!J A uthorized SteinwayGallery and Restoration CentreJ d,:;::o,z- ,/'i.