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Volume 18 Issue 7 - April 2013

  • Text
  • April
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Theatre
  • Arts
  • Choir
  • Symphony
  • Quartet
  • Concerts
  • Singers

Diana Iremashvili

Diana Iremashvili presents an “Evening of World Music” at Yorkville’sHeliconian Hall with Georgian and Russian urban romantic songsand “Russian gypsy” ballads. Featured are the mother and daughtervocal-guitar duet of Diana and Madona Iremashvili, with the addedpunch of Georgian song specialists Andrea Kuzmich (vocals and guitar),Bachi Makharashvili (vocals and panduri), singers Al Hakimovand Shalva Chxaidze, and Leonid Peisaxov on violin. If unusual repertoiresmartly performed is not enough, insiders tell me that a raremulti-flight Georgian organic wine tasting rounds out the evening.It certainly sounds like a worthwhile occasion to revisit this warmsounding1875 carpenter’s gothic board-and-batten church once again.Also on April 6 the Toronto group ten ten performs a concert andalbum release titled “Odori ni Ten” (odori refers to Japanese dance) atthe Robert Gill Theatre. The group features composer Aki Takahashi(shamisen, taiko and voice) and Heidi Chan (fue, taiko and voice).Yoshi Yamano on sitar and the taiko group Nagata Shachu add theirbooming drums to this cross-cultural collaborative.April 11 the prize-winning Argentinian quintet 34 Puñaladas, fourguitarists and a vocalist, appear at Lula Lounge. Among the youngestgeneration of tango bands, they aim to reinterpret and untangle thedark roots of urban tango music from the 1920s and 1930s in genreappropriateguitar arrangements and lyrics often revealing grittythemes of thieves, prostitutes, drugs and the bitter love of the marginalizedPortenos, the natives of Buenos Aires.As mentioned at the outset of the column, April 17 Jorge MiguelFlamenco takes over the Lula Lounge in a program called “Una Vez,Cada Mes.” Torontonian Miguel, a Spanish Canadian guitarist andcomposer, interprets the flamenco tradition through “the fingers,voice and feet” of an ensemble committed to the spirit of flamenco.Also as mentioned, on April 19 Toronto’s Small World Musiclaunches its 11th annual Asian Music Series with Vishwa Mohan Bhattplaying Indian slide guitar and Subhen Chatterjee accompanying ontabla at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre.The Asian Music Series continues May 4 with award-winning RajeevTaranath, sarod soloist, at the Maja Prentic Theatre in Mississauga.From the recently introduced slide guitar here we move to the sarod,an instrument which entered the Hindustani instrumentarium perhapsin the 19th century and was modernized in the 20th. Taranath isone of its leading exponents. Master-student lineage is important inthis music. Taranath is a distinguished disciple of the late sarod masterUstad Ali Akbar Khan (1922–2009) whom I saw give memorable performancesseveral times in Toronto.The Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company’s concert premiereof their production of “Portales” on April 25 to 28 at the Fleck DanceTheatre highlights the multiple intimate relationships that often existbetween social or theatrical dance and music. The performers includeviolinist Chris Church, guitarists Nicolás Hernández and Oscar Lago,singers Naike Ponce and Manuel Soto, and five dancers.April 28, the extraordinary Hungarian group Meszecsinka appearsat Lula Lounge. This Budapest band’s lead singer, Annamária Oláh,sings in six languages: Hungarian, Roma, Bulgarian, Finnish, Englishand Spanish. The band members are natives of Hungary, Bulgariaand Algeria. Together they have forged an exciting, as yet untaggable,musical fusion, rooted in the folk music of the Balkans and CentralEurope, to which they have added Latin, funk, drone, psychedelic and70s experimental jazz musical features.The May 5 “Mouth Music” concert by the Echo Women’s Choir at theChurch of the Holy Trinity, co-conducted by Becca Whitla and AlanGasser, brings my Toronto picks to a close. Dance songs from Bulgaria,Macedonia and Georgia are featured in addition to other works. Theguest vocalist, JUNO-nominated songwriter Maria Dunn who drawson the Anglo-Scottish-Irish folk tradition of storytelling through song,has been compared to Woody Guthrie for incorporating an engagedsocial awareness into her songs.As always, taken as a whole, the results of this monthly amblethrough The WholeNote’s listings, even if described as world music,sound like Canada to me.Andrew Timar is a Toronto musician and music writer.He can be contacted at worldmusic@thewholenote.com.Beat by Beat | Choral SceneFor the Loveof It AllBENJAMIN STEINI’m writing this column on March 18, a year to the day after theunexpected passing of Bruce Kirkpatrick Hill, an event that affectedmany choral singers throughout the city (read my column aboutthis online at thewholenote.com). In honour of a man who lovedchoral music and the choral community, I’m going to dispense withmy usual rants and jokes and get right to as many concerts as possible.Off the top, a nod to a concert that will be overbefore the magazine is out: The TorontoMendelssohn Choir’s “Sacred Music Concert”takes place on Good Friday March 29. Theconcert includes Palestrina’s Missa PapaeMarcelli — likely the composer’s bestknown work — and Allegri’s Miserere.This composition from 17th centuryItaly is a haunting setting of theLatin translation of Psalm 51. Choraland plainchant passages alternatewith a virtuosic solo quartet. As well,Canadian composer Timothy Corlis’Handel in his 40sGod So Loved the World is premieredpainted byhere. Based in Vancouver, Corlis is anPhilippe Mercier.experienced choral singer that has movedon to composition.For those who like Handel’s oratorios (andlike an alternative to that other minor workof his that always gets performed at Christmas),there are two opportunities to hear Solomon, a work written in 1748.It is full of inventive choral writing and has a number of beautifulsolo arias. Oddly, both performances are taking place on the sameweekend of April 20–21. Solomon is performed in Oakville by theMasterworks of Oakville Chorus & Orchestra and in Toronto by thePax Christi Chorale.More Handel in the form of odes, serenades and oratorio chorusescan be heard performed by the virtuoso Tafelmusik ChamberChoir, May 1–5 and 7, in “A Handel Celebration.” This concert will bea terrific opportunity to hear the breadth of expression in Handel’schoral works.For those who would like to hear some choral jazz and gospel thisspring, on April 6, We Are One Jazz Choir performs in Beach UnitedChurch’s monthly series titled Beach Jazz & Reflection. This concertis funded in part by a freewill offering. On April 5 and 6 the YorkUniversity Gospel Choir performs at the Ivan Fecan Theatre at YorkUniversity.PETER MAHONSales Representative416-322-8000pmahon@trebnet.comwww.petermahon.com24 | April 1 – May 7, 2013 thewholenote.com

Paul Halley’s Missa Gaia: Earth Mass is a popular work that hasbeen performed many times since it was composed in 1982. To somedegree Missa Gaia anticipated the focus on environmentalism thatis now part of mainstream social and political discourse, and thathas been made all the more urgent because of the increasing threatof global warming. The work is performed by the students of theCardinal Carter Academy for the Arts on April 3 and 5.On April 13 the Healey Willan Singers present “España” a Latinthemedconcert that includes music by Brazilian composer HeitorVilla-Lobos. Villa-Lobos was a brilliant composer who wrote musicof both flamboyance and depth. This concert includes his MissaAnother late-Romantic setting of the Requiem text takes placeon May 4, when Chorus Niagara performs the Verdi Requiem inSt. Catharines. The opposite of an introspective setting like that ofBrahms, this version when executed well is overwhelming, a sonicforce of nature like an earthquake or volcano. The concert celebratesthe occasion of Chorus Niagara’s 50th anniversary.On May 5 the Echo Women’s Choir presents an eclectic programtitled “Mouth Music” that includes The Road to Canterbury, byAmerican composer Malcolm Dalglish, a setting of Chaucer’s PrologueTafelmusik Chamber Choir.Sao Sabastiao, first performed in 1937. I’m not aware of any recentconcerts of Villa-Lobos’ work, so this is a rare opportunity forTorontonians.On April 20, the Cantores Celestes Women’s Choir presents a concerttitled “The Circle of Days.” This includes Fauré’s Requiem, thepremiere of Belarusian-American Sergey Khvoshchinsky’s settingof Dona Nobis Pacem, and David Hamilton’s The Circle of Days. Theconcert takes place at Runnymede United Church and is a fundraiserto help buy sewing machines and other materials for the Ituna communityin Zambia.If things seem a bit loud in Aurora on April 27, the “Aurora ChoralCelebration” is probably the reason. I count at least five choirs that willbe taking part in this event, which will undoubtedly be fun and lively,and an opportunity to hear many enthusiastic choral singers. Worksinclude Handel’s Ye Boundless Realms of Joy (one of the composer’sChandos Anthems, written for a church setting between 1717 and 1719)and All The Little Rivers by veteran Canadian composer and choralactivist Larry Nickel.This month provides two opportunities to hear Brahms’ renownedGerman Requiem. The Etobicoke Centennial Choir performs it onApril 6 and the Achill Choral Society performs it on April 28 in Colgan.FROM SEA TO SEAWORLD PREMIERE PERFORMANCEfeaturing The Elora Festival SingersMay 12, 2:30 p.m., Fleck Dance TheatreCO-PRODUCED BYNew choral worksby Aaron Jensencelebrating CanadianpoetrySING! WORLD COLLABORATIONS CONCERTLizzy MahasheSuba SankaranExploration andinterweaving ofvocal styles fromacross the globeMay 11, 3:00 p.m., Brigantine RoomCanada's Premier A Cappella Festival – Concerts and Workshops all weekend May 9 to 12Tickets and info at www.SingToronto.comWe acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s Private Radio Broadcasters.thewholenote.com April 1 – May 7, 2013 | 25

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