Browsing: Chamber Music

The one thing that keeps me from awarding this album the full five stars is that it is upside down. It opens with a perfectly decent performance of Bela Bartok’s first violin concerto by the Norwegian virtuoso Vilde Frang, with the Radio France philharmonic orchestra conducted by Mikko Franck. Frang, who is 32, has been performing since she was ten years old. Everything she does is perfectly lovely and agreeable. The first Bartok concerto, a youthful effusion of innocent love, is not going to change our lives. The octet, on the other hand, might. George Enescu was one of the great…

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Les Violons du Roy The 35th anniversary season of Les Violons du Roy will be Jonathan Cohen’s first as artistic director. For the opening concert on Sept. 29 at the Maison symphonique, he is joined by countertenor Anthony Roth Costello to perform works by Handel and Glass. On Nov. 3, Bernard Labadie, still music director of La Chapelle de Québec, will join the forces of two ensembles he founded to interpret Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Haydn’s Nelson Mass. On Nov. 23 in Bourgie Hall, Cohen welcomes internationally acclaimed mandolinist Avi Avital. On Dec. 14, Mathieu Lussier presents a baroque program…

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Kateri Tekakwitha has long been part of the school curriculum in Quebec. A 17th-century Mohawk girl who sought baptism in her teens and took a vow of chastity, she became, in 2012, the first North American Indigenous person to be canonized. Now Indigenous artists are paying their own form of homage in Saia’tatokénhti: Honouring Saint Kateri, a 35-minute multimedia presentation with music by Odawa composer Barbara Croall, words by Mohawk writer Darren Bonaparte, and visuals and choreography overseen by the Indigenous Colombian director Alejandro Ronceria. The premiere on Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kahnawake Catholic Church is followed…

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Acclaimed internationally for their brilliant and elegant performances, Trio Fibonacci celebrate their 20th anniversary this fall. This is remarkable longevity for the group comprising Julie-Anne Derome (violin), Gabriel Prynn (cello) and Steven Massicotte (piano). They focussed on the contemporary repertoire early on, but gradually went back to their primary enthusiasms, and today offer thematic programming that combines classical, romantic and contemporary works. Mapping the present to unearth the past Trio Fibonacci was founded in 1998 by Derome, Prynn and André Ristic. “We wanted to create a group mainly associated with romantic repertoire, and since we were all crazy about contemporary…

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Musica Camerata has been passionately and diligently introducing us to less familiar musical works for almost half a century. The eight musicians, hailing mostly from the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM), strengthen their reputation year after year. As the group looks ahead to a new season, here’s an interview with artistic director Luis Grinhauz. Which musical discoveries have stood out for you? Over time, we have discovered new composers; other ensembles have taken our lead and have featured them in their own concerts. Examples include Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz, a key musician like Leoš Janáček, and a group of late…

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The 30th edition of the Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon de Montmagny has been officially inaugurated. The well established event from the Chaudière Appalaches region of northern Quebec presents every year some of the best accordion players from different corners around the world. On opening night, Aug. 31, a full house was treated to a buffet of multi-ethnic sounds. Filippo Gambetta and Andrea Di Giacomo from Italy, Roman Jbanov and Alexei Brioukov from Russia, Emily Stam from Canada, Antonio Rivas, Daniel Ochoa and Jairo Gomez from Colombia, Gary Blair and Robin Hyland from Scotland, and Sylvie Pullès and Maxime Cayron from…

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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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