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Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017

  • Text
  • April
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Symphony
  • Arts
  • Theatre
  • Quartet
  • Orchestra
  • Choir
  • Musical
In this issue: Our podcast ramps up with interviews in March with fight director Jenny Parr, countertenor Daniel Taylor, and baritone Russell Braun; two views of composer John Beckwith at 90; how music’s connection to memory can assist with the care of patients with Alzheimer’s; musical celebrations in film and jazz, at National Canadian Film Day and Jazz Day; and a preview of Louis Riel, which opens this month at the COC. These and other stories, in our April 2017 issue of the magazine!

I P A X Allyson McHardy

I P A X Allyson McHardy No.1, to the poem by Klaus Groth, is a witty yet still melancholy take on writing poetry and putting the elusive to words. Among the many recorded versions of the song, the ohne Worte arrangement for cello and piano by Mischa Maisky and Pavel Gililov is probably the most unusual one around. These are the four challenges then. Art of Time, Slean and Burashko will take them on at Harbourfront Centre Theatre March 31 and April 1 at 8pm. Mezzos: There’s more Brahms of the traditional kind coming up later in April and early May. Torontonians will be able to hear two mezzos in the same Brahms piece, Two Songs for Alto, Viola and Piano on different occasions: Allyson McHardy with the Montrose Trio (April 28 at Koerner Hall) and Maria Soulis with Canadian Sinfonietta (May 6 at Heliconian Hall). Brahms wrote the two songs published as Zwei Gesange Op.91 for two of his friends, mezzo Amalie Schneeweiss and her husband, violinist Joseph Joachim. Gestillte Sehnsucht (Longing at Rest) is a sort of a secular lullaby for grownups, to words by poet Friedrich Rückert, full of rustling tree leaves and C H R I S T I C H O R A L E P A X P A X C H R restless desires quieting down. Geistliches Wiegenlied or Cradle Song of the Virgin (Emanuel Geibel, translating Lope de Vega) borrows from Christian folklore. It opens and closes with a musical citation from a carol, it’s the palms of Bethlehem that swish, and it is Mary who rocks her child and hints at what is to come for him. Good things didn’t befall the real couple in the composing story either: they divorced in C H R C H O R A acrimony, after Joachim unjustifiably accused Schneeweiss of an affair with an acquaintance. Brahms took her side, and Joachim severed ties with both. In Two Songs, there is a lot of room for the mezzo to show off her spectrum of inflections and her subtle mastery over text (of which C H O R A L E I S T I P A X • C H R I S T I • C H O R A L E C P A X H O R L E C H R L A E I S T I I S T I there’s a considerable amount) while steering clear of the pitfalls of the saccharine that come with Wiegenlied. The Canadian Sinfonietta Maria Soulis concert with Soulis will feature two other vocal pieces, Jake Heggie’s Some Times of Day for mezzo and piano trio and a selection of Mikis Theodorakis’ Greek songs. Agostino Steffani: Chiefly thanks to Cecilia Bartoli’s tireless work in favour of his revival – Donna Leon’s mystery The Jewels of Paradise might have played a part in his popularization – Agostino Steffani (1654-1728) is gaining a foothold in the operatic repertoire. On April 28, at Heliconian Hall, as part of their new chamber series Close Encounters, Tafelmusik will make the case for his return to the concert repertoire too. Diplomat and bishop as well as a composer, Steffani left behind a great many vocal pieces and operas, but only six secular cantatas, considerably fewer than Vivaldi or Scarlatti. Hai finito di lusingarmi (lyricist anonymous) is written for high voice, two oboes and continuo. Italian secular cantatas of the era are structured into aria and recitative components, and Hai finito unfolds in the A R A R A scheme. Arcadian characters recur in cantatas – Fileno, Tirsi, Dorilla, Elvira – with verse metered at 11 or 7 syllables, the dominant metres of Italian poetry since Petrarch. The lines in arias tend to rhyme in some form, but in what form and how consistently is up to the poet (there are rime baciate, alternate, intrecciate and incatenate – words for the types of rhymes themselves sound like poetry). Digging deep into the cantata as a poetic and musical form can lead to some fascinating places. The chapter on the cantata genre in Michael Talbot’s The Chamber Cantatas of Antonio Vivaldi is an excellent general P A X • C H R I S T • C H O R A L E 26 | April 1, 2017 - May 7, 2017

introduction to the form. You will never again lure me, Steffani’s title in English, is a monologue by a certain Clorindo addressed to Filli by the end of which, alas, he is lured by Filli again. Antonio Lotti’s aria,Vieni pur ferisci impiago (Come then wound again) will also be performed in Close Encounters. It is from his cantata Ti sento, o Dio bendato (I Feel Thee, Oh Blind God), and belongs in the same general category of wrestling with Cupid. Its structure is A R A A and the oboe returns as the melody instrument atop the continuo. Amid some instrumental Zelenka, Telemann and Fasch, the sampling of cantatas concludes somewhat incongruously with a highly religious aria Ich hab mich ihm ergeben (I have given myself over to Him) from Bach’s Cantata 97 In allen meinen Taten. Musically, however, it’s a playful number with woodwinds dialoguing and stealing the show. Said woodwinds will be manned by John Abberger and Marco Cera (oboes) and Dominic Teresi (bassoon). Charlotte Nediger will be continuo-ing from the harpsichord. Soprano Ellen McAteer sings the three cantatas. Fête: Toronto vocal ensemble Collectìf, co-founded by COC Ensemble Studio soprano Danika Lorèn, presents staged vignettes of art songs based on Verlaine’s poetry cycle, Fêtes galantes (various composers) and Reynaldo Hahn’s Douze Rondelles. Danika Lorèn, Whitney O’Hearn, Jennifer Krabbe, Tom King, Adam Harris and Matthew Dalen perform in the Richard Bradshaw Auditorium on April 18 at noon. Countertenor Philippe Jaroussky returns to the Koerner Hall in a program of Handel arias from operas Flavio, Siroe, Imeneo, Radamisto and Tolomeo with Les Violons du Roy conducted by the ensemble’s associate conductor Mathieu Lussier. Also on the April program: Fux and Graun. Lydia Perović is an arts journalist in Toronto. Send her your art-of-song news to BACH CHILDREN’S CHORUS BACH CHAMBER YOUTH CHOIR Linda Beaupré, Conductor Eleanor Daley, Pianist Song the of Earth SATURDAY MAY 13, 2017 AT 7:30PM and at the Toronto Centre box office or TicketMaster at 1-855-985-2787 (ARTS) Toronto Centre for the Arts 5040 Yonge Street Photo by Flickr user CIFOR Used under Creative Commons licence Design by David Kopulos O Canada! 150th Celebration! Lydia Adams, Conductor with special guests Eleanor McCain and her ensemble Saturday May 6, 7:30 pm Trinity St. Paul’s United Church 427 Bloor Street West, Toronto Come and celebrate the music from Eleanor McCain’s T R Share the launch of her new CD! Also featured are Canadian compositions by Howard Cable, Eleanor Daley, Harry Somers and Derek Healey. U N R T H Tickets: Seniors Students 416-217-0537 A MIXTURE OF MADNESS The fine line between insanity and revelation MAY 16 & 17, 2017, 8 PM Ilana Zarankin, soprano | Bruce Kelly, baritone | Andrew Moodie, actor/reader Trinity St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor Street West tickets: 416-978-8849 | April 1, 2017 - May 7, 2017 | 27

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