8 years ago

Volume 20 Issue 4 - December 2014

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ROGER MASTROIANNIDaniil TrifonovLiszt and Janáček.KWCMS’s 40th:The Kitchener-Waterloo ChamberMusic Society hasdesignated the weekof November 28 toDecember 7 to markits considerableachievement. Overthe years the cumulativevolume of talentedperformers who havemade their way to Janand Jean Narveson’shome is astonishingenough, but it is theKWCMS’ penchant forprogramming complete cycle concerts that really makes one sit up andtake notice. [For a glimpse into how they do it, see my October 2013Classical and Beyond column.] Two cycles over the December-Januaryperiod caught my eye: Trio Celeste’s complete traversal of Beethoven’sPiano Trios December 12, 14 and 16; and the scintillating DuoConcertante performing Schubert’s complete music for violin andpiano January 29 and 31. It promises to be an even more musicallysatisfying event than the Beethoven. Schubert’s music in this case isGidon Kremerconsistently of the highest order, charming and melodious; the opportunityto hear all of it should not be missed.Quick PicksDec 6 the prodigious Stewart Goodyear performs Tchaikovsky’s TheNutcracker entirely on the piano joined by dancers from the NationalBallet School of Canada and Ballet Creole, and singers from theToronto Children’s Chorus.Dec 7 two recent Glenn Gould School appointees, celebrated pianistJohn O’Conor and former first cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra,Desmond Hoebig, team up for Beethoven’s serene Cello Sonata No.3 inA Major, Op.69. O’Conor will play a selection of Nocturnes by his Irishcountryman John Field and by Chopin; Yehonatan Berick, CordeliaPaw and Barry Shiffman join them for Schumann’s masterful PianoQuintet in E-flat Major, Op.44.Dec 7 two admirable pianists make their Toronto debut inMooredale Concerts’ “Piano Dialogue.” Wonny Song will playBeethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and David Jalbert Poulenc’s Les soiréesde Nazelles before coming together for duets by Ravel and Schubertand Rachmaninoff’s Suite No.2 in C Major, Op.17 for two pianos.Dec 12 Anastasia Rizikov brings her already considerable 15-yearoldexperience to Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.1 accompanied bySinfonia Toronto before performing a staggering KWCMS solo concertJan 24. Bach, Chopin and Liszt lead in to Mussorgsky’s Pictures atan Exhibition; then after intermission Chopin and Mozart precedeBalakirev’s fiendishly difficult Islamey.Jan 9 Angela Hewitt, the subject of this month’s cover story, isjoined by mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter in a program richin songs by Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Fauré, Debussy andChaminade. Interspersed between them Hewitt will play piano musicby Schubert, Brahms and Chabrier.Jan 14, 15, 17 and 18 mark the beginning of the TSO’s Mozart@259festival curated by Les Violons du Roy’s Bernard Labadie. The impressiveyoung British conductor and keyboardist Matthew Halls leadsthe orchestra in three varied programs showing Mozart’s range as aninstrumental composer.Jan 22 to 25 will see the Montreal Symphony’s Kent Nagano make arare foray into the forest of period instruments as he leads Tafelmusikin performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No.5 in C Minor, Op. 67and his Mass in C Major, Op.67. It will be fascinating to compare thisperformance of the symphony to that in Nagano’s recent recording[reviewed by Richard Haskell in this issue of The WholeNote].Feb 7 Pinchas Zukerman makes his final Toronto appearance asmusic director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in an RTHprogram with two of Brahms’ most beloved concertos. Zukermanis joined by NAC principal cellist Amanda Forsyth for the DoubleConcerto for Violin and Cello in A Minor, Op.102; Yefim Bronfmanis the soloist in the Piano Concerto No.2 in B-flat Major Op. 83, theepitome of 19th century romanticism.Paul Ennis is managing editor of The WholeNote. Hecan be reached at | December 1 2014 - February 7, 2015

Beat by Beat | In With the NewSound Storiesof WaterWENDALYN BARTLEYWith the climateBarbara Croalldebate and pipelineprotestactions heating up, alongwith the coming ofwinter with its potentiallydestructive storms, wecan’t help but feel somethingis stirring of criticalsignificance that can nolonger be ignored. Ourvery survival as a speciesis under threat, as weare well aware. Not jollyholiday thoughts to ponder, I know. However, many movements areunder way pointing towards a green revolution with a commonsorientedeconomy and clean energy sources. One of the major voicesoffering an alternate way comes from the indigenous community witha world view steeped in the traditions of honouring the wisdom of theland and the practices of how to live in a balanced relationship withall creatures and the elemental forces. Music and storytelling is justone of the ways these traditions and knowledge are passed on throughthe generations.Manitoulin Island-born Odawa First Nations composer BarbaraCroall has risen to the challenge of this cultural moment in her newwork titled Manidoog, which translates into English as the spiritbeings who dwell in the waters. In this epic work in ten movements,she weaves together ten traditional stories that speak to the importanceof our right relationship with water. The work was commissionedby Trio d’Argento and will be premiered on December 11 aspart of Music Toronto’s season. I spoke with one of the trio members,flutist Sibylle Marquardt about the work, the upcoming concert, andthe trio’s relationship with Croall.Manidoog opens with a story that summons the presence of theunderwater panther. As the piece progresses stories of different creaturesand beings weave their presence onto the stage: the spirit turtleemerging from the waters; the rising of the Venus morning star; thepregnant skywoman falling through a hole down onto earth; thewinds and a swan catching her as birdcalls fill the air. Stories of theunderworld play an important role as well: music brought forth bythe guardian of the underworld, the mermaids and mermen luringpeople disrespectful of the waters down into the underworld; thetrickster energies of the little people who live in the forest and alongthe river banks; the rising and falling of the giant underworld serpent;and, finally, the protective energy of the thunderbird who flies overthe world and its waters. Overall, this combination creates somethingakin to a visionary narrative highlighting a fundamentally differentway of living in relationship with the spirit of water and all relations.The piece is fully staged with lighting design and the playersmoving from station to station to play out the different charactersof the stories. Croall herself is one of the performers, playing traditionalinstruments and singing and speaking in the Ojibwe language.Trio member Peter Stoll performs on the full family of clarinet instruments,recorder and whistle, while Marquardt performs on the fullrange of flutes. Pianist Anna Romai performs on the keys while Croalljoins her at times playing inside on the piano strings. There is also arecorded soundtrack with environmental sounds to add to the mix.Marquardt has enjoyed a long relationship with Croall, at one timeperforming in Croall’s Ergo Ensemble. She is passionate about December 1 2014 - February 7, 2015 | 21

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