Browsing: Chamber Music

A bad album by Joyce Didonato is such a rarity that it warrants serious attention. The release at hand is a live recording of a Wigmore Hall recital just before last Christmas – not so much a recital as a tissue of decorations around a half-hour monologue by Joyce’s favourite composer Jake Heggie, ll of them accompanied by string quartet.  The monologue is an evocation of the life of Camille Claudel, model and muse to the sculptor and painter Auguste Rodin. A sculptor herself, Claudel never gets the recognition she possibly deserves and winds up sadly in an asylum. It’s…

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Universally popular in the first half of the 20th century, the music of Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari has vanished into thin air. A Venetian of German ancestry and education, Wolf-Ferrari rejected modernism and allowed himself to become – along with Mascagni, Repighi, Malipiero and most Italian composers – a cultural poster-boy for the Mussolini regime. This affiliation accelerated his reputational decline after 1945; he died three years later. But there is nothing ideological about his music. Nor is it in any sense reactionary. On the contrary, Wolf-Ferrari wrote romantic music because that is all he was equipped to do and he did…

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TORONTO…Toronto Summer Music announces two additional opportunities to hear some of its most popular programmes this summer.  On July 25 at 3:00 PM the Dress Rehearsal of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons will be open to the public at Church of the Redeemer (162 Bloor Street West) and on Jul 29 at 5:30 PM at Walter Hall (80 Queen’s Park) audiences can enjoy the TSM Pop-up Preview featuring duo Jonathan Crow and Phil Chiu. Due to overwhelming demand for their July 30th recital, Artistic Director and TSO Concertmaster Jonathan Crow and TSM all-star Phil Chiu present a sneak preview of their upcoming…

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A warm summer evening at Domain Forget provided the setting for the premiere of Canadian baritone Phillippe Sly’s latest musical venture: Schubert’s Winterreise (A Winter Journey) Klezmer version. The show also marked the debut of his newly formed band “Le Chimera Project” featuring Karine Gordon (trombone), Jonathan Millette (violin) Samuel Carrier (accordion), Félix de l’Étoile (clarinet and bass clarinet) and Roy Rallo (staging). The band was formed about two years ago. Sly was inspired after hearing Samuel Carrier and Félix de l’Étoile perform one piece from Winterreise in an informal setting. He was also fascinated by the theme of an…

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INTERVIEW: with renowned composer John Rutter. Mark it a red-letter day in the Canadian classical music calendar: on Friday the 13th of July, John Rutter – among the world’s most beloved and widely performed living composers – arrives in Ottawa. “I feel very much at home in Canada,” Rutter says from his home in Great Britain. “I was quite a regular visitor in past years, when I was patron of the Toronto Mendelsohn Youth Choir. But this will be my first trip to Ottawa, and I’m very much looking forward to it.” It’s a journey occasioned by the two back-to-back…

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A refined product of Gatineau’s Conservatoire de musique, the Despax Quartet is a veritable musical sensation that the Gatineau region can be proud of. The group is made of four siblings, each of them bring their own talent, virtuosity, and mastery of their instrument to the group: Jean and Cendrine play the violin, while Maxime is on the viola and Valérie plays the cello. This summer they will celebrate the quartet’s fifteenth anniversary. In 2003, the four youths, aged between 15 and 20, launched their career as a string quartet under the auspices of their maestro, Calvin Sieb. Their aspirations…

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Music and Beyond, the annual classical music and arts festival, has been springing to glorious life throughout the city of Ottawa every July since 2010. This year, in an expanded run from July 4 to 18, it boasts a roster of more than 75 concerts and events, and approaches its start date buoyed by more than even its customary tide of rising anticipation. In May, the festival received Ottawa Tourism’s coveted “Event of the Year” award for cultural contributions during the 2017 summer season. “I was bowled over,” says Julian Armour, the festival’s founder and executive and artistic director. “The…

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Earlier this year, when Ottawa’s Music and Beyond festival announced that its 2018 roster would include a concert of works written and conducted by acclaimed British composer John Rutter, ticket-buying activity exploded across North America. Within 90 seconds, a two-ticket order from British Columbia augured the continent-wide deluge to come. “We were selling tickets faster than anything else we ever released in our history,” recalls the festival’s founder and executive and artistic director, Julian Armour. “I thought, ‘we’d better see if we can offer another performance.’” Armour quickly contacted Rutter, along with the three choruses involved, and members of his…

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MCMF’s Classical Series June 1 to 17 The Montreal Chamber Music Festival launches its Classical Series on June 12 with the remarkable Rolston String Quartet. At 5 p.m. the interpret Different Trains by Steve Reich in a performance embellished by the screening of a Beatriz Caravaggio-produced video. At 8 p.m. they are joined the renowned pianist André Laplante in Schumann’s Piano Quintet. The intensive week continues with the Tempest Trio’s Canadian debut on June 14; a musical whirlwind by the pianists Alon Goldstein, David Jalbert, Steven Massicotte and Wonny Song on June 15; and appearances by the New York Philharmonic…

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Set in the idyllic Bas-Saint-Laurent region, the annual Concerts aux Îles du Bic festival offers a series of concerts and music events entirely dedicated to chamber music. Over the years, the festival has proven to be a resounding success, earning it a reputation as one of today’s most important gatherings of Quebec chamber musicians. During its 17th edition from Aug. 4 to 12, the public is invited to a dozen concerts which celebrate the music of yesterday’s and today’s composers while redefining the limits of the genre. United by a common passion for chamber music, cellist James Darling and violinist…

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