Views
1 year ago

Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Arts
  • Faculty
  • Theatre
  • Musical
  • Symphony
  • Orchestra
  • Quartet
  • Performing
In this issue: Canadian Stage, Tapestry Opera and Vancouver Opera collaborate to take Gogol’s short story The Overcoat to the operatic stage; Montreal-based Sam Shalabi brings his ensemble Land of Kush, and his newest composition, to Toronto; Five Canadian composers, each with a different CBC connection, are nominated for JUNOs; and The WholeNote team presents its annual Summer Music Education Directory, a directory of summer music camps, programs and courses across the province and beyond.

the Rolstons found a

the Rolstons found a deeper way of listening. During their three years of study there, they developed “the ability to hear sounds in very specific ways, the ability to hear what’s going on with all the players around you – to be able to anticipate changes in the music, but also to be able to anticipate changes from one another and to quickly respond. This is really complicated perceptual training. “You’re always looking for that X factor, the exceptional thing in the playing that you’re not expecting, that makes the performance of music at the moment something memorable, and the Rolstons have that capacity.” Shiffman says: “They bring a joyous A game to everything they do. I’m sure at times they’re tired and crabby and they don’t want to be on the road. But you would never know it. They’re as excited to play for you whether it’s Carnegie Hall or it’s Timmins, Ontario.” The Rolston String Quartet plays at the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society March 7, the Jeffery Concerts in London March 10, the Burlington Performing Arts Centre March 11 and the Royal Conservatory’s Mazzoleni Hall April 8. The programs will include combinations of Haydn, Beethoven, Debussy and Tchaikovsky in support of Schumann’s hugely popular Piano Quintet. The Eybler String Quartet came together in late 2004 to explore the works of the first century of the string quartet, with a healthy attention to lesser-known composers such as their namesake, Joseph Leopold Edler von Eybler. The group plays on instruments appropriate to the period of the music it performs. Violinist Julia Wedman and violist Patrick G. Jordan are members of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; violinist Aisslinn Nosky is concertmaster of the Handel and Haydn Society and principal guest conductor of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra; Wedman and Nosky are also members of I FURIOSI Baroque Ensemble. Cellist Margaret Gay is much in demand as both a modern and period instrument player. Their March 9 Heliconian Hall recital includes early Haydn, late Mozart and their contemporary Franz Asplmayr (1728-1786). The Elias String Quartet has been together since they were students in Manchester in 1998. Music Toronto’s Jennifer Taylor brought them here in March 2015 for a memorable local debut which I chronicled in these pages: “French sisters Sara and Marie Bittloch on violin and cello set the tone for the quartet’s intimate sound and its impeccable sense of ensemble. Equally attentive were second violinist Scotsman Donald Grant and Swedish violist Martin Saving. Together the foursome brought heavenly pianissimos and wonderful silences that allowed Mozart’s music to breathe in his ‘Dissonance’ Quartet K465 and unrelenting anger and passion to Mendelssohn’s last string quartet without losing the ruminative lyricism of its slow movement.” Their upcoming recital for the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto on March 8 features three pillars of the repertoire: Schubert’s Quartettsatz, Janáček’s heartfelt String Quartet No.2 “Intimate Letters” and Beethoven’s mighty String Quartet No.12 Op.127. The following day the Elias performs the same program in Carnegie Hall. The Penderecki String Quartet, currently celebrating their 25th year as quartet-in-residence at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, returns to Music Toronto March 15 for a concert of Schumann’s String Quartet No.3, Kelly-Marie Murphy’s Oblique Light (2016), commissioned as a sesquicentennial project by the Pendereckis and meant to depict the quality of light in our northern land, and Elgar’s Quartet in E Minor Op.83, which captured the spirit of his country cottage where it was written at the end of WWI. As we go to press Music Toronto has announced their 2018/19 season. Highlights include two appearances by Marc-André Hamelin: a season-opening solo piano recital and a Valentine’s Day chamber music concert with the Juilliard String Quartet; and Cleveland Quartet Award winners, the Ariel Quartet, who make their local debut. Assorted Strings. The final concert of the Academy Concert Series season on March 10 sees the return of violinist Scott St. John and guitarist Lucas Harris, joining cellist Kerri McGonigle and violinist Emily Eng in a remounting of one of ACS’ most talked about and popular concerts from five years ago, “A Portrait of Paganini.” The repertoire will include a Paganini guitar quartet – he wrote 15 – his amiable Terzetto Concertante (for viola, cello and guitar) and one of his 24 virtuosic solo violin caprices. The Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society brings together the estimable Lafayette and Saguenay (formerly the Alcan) Quartets on March 25 for a rare evening of octets for strings by Mendelssohn, Niels Gade and Russian-Canadian composer Airat Ichmouratov. (Music Toronto will present the identical program March 14, 2019.) A completely different string confection will be served on March 31 when 5 at the First Chamber Music Series presents Arensky’s String Quartet No.2 for violin, viola and two cellos; Jocelyn Morlock’s Blue Sun for violin and viola; and Dohnányi’s String Sextet in B Minor. And a Pianist. Dénes Várjon, admired by professional musicians and European audiences but less well-known in North America, makes a return visit to the Jane Mallett Theatre on March 27 under the auspices of Music Toronto for a recital laden with music by his Hungarian countrymen Bartók and Liszt. It begins with Beethoven’s late Bagatelles Op.126, the composer’s final music for the piano. Beethoven described it as “Six bagatelles or trifles for solo piano, some of which are rather more developed and probably the best pieces of this kind I have written.” Fiona Maddocks wrote in The Guardian in February 2012 that Várjon’s ECM recording of Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor “demands attention for its grandeur, clarity and incisive 20 | March 2018 thewholenote.com

Dénes Várjon Guide to Rome” on March 26, featuring Amanda Goodburn, violin, Theresa Rudolph, viola, Emmanuelle Beaulieu Bergeron, cello, and Samuel Banks, bassoon, in Mozart’s Sonata for Bassoon and Cello K292, Devienne’s Quartet for Bassoon and Strings Op.37 No.3 and Andrew Norman’s string trio, The Companion Guide to Rome. ANDREA FELVÉGI virtuosity. Várjon makes rigorous sense of the work’s episodic structure, showing powerful ease in the fugue but enjoying the rhapsodic nature of the rest.” It will be exciting to hear him play it live. TSO and Friends. Stéphane Denève, recently appointed music director of the St. Louis Symphony (effective 2019/20) leads the TSO in Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, the composer’s last completed work. Fun facts: it was the first time Rachmaninoff wrote for the saxophone and he got advice from violinist extraordinaire Fritz Kreisler on string bowings. Also on March 28 and 29, versatile German pianist Lars Vogt is the soloist in Brahms’ ravishing Piano Concerto No.2. Born in Taiwan and raised in Australia, violinist Ray Chen won the Yehudi Menuhin Violin Competition in 2008 and the prestigious Queen Elisabeth [of Belgium] Music Competition the following year. Adept at social media and elegantly clad in Armani, Chen is the epitome of a modern musician. He is the soloist April 5, 7 and 8 in Bruch’s beloved Violin Concerto No.1 under Sir Andrew Davis, who also leads the orchestra in one of Mendelssohn’s programmatic concert overtures and Sibelius’ magnificent Symphony No.5. Then, on March 24, the TSO cedes the Roy Thomson Hall stage to the National Arts Centre Orchestra and its conductor Alexander Shelley for performances of a new work, Earworms, by Vivian Fung, Brahms’ serene Symphony No.2 and Shostakovich’s lively and sardonic Piano Concerto No.2 (with Russian-born Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg, winner of the 2013 Queen Elisabeth Music Competition). The Associates of the Toronto Symphony present “The Companion’s QUICK PICKS Mar 10: Bravo Niagara! Festival of the Arts presents the exceptional pianist Jan Lisiecki. Mar 18: Salzburg-born-and-raised cellist Clemens Hagen (of the celebrated Hagen Quartet) and Russian-born American, multifaceted pianist Kirill Gerstein perform three of Beethoven’s five cello sonatas, Op.5 No.2, Op.102 No.1 and Op.102 No.2 as well as his 7 Variations in E-flat Major on “Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen” from Mozart’s The Magic Flute; presented by the Royal Conservatory in Koerner Hall. Mar 22 to 24: In “Sound and Colour: Scriabin and Synesthesia,” Art of Time artistic director, pianist Andrew Burashko, performs Scriabin’s 24 Preludes in conjunction with lighting designer Kevin Lamotte’s light-field show. Mar 23: Belgian pianist Olivier de Spiegeleir adds his own commentary to his Debussy recital presented by Alliance Française de Toronto, 100 years after the composer’s death. Apr 6: The Royal Conservatory presents “Bernstein @ 100,” featuring German pianist Sebastian Knauer, Jamie Bernstein (Leonard Bernstein’s daughter), mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta and the ARC Ensemble. Paul Ennis is the managing editor of The WholeNote. 2018 Bach Walk Celebrate Bach’s 333rd Birthday! SATURDAY, MARCH 17 1:00pm Church of the Redeemer, 162 Bloor St. W., Daniel Norman, organist 2:00pm Trinity College Chapel, 6 Hoskin Ave., John Tuttle, organist & Friends 3:00pm St. Thomas’s Anglican Church, 383 Huron St., Elizabeth Anderson, organist Birthday Cake reception at the end of the day Free Admission (donations welcome) Info: 416-489-1551 ext.28 rccotoronto.ca thewholenote.com March 2018 | 21

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2019)

Volume 25 Issue 4 - December 2019 / January 2020
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

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)