Browsing: Classical Music

Soprano Christine Brewer (photo: Dario Acosta)With the Canadian Opera Company and Opera Atelier having wrapped up their fall season, there are fewer vocal events on offer this week. However, a major piece of news is the return of American soprano Christine Brewer to Toronto, as soloist in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Glagolitic Mass. This work, sometimes called the Slavonic Mass, is one of the glories of the 20th century oratorio repertoire and has earned its rightful place in the standard repertoire. It requires massive forces – four soloists, a double chorus, organ, and a large orchestra. It is the opening…

Share:

Flash version here. With over a hundred recordings, thousands of concerts in halls all over the world, lauded appearances in festivals, collaborations with legendary artists such as Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky, Yo-Yo Ma and Keith Jarrett and close ties to composers such as Philip Glass, Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Pärt, John Adams, Luigi Nono, Sofia Guibadulina, Valentin Silvestrov and Lera Auerback under his belt, Gidon Kremer’s career path is nothing short of astonishing. One could imagine that such a performer might be unapproachable, crisscrossing the globe, setting down his designer suitcases in the most luxurious of hotel suites, a man who…

Share:

Flash version here. With over a hundred recordings, thousands of concerts in halls all over the world, lauded appearances in festivals, collaborations with legendary artists such as Martha Argerich, Mischa Maisky, Yo-Yo Ma and Keith Jarrett and close ties to composers such as Philip Glass, Alfred Schnittke, Arvo Pärt, John Adams, Luigi Nono, Sofia Guibadulina, Valentin Silvestrov and Lera Auerback under his belt, Gidon Kremer’s career path is nothing short of astonishing. One could imagine that such a performer might be unapproachable, crisscrossing the globe, setting down his designer suitcases in the most luxurious of hotel suites, a man who…

Share:

by Paul E. RobinsonCLASSICAL TRAVELSConcert Hall, the Kennedy CenterWashington, D.C.October 16, 2010Mozart: Symphony No. 34 in C major K. 338Mahler: Symphony No. 5National Symphony Orchestra/Christoph EschenbachWho can explain the chemistry, or lack thereof, between a conductor and an orchestra? Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. At the moment, it is definitely working and working splendidly between Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony (NSO) in Washington, D.C; over the past four weeks they have been making music together and nearly everyone you talk to agrees that this partnership is something special. I went to hear for myself and was duly…

Share:

By L.H. Tiffany HsiehName recognition does help: I’ll be the first to admit I only went to Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Oct. 27 “Haydn & Bruckner” concert because of two names. No, not Haydn and Bruckner, but Thomas Dausgaard and Marc-Andre Hamelin.First off, Dausgaard and Hamelin didn’t disappoint, but the program itself did: Haydn’s relatively unimportant D-major piano concerto and Bruckner’s slightly awkward Sixth Symphony, separated by what felt like an unusually short intermission.Music director Peter Oundjian had the night off, leaving the podium to Dausgaard, the Danish conductor whose lanky and animated body language were comical to watch and were my source of stimulation…

Share:

By Paul E. RobinsonClassical TravelsRoy Thomson Hall, TorontoOctober, 2010Stravinsky: FireworksSibelius: Violin ConcertoShostakovich: Symphony No. 4Henning Kraggerud, violinToronto Symphony Orchestra/Jukka-Pekka SarasteThe Toronto Symphony (TSO) has the good fortune to enjoy good relations with several of its former music directors. While current music director Peter Oundjian is now well-established, conductor laureate Andrew Davis is a frequent and welcome guest conductor, and less often, maestro Jukka-Pekka Saraste. Saraste, who was music director of the TSO from 1994 to 2001, recently succeeded Semyon Bychkov as conductor of the WDR Radio Orchestra in Cologne.Solid Sibelius Follows Less than Stellar StravinskyOn this occasion, Saraste’s partnership with…

Share:

By L.H. Tiffany HsiehIn more ways than one, no other small chamber ensemble is doing more than Toronto’s Amici to promote Canadian music and musicians.Tishis was evident, once again, in the trio’s season-opening concert at Glenn Gould Studio Oct. 17.Titled Gravity & Grace, the program began with core members Joaquin Valdepeñas (clarinet), David Hetherington (cello) and Serouj Kradjian (piano) in Canadian composer Allan Gordon Bell’s Trails of Gravity & Grace, a piece the composer wrote for the Amici combo in 2002.Valdepeñas, Hetherington and Kradjian gave the meticulously structured five-movement piece — Ascent, Cascade, Virga, Ephemera and Flight — a sophisticated reading. They brought out each spine-chilling nuance and every tonal imagination…

Share:

By L.H. Tiffany HsiehIt’s not my kind of thing to want to watch a middle-aged man daydream about a young boy and then die of an infection in the end. But aside from the two main ingredients — love and death — one can find in Death in Venice, Benjamin Britten’s final opera, as directed by the Japanese actor, director and author Yoshi Oida, is a poignantlymoveable landscape of east meets west.In Oida’s Canadian Opera Company debut Oct. 16, the gripping production of Death in Venice came together as a piercing masterpiece. The Asian-influenced set of wooden platforms is complemented in combination with a shallow pool…

Share:

By L.H. Tiffany HsiehYo Yo Ma danced off the stage and back, played two encores, gave two thumbs up for Koerner Hall and at last made his mark in Toronto’s new one-year-old concert hall Oct. 14.The world-famous cellist drew a full house to Koerner Hall’s opening gala in a one-night only solo recital with longtime recital partner, the talented British pianist Kathryn Stott.On the duo’s hefty and gorgeous program were Franz Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata, Dmitri Shostakovich’s D-minor cello sonata, Astor Piazzolla’s Le Grand Tango, Brazilian composer Egberto Gismonti’s arrangement of Bodas de Prata and Quatro Cantos, and Cesar Franck’s A-major…

Share:

top: soprano Marianne Fiset (Photo: Joseph So)left: baritone Brett Polegato ( Photo: Joseph So)bottom: Barbara Cook (Photo: Mike Martin)Lower left: Rubies recipients (l. to r.) Roger Moore, Edith Wiens, Dawn Martens, Stephen Ralls, Bruce UbukataNow we are in mid October, the musical season is in full swing. The second production of the Canadian Opera Company, Death in Venice, opened last Saturday for an eight performance run (Oct. 16 – Nov. 6). Early reports praised British tenor Alan Oke as the very embodiment of the central character Aschenbach vocally and dramatically. And we are fortunate to have conductor Steuart Bedford, who…

Share:
1 231 232 233 234 235 246