5 years ago

Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016

  • Text
  • September
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • October
  • Festival
  • Symphony
  • Musical
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre
  • Quartet
  • Volume
Music lover's TIFF (our fifth annual guide to the Toronto International Film Festival); Aix Marks the Spot (how Brexit could impact on operatic co-production); The Unstoppable Howard Cable (an affectionate memoir of a late chapter in the life of of a great Canadian arranger; Kensington Jazz Story (the newest kid on the festival block flexes its muscles). These stories and much more as we say a lingering goodbye to summer and turn to the task, for the 22nd season, of covering the live and recorded music that make Southern Ontario tick.

The eyes have it:

The eyes have it: Jonathan Crow leads TSM in a performance of Beethoven’s Septet impeccably phrased, marked by forward motion, drive and energy. They played up the inherent contrasts in the middle quartet’s first movement, the innocence and aspiration, warmth and solidity of the third and the controlled freneticism of the finale. But the heart of the evening was the third movement of Op.132, a work of naked supplication and beauty transformed into optimistic assertiveness. The feeling of divine well-being has rarely been better expressed. Musically mature, vibrant and uncannily unified in purpose and execution, the youthful players brought passion and grace to the first two movements, took a decisive approach to the fourth and emphasized the rhapsodic character of the finale. TSM’s celebration of chamber music became a showcase for artists like TSO principal oboe Sarah Jeffrey, who showed off her rich tonal palette in Arthur Bliss’ Oboe Quintet Op.44, beaming like a beacon and blending in well with her string collaborators, always with grace. And pianist David Jalbert, who put his string collaborators on his back in Vaughan Williams’ Piano Quintet in C Minor, supporting and coming to the fore as needed in this vigorous, dramatic, sweetly melodic work. Two days later, Jalbert again proved a most conducive collaborator in Salomon’s arrangement of Haydn’s Symphony No.102 in B-Flat Major for keyboard, flute, two violins, viola, cello and double bass. After a rehearsal in which he felt the piano to be overpowering and excessively percussive, Jalbert had a fortepiano brought in for the concert. It made for a terrific sense of ensemble and Jalbert’s passion was contagious. The evening ended with a spirited whirl through Beethoven’s Septet in E-Flat Major Op.20 with Crow in charge, in yet another outlet for his artistry, while Nadina Mackie Jackson’s soulful bassoon provided invaluable support. Jeffrey, Jalbert and Crow were among the more than 20 mentors to the 29 emerging artists who were members of TSM’s Academy. It’s one of the key components of the festival, one which undoubtedly has a lasting effect on all involved. Unable to attend any of the “reGeneration” concerts in which one mentor sat in with academy members for eight chamber music concerts, nor the art of song or chamber concerts by the academy members themselves, I nevertheless did get a sense of the coaching side of the festival in the masterclasses and rehearsal I witnessed. Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke had several revealing ways into the music she was hearing in her masterclass: “You can’t sing Duparc until you’ve lived life and been heart-broken”; and “Art song is not painting a picture, it’s stepping into it.” In an open rehearsal, Dover Quartet first violinist Joel Link spent close to two hours working on the first movement of Sibelius’ Piano Quintet in G Minor, note by note with scrupulous attention to dynamic markings. A naturally inquisitive collaborator, he solicited ideas from his fellows and when he agreed with a suggestion, he would invariably enthuse: “Totally.” Jonathan Crow’s masterclass was intense, generous and informative. Early on, he had so many musical ideas to impart, he spoke quickly so as to get them all out without losing time to have them executed. But he was also sensitive to the young musicians, relating stories of his own student days. When he was about their age, he found himself playing Haydn’s Quartet Op.76 No.3 (“Emperor”) with one of his heroes, Andrew Dawes, then first violinist of the original Orford String Quartet. Dawes used to record much of what he played for learning purposes. Crow had felt the performance had gone well and looked forward to hearing the playback, which turned out to be at an excessively slow speed so that every note was exaggerated. “Jonathan,” Dawes said. “You only did four wiggles of vibrato while I did seven and a half.” Everyone in Walter Hall laughed and Crow pointed out that Dawes was noted for the clarity of his playing. Jason Starr’s Mahler DVDs. Crow returns to his main gig on September 21 when he and the TSO under Peter Oundjian, with guest soprano Renée Fleming, open their new season with Ravel’s lush song cycle Shéhérazade, Italian arias by Puccini and Leoncavallo and songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I. Two days later, Henning Kraggerud is the violin soloist in Sibelius’ majestic Violin Concerto, one of the cornerstones of the repertoire. Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No.2, which drips Romanticism, completes the program. Then, on September 28 and 29, Oundjian conducts what promises to be one of the must-see concerts of the year, Mahler’s Symphony No.3; Jamie Barton, fresh from her JAMES M. IRELAND 22 | September 1, 2016 - October 7, 2016

on period instruments photo: Melissa Sung BERLINER PHILHARMONIKER Sir Simon Rattle, Chief Conductor TUE NOV 15 ◆ 8 PM Boulez: Éclat | Mahler: Symphony No. 7 WED NOV 16 8 PM ◆ Schoenberg: Five Pieces for Orchestra | Webern: Six Pieces for Orchestra Berg: Three Pieces for Orchestra | Brahms: Symphony No. 2 2016-2017 Concert Series begins October 2 4 Concerts: /60/30 phone: 416-769-0952 website: email: Photo: Stephan Rabold FOR TICKETS CALL 416-872-4255 Sponsored by OR VISIT ROYTHOMSON.COM Cathedral Bluffs SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Norman Reintamm Artistic Director/Principal Conductor 1. saturday november 12 8 pm sEasOn OPEnER 2016-2017 Season Bruckner Symphony no. 4 in E flat major Tchaikovsky Suite from Swan Lake 2. saturday december 17 8 pm acclaimed pianist VaLERIE TRYOn TRYPTYCH COnCERT & OPERa Beethoven Leonore Overture no. 3 Mozart Piano Concerto in C, K.467 Menotti Amahl and the Night Visitors Ola GjeilO l uminO us n i G ht F estival Saturday OctOber 15, 2016 - 7:30 pm Yorkminster Park Baptist Church | 3. saturday February 11 8 pm featuring the critically-acclaimed TRYPTYCH COnCERT & OPERa Puccini Capriccio Sinfonico Tchaikovsky Elegy for Strings Puccini Suor Angelica 4. saturday March 11 8 pm Fauré Requiem in D minor, op. 48 Mozart Requiem in D minor UnIVERsITY OF TOROnTO sCaRbOROUGH CaMPUs COnCERT CHOIR saInT JOsEPH’s R.C. CHURCH PaRIsH CHOIR (Hamilton) and GRand RIVER CHORUs (Brantford) 5. saturday May 27 8 pm sEasOn FInaLE featuring Canada’s baLLET JÖRGEn presenting favourites from ballets such as Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and other well-known masterpieces. Subscribe Today & Save! | 416.879.5566 September 1, 2016 - October 7, 2016 | 23

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