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Volume 15 Issue 7 - April 2010

  • Text
  • April
  • Toronto
  • Concerts
  • Choral
  • Choir
  • Quartet
  • Jazz
  • Orchestra
  • Programme
  • Musical

Continuo ContinuesS I M

Continuo ContinuesS I M O N E D E S I L E T SLucas Harris and Boris Medicky ofthe Toronto Continuo Collective.There’s a relatively new organization in town with a uniquepurpose: to celebrate the art of continuo playing. The TorontoContinuo Collective was established in the fall of 2005 by LucasHarris, player of theorbo, lute and Baroque guitar; and Boris Medicky,harpsichordist and organist. Having both worked with the NewYork Continuo Collective, these two musicians saw fertile ground fornurturing this art in Toronto.Continuo is the art of interpreting the accompaniment to a melodyas practised in the Baroque era, starting with a written bass lineand (often but not always)attendant symbols known as“figures.” A good continuoplayer (lutenist, guitarist,keyboardist or harpist) caninterpret the implied harmonies,and also has a handleon the appropriate stylisticelements – ornamentation,word painting, etc. –that make the music expressive,colourful and interesting.This takes some expertise, which the musicians of the TCC areenthusiastically immersed in developing.Of course, having a melody to accompany is a fundamental necessity,so a Singers’ Collective was also created as a parallel workshopfor singers interested in working on Baroque vocal style, technique,gesture etc. These two groups working together have producedseveral staged performances.On the evenings of April 11 and 12 they’ll present the latest intheir projects: a performance of scenes from Cavalli’s 1645 operaDoriclea, along with Italian instrumental music from the same period.With theorbos, lutes, harpsichord, viola da gamba, Baroqueharp, Baroque guitar, a string ensemble and eight singers, they’ll tellstories of the character Doriclea who oscillates between female andmale, along with suitors and foes in love and war.Also on April 11 (in the afternoon, fortunately), there’s a concertperformance by two gamba players I admire, Kate Bennett Haynesand Justin Haynes. They’ll be playing solo repertoire for bass instruments– gorgeous music from early 18th-century France, works byMarais, Barriere and Boismortier. This concert is one of the “MusicallySpeaking” series presented by the Toronto Early Music Centre,an organization whose name is very familiar to me. However, afterthinking about it, I admitted to myself that I have a pretty sketchyidea of what, exactly, the Toronto Early Music Centre does. So Iasked president Frank Nakashima to tell me a bit about the focus ofTEMC’s activities.These are summed up in its mandate: “This non-profit organizationpromotes the appreciation of historically informed performancesof early music in the community through sponsorship of concertsand activities such as lectures, workshops, exhibitions and masterclasseswith visiting and local artists.” It has been active since itsfounding in 1984 – and is more a “centre” in the philosophicalrather than the physical sense. Its role is often behind the scenes:sponsoring and supporting events through organizing venues andadvertising concert appearances.But the TEMC also has a visible component. It hosts the wellknownEarly Music Fair, held at Montgomery’s Inn every September,as well as the TEMC Vocal Circle, which meets once a monthto explore early choral music. And its own concert series, “MusicallySpeaking,” occurs monthly from January to June at Toronto’sChurch of the Holy Trinity.Concerning this series, Nakashima tells me: “We try to make itas inviting and as friendly as possible, not just enticing, but to cre-OpeRAATeliertimeless0910presented bySPARKLING NEWPRODUCTION!W.A. MozartTHE MARRIAGE OFFIGARONew Production SponsorApril 24, 27, 28, 30& May 1 @ 7:30 pmApril 25 @ 3:00 pmElgin Theatre189 Yonge StreetSung in English with English SurtitlesPhoto: Jeannette Lajeunesse Zingg by Bruce Zingeroperaatelier.comTickets from Call Ticketmaster416.872.5555ticketmaster.caUnder 30? Ask about OperatixFeaturingTafelmusikOrchestra14 www.thewholenote.comApril 1 - May 7, 2010

ate a learning environment. These programmes are only one hour inlength, and are meant to provide an opportunity, especially for theuninitiated, to give early music a try. Pay-what-you-can admissionisn’t a big financial risk. I encourage the performers to be interactiveand engaging, with the intent of helping the audience to leave thatconcert having learned something about their music.”Sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.More concerts• April 7 to 11: Tafelmusik violinist Julia Wedman,in collaboration with Earth Day Canada,has conceived the programme “Forces ofNature: An Earth Day Celebration,” taking uson a musical journey with our Earth throughthe course of a single day. Not only music byRameau, Vivaldi, Geminiani, Haydn, Telemannand Buonamente, but also a pre-concert lecture,a gallery of photography and interactive displayswill be available.Julia Wedman.• April 17 & 18: “My mistress has a laugh sweeter than honey…” Thisis just one of the many attributes of women that will be celebratedby the 15-voice a cappella Cantemus Singers in Renaissance poetryand song. This programme is presented on Saturday evening at HopeUnited Church, Danforth and Main; and on Sunday afternoon at theChurch of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Keele and Glenlake.• April 18, in Kitchener: Nota Bene Period Orchestra with their guest,Tactus Vocal Ensemble, presents “Meet you at the Crossroad.” Inrecognition that Easter 2010 marks a crossroad in the calendars ofthe Western and Eastern Orthodox faiths, music celebrating bothtraditions will be explored.• April 23: Sine Nomine Ensemble for Medieval Music presents “Fortoultrageuse et desraisonable depense – Music for medieval feasts andoccasions.” Banquets, weddings, coronations could be lavish affairs,as this selection of music and readings reveal.• April 24: In their final concert of the season, “Songs of the Americas,”Musicians In Ordinary takes us to Latin America and the USAwith songs and guitar solos from the 17th to 19th centuries.• April 24: Scaramella presents “Stylus Phantasticus,” featuringmusic that reveals all kinds of extraordinary harmonic and melodicingenuity, by composers who were not afraid to break a few rules.• May 5 to 8: The Classical Music Consort, directed by Ashiq Aziz,presents “Handel @ St. James.” In this four-concert festival, variousfacets of Handel’s genius are explored in lesser-known solo, chamberand vocal music.There’s a lot more! A brief search through this month’s listingsreveals a string trio version of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, presentedtwice by Trio Accord (April 5 in Waterloo and April 8 in Toronto);Bach organ music played by Philip Fournier (April 17); the PergolesiStabat Mater sung by Cantores Celestes Women’s Choir (April17); recorder duets from the 17th, 18th and 20th centuries played byClaudia Ophardt and Colin Savage (April 8); music by Palestrina,Victoria, Vivaldi – and other treasures for you to find.Simone Desilets is a long-time contributor to The WholeNote inseveral capacities, who plays the viola da gamba. She can becontacted at: earlymusic@thewholenote.com.1 1 3 T H S E A S O N1011MUSIC IN THEAFT E R NOONW O M E N ’ S M U S I C A L C L U B O F T O R O N T OJAMES CAMPBELL, clarinetNEW ZEALAND STRINGQUARTETPAUL STEWART, pianoNOVEMBER 25, 2010 • 1.30 PMLIVIA SOHN, violinGEOFF NUTTALL, violin & violaSTEPHEN PRUTSMAN, pianoOCTOBER 14, 2010 • 1.30 PMDARRETT ZUSKO, piano2009 WMCT CAREER DEVELOPMENT AWARD WINNERFEBRUARY 10, 2011 • 1.30 PMAVIV STRING QUARTETMARCH 10, 2011 • 1.30 PMConcert sponsor: WMCT Centennial FoundationConcerts held atWalter Hall, Edward Johnson Building, Museum SubwayFive concerts for 5Early-bird five concerts available May 1-31, 2010 – $150Limited subscriptions available - don’t be disappointed -subscribe nowFor information and to subscribe call 416-923-7052All artists and programmes are subject to change without notice.RUSSELL BRAUN, baritonePENTAÈDRE WIND QUINTETJOSEPH PETRIC, accordionAPRIL 14, 2011 • 1.30 PMSupport of the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Toronto through the Toronto ArtsCouncil is gratefully acknowledged.PRESENTED BYwmct@wmct.on.ca www.wmct.on.ca 416-923-7052April 1 - May 7, 2010 www.thewholenote.com 15

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