“VIMY” recalled by Bach Elgar & guests Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
            On Sunday, the Bach Elgar Choir offered a truly monumental concert for the Centennial of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. They were joined by soprano Jennifer Taverner, mezzo Mia Lennox, tenor Owen McCausland, baritone Geoffrey Sirett, plus the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Regimental Band of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.
The RHLI is one of Canada’s oldest combat regiments, predating Confederation, and they fought in WW I at Ypres, the Somme, Passchendaele and Vimy. Their Regimental Band wears the authentic scarlet uniforms of 1866. They opened the concert with Arthur Bliss’ Fanfare for a Dignified Occasion, a very suitable beginning.

Some HPO musicians & the RHLI band under Rehill’s  baton

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“The course of love (& music) DOES run smooth” for the H.P.O. 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

The Hamilton Philharmonic’s construal of Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and Mendelssohn’s exquisitely memorable composition was a perfect blending of aural & visual experience. This effort was truly an O.A.R. “Top Ten” contender. Not only was the orchestra in faultless form, but the Hamilton Children’s Choir was impeccable and the students of Glendale Secondary were enchanting & delicious in their rendering of ‘Hermia & Lysander’; “Demetrius and Helena”; ‘Titania & Oberon’; plus, all the fairies and particularly the Pyramus/Thisbe interpreters. As usual it was the markedly delightful Robin Goodfellow (Puck) who steals the show. He (or she) is the character with whom I most identify!

Children’s Choir; H.P.O.; & Glendale’s fairies interpreting MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

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MUSIKAY; seems Renaissance music doesn’t attract 1

Review by Judith Caldwellreviewerjudy
            Love is in the air in February and Musikay offered a concert of 15th and Sixteenth century love songs in the form of madrigals and chansons. The setting of the concert was unusual in that a circle of approximately 30 chairs in the huge atrium of St. Thomas the Apostle Church surrounded the musicians who formed a smaller inner circle. Maestro Stephan Potvin explained that when this music was originally performed the singers would all be reading from one manuscript and so would be very close together so they could see and hear each other thus really helping the polyphonic singing.

Oakes; Ball; McCormack; Potvin; Stachow & Taylor; post-concert

Oakes; Ball; McCormack; Potvin; Stachow & Taylor; post-concert

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Bach Elgar’s “Messiah; ver. 2016” 1

by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
          The Bach Elgar Choir gave a performance of Handel’s Messiah to a sold out and appreciative audience at Melrose United Church on Saturday evening. Handel had written many operas to varied responses and was considering retirement when he was asked to write a sacred oratorio to be performed in Dublin. He collaborated with his friend Charles Jennens, an aristocratic man of letters who drew on both the Old and the New Testaments for the text. The debut in Dublin in 1742 was a resounding success and its staying power has been established by continued performances over the last 274 years .
bach-elgar-messiah-16-2                                                                                    The choir performing “MESSIAH”

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Bach Elgar choir, a change-of-pace concert Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
Last evening, Hamilton’s Bach Elgar Choir deviated from their usual fare to offer a concert of Canadian folksongs. The Choir was led by Alexander Cann and accompanied by Krista Rhodes, piano and flautist Susan Edmonds. The first half was of older, more traditional songs – most over 200 years old – and began with a Huron Dance Song which sounded very familiar to us in Southern Ontario with its traditional drum beat and words with no meaning sung to reinforce the beat. Then on to a 1919 shipwreck song from Newfoundland which honoured the Captain for grounding the ship and thus avoiding loss of life.

the Bach-Elgar ensemble in performance

the Bach-Elgar ensemble in performance

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‘Alleluya’-MUSIKAY’s first Hamilton offering Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
             Anyone who likes sacred Renaissance music should have been at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Waterdown on Saturday evening when Musikay presented a program titled “Alleluya” for 4 a capella voices.  Unfortunately, a rather sparse audience found their way there which may have been because this was Musikay’s first concert in the Hamilton area or it may have been because there are no obvious external signs that this church is actually St. Thomas’.  Hopefully more people will attend in future.
The voices belonged to Brenda Enns, soprano; alto Catherine McCormack; Nick Gough, tenor; and Terrance Ball, bass with Maestro Stephane Potvin conducting.

Musikay's soloists: -Enns; McCormack; Gough & Ball

Musikay’s soloists: -Enns; McCormack; Gough & Ball

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