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Volume 17 Issue 6 - March 2012

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Theatre
  • April
  • Arts
  • Musical
  • Orchestra
  • Choir
  • Symphony
  • Violin

well represented this

well represented this month. Fauré’s Requiem, a particularly tenderand introspective setting, is performed by two different choirs:Oriana Women’s Choir on March 3 and the Church of St. NicholasBirchcliffe, March 30. Another requiem setting by a French composer,Maurice Duruflé, can be heard from the Voices ChamberChoir on March 31. The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir performsVaughan Williams’s Mass in G and Martin’s Mass for Double Choiron Good Friday, April 6. On the same evening the MetropolitanFestival Choir performs Bach’s Mass in B Minor, and the GeorgianBay Concert Choir performs Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor.Canadian composer Eleanor Daley’s excellent Requiem is presentedby Mississauga Festival Choir on March 31.To sum up, this month’s concerts, built around memory and thepassage of time, enjoin us to respect the past, so that we may betterunderstand the present and prepare for the future. At least, I thinkthey do. I’d better check my notes …Ben Stein is a Toronto tenor and theorbist. He can be contacted atchoralscene@thewholenote.com. Visit his website at benjaminstein.ca.COASTTO COASTTO COASTMississauga Festival Choir presents a joyfulcelebration of Canada featuring everything fromtraditional sacred to contemporary classics,music from our First Nations and traditionalfolk songs from every regionThe RBC Theatre, Living Arts Centre4141 Living Arts Centre Drive, Mississauga · 2 & 8 pmTickets: Adults: Students/Seniors: Children under 12: Box Office: 905-306-6000or www.livingartscentre.ca05.05.12A Bach Journeysimone desiletsLet me take you on a little journey in Bachian lines. Its outsetwas some 40 years ago, during the days when Melville Cook wasdirector of music at Toronto’s Metropolitan United Church. Itssteps reach right through to this present season, with MetropolitanUnited’s four-concert BachFest.Some readers will remember Metropolitan’s yearly Holy Weekpresentations of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion: the elegant, whitehairedCook at thehelm of double choir,double orchestra andimposing soloists,with the gambistPeggie Sampson atthe centre of it all.These performancesoccurred annuallyfor many years, untilapproximately 1985.The Bachian traditionhas remainedwith Cook’s successor,Patricia Wright.She calls Bach her“heart composer,”and describes thePatricia Wright at thegenesis of thisMetropolitan Casavant.season’s BachFestas very much acontinuation of whathas gone before: “AtMetropolitan, I inherited a Good Friday concert tradition; (underDr. Melville Cook, my predecessor, the St. Matthew Passion wasperformed each year). With financial challenges, we have gone topresenting a major work with orchestra every other year. In my 25years at Metropolitan, we have presented Bach’s St. John Passionfive times and the B Minor Mass three times. Wanting to do the BMinor again was the beginning, and when choir members offered tohelp finance a performance of part of Christmas Oratorio, the ideaof a BachFest took hold. As an organist, I could not resist an organrecital, even though the Metropolitan organ (the largest in Canada,a 1930/98 five-manual Casavant) is a masterpiece of romantic organdesign. Then the idea of an instrumental concert with the evercreativeBenjamin Stein gave us the four-concert BachFest.”Two of these concerts have already taken place: theorbistBenjamin Stein (also WholeNote’s choral columnist) was one of thefeatured artists in February’s “Jam Sessions with Bach,” and thefirst three cantatas of the Christmas Oratorio were presented lastNovember. But the remaining two are imminent: On March 16,Wright will give an all-Bach organ recital entitled “Bach and theKing of Instruments.” On April 6, the Metropolitan Festival Choirand Orchestra, with soloists, will give a Good Friday performanceof Bach’s B Minor Mass.Those Bachian lines also extend down other roads this month. OnMarch 17, the British cellist Colin Carr comes to Koerner Hall fora monumental performance of all six Bach suites for solo cello. OnMarch 18, a recital at Heliconian Hall entitled “Bach Bliss,” presentedby soprano Amy Dodington and oboist Hazel Nevin Newton, featuresthe Wedding Cantata and other music by Bach. On March 25,the Church of St. Simon-the-Apostle with the Canadian SinfoniettaChamber Orchestra will present Bach’s St. John Passion. On April 6in Kitchener, the Grand Philharmonic Choir brings our journey fullcircle, with a performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.22 thewholenote.com March 1 – April 7, 2012Darcy Glionna

INSTRUCTIONIt’s always good to learn from a specialist. Here are some instructive,and no doubt fabulous, events that you can take advantage ofthis month.Conductor, composer and commentator Rob Kapilow has, foryears now, championed the idea that the appreciation of any worthypiece is enhanced by really getting inside it. He has developed aseries of programmes called “What Makes It Great?” which is,in his words, “about listening. Paying attention. Noticing all thefantastic things that might otherwise go by. When you begin to hearthe things that make a piece great, it can spring to life as if you havenever heard it before. We take a piece of great music, tear it apart,put it back together again, and do everything in our power to getinside to see what makes it tick and what makes it great. Then onthe second half of the program we hear the piece performed in itsentirety — hopefully with a new pair of ears.”On March 9, with the help of the Toronto SymphonyOrchestra, he’ll lead the audience to a new appreciation ofnone other than Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Acclaimed violinistJennifer Koh will play the Spring and Summer concertos.Masterclasses can be edifying experiences, not only forthe student performer but also for the auditors. Everyonereceives the benefit of (hopefully) constructive insightsfrom someone who has a life-long dedication to the subject,and more: they are a window into the mind and personalityof the artist/teacher conducting the class. At the RoyalConservatory, masterclasses are free and open to thepublic. Carr, a committed teacher, will give two of them,in the morning and the afternoon of Friday March 16, theday before his Koerner Hall concert. You are encouragedto attend!And, in case you’ve been wondering about that occasionallyunwieldy but beautifully expressive instrument, thebaroque oboe, you have a chance to hear what a masterplayer like John Abberger has to say about it, and also tohear him play it in works by Hotteterre, Telemann andHandel. With collaboration by harpsichordist Sara-AnneChurchill, he’ll acquaint you with the mysteries of his instrumentin Toronto Early Music Centre’s Musically Speaking seriesconcert, “The Art of the Baroque Oboe,” at their new concert space,St. David’s Anglican Church, on March 25.OTHERS• March 11: Have you ever heard a verse set to music and said “Aha,I know that — but it’s different, not the same tune as I’m used tohearing!” At Nota Bene Baroque’s “An English Messiah” concert inKitchener, you’ll be intrigued to hear the Messiah texts masterfullyset to music by … not Handel, but by his great predecessor HenryPurcell. Violinist Stephen Marvin leads the ensemble with specialguest Tactus Vocal Ensemble.• March 17: Lutenist John Edwards and soprano Hallie Fishelcombine their scholarship and talents in the Musicians in Ordinary’slast concert of the season, Sero, sed Serio. “Late, but in earnest”was the motto of one of the most influential British political figuresduring the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I: Robert Cecil, Earlof Salisbury. A patron of music, he supported composers Byrd,Gibbons and Dowland, whose music you’ll hear in this tributeto Cecil.• March 23 and 24: In honour of our winged, furry and watergoingfriends, both actual and mythical, recorder/traverso player AlisonMelville has designed “A Musical Bestiary.” This programmepresented by the Toronto Consort features music from renaissanceEurope, including “The Ape, the Monkey, and Baboon,” “TheCounterpoint of the Animals,” “Le chant des oyseaux” and more!• March 24 and 25: As its title “Viva Italia!” suggests, this concert ofCantemus Singers celebrates Italy with passionate songs and madrigalsas well as religious music of the Renaissance and early Baroque.Songs of love — divine, human and patriotic — by Monteverdi,Vecchi, Gabrieli, Palestrina and others will be featured, as well asthe soaring Miserere by Allegri.• March 27, 29 to 31, April 1: Tafelmusik’s “Choral Spectacular”celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir.Read more about it in this month’s “Choral Scene” beat column byBenjamin Stein.• April 01: Port Rowan, near Long Point on Lake Erie, is thesetting for Arcady’s upcoming “A Baroque Messiah.” This veryactive Southwestern Ontario ensemble often features the music ofits artistic director, Ronald Beckett, and performs a range of earlymusic as well.Simone Desilets is a long-time contributor to The WholeNote inseveral capacities who plays the viola da gamba.She can be contacted at earlymusic@thewholenote.com.Pax Christi Chorale!" !" AnniversarySeason############################$%&&'$%&$ELGAR - THE KINGDOM!"#$#%"&%#'(#)$*+%"('",-.$#/0"+1(#$-")%#&3%+%45*6"9":8";

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