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Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017

  • Text
  • December
  • Toronto
  • Arts
  • January
  • Symphony
  • February
  • Jazz
  • Performing
  • Choir
  • Orchestra
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  • Thewholenote.com
In this issue: a conversation with pianist Stewart Goodyear, in advance of his upcoming show at Koerner Hall; a preview of the annual New Year’s phenomenon that is Bravissimo!/Salute to Vienna; an inside look at music performance in Toronto’s health-care centres; and a reflection on the incredible life and lasting influence of the late Pauline Oliveros. These and more, in a special December/January combined issue!

Singing Along with Herr

Singing Along with Herr Handel HEATHER WRIGHT For the last 25 years, my favourite day of the year has been the last Sunday before Christmas. That is the day when, along with thousands of other choral enthusiasts, and conducted by George Frideric Handel himself, I get to sing the wondrous choruses of the Messiah. Herr Handel (Ivars Taurins) The first time I participated in the sing-along, I was eight months pregnant with our first son. I like to think that his musicality and perfect pitch owe something to this first concert experience, albeit in utero. That first time I went by myself, but over the years I have gone with many others, settling over the last decade into a pattern with a treasured friend with whom I regularly sing classical duets. For the past three years, I have had the added pleasure of initiating my daughter-in-law and my granddaughters into this wonderful tradition. Indescribable pleasures of the sing-along: the soloists, the other singers, the wonderful period instruments used by the Tafelmusik players, their beautiful playing of this amazing piece of music, and the thrill of singing it together, culminating with the exhilaration of the Hallelujah chorus. Even the line-up in the cold outside Massey Hall manages to beguile. Everyone is in high spirits, ready to launch into rousing song once in the warmth of the hall. And those of us who have been doing it for decades know how to dress and when to come…. But, for me, Herr Handel himself (Ivars Taurins), alone, is worth the planning, the lining-up, the practising and then singing the hard soprano runs. I believe in his performance. It manages to take us back to that first performance of Messiah in 1742, to live the extraordinary power of the music, while also offering satiric glances at the topical issues du jour. For one afternoon, every year, on the stage of one of the best concert halls in the world, George Frideric Handel lives and transports us to a celestial realm with a comic dimension. Heather Wright, a civil servant working for the Government of Ontario, is a WholeNote reader who loves to sing. For more on Handel’s Messiah in this, and other, productions, see Choral Scene on page 30. Beat by Beat | Classical & Beyond Life-Changing Musical Moments PAUL ENNIS Charles Richard-Hamelin It is said that making your mark in a prestigious international competition changes your life and for Charles Richard-Hamelin that is exactly what happened when he was 25. “There is something magical about this legendary hall [Warsaw Philharmonic Hall] that somehow made it possible for me to be myself on stage, and be able to say what I wanted to say, at least most of the time,” he wrote on the Scene and Heard International website. Richard-Hamelin won the silver medal at the International Chopin Piano Competition in 2015 as well as the Krystian Zimerman Prize for best performance of a sonata and his career took off. “This silver medal was of course incredibly unexpected and has single-handedly changed my whole life,” he said. “I’ve never performed professionally outside of Canada before the Chopin and now I have confirmed engagements in Canada, the USA, Poland, France, Spain, Mexico, Japan and South Korea.” By May 2016 when he spoke to Yves Leclerc (Journal de Québec) he had already given 40 concerts that calendar year with 40 more to come. One of those concerts is his upcoming Sinfonia Toronto performance, December 9, of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23 in A Major K488 conducted by Nurhan Arman. The pattern continues in 2017 when he joins Christian Reif and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony January 13 and 14 for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.20 in D Minor K466. The following evening he gives a recital for the Kitchener- Waterloo Chamber Music Society that mirrors most of the repertoire Analekta captured on the CD of his May 2016 Quebec City concert – two Beethoven Rondos, Enescu’s Suite No.2 and Chopin’s “Heroic” Polonaise No.6. There his playing sparkled, his confidence was clearly evident, his musicianship mature and engaging. “I love this new life, even if it is a bit tiring,” he said to Leclerc. “I am not in a position, however, where I can afford to refuse offers that arrive on my table. This is what will enable me to secure a future abroad. I have contracts for the next two years and we will see if it will continue and open doors.” A mere five months before his Chopin Competition success, he was awarded the prestigious Career Development Award by the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto. That venerable institution will reap the benefits of their prescience when Richard-Hamelin returns May 4, 2017, for his first Toronto solo recital since winning the Chopin Competition prizes. Isabelle Faust and the Mozart @ 261 Festival. When German violinist Isabelle Faust was 11, she played in a string quartet. “That was in Stuttgart, where I grew up,” she told Jeff Kaliss (San Francisco Classical Voice, May 28, 2012). “That was my father’s brilliant idea. It was even more unusual than now that young kids would get together and try to do chamber music. My brother Boris also played in this, the viola part. And the parents had a very important role to play, driving everybody from one rehearsal to the other. We played for five years, every weekend rehearsals and lessons and competitions, national and international, and we started, slowly, to play little concerts. At age 15, we stopped with that. I wanted to make an impression with my solo playing, [to learn] where I actually stood internationally. So I went to participate in this Leopold Mozart Competition in Augsburg, and I was so lucky, I won it right away. So that opened a new chapter in my musical life.” Winning led to her playing Dvořák under Yehudi Menuhin, an experience she found to be special since “if you play the standard repertoire, you can see that the conductor knows every little corner, and whether technical difficulties require a bit of attentive conducting.” 12 | December 1, 2016 - February 7, 2017 thewholenote.com

WOJCIECH GRZEDZINSKI Known for her pristine sound and incisive approach, Faust will be the soloist in Mozart’s Violin Concertos Nos. 1 and 3 in Koerner Hall January 18 and 20, part of the TSO’s Mozart @ 261 Festival. All five of the composer’s concertos for violin were completed during the year he turned 19 (1775) but none is so universally loved as the elegant, playful and joyous Third which is particularly tuneful and buoyant. When Faust spoke with Aart van der Wal for the Dutch website Opus Klassiek in April 2011, she talked about keeping an open mind (and open ears) about different performances of familiar repertoire: “Music must be enjoyed without prejudice. I notice so often that people have made up their minds already before really listening to a piece. They know it all, they have heard it so many times, and they know exactly which recordings are fabulous and which are not. It happens often that one is so deeply engaged with one specific recording or interpretation that each and everything else is compared to and diminished by it. I was at a concert where a Beethoven symphony was performed. One of the critics recognized me and, already before the performance, started to explain to me which specific very old recording he thought was the one and only version of this symphony…I advised him not to go to any concert anymore because he would never be happy with any living conductor, or any live performance for that matter…” Mozart @ 261 begins January 11 and 12 under Peter Oundjian, with wunderkind Leonid Nediak (b.2003) playing Mozart’s final piano concerto on a program that also includes Mozart’s moving Symphony No.40 K550. The festival continues January 13 and 14 when Emanuel Charles Richard-Hamelin at the Chopin Piano Competition (2015) Ax brings his pianistic geniality to the spirited Concerto Isabelle Faust No.16 K451 and the effervescent Concerto No.22 K482. Mozart’s vigorous Symphony No.33 K319 opens the program with the TSO led by Michael Francis. Bernard Labadie leads the orchestra in the grand Symphony No.38 K504 “Prague” which concludes the January 18 and 20 concerts. The Heath Quartet. The Heath Quartet – making their Canadian debut in concerts in Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto in January – is a young British ensemble whose star has recently risen considerably since their recording of Tippett’s string quartets won Gramophone magazine’s 2016 Chamber Music Award. It was their debut recording. A slew of adjectives like “vibrant, adventurous, irresistible energy” has followed in their wake over the last few years. First violinist Oliver Heath, violist Gary Pomeroy and cellist Chris Murray originally met at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music. Five years after getting together, they moved to London in 2009 where they met Cerys Jones, freshly returned from graduate studies at Juilliard. She became their second violinist, and their career path ascended. Now, November 2016, she has announced that she is stepping down from the quartet to devote more time to her family. “We had eight wonderful years with Cerys,” Ollie Heath told me via email. “But that chapter has now closed and we are looking forward to the next stage in the future of the quartet.” I asked what qualities he was looking for in a new violinist. “To be a great second violinist you FELIX BROEDE Sat. Jan. 28, 2017 8pm UOIT’s Regent Theatre (Oshawa) Call: 905-721-3399 x 2 Online: tickets.regenttheatre.ca Sun. Jan. 29, 2017 3pm RCM’s Koerner Hall (Toronto) Call: 416-408-0208 Online: performance.rcmusic.ca DVORAK Cello Concerto with William Molina-Cestari Masters Series Headliner - extraordinary cellist, William Molina-Cestari, joins internationally renowned MAESTRO MARCO PARISOTTO & OP for the Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, B. 191 in this rousing masterwork in Part II. In Part I, OP debuts the Canada 150 Mosaic Series (in collaboration with TSO), Launch! For Orchestra 2016, by Canadian composer, Vivian FUNG. LIZST’s Les Préludes, S 97 (Symphonic Poem No. 3) and DVORAK’s Slavonic Dance No. 2, Op. 72 in E minor continue the momentum. www.ontariophil.ca Marco Parisotto, Music Director William Molina-Cestari thewholenote.com December 1, 2016 - February 7, 2017 | 13 ONP 004 PerformanceMagAD_Nov22 1/3pg_FNL.indd 1 2016-11-24 12:16 PM

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volume 25 Issue 7 - April 2020
Volume 25 Issue 6 - March 2020
Volume 25 Issue 5 - February 2020
Volume 25 Issue 4 - December 2019 / January 2020
Volume 25 Issue 3 - November 2019
Volume 25 Issue 2 - October 2019
Volume 25 Issue 1 - September 2019
Volume 24 Issue 8 - May 2019
Volume 24 Issue 7 - April 2019
Volume 24 Issue 6 - March 2019
Volume 24 Issue 5 - February 2019
Volume 24 Issue 4 - December 2018 / January 2019
Volume 24 Issue 3 - November 2018
Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018
Volume 23 Issue 9 - June / July / August 2018
Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018
Volume 23 Issue 7 - April 2018
Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018
Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018
Volume 23 Issue 3 - November 2017
Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017
Volume 23 Issue 1 - September 2017
Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017
Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017
Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017
Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017
Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017
Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017
Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016
Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016
Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016
Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
Volume 21 Issue 5 - February 2016
Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016
Volume 21 Issue 3 - November 2015
Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

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