“The Woods are Dark and Deep” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Mar. 27,  ‘19

About a hundred years ago, Robert Frost wrote a poem about stopping near a forest just after a snowstorm. The title of Mladen Oradović’s play about the Canadian government’s internment of Eastern Europeans during WW I takes a stanza from that poem as its title. Fitting, as the internees are utilized to clear away a forest for what will be a national park. They earned a quarter for a full day’s back-breaking labour. However, compared to the lack of jobs overseas, this was actually an incentive for young men to emigrate in hopes of gaining a nest egg. The war interfered.

An internment camp Christmas dinner

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“The Brandenburgs”, an O.A.R.’s Top ten contender Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Mar 24th, ‘19

J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti were composed during the second decade of the eighteenth century, but were only so-named in 1870. An intrinsic part of every dedicated collector of classical music’s library, these works are the epitome of the Baroque era. They also have such range as to stating a personal favorite. A lively topic for debate and discussion among aficionados.
To celebrate its thirty-fifth year anniversary, the Oakville Chamber Orchestra spared no effort or venue choice to present all six with guest soloists who were picked from orchestral principals with absolutely stunning resumés.

OCO & solists performing Branderrburg No. 1’s allegro movement

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“Isitwendam” Is a powerful Indigenous journey of discovery Reply

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe      Mar.  20, ‘19

Isitwendam, written and performed by Meegwun Fairbrother  is a powerful, emotional, and beautifully-crafted play , well worth seeing.  The play, a Bound To Create Theatre (B2C) Production, is having its world premiere in Toronto, presented by native Earth Performing Arts at the Aki Studio. It was co-created and directed by Jack Grinhaus. Isitwendam means “an understanding,” and this one-act play shows how theatre, with its blend of physicality, emotion, language, and appeal to our senses, can give us a deeper, fuller understanding of, and empathy with, a complex situation. The play begins with a mysterious, graceful dance performed by Fairbrother, against a background of changing light and shadow – ending with a flashing light and a sense of terror. More…

Holst; the HPO, and an astrology lesson Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin  Mar. 17th, ’19

My Very Easy Method, Just SUN”, this mnemonic is one of the ways of remembering the names and positions of the planets … the things in the night sky that don’t twinkle! Just over one hundred years ago, Gustav Holst composed a suite that reflected the astrological characteristics of the planets and the mythological gods they are named after. This work was the major opus undertaken by last night’s Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra concert in the Great Hall.
The pre-intermission part of the program was devoted to Claude Debussy. Opening with his ‘Prelude to an Afternoon of a Faun’.

The HPO & McMaster Choir performing Debussy Nocturne

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Toronto Symphony Orchestra…under Gemma New! Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

The Enterprise has its ‘Trekkies’; Jimmy Buffett has his ‘Parrotheads’; Taylor followers are ‘Swifties’ and Grateful Dead are the deadheads! Now is perhaps the time for fans of the HPO’s Gemma New to have a groupie nickname. A substantial number of Hamiltonians; including a full highway cruiser busload of enthusiasts made the QEW trip to Roy Thomson Hall to listen and applaud Ms. New’s first time at the podium of the TSO.
Toronto considers itself a World-class city and naturally, its eponymous musical assemblage should be world-class too. It definitely IS.
Under Sir Andrew Davis, and his predecessor Peter Oundjian , its stature and recording accomplishments rank with the best.

Gemma New at the podium

Review by Danny Gaisin
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“Escape to Paradise”, a multi-protocol HPO event Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

With just a year shy of six decades of writing about classical music; one feels as though one has heard just about everything euphonic… not so. An intimate proscenium-style almost chamber orchestra phenomenon was held in the Studio Theatre next to Hamilton’s Great Hall. It was audibly; physically; emotionally and sensually effective. HPO conductor/host Gemma New presented five novel and extremely contemporary compositions that incorporated the creative multi-media art of Tony Viera. Both orchestra and audience were impacted by light and projected imagery that accompanied the creative works being interpreted. The effect was a full dimension of impression and sensation.
The first piece was titled ‘Prelude to Dawn’ by
Kevin Lau. This is a new dimension of sensual impression and musical notation interpretation. Like the rest of the audience, our attention was more than rapt — it elicited a concentration and total focus.

Configuration of H.P.O & audience for ESCAPE TO PARADISE

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