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5 years ago

Volume 2 Issue 5 - February 1997

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • February
  • Yonge
  • Symphony
  • Bloor
  • Recital
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre
  • Gould
  • Performing

Page 4 •

Page 4 • February 1 - March 5 1 997 SEEKING PERFECT SouND 7: Glenn Gould St (Q_ncert ~es I . i I BY FRANK LOCKWOOD As a recording engineer/ producer for classical and acoustic music, I am constantly investigating halls and churches to assess their acoustical characteristics. I will be continuing to share some of what r find with you here in this ongoing series. When I first heard about the construction of the Glenn Gould Studio, back in the days when I was working for CBC Saskatchewan, I was intrigued. What kind of studio would the CBC be building in their flagship installation, and what technical and acoustic wonders would it house to justify its famous name? When I heard that it was going to be a concert hall, I was skeptical. Mter all, wasn't it Glenn Gould who pronounced the death of the concert hall in 1964? Also, as I well knew from my experience recording concerts for broadcast, doesn't the presence of a live audience . compromise the availability and flexibility of the microphone placement, as well as contributing a noise factor that severely compromises the quality of any concert recording? I had these questions on my mind when I spoke to Tom Shipton, the manager of the Gould studio, and someone who, some twenty years ago, had the opportunity to work with Glenn Gould as a music When I asked about the conceptual dissonance of naming a concert hall in Gould's honour, Tom pointed out the liberal use of Gould's When I heard that it was going to be a concert hall, I was skeptical. After all, wasn't it Glenn Gould who pronounce,d the death of the concert hall in 1964? favourite colour- Battleship Grey - throughout the hall. He also suggested that Gould would have conceded the necessity of a large space for the acoustical considerations of recording classical music, and would have been amused by the fact that that each seat is so designed that, when empty, it presents the same amount of acoustic absorption as if a human body were present - in essence, a roomful of people - with nobody there. Given the great pianist's fear of disease, and disdain of public exposure, this would have to be an optimal arrangement. First and foremost, it is a recording studio, and one that is designed primarily for making recordings of Classical Music. The control room ts on the stage at one st members, when present, have no doubt that a recording is taking place. Back when the huge CBC facility on Front Street was in the planning stages, the design team was originally requested to provide two concert halls, one seating 1000 people and the other seating 500. As time progressed, and the budget shrank, a compromise was reached for a single 340 seat auditorium, with superb acoustics, absolute isolation from the noise of the building as well as the surrounding downtown area, and a state-of-the-art recording installation. Since it was built, the studio has had some very minor clranges in its design, namely the carpet running up the aisles to reduce the overall reverberance somewhat, and has seen some modification in the range of music presented and recorded. In addition to the many classical recordings made for broadcast, and for private users, the hall has played host to presentations of comedy, spoken word and jazz. The nature of the acoustic restricts the range of performances that can take place here -anything with a big P.A. and I or a loud drum kit is not suitable - and that is a condition that Tom Shipton sees as entirely satisfactory. "We purposely restricted the range of options See The GOULD, p. 6 Les Coucous Benevoles are forsaking, at least this once, the green and pleasant land of chamber baroque, taking instead to the slippery slopes of 20th century composition. Feb. 28 they present a programme of works by Canadian composer, Christopher Butterfield. Wary of tone clusters pastiche and atonal ditherings? Have no fear. New York Times reviewer Anna Kisselgoff advises, "Run, don't walk to see and (this is the operative word) hear "Ursonate," a tour de force of a performance ... . Butterfield will be joined by his brother, Benjamin Butterfield, in his Five Songs · for 2 Tenors and Percussion. Les Coucous themselves will perform Butterfield's Garden . Truck for amplified clavichord, baroque instruments ~:and, percussion 1 and Flamingo Limo for baroque flute and vibes. TRICORN DILEMMA I'd say about the previous item "This is one not to miss," but you'll have to miss something that night! For one, Elmer Iseler •

(O_ncert ~es Continued from page 4 Singers and the Esprit O.rchestra join forces in a concert titled "Midwinter Songs", featuriJlg American composer, Morton Lauridsen's 1983 ·composition of that name and the Canadian premiere of I Canadian composer, Jose Evangelista's Noche Oscura. The other two wo~ks on the programme are also by C;madians, John Rea's Litaneia and Alexina Louie's Love Songs for a Small Planet. · And another fine Toronto choir, the Exultate Chamber Singers 1 the same evening . presents music "From Far and Wide" all composed by Canadians from the 18th century to' the present. Including works composed or arranged by Derek Holman, Ruth Watson Henderson, Harry Somers, Derek Healey, Keith Bissell and Andrew Ager, the emphasis is on music by living composers. SPEAKING WELL OF THE LIVING · Works by two of Canada's most distinguished women composers, Rqth Watson Henderson ana L.arysa Kuzmenko, will be · . perf9rmed by two different . ensembles this month: on the 14th the Orpheus Choir under its music director, Brainerd Blyd~nTaylor, NORTH TORONTO . INSTITUTE OF MUSIC Inquire about our full day Music/Gymnastics camps in March Break and Summer - Private instruction on most instruments - Instrument rentals - Theory classes - Start any time · 550 Eglinton Avenue East 416~488-2588 February 1 - March 5 1997 • Page ·s years, will be presenting the James Ehnes, and soprano, premiere of a Kuzmenko Karina Gauvin. The program suite written especially for will include Fantasie pour them. · Piano; op. 59, by Canadian ~=-=-=-:=-=-=-=-~-=-=-====-- •composer, Jacques Hetu, WMC, PIANO FORTE commissioned by the WMCT Women's Musical Club of as part of the Club's Toronto was founded 99 · centennial celebrations. Please years ago and is still going see the listings for details. strong, presenting an annual series of daytime concerts by • CONCERT NOTES, p. 6 rising stars, and, every· two to three years since 1988, sponsoring a competition for pianists, violinists and singers on a rotating basis. ROBIN HOWELL This year it's piano; with I Expert Woodwind Larysa Kuvnenko semi-finals and finals performs Shades of Love by February 8 and 9: Eight semi- Repair Ruth Watson Henderson finalists (from 33 entrants) for all Single and dbl. and the chamber music ,will performand the public is ensen1ble, Musica Viva, welcome free of charge. Past · reed instS:, recorders which hlas done a 'four . winn.ers include. 1996 Juno and -period winds concert series for the past 5 nommee, Francme Kaye, . · r-----'.,.._------:;;;;::;~----"----- · ---"-"---==, Set-up; tuning, voicing, @.__~· maintenance and I ·souncf pos:t Canada's String Shop , tli~ violins, violas, cellos, basses repairs and restorations, bow rehajrs strings and· acces~ries music and .recordings educational materials guaranteed lowest pryces "' NEW LOCATION "' 93 Grenville St. (near College/Bay), Toronto phune (416) 971-6990 fax (416) 597-9923 Free Parking * Open Sundays 12 ~ 5 Guitar Lessons • Beginner - Advanced , •All ages • Private Lessons Classical, Flamenco, Jazz, R&B, Theory, Harmony, Conservator) Exam Prep, Taught by Juan Tomas,' B.F.A., O.T.C. Bachelor of Fine Arts(Music), Ontario Teacher's Certificate Composition _ Studied Guitar in Spain • Guitar Performance Recording Artist Composer/Member Orchestra (North York of SOCAN Guitar Ensemble) , Call Juan Tomas, 485-2056 for an appointment restoration done on premises. All work guaranteed. Insurance appraisals. Call for appointment. ·_ 416-534-6538 ·B TRACK Dll:iiTRL • Recordings • On Location ' • CO's & Tapes • Vocal and Instrumental Peter Hercus (905) 631-6938

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