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Volume 16 Issue 10 - July/August 2011

  • Text
  • Jazz
  • August
  • Toronto
  • Festival
  • Festivals
  • Quartet
  • Concerts
  • Trio
  • Orchestra
  • Musical

Project1:Layout 1

Project1:Layout 1 6/22/11 4:05 PM Page 1Official SuppliersLead Summer PartnerAugust 5-7 FREEWhat’s Classical?Breaking down the borders of classical musicGuest curated byArt of Time Ensemble’s Andrew Burashko.Highlights:Sarah SleanPerforming with a 21-piece orchestraAn Evening of TangoFeaturing Art of Time Ensembleand QuartangoSteven PageNarrating The Story ofBabar the ElephantFull details are just a scan away.Full schedule:harbourfrontcentre.com 416-973-4000BEST OF OUR BLOGJUNE 19/20ANDREW TIMAR ON THE KRONOS QUARTE AT LUMINATOFor the better part of last week the Kronos Quartet wereresident artists at Toronto’s Luminato Festival. They seemedto be gigging all over town — twice at the RCM’s Koerner Hall,at the Jane Mallett Theatre, at the festival stage in David PecautSquare, and even at a branch of the Toronto Public Library and anelementary school … I listened closely, spoke to some of the performers,took notes and came away mighty impressed.Kronos’ raw stats certainly are impressive. Commissioning over700 works, it has enriched the string quartet repertoire with worksby leading composers such as Tan Dun, Arvo Pärt, George Crumb,Henryk Górecki, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and Terry Riley. It hasreleased over 45 albums and performed all over the world. [But]perhaps Kronos’ most singular achievement has been its dedicationto in-depth collaborations, both with the world’s foremostcomposers as well as with musicians from outside the Westernclassical music mainstream … A short list is as instructive as it ismind-boggling. It includes the Bollywood playback singer AshaBhosle; Ástor Piazzolla; Mexican rockers Café Tacuba; Azerbaijanimugam singer Alim Qasimov; the Romanian gypsy band Taraf deHaidouks; Afgani rubab master Homayun Sakhi; Björk; CanadianInuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq; Modern Jazz Quartet, and theChinese American pipa virtuoso Wu Man. I find it impossible toname another quartet with a more richly accomplished inter-culturaltrack record.Where did the hunger for cultivating creative relationshipswith such a vast range of artists originate? Kronos founder DavidHarrington provided an insight June 11 on the Koerner Hall stage.He told us that as a teen he scoured a map of the world looking forthe geographical sources of the string quartet music he was playing.To his surprise it all appeared to come from one city — Vienna.Harrington began to wonder what music composed in other placesand at other times sounded like.Kronos’ opening show at the Koerner Hall on June 10 set the pacewith a series of works for string quartet followed by a collaborativework … The highlight of the first set for me was the arrangement forviola solo of the alap (introductory movement) from raga MishraBhairavi, originally performed and recorded by the Indian sarangimaster Ram Narayan … In the second half of the concert, AlimQasimov and his ensemble moved to the stage with Kronos. Qasimovand his daughter Fargana are leading exponents of the Azerbaijaniart music tradition, which includes sung poetry, known as mugam.Their resulting work entitled “Rainbow” illustrated Kronos’ collaborativemethodology. The quartet parts were scored by arrangerJacob Garchik referencing the harmonic and melodic language ofRimsky-Korsakov, Bartók and Glass, while Alim Qasimov arrangedfive works from the Azerbaijani repertoire. Kronos’ first violinistDavid Harrington mentioned to the audience that the concert was theresult of 9 months of interactive work. It showed.For me the outstanding aspect of this work was hearing thesearing emotionally charged solo vocal flights of Alim and Farganawhich brought not a few in the audience to tears.PETER MAHONSales Representative416-322-8000pmahon@trebnet.comwww.petermahon.com18 thewholenote.comJuly 1–September 7, 2011

JUNE 20The KronosQuartet’s secondKoerner Hallconcert onJune 11 followedthe same twopartformat asthe first: fiveworks for stringquartet alone,and then a setfeaturing theHomayun Sakhi.guest group ledby the Afghan rubab (plucked lute) virtuoso Homayun Sakhi. Sakhiproved to be at the top of his game rendering all the salient parts ofan exhilarating Afghani version of Purya Kalyan, a raga introducedto Afghanistan by Hindustani musicians … Backstage after the showI overheard Sakhi lightheartedly admonishing his fine tabla player,“I’m going to have to give you a speeding ticket!” Suffice it to saythat there was more than one speedy soloist on the stage that night.I found Kronos Quartet the next day at the Luminato festival stagein a cool and breezy David Pecaut Square. Thanks to the multiplevideo cameras trained on the performers and projected on the largescreen all in the two thousand or so audience could clearly see theboys with their electronic toys, having fun —as were we.I can’t but reflect in retrospect on the peaceful music-filled outdooratmosphere I was part of in downtown Toronto. The same night inVancouver thousands were rioting in the streets, burning, lootingand harming fellow citizens.As David Harrington put it, “I’ve always wanted the string quartetto be vital, and energetic, and alive, and cool, and not afraid to kickass and be absolutely beautiful and ugly if it has to be.”Clearly he’s onto something — right?SN BIANCACONTACTcontemporary musicp r e s e n t sT O R O N T ON E W M U S I CM A R A T H O NS A T U R D A YSEPTEMBER . 3,201112:00PMTO10:00PM,2011YONGE-DUNDAS SQUARETEN HOURS OF FREE MUSIC WITH MORE THAN 50 ARTISTSPERFORMANCES BYDIGUISES THE FLOWERS OF HELL CONTINUUM CONTACTNEW ADVENTURES IN SOUND ART AND MANY MORECanada’s Bechstein Selection CentreYoung Chang Piano GalleryFEATURING THE MUSIC OFDARREN COPELAND KEVIN CRUMP DONNACHA DENNEHYGRAHAM FLETT GREG JARVIS PHILIP GLASS MICHAEL GORDONTERRY RILEY CHRISTOPHER WILLES AND MANY MORECOMMUNITY MARKETPLACE INTERACTIVE SOUND INSTALLATIONSTHE WORLD’S LARGEST ‘IN C’ AND MOREWorld 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.caArtist and marketplace applications still being acceptedMarketplace contact Jill Allen: jill@contactcontemporarymusic.caArtsits contact Jerry Pergolesi: jerry@contactcontemporarymusic.cawww.ContactContemporaryMusic.ca416-902-7010 info@contactcontemporarymusic.caprograms and arists subject to changeJuly 1–September 7, 2011 thewholenote.com 19

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