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Volume 8 Issue 4 - December 2002/January 2003

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • December
  • Jazz
  • January
  • Theatre
  • Symphony
  • February
  • Choir
  • Musical
  • Arts

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·I I,_. ----J2-:.... (9-"-*-.__.t~;,,.1.,_tt ......... S'I.i .... C~tt---L__.V,__._ii_,_A-A4-'R...,l:""'-----1-11l by Colin EaJock Much ink is spilled annually on the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company and several. other big music presenters in this city. But there's another concert milieu in Toronto, one that's a little further down the food chain and that often goes unnoticed in the daily press. These concerts - usually unglamorous affairs, given in 'churches and modest halls around town by local musicians - seemed to be particularly abundant in mid-November. So I decided to spend a weekend finding out what they have to offer. (None of these events, by the way, had a ticket price of more than .) November 15, 2002: I arrive at the cozy little Heliconian Club in Yorkville to find a capacity audience for soprano Jean Edwards, violinist Elizabeth Macmillan and pianist Brahm Goldhamer. The concert features the kind.of varied programme that's pretty much extinct in more prominent venues these days: officially,-it's an art-song recital, including ·works by Handel, Schubert and R. Strauss.:_ but folk-song and opera are also represented, with a movement from a Bach violin sonata thrown in for good measure. . · Edwards has a youthful voice, with a bri'ght upper range and a fragile quality well suited to a small hall such as Heliconian. The audience is 'clearly drawn in by the.concert's intimacy - there's a strong·sense of mc§)inf qnia ioronLo NURHAN ARMAN MUSIC DIRECTOR. . Saturday, Eebruary 1, 2003, 8 pm 'Doubfe rTreat Glenn Gould studio Kai Gleusteen Violinist & Catherine Ordrotineau Pianist The festive brilliance of Mendelssohn reflected b-etween a delightful husband­ .and-wife duo. Hovhaness Mendelssohn Rossini Janacek Armenian Rhapsody No. 3 Cto. for Violin & Piano in D Sonata No. I in G Idyll Saturday, March 1, 2()03, 8 pm .9Tappg YiVtl/ulog Yted&do Owpbf Glenn Gould Studio Acclaimed Canadian pianist Francine Kay plays one of the best-loved romantic concertos, complemented by works of irony, elegance and nostalgia. Barber Chopin Shostakovich Mendelssohn Adagio for Strings Piano Cto. No. I in e Four Preiudes, Op. 34 Sinfonia No. I2 in G Tickets: /26/ 18 from Glenn Gould Studio 416-205-5555 Box Office hours:. Mon-Fri llam to 6pm; 2 hours before concerts for in-person sales only. All sales final, no refunds, no exchanges. www.sinfoniatoronto.com I community in the room. "I don't know about you, bu,t I'm having a wonderful time," says the singer to her listeners at one point. And they are indeed having a wonderful time - the recital condudes with an enthusiastic standing ovation. A few people buy tapes or CDs of ' Edwards and Goldhamer, available at the back of the hall. November 16, 2002: The spacious Church of the Holy Trinity, next to · the Eaton Centre, feels extra spacious with just 40 audience members, who have come out to hear the Riverdale Ensemble. f>erhaps the meaty all-Brahms progra!111Tle has discou.raged some people - or is it the· centimetre of snow that fell in the afternoon? The performances are thoroughly professional: Joyce Lai's reading of Brahms' Violin Sonata No. 1, with pianist Ellen Meyer, is accomplished music-making; as is the Trio in A Minor, featuring Meyer, clarinetist Stephen Fox and cellist Laura Jones. But, alas, what is supposed to be the crowning event of the evening - the Serenade No. 1 in D, played in Brahms' original scoring for nine instruments - falls victim to the boomy acoustic of Holy Trinity, which pretty much swallows the piece whole. The small audience seems unable to muster the level of applause these brave musicians deserve, and few seem interested in the group's CD. November 17: About 80 people, myself included, brave the winter weather to make their way to St. George the Martyr Church, for · Baroque Music Beside the Grange. The programme is quite unusual - it's rare enough to hear one baryton, let alone a pair on the same concert. But Jeremy Brooker and Roland• Hutchinson have brought two of these strange beasts - a cross between a bowed viol and a plucked zither - to town to make delicate: baroque sounds with harpsichordist Pau!Jenkins and viola d'amorist (or is it violist d'amore?) Thomas Georgi. Like many in the Early Music movement, these are very dedicated musicjans, and their love of their instruments shows in every note they play. Unfo~nately, tuning is a ·problem throughout the concert: Brooker remarks, during one of several tuning breaks, that there ,are enough strings on the instruments on stage for more than ten string quartets . Once again, there are CDs for sale - about half a dozen recordings of these performers, plus Baroque Music Beside the Grange bags, mugs and t-shirts. But at the end of the concert, what most interests listeners is the chanc~ to go to the stage and have a closer look at these remarkable instruments. · · There are many more such chamber presenters in Toronto, not to mention ·a clutch of fine choirs and smaller professional orchestras: The . musical quality of these groups varies, to be sure; and some ai:e doing fine while others are struggling to fiQd their niche. Those classical music fans who seem to limit their movements to marching back and forth between Roy Thomson and the Hummingbird (npt WholeNote readers, of course!) would do w~ll to look to the left and right. Colin Eatock ( eatock@thewholenote.com) is a Toronto-based composer who frequently writes ahout music for The Globe and Mail,, and for other publications .. - ~rr- . tlie souni post , Canada's String Shop violins, violas, cellos & bows expert repairs & rehairs strings & accessories at guaranteed lowest 'prices Canada's largest stock of string music fast mail order service all prices in CDN $ - Not a US $price in the store! 93 Grenville St., Toronto M5S 1B4 tel 416-971-6990 fax 416-597-9923 8 www.thewholenote.com Ueceinber 1 2002 - February 7 2003

THE ROYAL CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC CONCERT SEASON 2002~2003 FRIDAY, JANUARY 31, 2003, 8:00 PM THE ROYAL CONSERVATORY ORCHESTRA JOAQUIN VALDEPENAS-conductor Vocalists from The Glenn Gould School MOZART: Excerpts from "Die Zauberflote" STRAVINSKY: 'Jeu de cartes'' and "Dumbarton Oaks" LOCATION: Eqore Mazzoleni Concert Hall, The RCM TICKETS:, The RCM Box Office, (416) 408~2824, ext. 321 ADMISSION: adults, students & seniors . OTHER JANUARY AND FEBRYARY .CONCERTS . LOCATION: Ettore Mazzoleni Cdncert Hall, The Royal Conservatory of Music TICKETS: The RCM Box Office (416) 408:2824, ext. 321 THURSDAY, JANUARY 9, 2003, 8:00 PM ERIKA RAUM violin LYDIA WONG piano SONATAS FOR VIOLIN AND PIANO BY: Mozart, jandcek and Penderecki (North American Premiere) ADMISSION: adults, students & seniors THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2003, 8:00 PM ANDRE LAPLANTE piano . MUSIC BY: Beethoven and Chopin ADMISSION: adults, student~ & seniors THE ROYAL CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC WWW.RCMUSIC.CA December 1 2002 - February 7 2003 www.thewholenote.com ,9

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