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Volume 6 Issue 6 - March 2001

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Cover Story Baroque

Cover Story Baroque Music beside the Grange by David Perlman anniversary season, they were Corrette, Hotteterre and others. It's March 2001 and the Olympic presenting six programs, three of Baroque dancer Donna Greenberg ·.circus is coming to town! Voting them on a Saturday evening and is joined by Catherine Keenan, members of the IOC will be repeated on the Sunday afternoon hurdy-gurdy, Marie-France descending, grabbing impressions __ so nine conce,rts in at!. Richard, oboe, Colin Savage, and departing. And then we get to hold our breath till July, waiting They've since stopped recorder & chalumeau, Alison to find out whether Toronto ·s doubling up on performances, but Melville, recorder and flute, white-scrubbed slush piles outclass· this season boasts a robust seven Michael Jarvis, harpsichord and Beijing's painted grass in the programs between Oct 15 last Mary-Katherine Finch, cello." quest to host the 2008'0lympic year and May 20. Or this one: "Sunday April Games. "Stopping the doubling was 23, 1989: The London of Samuel Somewhere during the visit, hard for the performers," says Pepys, a celebration of words and though, for at least a fleeting Colin. "When you P.Ut all that music from Restoration London, moment, the collective conscious- effort into rehearsal it's good to with readings from the diary of ,ness of sports-mad Toronto will be able to do it more than once." Samuel Pepys, poetry of John find itself aching for our city to But performer and church Dryden and music by Purcell, · have a cultural cathedral (like ·Sydney's opera house) as part of availability were factors, as well Ravenscroft, Locke and their the backdrop to our biil. · as an explosion of other things colleagues. The performers are · Oh well. Hand the guests a for people to do on Saturday MUSICONSORT (Mary Enid copy of WholeNote instead. That nights. And on the positive side, Haines, Terry McKenna, Alison way they can at least get a glimpse consolidating to single performof Melville, Colin Savage and another kind of Qrchitecture .,. ances made for larger audiences Valarie Weeks) with guests David invisible but .no less ~xtraordinary flt any given performance, . Fallis, Tenor and David - the collective magic wrought by plettsurable for performers and Klausner, reader. the hundreds of small arts groups d' J'k · that breathe cultural life into our ' au ience a 1 e. · amazing city, every day of every It all sounds a bit ponderous week. Other than the absence devoid ~ of its music, but a BMBG of doubled performances~ the program wears its immense Baroque Music Beside the similarities between the 1988/9 learning lightly--not least because Grange is a perfect example. and 200/2001 seas.on brochures BMBGs programs are driven by Brainchild of Alison Melville and are more striking than the the artists who create them. Colin Savage, Baroque Music differences. "Toronto boasts many · Beside the Grange (BMBG) has Take the brochure's design· performers of international , been presenting early chamber for starters: it is simplicity itself - calibre who specialize in Renaismusic since 1984 in what their - in 1985 patiently home-made by sance, Baroque and Classical season brochure describes as "an Colin on an IBM Selectric, music, and BMBG's varied atmosphere of congenial infor- photocopied and folded; in 2001 . programming offers you a chance mality and intimacy ... the patiently home-made by Colin on . to hear them display their talents historic church of St. George the an IBM PC, photocopied and in unique and intriguing reper- Martyr, where the lively acoustic folded. toire and personnel combinaand intimate setting help to create· The most striking sense of tions" proclaims the BMBG an enjoyable and entertaining continuity in BMBGs work, as brochure. musiCal experience." reflected in the brochures, is the And it's true. A veritable St. George-the-Martyr way each concert is presented in who's who of Baroque and early Church, from which BMBG terms of a detailed theme: A music specialists returns to the derives its name, lies just half a BMBG program always feels as BMBG fold time and again. block south. of "The Grange" -- if someone had an idea for a When I comment on this the urban park adjoinfug the Art performance event first, and then "loyalty" though, Alison is quick Gallery of Ontario, fitted performers and pieces to to demur. "I wouldn't call it that" "We did a concert there in that idea. · she says. "We have a few core April 1984,''. says Alison. "We The brochure entry for this people who appear regularly-- called it Baroque Spring ... it was month's concert is a good you keep seeing them with us-- me, Richard Kolb; Charlotte example: "CONCERT SUR .but its not a core ensemble. It's Nediger, and Peggy Sampson. . L'HERBE" it reads. "FRIDAY not so much a question of loyalty We enjoyed tile space." MARCH 30, 2001 8PM, A as ofopportunity. We have a "So much so" says BMBG chamiing program of music and seri~s; if you have a proposal that co-founder Colin Savage, that we dance from 18th century France, makes sense, we have an did three concerts there as BMBG employing the rustic tone colours opportunity for you. For us .• the very next year;" of chalumeau, hurdy-gurdy, flute, eigl).teen years ago it was a They started small, dividing oboe, and recorder, with cello question of knowing the music up the gate among the perform- and harpsichord in pastoral works we wanted to play and the people -ers. By 1988/89, their fifth by Couperin, De La Vigne, we wanted to play with. And 44 wholenote MARCH 1, 2001 - APRIL 7, 2001 seeing clearly that you don't hold your breath waiting for oppC)rtunities .... you make them happen. Artist-created and artist inspired programs-·- that's.what we offer." "BMBG is a wonderful forum for people to explore repertoire" says Cathe'rihe Keenan, hurdy gurdy player for a second time in the upcoming March 30 concert, who joined Colin and Alison for this month's photo shoot. "The series is baroque in itself, the way it['s put together, the small scale, the way it's always a work in progress among the ·musicians." Though "loyalty" may· not be the best description of what keeps performers coming back to BMBG, it certainly applies to their audiences! Lou and Hugh Mason Mason have been regular attendees since they found a BMBG flyer tucked into a Tafelmusik program back in 1985. "Marion Verbruggen was our· first concert," says Lou, who has kept every program. "March . 15 1987." The thing Hugh says he likes about BMBG is that the concerts . are very low key and comfortable ._ "They're people in clothes, not monkey suits he says." Lou chimes in. "The concerts are nice physically and musically. And they manage to be varied in the repertoire, without much jumping ·out of period. Not that I have anything against Mozart, but ... . " A subscriber for ten years, Lou becam~ a board member in the fall of 1997. For me·, she says, BMBG is definitely my favourite series." •

Quartets Oct. 4 Nov. 1 Nov. 22 Dec. 20 Feb. 7 Feb. 28 Mar. 21 Apr. 11 ~TORONTO 2001-02 SEASON+ CHAMBER MUSIC DOWNTOWN THURSDAYS St. Lawrence Quartet Petersen Quartet with guest artist Beverley Johnston, percussionist Kodaly Quartet Tokyo Qua1tet Avalon Quartet Emerson Quartet Arditti Quartet Penderecki Quartet George Weston Discovery THURSDAYS Jan. 31 Robert Pomakov, bass Feb. 21 Catherine Manoukian, violinist Mar. 14 Quatuor Molinari Ensembles-in-Residence Oct. 23 Nov. 27 Jan. 15 Feb. 12 May 7 Piano Oct. 9 Nov. 6 Dec. 4 Jan. 22 · Mar. 5 Gryphon Trio ;with guest a1tist Scott St. Johr"l, violist Toronto String Quartet Toronto String Quartet with TUESDAYS guest artists Sadao Harada, cellist and Yizhak Schotten, violist Gryphon Trio Gryphon Trio with narrator Colin Fox. A co-production with SOUNDSTREAMS CANADA TUESDAYS Marc-Andre Hamelin Stephen Kovacevich Anagnoson & Kinton Naida Cole Stephen Hough AFFORDABLE +ACCESSIBLE + INTIMATE + EXHIIARATING ~..di~l(fYNli~o j_' ~~ Jane Mallett Theatre at ~ St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts 416-366-7723•1-800-708-6754 SEASON SPONSOR: THE GLOBE AND MAIL NlC PER. GREAT CLASSICAL MUSIC IN A PERFECT SMALL CONCERT HALL DOWNTOWN. SUBSCRIPTIONS FROM Nick Peros - Songs on Phoenix Records is available at record stores across Canada. Canadian Classical Music on Songs, from composer Nick Peros, is a collection of 31 brand new works for solo voice & piano. Performed by soprano Heidi Klann, with accompaniment by Alayne Hall, Songs features Peros' setting of the poetry of William Blake, Emily Bronte, Emily Dickinson, William Wordsworth, James Joyce and others, set to music which is beautiful, passionate and evocative. In addition to covering a great emotional and artistic range, Songs, in many cases, features the first time that Bronte's poems have been set to music. Nick Peros-Songs, on Phoenix Records, is an exciting new release from an original and innovative Canadian composer. MARCH 1, 2001 - APRIL 7, 2001 wholenote 45

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