7 years ago

Volume 4 Issue 8 - May 1999

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • Choir
  • Symphony
  • Festival
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  • Bloor
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Arts


BY DAVID G. H. PARSONS The mllijical blooms of May include many contemporary varieties, a few of which have been picked and ~ged here. As usual, HEAR & Now tries to offer advance listening suggestions for the concerts listed in the column. (Canadian titles can be acquired at the Canadian Music Centre, where you can also explore repertoire in the Library's listening rooms.) ARTEMIS April 30 - May 9 Ardeleana presents The Artemis Cafe - a musicaVpoetic/theatrical-story of survival told in the language of the unconscious. Founded originally as a chamber music ensemble; Ardeleana pushes the boundaries of traditional concertizing. In Artemis Cafe, core trio members Brenda Muller (cello), Carolyn Stronks-Zeyl (flute), and Catherine Maguire (piano) are joined by composers, actors, singers, storytellers and visual artists in a uniquely female interdisciplinary art form, including original new works by Muller and others composers, ranging from Greek mythology and Inuit tales to cabaret songs, all integrated in a non-linear, elliptical manner. "That's the natural way people tell stories," says Brenda Muller, " ... full of intetjections, interruptions and digressions." The Ardeleana Trio has a fme recording available of music by Canadian women composers, "Spinners of Starlight" (ARD 9301). ENCOUNTERS 99 May 12, Soundstreams continues Encounters '99- a series pairing significant international composers with major Canadian talents, in this case, Ellen Taaffe-Zwilich (USA) and Jacques Hetu. Zwilich is one of the United States' most prestigious composers, having received a Pulitzer Prize and the Carnegie Hall Comp

special guest artists from Montreal, interpreting music by four important Canadian composers. All the pieces include harpsichord (not your standard "new music" fare), and showcase one of the foremost exponents of new music for this instrument - "vi vie' vin~ent". To give you some idea of the range, two pieces by John Beckwith - Ringaround and Lines Overlapping - combine the harpsichord with non-pedal harp and 5-string banjo respectively. Linda Bouchard's Swift Silver will feature Beckwith himself as harmonium performer as well as composer Bruce Mather on celesta . .A.nd the exquisiteTwelve Miniatures by the late Harry Somers incorporates the talents of Alison Melville (baroque flutes and recorder), Margaret Gay (baroque cello) and Erika Tanner (soprano). A preparatory sampling: "John Beckwith" (Centrediscs, CMC-CD 5897); "E Motion" (NCD 0294), the music of Hope Lee and David Eagle by New Works Calgary; and for a real exploration of the harpsichord in new music, vi vie' vin~ent's recent release "the door in the wall ... instrumentS d'illusion" (VVOI - double CD set) presents a smorgasbord of Canadian and international composers who have been commissioned by this talented artist. BRUCE MATHER Bruce Mather stays in town for New Music Concerts' celebration of his 60th birthday Sunday May 16 at the George Weston Recital Hall, as part ofNMC's ongoing composer "portrait" series. Mather is a master of micro tonal composition, and the delicate beauty and lyricism of his highly personal voice promises a wonderful evening of music making: Un cri qui durerait la mer with Michel Ducharme (baritone) and the composer at the piano; Advanced Harmony for 12 wind instruments under the direction of Robert Aitken; and a Canadian premiere: Tempranillo 'for guitar tuned in 6ths of tone, played by Rachel Gauk. As in all these portrait concerts, a piece by a significant teacher of the honoured composer is presented, alongside a work by a gifted former student. In this case, the Wind Quintet, op. 443 by French composer Darius Milhaud (with whom Mather studied from 1959-61) will reeeive its Canadian premiere. Epanoui by James Harley for flute, cello and piano is the chosen "protege" composition. Mather can be heard on at least 7 recordings. I suggest two: Elegy, a quartet for flute, cello, piano and percussion on "Envoi" (Centrediscs, CMC-CD 5094), and Vouvray for oboe and harp on "The Charmer" (Centrediscs, CMC-CD 5395). (Milhaud's Wind Quintet of 1973, his last work, has not been released commercially yet, a definite gap in the international catalogue.) OPEN EARS For the second year, Kitchener's "Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound" from May 19 to 24 will feature concerts and 1 installations in eclectic venues throughout that city: indoor/ . outdoor electroacoustics, soundwalks, orchestrated fireworks displays, sound poetry events, and a variety of concerts. Featured are NUMUS, the Penderecki Quartet, Canadian Chamber Ensemble, and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (among others), plus a host of visiting composers and world premieres of works by Barbara Croall, Christos Hatzis, Peter Hatch, Boyd McDonald and Richard Windeyer. Guest composers include Pauline Oliveros, Hildegard Westerkamp and Tim Brady. One of the highlights: the Canadian premiere of Philip Glass' Tibetans in Exile: A Madrigal Opera. As was the case last year, Open Ears brings together the diverse worlds of concert hall, electroacoustics and sound ecology, all around a unifying theme of focused listening within different contexts: a truly dynamic celebration. To fmd out more contact the Festival office at: (519) 745-4711, ext. 285. David G.H. Parsons is Ontario Regional Director & Acting Head, National Library Canadian Music Centre Chalmers House 20 St. Joseph Street Toronto, Ontario M4Y 119 Tel: (416) 961-4057 Fax: (416) 961- 7198 E-mail: Website:

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