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Volume 18 Issue 5 - February 2013

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Beat by Beat | Early

Beat by Beat | Early MusicSnowingComposersSIMONE DESILETSHere we are just past the top of the year, and it seems to thiswriter to be snowing composers — so many are represented inthis month’s concerts. Some are not generally well known, sohere’s a bit about five of them that I hope may whet your appetite tohear their music.Pérotin: A man whose life is almost totally obscured by time,Pérotin is believed to have composed for the newly constructed Notre-Dame Cathedral in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. He musthave been hugely affected by the spiritual power of this magnificentedifice, for he wrote monumental works in three- and four-partpolyphony the likes of which had never been heard before. One ofthese, the complex and luminous Sederunt principes, is on ScholaMagdalena’s upcoming program on February 8 at Toronto’s Churchof Saint Mary Magdalene, along with music by Hildegard, plainchant,and newly-composed pieces. This six-voice women’s ensemble willalso be performing at Waterloo’s NUMUS Concerts on February 7.Cavalli: Think of a little boy with a good soprano voice, mentored bya Venetian nobleman who took him to Venice to sing in the cappellaat St. Mark’s Basilica. His life was forever shaped by this early turn ofevents. He worked under the direction of the great Monteverdi, eventuallybecame organist at St. Mark’s, composed sacred music and alsobranched out to write for the stage — 41 operas in all — becoming themost influential composer in the genre of opera in mid-17th centuryVenice. This was Francesco Cavalli, and his music is featured in twopresentations this month: February 15 and 16, the Toronto Consortperforms as an opera in concert The Loves of Apollo and Daphne;February 24, tenor Bud Roach and guests perform sacred motets byCavalli and others as part of TEMC’s Musically Speaking series.Taverner: Scaramella’s “Hartes Ease” (February 9) and CantemusSingers’ “The Virgin Queen” (March 2 and 3) don’t appear at firstglance to have much similarity, but they do have common elements.One of these is the 16th century composer John Taverner.Lincolnshire-born-and -buried, not much else is known about hislife except that he held the position of organist and Master of theChoristers at Christ Church, Oxford; also he is alleged to have been anagent of Cromwell, assisting in Henry VIII’s suppression of the monasteries.But he is forever revered as the one who brought English choralpolyphony of the period to its pinnacle. Viol players also regard himas rather notorious, for a particular sequence of notes on the words“In Nomine Domini” (excerpted from his mass Gloria Tibi Trinitas)that has forever installed itself in viol consort repertoire. You can hearone “In Nomine” by him in Scaramella’s showcasing of four antiqueEnglish viols, which brings together four marvellous musicians toplay them, in a diversity of music both early and modern. Taverner’sSanctus and Benedictus from the Missa “Westron Wynde” is featuredin the 16-voice Cantemus Singers’ performance, along with manymadrigals and church motets.Vincenzo Galilei was the father of the astronomer Galileo. In hisown right he was an important musical figure of the late Renaissance,a lutenist, theorist and composer. He seems to have displayed an interestingmix of progressive thought and backward-looking sentiments:On the one hand, he made substantial discoveries in acoustics, reportedlyinvolving his son in his experiments and encouraging him toapproach scientific research in a practical as well as a theoretical way(who knows how the invention of the telescope would have played outwithout the counsel of Galileo the father?). On the other hand though,Vincenzo condemned modern music and championed the revival ofthe monodic (single melody) singing style of ancient Greece. He is oneof several composers featured in the Musicians In Ordinary’s concert“You Who Hear In These Scattered Rhymes.” Soprano Hallie Fishel andlutenist John Edwards perform baroque settings of great Italian renaissancepoetry on March 2.“The greatest composer you’ve never heard of” is the WindermereString Quartet’s description of Georges Onslow, whose string quintetthey’ll be presenting. Onslow was a contemporary of Beethoven andSchubert, coming from an aristocratic British family but actually bornin France. He “did not mean to become an artist, even less a composer”states a website devoted to him — but obviously he was meantto be one, writing operas, symphonies and much chamber musicand becoming a highly regarded composer in his time. His musicis extremely beautiful and full of inspiration but, alas, has virtuallydisappeared from modern view. On March 3 you can hear a lovelyexample of his work in the Windermere String Quartet’s “The Powerof Five.” Played on period instruments, with guest violist Emily Eng,this is a concert of early 19th century viola quintets — a special, darksound that only two violas can bring.Others!!February 7 to 9: Feeling lately that you’d like to forsake theCanadian cold for a delightful evening in Paris? Well just around thecorner, there’s a cabaret happening with the gaity and sophisticationof Parisian life from medieval times right to the present day. TorontoMasque Theatre presents “Les Roses de la Vie: A Parisian Soirée,” withmusic by Marais, Couperin and more recent composers, also poetry,movement and film. Among the featured performers is acclaimed corporealmime artist Giuseppe Condello.!!February 9: The Academy Concert Series presents “Bach’sBlessings,” in the form of music for solo cello and solo harpsichord,a violin sonata, cantata arias and the complete Wedding Cantata.ThisRCM_WHOLENOTE1/4_4c_Feb__Vconcert features four artists well versed13-01-17in the10:30artAMof historicallyinformed interpretations: soprano Nathalie Paulin,Page 1violinistMARCH 20 & 22, 2013 7PM KOERNER HALLTHE GLENN GOULD SCHOOL OPERADON GIOVANNIThe extraordinary artists of The Glenn Gould School vocal program and theRoyal Conservatory Orchestra stage Don Giovanni in 1960s “Mad Men” style!Uri Mayer, conductor Brahm Goldhammer, artistic directorAshlie Corcoran, director Camellia Koo, designer Kimberly Purtell, lighting designerTICKETS ARE ONLY ! 416.408.0208 www.performance.rcmusic.ca273 BLOOR STREET WEST (BLOOR & AVENUE RD.) TORONTOD&T Davis Charitable Foundation18 February 1 – March 7, 2013

Emily Eng, cellist KerriMcGonigle and harpsichordistLysiane Boulva. Musicians in Ordinary.!!February 9, 12 and16: The Velvet CurtainEnsemble with directorDouglas Rice, orchestraand guest artists presentsPurcell’s operaDido and Aeneas.Among the stated valuesof this group is “tobelieve in our potentialto shape thefuture of our diversecultures and civilizationby bringingstrength and confidenceto future generations whowill endeavor to define humanity through the arts.”!!February 10: In Kitchener, a celebration of food — for the ear andfor the palate, as Nota Bene Baroque presents “If Music Be the Food ofLove...” with food-related music by Schmelzer, Legrenzi, Bernier andothers, and guest soprano Stephanie Kramer.!!February 12: The Musicians In Ordinary are busy people — notonly do they present their regular concert series at Heliconian Hall(March 2, mentioned above) but they are also ensemble-in-residenceat U of T’s St. Michael’s College. In this capacity they present “HailBishop Valentine!” performing love songs from the time of the weddingof Princess Elizabeth, daughter of James I, to Frederick, ElectorPalatine. Guest reader is David Klausner.!!February 21 to 24: “Shrouded in mystery and speculation sinceMozart’s death, the Requiem is a masterpiece for all time ...”begins Tafelmusik’s press release for their next concerts. Mozart’sRequiem features four wonderful soloists: soprano Nathalie Paulin,mezzo Laura Pudwell, tenor Lawrence Wiliford and baritoneNathaniel Watson; the TafelmusikOrchestra and Chamber Choirare directed by Ivars Taurins.!!February 22: Sine NomineEnsemble takes you to medievalIberia, whose musical culturewas greatly influenced by thatof both North Africa and neighbouringEurope. In “MusicaYspanica: Spanish music of pilgrimageand praise” you’ll hearhow some of these colourful influencesmanifested themselves, insongs of courtly love, cantigas inpraise of Mary, sacred music fromthe royal nunnery at Las Huelgasand songs of popular devotion fromSpanish pilgrimage centres.!!March 3: “Out of the depths haveI called unto you, O Lord” beginsPsalm 130, a stunning poem of entreaty that has inspired composersthrough the ages. In “Kaffeemusik,” a concert which seeks to informand enlighten as well as entertain, the Toronto Chamber Choir presentsseveral settings of this text by composers including Schein,Sweelinck, Schütz and Bach.Please consult The WholeNote’s daily listings for details of all these,and others not mentioned.Simone Desilets is a long-time contributor to The WholeNotein several capacities who plays the viola da gamba.She can be contacted at ANNIVERSARYSEASON 2012-13thpresents~E LOVES ofAPOLLO AND DAPHNEFebruary 15 & 16 at 8 pmFrancesco Cavalli was a brilliant composer whoseoperatic masterpieces were the 17th-centuryequivalents of Rossini and Verdi. The Consortpresents the Canadian premiere of Cavalli’s ironicand erotic tale of Apollo’s unrequited love forthe nymph Daphne. Sung in Italian, this opera inconcert features Charles Daniels as Apollo,Katherine Hill as Daphne, Laura Pudwell asVenus and Michele DeBoer as Aurora.For Tickets call 416-964-6337 or order onlinewww.torontoconsort.orgTrinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. WestFebruary 1 – March 7, 2013 19

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