6 years ago

Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016

  • Text
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Choir
  • Jazz
  • Orchestra
  • Symphony
  • Concerts
  • Arts
  • November
  • Musical
In this issue: David Jaeger and Alex Pauk’s most memorable R. Murray Schafer collabs, in this month’s installment of Jaeger’s CBC Radio Two: The Living Legacy; an interview with flutist Claire Chase, who brings new music and mindset to Toronto this month; an investigation into the strange coincidence of three simultaneous Mendelssohn Elijahs this Nov 5; and of course, our annual Blue Pages, a who’s who of southern Ontario’s live music scene- a community as prolific and multifaceted as ever. These and more, as we move full-force into the 2016/17 concert season- all aboard!


FRANK WANG WE ARE ALL MUSIC’S CHILDREN October’s Child Adrian Fung MJ BUELL Canadian cellist Adrian Fung was born in Burlington and grew up in Oakville. His father was an actuary, his mother a concert pianist and later pedagogue. Fung went to Applewood Heights Secondary School and then to McGill University where he studied cello with Antonio Lysy. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory and the Juilliard School’s prestigious Artist Diploma, and an MBA from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. He was recently featured in Fortune magazine’s Best and Brightest Executive MBAs in the Class of 2016. Fung is artistic director of Mooredale Concerts and also the Toronto Symphony’s recently appointed vice-president of innovation. A founding member of the Afiara Quartet, and a winner of numerous awards, Fung has spent ten busy years performing internationally as a solo and chamber musician, collaborating widely and producing a diverse range of print and recorded music. Fung also performs for Concerts in Care (Health Arts Society of Ontario). He has given more than 30 concerts for frail and/or elderly people in long-term care residences who would otherwise no longer have access to live music. Fung is also active as a writer, music educator, artist and rapper. If you could travel back through time is there anything you would like to tell young Adrian? I would want to tell him not to practise the same thing a thousand times, but in a thousand different ways. Your earliest musical memory? I remember hearing my mother practise piano: great works of the Romantic repertoire floated in the air as I drifted in and out of sleep. Where did music fit into your childhood? I actually started studying music at four with piano lessons from my mother. I threw daily temper tantrums at the foot of the instrument. But I remember “composing” a piece on the piano when I was four, with the beguiling technique Adrian Fung lives in North York with his wife, Min- Jeong Koh and little puppy Mochi. His passions include writing and horology. of using two index fingers. I remember pretending there was a volcano and villagers scampering away. Classical music was always on the radio in the car. I remember hearing Handel’s Messiah at church around Christmas time. My mother was very good at taking me to orchestral concerts at both the Toronto Symphony and Hamilton Philharmonic. Why did you begin playing the cello? Accounts differ on why I started playing the cello but the general consensus in the household was that the piano was “not my thing.” My mother wanted me to choose my next instrument and suggested either the violin or cello because you can play in orchestras or ensembles and make friends. I thought the violin was for girls and that the cello was a bassoon – which I still think is such a CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS! HERE’S WHAT THEY WON NEW CONTEST! Who is November’s Child? Ottawa, 1954; he’s already certain that “every note is an event.” ~ ~ Just picture him with a white bow tie! ~ ~ He’ll have a direct hand October 30 in concert, and he’ll be driving Chorus Niagara’s fiery chariot on November 5. ~ ~ Will he tell Orpheus “Don’t sing the darn dots!” in the stories, myths and legends of November? Know our Mystery Child’s name? WIN PRIZES! Send your best guess by October 22, to cool instrument – so I chose the cello. But when my mother turned up with the largest violin I had ever seen, I was initially pretty upset. But perhaps because we had already committed to leasing the instrument, my fate was sealed, for at least a year! And I grew to love the instrument. UPCOMING… In Toronto November 3, 4 and 5 – Art of Time Ensemble; November 6 – Mooredale Concerts. My Spin Cycle project – with Afiara Quartet and Skratch Bastid – is featured in the documentary What Would Beethoven Do? and includes composer Dinuk Wijeratne, Bobby McFerrin and Benjamin Zander. It will screen February 28 at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. At the TSO I’m leading the Canada Mosaic project: a year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th. There are 20 programs commissioned and shared across the nation with over 40 other orchestras, bolstered by a digital microsite and e-learning platform that will help the TSO reach over 8.23 million Canadians. Please read Adrian Fung’s full-length interview at “Noël Coward: A Talent to Amuse,” on November 6 at 3:15pm, is Mooredale Concerts’ cabaret salute to Coward: his fresh, witty, perceptive and touching songs arranged for operatic quartet. Monica Whicher, Norine Burgess, Benjamin Butterfield and Alexander Dobson are joined by Barry Shiffman, violin, Adrian Fung, cello, and John Greer, piano. A pair of tickets each for ALISON SCARROW and TANYA LONG. Beethoven Quartets: the Afiara Quartet loves Beethoven! This double-CD album was recorded in 2012 at the Banff Centre and features three of Beethoven’s greatest masterworks: String Quartet No.7 in F Major Op.59 No.1; String Quartet No.11 in F Minor Op.95; String Quartet No.14 in C-sharp Minor Op.131. A copy goes to MARY-JANE WILSON. Spin Cycle [Centrediscs, 2015] is an innovative conversation between musical worlds! The Afiara Quartet commissioned four young Canadian composers (Kevin Lau, Laura Silberberg, Rob Teehan, and Dinuk Wijeratne) whose new works for string quartet were remixed by renowned DJ Skratch Bastid creating four new solo works for a final collaboration. Wijeratne’s Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems was the 2016 JUNO award winner for Classical Composition of the Year. A copy of Spin Cycle goes to RICHARD SMITH. 56 | October 1, 2016 - November 7, 2016

DISCOVERIES | RECORDINGS REVIEWED DAVID OLDS My first exposure to local mandolin maestro Andrew Collins was through my activities here at The WholeNote – discs by his groups the Foggy Hogtown Boys and Creaking Tree String Quartet. But it was through New Music Concerts that I first had the pleasure of meeting him in 2008. We had been asked to mount a performance of Chris Paul Harman’s Postludio a rovescio for the presentation of the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, and the piece called for mixed ensemble, including both guitar and mandolin. Although we already had an excellent guitarist lined up for the concert, it proved to be quite a challenge to find a mandolin player well-versed in the contemporary techniques and notational complexities of Harman’s score. On a recommendation from trumpeter Stuart Laughton, who had taken mandolin lessons from him, we approached Collins. A very accomplished musician in his own field – bluegrass and any number of roots-based musics – the world of hardcore contemporary composition was definitely outside his comfort zone. But what a trooper! Throughout the rehearsal process, he worked tirelessly and rose admirably to the challenge, to everyone’s satisfaction including his own. I don’t know if that experience sparked an interest in composition per se, but on his latest project, The Andrew Collins Trio – And It Was Good (, we are presented with an eight-part suite by Collins depicting a secular version of the Biblical creation story. The work is scored for the multi-instrumentalists of the trio itself – Collins on mandolin, mandola, mandocello and fiddle, Mike Mezzatesta, mandolin, guitar and fiddle, and James McEleney, double bass and mandocello – plus a traditional string quartet formation provided by the Phantasmagoria String Quartet (John Showman, Trent Freeman, Ben Plotnick and Eric Wright). The suite opens ethereally with Light from the Darkness, gradually moving from plucked harmonics to busy mandolin passages over static colours in the quartet, and then on to a gently lilting melody over shifting, cloudlike accompaniment. Firmaments features high mandolin lines soaring above ostinati from the bass and guitar. The quartet returns in Seed of Its Own Kind accompanying an arpeggiated contrapuntal melody from two mandolins. The suite proceeds through Stars, Sun and Moon, Fish and Fowl (featuring a fiddle duet with quartet accompaniment) and Everything That Creeps (with a pizzicato double stop opening from the bass) before coming to Rest, described as an “open, slow, ballad.” The seven-day creation story does not end there however and, with the eighth track, And It Was Good, culminates in an upbeat, bluegrass celebration with a good time had by all, especially me. This just in: The Andrew Collins Trio is one of five ensembles nominated in the Instrumental Group of the Year category at the Canadian Folk Music Awards for And It Was Good. Concert note: The Andrew Collins Trio launches And It Was Good at Hugh’s Room on Friday October 21. I know where I will be that night! With Dutilleux – Sur le même accord; Les citations; Mystère de l’instant; Timbres, espace, mouvement (SSM1012, Ludovic Morlot and the Seattle Symphony complete the third volume in a survey of orchestral works in a centennial tribute to Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013). Sur le même accord – on the same chord – was written at the request of Anne-Sophie Mutter and first performed in 2002. Described as a nocturne for violin and orchestra, it is in one movement and begins with a statement of the six-note phrase that dominates the work played pizzicato by the soloist accompanied by dark timpani strokes. Although the colour remains dark throughout its ten-minute duration, there are moments of busy excitement with shrill violin glissandi. The young Italian violinist Augustin Hadelich, who has made his home in New York City for the past dozen years, shines as the soloist. Dutilleux was not a prolific composer, working slowly and meticulously, with less than a dozen orchestral works, four chamber pieces and a smattering of piano works and songs in his oeuvre. Les citations for oboe, harpsichord, contrabass and percussion had a long gestation. Originally a one-movement work that did not include the bass, it was composed for the Aldeburgh Festival in 1985 and uses an extended quotation – citation – from festival founder Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes. Dutilleux added a second movement in 1991 at which point the bass was incorporated – reminding us of an early music continuo – as were quotes from French composers Janequin (1485-1558) and Jehan Alain (1911-1940), two Renaissance composers. Whereas the first movement begins with an extended mournful oboe melody, the second opens with a virtuosic harpsichord solo. Dutilleux returned to the work two decades later to make a final version just three years before his death in 2013. Swiss conductor Paul Sacher commissioned some of the most significant works of the 20th century including pieces by Stravinsky, Martinů, Elliott Carter and significantly Bartók’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. One of the last works that Sacher commissioned was Dutilleux’s Mystère de l’instant, which in tribute to Bartók is scored for strings, percussion and the Hungarian cimbalom. The one-movement work is in ten connected sections, the penultimate of which is Metamorphosis (sur le nom SACHER) thus providing a double tribute. Yellow arrows like this point you to … ONLINE LISTENING ROOM While you’re enjoying the CD reviews in this printed magazine you’ll notice that some reviews are sporting L/R a jaunty little yellow arrow. Every arrow like this means that if you visit our ONLINE LISTENING ROOM you’ll find an Enhanced Review for that particular recording where you can CLICK to LISTEN to sample tracks and even CLICK to BUY if you really like the recording. Just to get started, find the CD reviews and ads with the yellow arrows in this issue. Delicious musical appetizers for your ears are ready and waiting for you, along with more than 150 other Enhanced Reviews at October 1, 2016 - November 7, 2016 | 57

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