Browsing: La Scena Online

As part of an international tour celebrating its 90th anniversary the Red Army Choir, under the direction of its artistic director Gennadiy Sachenyuk, gave seven performances at the Maison symphonique de Montréal from December 26 to 30. For just over two hours the 75 singers and musicians, accompanied by Quebec songstress Isabelle Boulay for four songs, offered a program mainly composed of traditional Russian songs and Christmas tunes. Towards the concert’s end, in a beautiful and highly significant gesture, Isabelle Boulay interpreted L’Hymne à la beauté du monde (Hymn to the Beauty of the World) by Luc Plamondon, popularized by…

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****/** No happier way to start a year than Francis Poulenc, few grimmer than Charles Koechlin. This album opens with the little-played Poulenc Sinfonietta, originally intended as a string quartet and allegedly thrown in a Paris gutter when it did not work out. First heard in London in 1948, it’s a Mozart-meets-Stravinsky score, and none the worse for that. Even at his most neo-classical, Igor never got this light. The captivating Poulenc piano concerto was premiered by the composer himself in 1950. The Boston audience snubbed it as second-rate Rachmaninov, but Poulenc has much more joie-de-vivre and wears what he…

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Dec/Jan 2020 issue Monsters at the National Gallery! Christmas may be over, but “You better watch out” if you visit the National Gallery of Canada on January 25th, 2020. Why? Because… there be monsters. In fact, Monsters are already on display at the Gallery, in a special exhibition titled Beautiful Monsters in Early European Prints and Drawings (1450–1700), which runs until March 29th, 2020. But on January 25th, the monsters will creep off their canvasses and come to life in a one-time performance in the Gallery’s auditorium. The show features the Ottawa Baroque Consort, hosted by master storyteller David Brennan.…

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Whenever I hear music by the young Dmitri Shostakovich I am astonished all over again by his up-yours raw humour and ribaldry. This is a dazzling talent strutting his stuff in the first decade of a revolution when all seemed possible and available – jobs for all, free meals at work, free love. None foresaw that Stalin would soon crush the spark and the spirit out of the cultural side of the revolution. The two unexpected world premieres on this release are compelling. The Bedbug was a comedy written by the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, for which Shostakovich wrote incidental music…

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The towering masterpieces of the late baroque tend to block our view of worthy earlier scores. One such is the Christmas Story of Heinrich Schütz, a 40-minute oratorio published in 1664 that focuses squarely on the Biblical account and deploys both voices and instruments in creative ways. The Toronto Consort under the supervision of former artistic director David Fallis gave it an intriguing airing on Dec. 14 (the second of three performances) in the Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. By far the biggest job is that of the Evangelist, whose recitatives sometimes run longer than two minutes. One might argue that Bach,…

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I’m guessing not many readers are familiar with Beethoven’s Sonata in D, opus 6. Published in 1797, though possibly dating from the composer’s teens, it begins with the unmistakable opening phrase of the Fifth Symphony. Seriously? That work that did not achieve fruition for another decade. Like me, you may have trouble believing your ears at the arresting confidence of this two-movement piece. It’s unremarkable in most other ideas except for the ta-ta-ta-taaa and the Beethoven signature that pulses through every second. The British pianists Peter Hill and Benjamin Frith have teamed up here to take us into some wholly…

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The newly commissioned work will be themed on truth in our times to honour the memory of Canadian-born and US-based news anchor and television journalist Peter Jennings. DECEMBER 12, 2019 – OTTAWA (Canada) – The National Arts Centre (NAC) and the NAC Orchestra are honoured to announce a new commissioned work from Philip Glass, one of the most acclaimed and renowned classical composers of his generation. This new orchestral piece will be developed around the theme of truth in our times, an ode to freedom of the press that will honour the memory of Canadian-born Peter Jennings, one of the most…

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The National Film Board of Canada, in association with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, proudly presents That Higher Level Directed by John Bolton (2018 | 75 min) STREAMING FOR FREE NOW ON NFB.CA nfb.ca/film/that-higher-level “It is pure magic and John Bolton is the ringmaster.” – Hollywood North Magazine That Higher Level follows the 100 musicians who make up the National Youth Orchestra of Canada over the course of two months of training and touring across the country. Embedded with the orchestra throughout, filmmaker John Bolton provides an insider’s view of these young players as they train with some of…

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The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony is saddened to learn of the passing of Simon Streatfeild, who was Principal Guest Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the K-W Symphony from 2004-2007. Streatfeild’s guidance during a difficult time for the organization left a lasting impression, and he had a profound impact on many KWS musicians during his tenure. Streatfeild will be greatly missed by the music community. We extend our sincerest condolences to his family and friends at this most difficult time. Simon Streatfeild was born and educated in England where he studied viola at the Royal College of Music in London. Long before his…

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (December 5, 2019) — Eun Sun Kim has been appointed the Caroline H. Hume Music Director of San Francisco Opera (SFO), effective August 1, 2021. The appointment was announced today by SFO General Director Matthew Shilvock at the War Memorial Opera House. Ms. Kim will become the fourth music director in the history of San Francisco Opera, leading the orchestra, chorus, and music staff, and working with General Director Matthew Shilvock; Managing Director: Artistic Gregory Henkel; and other members of the Company on repertoire and casting. She will be a key member of the creative leadership, helping…

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