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Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • December
  • January
  • Arts
  • Theatre
  • Symphony
  • Performing
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Orchestra
In this issue: composer Nicole Lizée talks about her love for analogue equipment, and the music that “glitching” evokes; Richard Rose, artistic director at the Tarragon Theatre, gives us insights into their a rock-and-roll Hamlet, now entering production; Toronto prepares for a mini-revival of Schoenberg’s music, with three upcoming shows at New Music Concerts; and the local music theatre community remembers and celebrates the life and work of Mi’kmaq playwright and performer Cathy Elliott . These and other stories, in our double-issue December/January edition of the magazine.

Beat by Beat | Classical

Beat by Beat | Classical & Beyond A Winter Festival PAUL ENNIS The extra coverage in this double issue of The WholeNote has prompted me to consider its entire nine-plus weeks of listings as fodder for constructing my personal musical winter wonderland. You are welcome to come along for the ride! On thewholenote.com I find the LISTINGS tab and click on the indispensable JustASK feature. It’s early in planning my journey so I opt to see the entire listings for the first week in December. (Later in my wanderings, to refine my search I may choose to JustASK specifically for chamber music or piano.) In this case, I decide on a free RCM event, pianist Francine Kay in a Sunday Interludes recital at Mazzoleni Hall on December 3. Chopin’s Barcarolle has always been a personal favourite and its rolling rhythms will get my festive juices running. Besides, the eminent Princeton University faculty member (and Analekta recording artist) will be giving two masterclasses the following Friday in the same space. Depending on what the students will be playing, I may sit in. My next stop brings me to Koerner Hall on December 5 for a concert I wrote about in the November WholeNote: Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, a 20th-century touchstone, played by some of the newest stars in Europe’s musical firmament. I have high hopes for pianist Lucas Debargue, violinist Janine Jansen, cellist Torleif Thedéen and clarinetist Martin Fröst. Next stop, December 10 (and I still haven’t budged from Bloor Street) I’m looking forward to the return of Khatia Buniatishvili. This time she’s opening with Mussorgsky’s majestic and intricate Pictures at an Exhibition before moving on to Liszt showpieces. (And while I’m waiting, there’s the Rebanks Family Fellowship concert December 6 in Mazzoleni Hall, where young musicians on the cusp of professional careers display their craft.) Sorry to say, you’ll have to JustASK for yourself for the balance of December. That’s because my annual visit to longtime friends in the cabin they built themselves in the middle of a hundred-acre wood will take me through the month. A festive Christmas feast of turkey and trimmings baked in a wood stove will serve all of us well while a curious, sociable parrot provides live entertainment. January 4 and 6, Ryan Wang: When Ryan Wang was five years old he performed at Carnegie Hall in the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition. A charming child with no pretentious airs, his celebrity shone soon after, in his first appearance on The Ellen Show. When not playing a concerto with the Shanghai Symphony, for example, he enjoys biking, road hockey and Harry Potter in West Vancouver. In a YouTube video made last year, he talks about being a piano prodigy who began playing when he was four. “Kids in school think I’m just a famous pianist,” he says unabashedly. “But I’m just an ordinary kid.” He calls Harry Potter his hero “because he’s brave. And if you’re brave, you can overcome anything … Sometimes life is really challenging, but I never give up and never lose hope.” Martha Argerich debuted at four, Claudio Arrau at five. Ryan Wang at ten has been on the stage for half his life. The Li Delun Music Foundation presents him on January 4 at the Fairview Library Theatre in recital playing Bach’s French Suite No.6 – his Bach on YouTube is refreshingly without any affect – a Haydn sonata, a Poulenc Villageoise, Debussy’s Arabesque No.1, the two Chopin Waltzes Op.64 and a Bartók Romanian Dance. An excursion to North York may be a New Year’s resolution worth keeping. Two days later, January 6, Wang is the soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.2 with the Toronto Festival Orchestra conducted by Dongxiao Xu in the Li Delun Music Foundation’s “New Year’s Concert 2018” at the George Weston Recital Hall. January 7, Rachel Barton Pine: She began learning the violin at three; at five she “self-identified as a violinist.” At ten, she performed with her hometown band, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; at 17, she won the Bach International Competition in Leipzig, Germany. At 20, her violin case straps caught in the closing doors of a Chicago commuter train; the accident cost her part of a leg and mangled a foot. Her determination and discipline from her years of violin study brought her all the way back musically. On January 7, she performs the first Adrian Anantawan Sunday Interludes concert of the year in Mazzoleni Hall. January 10 to 21, Mozart @ 262: I’m back on Bloor again for some of this next part of my private winter festival. I am about to come face to face with the TSO’s Mozart @ 262 Festival that begins January 10; it will be the TSO’s 14th annual celebration of that prodigy’s genius, and the final one with Peter Oundjian (the festival’s creator) as TSO music director. Roy Thomson Hall (three performances), Koerner Hall (two) and the George Weston Recital Hall (one) will all be involved. On January 17 and 18 concertmaster Jonathan Crow and principal violist Teng Li will be the soloists in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola K364/320d in what might very well be the single highlight of the festival. Oundjian’s sole conducting gig, however (January 19 to 21), is the one program I’m most focused on, though (and the only one that’s in all three venues). Anchored by Mozart’s exhilarating final symphony, No.41 in C Major “Jupiter,” the concert showcases two talented young Canadian artists. Charles Richard-Hamelin will weave his colouristic alchemy in the Piano Concerto No.23 in A Major K488 – the understated grandeur of its Adagio served as the main theme of Terrence Malick’s film The New World, underscoring the pristine beauty of its first act. And Adrian Anantawan will be the soloist in the Rondo for violin and orchestra K250/248b “Haffner,” and the Adagio for violin and orchestra K261. Anantawan, who grew up in Toronto, was born with no right hand, only a stunted appendage with tiny stubs instead of fingers. At nine he took up the violin, which proved to be a great equalizer for him. Needless to say, it changed his life. Now in his early 30s, he works with cutting-edge technology to help others; he’s also given a TED Talk. He told CNN in 2013 that “it’s never about the technique or technology that is important, but the desire to live life authentically and creatively. We often forget even ‘traditional’ musical instruments are technological adaptations in their own right – they are tools to manipulate sound in a way that we couldn’t do with our bodies alone.” January 11, Brentano and Dawn Upshaw: I plan on abandoning Mozart to take advantage of a rare opportunity to hear Schoenberg’s pivotal String Quartet No.2 when Music Toronto presents the Brentano String Quartet and soprano Dawn Upshaw in the Jane Mallett Theatre. Completed in 1908, the quartet’s extreme late-Romanticism loses its harmonic bearings by its final movement, a change that can be considered the beginning of atonal music. The third and fourth movements are settings of poems by the symbolist poet Stefan George. Alex Ross in The Rest Is Noise talks about the extraordinary moment 18 | December 2017 / January 2018 thewholenote.com

in the fourth movement when the soprano sings the line I feel the wind of another planet and then the “transformation,” I dissolve in tones, circling, weaving … The Schoenberg is preceded by Respighi’s intimate, lyrical setting of Shelley’s Il Tramonto. Before intermission, the Brentano (without Upshaw) will interweave Webern Bagatelles with Schubert Minuets before performing Argentine-American Mario Davidovsky’s String Quartet No.4 (1980), a piece I look forward to hearing for the first time. The next morning, January 12 at 10am, Upshaw will give a masterclass in Mazzoleni Hall. I’ve marked my calendar. Maybe I should just move to Bloor Street! Sunday, January 14, David Jalbert and Wonny Song: these two toprank Canadian pianists return to U of T’s Walter Hall and Mooredale Concerts following their acclaimed 2014 appearance there, for “Piano Dialogue,” a program inspired by dance, theatre and visual art. Rachmaninoff’s Suite No.1 for two pianos and his four-hand arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Waltz share the stage with Milhaud’s Scaramouche Suite for Two Pianos and Stravinsky’s kinetic Petrouchka, also for two pianos. Elsewhere in this issue Alex Baran writes in his DISCoveries Keyed In column about Jalbert’s latest CD of music connected to what Jalbert and Song are playing in their recital: “[The CD] shows why he’s considered one of the younger generation’s finest pianists. His performance of Dance russe from Petrouchka explodes into being with astonishing speed and alacrity. Jalbert possesses a sweeping technique that exudes ease and persuasive conviction.” Glionna Mansell Presents A Music Series unlike any other www.organixconcerts.ca December Concerts for ORGANIX 2017 Hanné Becker December 6 17 THE ASSOCIATES OF THE TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 2018 SEASON January 29, 2018, 7:30 p.m. Evoking the Elegiac Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Jurgis Juozapaitis, Maurice Ravel, Bedrich Smetana February 26, 2018, 7:30 p.m. La Malinconia – Reflections on Solitude and Loss Ludwig van Beethoven, Dmitri Shostakovich, Johannes Brahms March 26, 2018, 7:30 p.m. The Companion’s Guide to Rome Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, François Devienne, Andrew Norman April 23, 2018, 7:30 p.m. Taste of Dark Chocolate Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms May 28, 2018, 7:30 p.m. Brahms: 20/40 Johannes Brahms TICKETS NOW ON SALE! Tickets , Seniors and Students Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, 427 Bloor St. W. Box Office 416-282-6636 www.associates-tso.org Stefani Bedin December 20 January Concerts for ORGANIX 2018 Andrew Adair January 17 Sarah Svendsen January 31 All concerts are FREE at ALL SAINTS ANGLICAN CHURCH, 2850 BLOOR STREET WEST, TORONTO, M8X 1B2 and start at 12:30 pm. ending approximately 1:15 pm. For more details, please visit www.organixconcerts.ca ALL SAINTS KINGSWAY ANGLICAN CHURCH thewholenote.com December 2017 / January 2018 | 19

Volumes 21-24 (2015-2018)

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

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)