6 years ago

Volume 17 Issue 4 - December 2011

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We Are All Music’s

We Are All Music’s ChildrenDecember’s Child Aisslinn NoskyMJ BUELLWho is February’s Child?With roots in The Land of Song, anda dragon tatoo on her right ankle, thissoprano is a match for… the subtlety of a Palej or Berliozsong-cycle (Group of 27);… the ecstasy of Vivaldi’s Juditha(Ensemble Caprice);… the stamina and humour for a TSOoutreach tour (arias, semi-stagedwith props);… the heat of an all-female a cappellaensemble in Svabda – Wedding(Queen of Puddings Music Theatre,June 2011);… four characters and their puppets inCrazy to Kill (Toronto Masque Theatre,November 2011).Think you know who our mysterychild is? Send your best guess provide your mailing addressjust in case your name is drawn!Winners will be selected by randomdraw among correct replies receivedby January 22, 2012.Circa 1981, Ottawa.Violinist aisslinn nosky, fromNanaimo, BC, was a student of Heilwigvon Königslöw at the Nanaimo Conservatorywhen she played her solo debutwith the CBC Vancouver Orchestra at theage of eight. It’s possible she has not stoppedfor breath since.Nosky moved to Toronto by herself, at theage of 15, to study with Lorand Fenyves forfive years, later enrolled at the Glenn GouldProfessional School (Toronto), with summersat the Banff Centre and the Steans Institute(Ravinia Festival).Today, along with solo, chamber and orchestralcommitments across NorthAmerica, Europe and Asia, she isincreasingly in demand as a leaderand concertmaster.Since 2005, Nosky has beenan active member of TafelmusikBaroque Orchestra as an ensemblemember and soloist. Prior toTafelmusik, she was assistant principalsecond violin of the CanadianOpera Company Orchestra, and afrequent guest concertmaster withSymphony Nova Scotia. Noskywas recently named concertmasterof the Handel and Haydn Societyin Boston, a post she took up inSeptember 2011.As co-artistic director ofI FURIOSI Baroque Ensemblefor over a decade (with JuliaWedman, Felix Deak and GabrielleMcLaughlin) Nosky has helpedto bring an increasingly wideraudience to baroque music, withan extraordinarily creativeconcert series. Her other regularchamber commitments includethe Eybler Quartet, the KirbyString Quartet, and The Knights’Chamber Orchestra.Nosky’s astonishing energy andall-embracing musical appetiteresult in after-hours consortingwith bands such as the HiddenCameras, Hunter Valentine andRock Plaza Central.If you could meet the little person in thatchildhood photo … I would like to tell herthat the quality of the time she will spendpracticing violin is more important than thesheer volume of hours;I would ask her to remember to stop andsmell the roses every once in a while.I would also want to warn her that pubertyis going to be a little rough but not to worrytoo much about it because the people aroundher in her life who care for her will really bethere for her.Your absolute earliest musical memory?I don’t remember ever not having musicaround. My mother tells me that from thetime I was a tiny baby I would get quietwhen she put certain records on. Apparentlymy favourite was an LP of Jascha Heifetzplaying the Brahms Violin Concerto withthe Chicago Symphony conducted by FritzReiner. The record literally wore out by thetime I was about eight.When did you first play the violin? I startedviolin lessons sometime between the ages of“I clearly remember when WholeNote started —I used to read it cover to cover dreaming about the daywhen I would get to play some concerts …”three and four.One day I saw a segment on Sesame Streetwhere Itzhak Perlman played the violin. Iinformed my mother, ‘I am going to do thatwhen I grow up.’She asked me if I thought I would like togive it a try before I was totally grown upand I said ‘Sure!’ So off we went to the bigcity of Victoria to pick out a bright shinynew violin.What do you remember about your firstviolin teacher? My very first teacher was anextremely kind lady named Vivian Pritchardwho taught through our community musicschool. My second violin teacher, Heilwigvon Königslöw took over Ms. Pritchard’sstudio of students. I studied with Heilwig foralmost ten years and today she remains oneof my closest friends.All you music teachers out therereading this please know what a positivedifference you are making in the lives ofyoung people!Read the full interview at’s Children gratefully acknowledges Andrea & Michael, Heilwig, Alex, Francine, Sebastian & Geoff, the Eybler Quartet, Tafelmusik, Analekta, I Furiosi Baroque Ensemble.72 thewholenote.comDecember 1 – February 7, 2012

MATTHEW MARIGOLDSEASONAL GREETINGS TOOUR WINNERS!HERE’S WHAT THEY WONThe Sing-Along MESSIAH at MasseyHall is a fine warm-up for seasonalmerry-making (Dec 18, 2pm). MaestroHandel conducts the Tafelmusik BaroqueOrchestra and Choir and guests: KarinaGauvin, Robin Blaze, Rufus Müller, andBrett Polegato. WholeNote readers MaryMcColl and Joan Sayer each win a pairof tickets, and a copy of Tafelmusik’sBEETHOVEN Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8. Noskysays: “I think we bring a roughnessto our interpretation of the Beethovensymphonies which helps highlight howrevolutionary they were—colours andtextures that were almost beyond thecapability of the instruments of the time.It sounds very on the edge to me!” (AN29947) Hell Hath No Fury: I FURIOSIBaroque Ensemble’s second concert ofthe season (Dec10, 8pm), with guestJames Johnstone, harpsichord. Bach,Handel and Corelli, but “Not your averageChristmas concert!” Dare to find outwhy, along with Robert Lescoe, PhoebeCleverley and their guests! Crazy:I FURIOSI’s CD on the Dorian Sonoluminuslabel. The 16th–18th centuryrepertoire diversely reflects the themeof insanity. Liner notes about thecomposers’ twisted lives and times arefascinating. Crazy includes a hauntingencore: Suzanne by Leonard Cohen.With guests James Johnstone, StephanieMartin, Lucas Harris. (DSL-90802.A copy each for Diane Harvey andNancy Martin. Backofen and Mozart:an Eybler Quartet recording —quintetsby virtuoso clarinetist and composerBackofen (contemporary of Mozart), anda Mozart quintet. Nosky: “I really like thisrecording because it features the brilliantplaying of one of my favourite musicians,English clarinetist Jane Booth.”AN29949. A copy each for Myrna Foleyand Julie Goldstein. Aisslinn Nosky’s brand new, self-titled,independently produced recording ofworks for solo violin by Bach, Ysaye andOesterle, will be available in January.Among the first to receive one of alimited number of CDs, Ed Boucher!Pieces in My Handsby William AideOberon PressCanadian pianistWilliam Aide hasspent most of his illustriouscareer as aperformer and teacher.Yet during the past15 years he has publisheda memoir andtwo books of poetry.In this new collectionof poetry he continuesto confront the“habitable pain and pleasure” of life throughthe prism of music. While beguiling us withhis distinctive poetic voice, he creates resonantimages that deepen our relationship withthe music itself.At the heart of this collection are two setsof poems based on large-scale pieces byLiszt and Schumann. B Minor Sonata probesLiszt’s fascination with the Faust legend andits various implications. Aide’s cycle closeswith a moving Coda, which begins:Who’ve lasted through the days and nightsare shriven:The theme of peace bestowed onhumankindRestores benignity, the pact re-signed,With one D sharp, all sinners are tremors, epic myths recede;each pianist plays out of his human needfor abstract music’s deep abyssof meaning.The poems based on Schumann’s Carnavaloffer pithy evocations of the characters thecomposer created in these short pieces. Theyzoom, leap, waltz and laugh, remindingus that “suffering seems unreal once it haspassed.” Each poem in these two cycles isprinted facing a page from the piano scoreon which Aide has scribbled comments suchas, “Love these stentorian BLASTS!”, “Thispage wearies with age …” and “Hard to bearthis note.”Composers like Chopin (as always)and William Byrd, pianists like JaninaFialkowska and Claudio Arrau, painterslike Delacroix and Uccello, and writerslike George Eliot and Günther Grass, along are woven into the fabric of the remainingpoems.The CD included with this book is trulya bonus, since it offers the opportunity tohear the music that means so much to Aideas interpreted by the poet himself. Yetthese poems do stand on their own, able toP A M E L A M A R G L E Sprovoke, amuse, teach and move us quiteapart from the music that inspires them.My Nine Lives: A Memoir of Many Careersin Musicby Leon Fleisher and Anne MidgetteAnchor BooksIt has been almost50 years since pianistLeon Fleisher startedlosing the use of hisright hand. This candidmemoir takes usthrough all the wayshis world fell apartwhile he struggled to was eventually diagnosedas focal dystonia.He kept performing by playing workswritten for the left hand alone, many newlycommissioned by him. He taught, and tookup conducting. But the emotional impact wasdevastating. Yet, after untold experimental found a treatment that worked. Now 83, hehas been performing with two hands for anumber of years.Fleisher offers colourful portraits of someof the remarkable “individuals of strongcharacter” he has worked with over theyears, like Leonard Bernstein and GeorgeSzell, who conducted Fleisher’s legendaryrecordings of the Beethoven concertos. The his beloved teacher, the great pianist ArturSchnabel. But it’s a shame there’s no indexto be able to track down references to allthese musicians, among other things.Over the years, Fleisher has been regularlygiving masterclasses in Toronto at the atechapters he describes how he teaches including Brahms’ Concerto in D Minor andSchubert’s . He offersinsights on what the music is about, and howto communicate that without sounding “as iffeeling were being injected into the music,as through a syringe. You hear that kind ofthing a lot, and it’s ghastly.”There are plenty of funny moments here.But the issues Fleisher is dealing with areserious —physically, emotionally and music- seriously considered killing myself. But Ididn’t kill myself. I stayed alive. And, justas I was stuck with being alive, I was stuckwith my love of music.” This memoir is inspiringand brave, though at times I foundthe breezy tone Fleisher and his co-author,December 1 – February 7, 2012 73

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