7 years ago

Volume 18 Issue 6 - March 2013

  • Text
  • Toronto
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  • April
  • Arts
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  • Concerts

Waterloo, for the

Waterloo, for the indefatigable Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber MusicSociety, which presents two other March concerts (3 and 10) featuringworks by Russian composers; cellist Bae and pianist Choi perform asa duo in the latter. These KWCMS concerts are noted below in a selectionof Russian picks.The March 20 concert features Ensemble Paramirabo, a versatileand innovative quintet from Montreal. Dedicated to “reserving thelion’s share of their programming to new works,” the ensemble willperform The Rite of Spring, arranged by emerging, Canadian composerKevin Lau. Lau’s Gates of Light , M.Y. Ha’s Fairy Tale and theeponymous Paramirabo, composed by Claude Vivier in 1978, completethe program.More Stravinsky: While it might normally fall under the “In Withthe New” banner, in this case it only makes sense for me to includeArraymusic’s “Stravinsky’s Sphere: The Influence of Igor Stravinsky.”On the March 10 program: a new work by Oesterle, the Canadian premiereof Andriessen’s Life, L’Histoire du Soldat and a player pianoversion of The Rite of Spring by plunderphonics (google it) guru JohnOswald. The Arraymusic Ensemble, with guest violinist Marie Bérard,perform at the Enwave Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, at 3pm.A final hot tip: “Doing Rite by Stravinsky” is the title of pianogreat, Jon Kimura Parker’s April 2 solo piano recital at Flato MarkhamTheatre. Starting at 8pm, Parker will no doubt dazzle as he performshis arrangement of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, along withProkofiev’s Sonata No.3, Op.28, Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in G Minor,Op.23 No.5 and the stirring Pictures at an Exhibition, by Mussorgsky.Miss it and weep!RESIDUAL RUSSIANS PICKS!!March 3 8:00: Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society.Toronto Serenade String Sextet. Rimsky-Korsakov: String Sextet in A;Rubinstein: String Sextet in D Op.97. Waterloo.!!March 7 7:30: Iron Strings Quartet. Iron Strings Plays Tchaikovsky.Smetana: String Quartet No. 1 “From My Life”; Tchaikovsky: StringQuartet No.3 Op.30.!!March 10 8:00: Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society. SooBae, cello, and Winston Choi, piano. Rachmaninoff: Sonata for Celloand Piano; and works by Chan Ka Nin, Piatti and Messiaen.!!March 14 7:30: Trinity College, University of Toronto. MusicThat Speaks To You: Shostakovich – Rumours, Lies, Enigmas andMusic. . Shostakovich: Second Trio. Gryphon Trio; Gary Kulesha,commentator.!!April 5 8:00: Gallery 345. Art of the Piano: Alejandro Vela. Works byProkofiev and Granados.!!April 6 7:30: University of Toronto Faculty of Music. Universityof Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Weinzweig: Symphonic Ode;Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings Op.48; Dvořák: Symphony No.8 in GOp.88. Victor Feldbrill, conductor.QUICK PIAZZOLLA PICKS!!March 3 2:00: Gallery Players of Niagara. Let’s Tango. Works byVilla-Lobos, Piazzolla and Jobim. St. Catharines.!!March 3 3:00: Georgian Bay Symphony. Dance Forms. Byrd:Fantasias; Moulinié: Fantasias; and works by Haydn and Piazzolla.!!March 8 8:00: Aurora Cultural Centre. Great Artist Piano Series:Seiler Piano Trio. Works by Mozart, Schubert and Piazzolla.!!March 8 8:00: Flato Markham Theatre. Tangos: From Gardel toPiazzolla. Romulo Larrea Tango Ensemble; Romulo Larrea, bandoneon/compositions/conductor.Markham.!!March 22 8:00: Gallery 345. Tango Café: An Evening of Music andDance. Contemporary and traditional tangos by Piazzolla, Canaro,DiSarli and others.!!March 26 8:00: Gallery 345. Duo Les Amis – Love: Innocence,Passion, Obsession. Piazzolla: Milonga en re; and works by Yanyuk,Franck, Rota, Frolov and Pepa.Prepare to be amazed! Enjoy!Beat by Beat | Choral SceneThe Torch ofOrpheus?BENJAMIN STEINLast month I argued that classical music’s shift, from culturalpinnacle to just one of many multicultural entertainment options,was a good thing. But classical musicians who love, believe in andmake a living from playing music that has to fight with increasing difficultyfor listeners’ ears and market share, may feel differently. Whatare the challenges for these musicians in a new century?One advocate for this tradition is veteran Canadian conductorRobert Cooper. And one possible solution to the question above isexemplified by Cooper’s work with the Orpheus Choir of Toronto.A tireless musical dynamo, Cooper conducts Chorus Niagara andthe Opera in Concert Chorus as well as the Orpheus Choir. A personalaside: he was the first conductor I sang for, in the TorontoMendelssohn Youth Choir, the youth wing of Canada’s TorontoMendelssohn Choir.My prior experience of music centred around folk guitar andthe Beatles, and my first encounter with choral music, from theRenaissance to the modern era, was both exciting and disorienting.But Cooper was an excellent choral ambassador for me and otheryoung musicians. I remember being struck at the energy of thisdiminutive but authoritative figure who insisted on precision, focusand depth of engagement.Cooper was also for many years the producer of CBC’s ChoralConcert, along with host and fellow conductor Howard Dyck. Betweenthem these musicians introduced the country to the world’s excellentchoirs and promoted the work of Canada’s best ensembles.Cooper celebrates his tenth anniversary as conductor or theOrpheus Choir this year. Asked about his work with Orpheus, hepoints out that the group is for hire as a recording ensemble and canhandle pops and carol concerts — the meat and potatoes of any workingensemble. But Cooper has led the choir towards repertoire thathe finds the most interesting — the lesser-known works of great composersand works by contemporary composers who are a modernextension of that tradition.Modern choral composers have, for the most part, left behind themodernist experiments of the early to mid-20th century and are writingin idioms that extend the possibilities of tonal music, rather thaneschew it. On March 22 the Orpheus Choir performs a double billof two substantial but approachable modern works, English composerHoward Goodall’s Every Purpose Under the Heaven and youngLatvian Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Passion and Resurrection.Goodall has enjoyed a very successful career and is a well-knownchoral personality in Britain. His television lectures on music carry onthe Bernsteinian tradition of using modern technology to educate newPETER MAHONSales Representative416-322-8000pmahon@trebnet.comwww.petermahon.comSharna Searle trained as a musician and lawyer, practised alot more piano than law and is listings editor at The WholeNote.She can be contacted at March 1 – April 7, 2013

generations on musichistory. His music isRobert Cooper.instantly accessible,but challenging to executewell and stylishly.This concert is theCanadian premiere ofEvery Purpose Underthe Heaven, which wasfirst performed in 2011at Westminster Abbey.It was commissionedto commemorate the400th anniversary ofthe King JamesBible, likely themost renownedtranslation ofthis text yet written.While laterversions drewEriks Esenvalds.on more accuratescholarship,the King James isa cultural touchstonethat has drawn and inspired musicians and writers for centuries.The Ešenvalds composition, Passion and Resurrection, is an intensework that blends tonal elements with turbulent rhythms and harmonies.Compared sometimes to the choral works of Arvo Pärt, it seemsto sidestep elements of romantic and modernist musical gesture andcombine instead elements of folk music, Northern European liturgicalchant and an individual spiritual vision. The composer has oftenworked with the Latvian State Choir, considered to be one of the bestchoral ensembles in the world.Howard Goodall.In a nod to theincreasingly importantrole of theatre in choralpresentation, and awelcome change fromthe dry-as-dust concert hall paradigm that we all endured last century,the Orpheus Choir’s rendition of Passion and Resurrection will usesound and lighting design to heighten and enhance the music making.And as an added bonus, the composer himself will also be travelling toToronto to attend the event and give a lecture about his work.Concerts to note: This is the time of year that concerts often takeplace on Good Friday and include requiems and masses. Churchchoirs often marshall their forces for appealing and interesting concerts,many of which have free admission or very reasonable ticketprices. Please have a look in the listings to see what is being offered.Some unusual concerts of note:The Hart House Singers perform Dvořák’s Mass in D on March 17.Admission is free and food donations to the U of T Foodbankare welcome.March 1 – April 7, 2013 25

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