8 years ago

Volume 15 Issue 10 - July/August 2010

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Summer SamplingsS I M O

Summer SamplingsS I M O N E D E S I L E T SCanada’s Bechstein Selection CentreYoung Chang Piano GalleryWorld Class Repairsto all musical instruments10 Via Renzo Drive, Richmond Hill(east side of Leslie St., just north of Major Mackenzie Dr.)905.770.52221.800.463.3000cosmomusic.caGambists Margaret Little (left) and Suzie Napper.Thinking of going on an early music treasure hunt this summer?Here are some ideas for you.If your travel boundaries lie within Toronto and the GTA,you could spend the whole summer sampling a variety of styles andgenres in many different programmes:The Italian singer/instrumentalist Viva BiancaLuna Biffi (featuredin the June early music column) presents her one-woman show, “Fermateil Passo,” a programme of Italian frottola in which she sings universaltales of love – its euphoria and torments, its ultimate triumphover adversity – while accompanying herself on the viola d’arco. ThisMusic Mondays concert at the Church of the Holy Trinity takes placeon July 5.Beaches Baroque, a duo made up of baroque violinist GenevièveGilardeau and lutenist Lucas Harris, presents “The Bach/Weiss Sonata.”The featured work is a seven-movement sonata for violin andlute supposedly by Bach, but striking in that the lute part began lifeas a sonata in its own right by Bach’s friend, the virtuoso lutenistLeopold Weiss. As well, more music by Bach, Weiss and Hagen willbe presented, on July 10 at Beaches Presbyterian Church.Hildegard von Bingen’s music broke the boundaries of expressionfor its time, and sounds amazingly modern today. The soaring chantof this 12th-century abbess can be heard on August 8 at the Church ofSaint Mary Magdalene, sung by a group that’s been acclaimed for itsperformances of medieval music and Gregorian chant. The five-voicewomen’s ensemble Schola Magdalena is led by artistic director StephanieMartin.And sprinkled through the ambitious Summer Music in the Gardenprogramme of the Toronto Music Garden – a concert almostevery Sunday and Thursday from now till late September – are thefollowing hour-long programmes, each one featuring a different aspectof early music:July 4: On the day before her Music Mondays concert (describedabove), Viva BiancaLuna Biffi’s imaginative show “Fermate il Passo”can be heard here too, in this lovely outdoor setting.July 15: “In Four Hands, Twenty-Nine Strings,” baroque violinistLinda Melsted and guitarist Terry McKenna explore a whole range ofstyles from the 17th to the 20th century – old English dance tunes, anopera overture, tango and more.August 12: “Inspired by Cremona” presents some of the bold newmusic created to showcase the unsurpassed perfection of the stringedinstruments crafted by 17th-century Italian makers. Music by Farina,Merula and Castello will be performed by baroque violinists PatriciaAhern and Linda Melsted, harpsichordist Borys Medicky and lutenistLucas Harris.August 22: In “Masque of the Garden,” musicians of the TorontoMasque Theatre, actor Derek Boyes and baroque dancer DorotheaVentura celebrate the Music Garden itself, with music and dances thatinspired the six sections of the garden.August 26: “Able was I ere I heard Abel” is a tribute to the 18thcentury’s last great gamba virtuoso, Carl Friedrich Abel. GambistJustin Haynes and baroque cellist Kate Bennett Haynes present musicby Haydn, Schaffrath, and Abel himself.September 2: In “Bach at Dusk,” cellist Winona Zelenka’s six-yearodyssey through the Bach solo cello suites is fulfilled, with her performanceof the Suite in C Minor (which is actually number five inthe set).It’s so easy to “catch the fire” of a summer festival – music springingup in various places, artists and concert-goers sharing the excitementof magical moments – and I urge you to work one or more intoyour summer plans. Here’s some of what you might find in variousSouthern Ontario festivals:July 4: North of Toronto at historic Sharon Temple, Music at Sharonpresents Les Voix Baroques, a celebrated ensemble specializing invocal works from the Renaissance and Baroque. They’ll offer musicby Charpentier and Carissimi in this imposing space.July 18: Northwest of Campbellford, the Westben Festival presentsthe Toronto Consort in their presentation “Shakespeare’s Songbook.”The Consort uses the songs and dances of Shakespeare’s playsto engage the audience in the wonderful world of Elizabethan music:“music for fools, fairies and Falstaff.”July 9-August 1: The Elora Festival takes place in a village with aspectacular setting along the Elora Gorge, north of Guelph. If you go,you’ll be able to hear four early music concerts: choral works withthe Elora Festival Singers and collaborating artists on July 18 (Handeland Vivaldi) and July 22 (The Tudors); the delightfully daring groupI Furiosi on July 24; and “Love: Sacred and Profane” on July 31 – aprogramme of renaissance music presented by Ludus Modalis VocalEnsemble from France.July 16-August 8: At the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound,you can hear concerts as diverse as “Sound the Trumpet” (music for16 THEWHOLENOTE.COMJuly 1 - September 7, 2010

trumpet, soprano and piano by Purcell, Handel, Bach and Scarlatti)on July 29; Bach’s powerful B Minor Mass on July 30; and “Baroqueon the Boat” (a morning concert on the M.V. Chippewa in GeorgianBay with the Festival Winds) on August 6.July 19-August 22: At Stratford Summer Music, gems seem to bemultiplying: Winona Zelenka, having recently recorded all the Bachsolo cello suites, will perform each of them in separate concerts – andas several of these are now sold out, more performances are beingadded as I write. (Zelenka is featured as the cover story in The WholeNote’sJune issue.) As well, Bach’s Coffee Cantata can be enjoyed inthe appropriate setting of a coffee house (August 13, 14 and 15); andfrom it another event has been brewed: “Bawk’s” (alias Tiefenbach’s)Cappuccino Cantata (or The Lonely Barista) can be savoured the followingweek (August 20, 21 and 22).July 24-August 7: If you find yourself in Ottawa this summer, youmust take in some events of the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival. July28: Les Voix Humaines (gambists Susie Napper and Margaret Little)present “Master and Pupil: Sainte-Colombe, the master, and MarinMarais, his pupil”; August 1: Ensemble Caprice explores an unlikelyconnection in “Bach and the Baroque Gypsies”; August 5: HelenePlouffe, Mark Simonds and friends present “Discovering the violad’amore and chalumeau”; August 5: Ludus Modalis perform “SpiritualSongs and Psalms of the Renaissance” with music by Sweelinck,Estocart, Ferrabosco, Costelley and Le Jeune. (This list is not comprehensive,so do check the listings.)As for me, I am enslaved by a gamba and a cat, neither of whomtravels very well; so I’ll probably do most of my concert-going withinthe boundaries of Toronto. But you never know – don’t be surprised ifyou find me at any of the aforementioned events. And may your owntreasure hunt be fascinating!Simone Desilets is a long-time contributor to The WholeNote inseveral capacities, who plays the viola da gamba. She can becontacted at: SeasonJuly 4 toAugust 14it’s never been JUST about the milk!including:blues, country, jazz, Klezmer & classicalmusic plus special appearances byThe Oddville Stage Co.featuring:Milk Trial By Jury *based on the G&S operetta withDonna Ellen Trifunovich, SopranoMitch Smolkin, TenorTickets and further information:symphonyinthebarn.comor 519.369.6773* libretto by David GibbonsJuly 1 - September 7, 2010 THEWHOLENOTE.COM 17

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