5 years ago

Volume 8 Issue 7 - April 2003

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  • April
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • Jazz
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  • Glenn
  • Gould

Ill~~~~T~-~~~~-~~~~~~~g~~~~~~~~lll February 24, 2003: Like so many contemporary music concerts, tonight's programme by the Esprit Orchestra was very much a mixed bag: the music was banal and engaging, novel and cliched-, direct and inscrutable. (For me, the best piece on the programme Musi Cal mixed bqg; unqlloyed post-concert pfeqsure by Colin Eatock For some strange reason, ,I've always taken note of the way people leave concerts. At the end of a Toronto Symphony performance, departing bons vivants are often in an upbeat mood - the evening is young, and they 're on their way to a trendy bar for brie and chablis. By contrast, blissed-out Tafelmusik folk quietly mount their bicycles and Robert Aitken & John Wyre head straight home. At the Canadian Opera Company, patrons in the coat-line warm themselves by exchanging views on the performance. They may leave the building voicing opinions so divergent that one wonders if they were at the same opera. However, at new-music events the audience often doesn 't leave at all - they re-group in the lobby for a post-concert reception. was Andre Ristic's purposeful score Information). But however an Esprit concert unfolds, the orchestra can be relied upon for the best post-concert schmooze in the city. As usual, Toronto's new-music community was well represented: James Montgomery, who runs the Music Gallery, was present, as were OAC Music Officer David Parsons, David Olds from New Music Concerts and, of course, composer Alexina Louie (who, in case you didn't know, is married to Esprit conductor Alex Pauk.) Although many in the crowd were deeply involved in the esoteric world of ~ontemporary music, the post-concert conversation wasn't particularly esoteric. There was nothing here for the lay-person to fear: no debates about stochastic aleatorism or pitch-class analysis. Rather •. there were thought-provoking exchanges amongst interesting people and tidbits of intriguing news about the music world. I chatted briefly with a poet and opera librettist who, in his retirement years, has decided to take up mus.ical composition. I learned that Toronto's Evergreen Club Gamelan Ensemble is now twenty years old. Perhaps the most unexpected topic of conversation came from a local film-J:IJ.aker, who is currently producing a film about Beethoven's hair. (Yes, that's right - Beethoven's hair.) · March 23, 2003: Tonight, New Music Concerts chose to honour three of Toronto's senior composers: John Weinzweig (who is now 90!), Harry Freedman and John Beckwith. Op.ce again, the concert was all over the map in terms of style and effectiveness:

the most successful new work, I believe, was Freedman's moving new string quartet, Phoenix. But if the concert was rather uneven, the post-concert reception was an unqualified success: a festive birthday celebration with two kinds of cake and a merciful absence of speeches. The "usual suspects" were in attendance, but also a few notables from beyond the confines of the new-music world: writer/producer Mavor Moore and visual artist Charles Pachter, whose recent portrait of the three featured composers was on display. I chatted with a composer who is currently writing an opera about a Jewish artist killed in the Holocaust. And I joined a group of people discussing the politics of the complimentary ticket list. (It turned out that only one person in that small group had actually purchased a ticket for this concert - the others had managed to get themselves invited.) HSBC ~x~ 2002 12003 SEASON lnternationa1oPOcaCRecitals Attending a contemporary music concert is much like panning for gold: listeners should be prepared for lots of mud and just a little gold. For the adventurous, the nuggets of gold make the whole experience worthwhile: new-music devotee and arts patron Roger Moore - a presence at almost every new-music concert in the city - seems to fall into this category. But even on those dark nights when a concert offers only a few bleak hours of luckless prospecting, there's always a chance that a good post-concert reception with the colourful new-music cognoscenti will raise the spirits ancJ make the evening·worthwhile. Colin Eatock ( is a composer and writer in Toronto who contributes to the Globe and Mail and other publications. His T. 0. Musical Diary is a regular monthly feature of WholeNote magazine. A great Bookstore ... now with Music! Working in partnership with L'Atelier Grigorian, Ontario's most respected retailer of Jazz and Classical music, the U of T Bookstore has a wide selection of music including Jazz, Classical, Opera, Roots Music, Soundtracks, Pop and more. Visit the 2nd floor of the where you'll find a pleasant atmosphere, over 20 listening stations and regular label sales featuring discounted music from specific labels. Michae1SC HADE tenor Malcolm MARTI NEAUpiano WEDNESDAY APRIL 30 • 8PM ROY THOMSON HALL The world's charismatic lyric tenor of choice comes home to perform a recital program that includes Liszt, Faure and R·ichard Strauss. Sponsored by ONTARIOPOWiil GENERATION CLASSICA~@p;; M~ ki n s li f.e ''"""' f!i.1'.er.

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