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Volume 18 Issue 2 - October 2012

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • October
  • Choir
  • Arts
  • Jazz
  • Concerts
  • November
  • Theatre
  • Musical
  • Orchestra

Beat by Beat | Choral

Beat by Beat | Choral SceneComing Soon toa Choir Near YouBENJAMIN STEINConductors learn that, in certain situations, to hear a soundexactly when you want it, you must indicate it slightlyahead of time. I’m uneasily contemplatingthis temporal disconnectas I write this column, severaldays before preparing fora big concert I’m conductingand playing in (a chamber performanceof Monteverdi’s 1610Vespers). As I write, the concertis several days in the future, butit will have been over for severalweeks by the time you read this.All of which should allow for aneat segue to an elegant, eruditelittle rumination on the nature ofmusic and our perception of time.But I don’t have any time to writeabout time! I’ve got to practise thisscore. Or rather, last month, justslightly ahead of the time I shouldhave been devoting to this column, Iwas practising a score and ... oh, forgetit. Here are some choral concertscoming up soon, helpfully groupedinto different areas of interest.Requiems: November is the monthfor remembering the CommonwealthNancy Fabiola Herreraperforms La vida breve withthe TSO November 1 and 3.participation in WWI and Canadian choirs often program requiemsfor this time of the year. Here are several of note:On November 3, the Cantabile Chorale of York Region performsEternal Light a requiem setting by British composer Howard Goodall.Goodall’s work has enjoyed a popular reception in his home country,and this particular requiem setting has won an award as well.The Islington United Church Choir performs Fauré’s Requiemon October 28. This piece is always worth a listen. Fauré’s elegant,unaffected writing is a welcome contrast to more bombastic settingsof the requiem text.The Orpheus Choir has transformed itself into one of Toronto’svanguard groups for championing new music. On October 27 theyperform Requiem for Peace by Canadian composer Larry Nickel.Nickel is a Vancouver-based composer who has had works commissionedby many groups, including some of the top west coast chamberPETER MAHONSales Representative416-322-8000pmahon@trebnet.comwww.petermahon.com22 thewholenote.com October 1 – November 7, 2012

choirs. Choir director Robert Cooper is also celebrating his tenth yearas the Orpheus’ director. There will be more about that milestone in afuture column.Opera: Spanish composer Manuel de Falla’s rarely performed oneactopera, La vida breve is being given two concert performancesin a Toronto Symphony Orchestra program featuring the TorontoMendelssohn Choir on November 1 and 3. Falla composed in the firsthalf of the 20th century and his music is a wonderful blend of modernistelements with indigenous Spanish sounds. To hear this worklive is a rare opportunity.The standard judgment of English baroque composer HenryPurcell’s Dido and Aeneas is thatthe music is brilliant — it is — butthat the libretto is weak. I amnot convinced that this is true; Ihave heard singers do subtle andmoving wonders with the text,imbuing the words with perceptionand sorrow. Judge foryourself as the GeorgetownBach Chorale performs a concertversion of this opera onOctober 26 and 27.Opera aria concerts arealways fun, although theyare sometimes criticized forremoving arias from theirdramatic context. I say, whynot? We know that all sopranosdie beautifully, alltenors die bravely, all bassesare evil and all mezzosare seductive. Think I’mwrong? Find out as Brantford’sGrand River Chorus performs “Great Moments fromOpera“ on October 27.Benefit concerts: On November 3 seven Toronto Beach area choirsperform together and separately in a benefit for the East End RefugeeCommittee. On November 4 the Mississauga Choral Society presents“Malawi Benefit Concert: Voicing Our Care,” performing music themedaround social justice and global issues.Liturgical text settings: There is a small Bach choral festival takingplace over the next few weeks. On October 13 the Tallis Choircombines Bach motets with music by German Romantic composerswhose music was inspired by Bach, Brahms, Bruckner, Rheinbergerand Mendelssohn.October 1 – November 7, 2012 thewholenote.com 23

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