7 years ago

Volume 22 Issue 3 - November 2016

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Beat by Beat | Choral

Beat by Beat | Choral Scene Choral Evocations – Films and Literature BRIAN CHANG Movies and music are a match made in heaven. Several fantastic opportunities are coming up in the next few months to enjoy and experience live music set to films. One of my favourite Oscar moments is seeing the nominees for Best Song, Best Score and Best Soundtrack. Music in films can be incredibly impactful. Yet, even a choral singer like me can overlook or miss some of the important sounds and textures being created by compositions, while listening to the music when not able to see it being performed. The Lord of the Rings is one such example and we have a fantastic and unique opportunity to see a Canadian musical team in action for the screening of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring which will be brought to life by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the massed power of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (including me in the tenors!). Ludwig Wicki, who helms the musicians, specializes in the performance of film music and premiered all the LOTR films with live performance of the full soundtrack. All of the TSO live film performances this year are in partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival. The original film soundtrack – by prolific composer Howard Shore, who wrote the music to all of Peter Jackson’s LOTR and The Hobbit films – is quite frankly one of the most exquisite pieces of film music available. For many in my generation the iconic trumpet theme in The Ring Goes South (as the Fellowship marches across the mountains after leaving Rivendell) is instantly recognizable. But it is the choral richness of Shore’s writing that provides the texture and energy that drives this remarkable score. The accented harshness of the Elvish can be found energizing the chase of the Nazgul. There are soft chorales throughout the music that help accentuate important moments (when Gandalf lights the main hall of the Dwarven city Dwarrowdelf, for example). And then there is the ending to the Bridge of Khazad-Dum after Ludwig Wicki Gandalf is lost. The entire previous scene is sounded with accented rhythms from the male voices. These give way as the Fellowship escapes into the sunlight. Soft cellos accompany a rich chorale with a delicate treble voice on a slow, piercing descending line. It is remarkably poignant writing. Rehearsing this section the other day reminded me just how powerful music can be in evoking feelings and emotion. The magic of these performances lies in hearing music with your own ears. Soundtracks are meticulously mixed, balanced and produced to create a specific sound. Often, choral music and the textures of live voices cannot translate very well into recordings. Live, your ears will notice choral lines in places you never would have known: little hidden gems of gentleness or punctuations of energy. It’s a pleasure to learn this music and at the same time engage a brand new understanding and appreciation of it. There are three opportunities to see The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in action: December 1, 2 and 3 at 7:30pm, Roy Thomson Hall. Other film and TV music performances in the coming months include: Itzhak Perlman’s “Cinema Serenade” with the TSO conducted by Peter Oundjian features iconic violin highlights from film scores by Ennio Morricone, John Williams and others, plus Beethoven’s Symphony 7, November 22 at 7:30pm, Roy Thomson Hall. The Sony Centre and Film Concerts Live present E.T. The Extra- Terrestrial live in concert. Hear John Williams’ iconic score performed by the Motion Picture Symphony Orchestra under the baton of LIBBY O’LOGHLIN 22 | November 1, 2016 - December 7, 2016

Kingston Symphony Orchestra music director Evan Mitchell, December 29 and 30 at 7:30pm, Sony Centre. The TSO presents Disney-Pixar’s Ratatouille in concert featuring Michael Giacchino’s Oscar-winning score under the baton of Sarah Hicks, principal conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall at the Minnesota Orchestra, February 18, 2017 at 11:30am and 4pm, Roy Thomson Hall. The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra presents “Music from the Movies,” featuring music from Titanic to The Avengers, under Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, assistant conductor of the KWS, February 24, 2017 at 8pm and February 25, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship 2017 at 2:30pm and 8pm, of the Ring in concert Centre in the Square, Kitchener. The TSO presents Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Special Advent and Christmas Events at Metropolitan United Church Services on Sundays at 11 a.m S unday, December 4 , 1:30 pm Deck the Halls: Downtown Carol Sing with the Metropolitan Silver Band and Organ Donations benefit our Community Services Ministry Sunday, December 18 , 11:00 am Cantata #10 “ My Soul Magnifies the Lord” by J. S. Bach, with the Metropolitan Choir and members of the Talisker Players Sunday, December 18 , 7:00 pm Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols Saturday, December 24 , 5:00 pm Pageant on the Front Steps 11 :00 pm: Christmas Eve Communion Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen Street E .,Toronto 416-363-0331 (ext. 26) Music at Metropolitan 20 TH ANNUAL FREE NOON HOUR CHOIR & ORGAN CONCERTS CHRISTINE BUSH CAMI MUSIC LLC The Annex Singers Luminous seasonal carols & Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit December 17, 2016 7:30pm Grace Church on-the-Hill 300 Lonsdale Road FREE ADMISSION November 1, 2016 - December 7, 2016 | 23

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