“Chant des Oiseaux” vocal MUSIKAY evening Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
Musikay under the direction of maestro Stephane Potvin presented an evening of à cappella renaissance music at St. John’s United Church. The program opened with ‘Salva nos, Domine’ by Giovanni Palestrina a short, solemn piece of sacred music by a master of clear polyphonic style. Prior to Palestrina polyphony was becoming so complex that at times it was difficult to follow the text, but Palestrina showed that it was possible to have both complicated tones and clear text. As a result he is one of the best known 16th century composers.

MUSIKAY, Apr. '14

MUSIKAY performing ‘chants’

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The Holocaust Cantata – an important event Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith

Experia Music presented Donald McCullough’s Holocaust Cantata at First Unitarian Church in Hamilton. The audience was asked to allow the performance to happen without interruption for applause and that really helped us focus.
The evening opened with a rather mournful Prayer for the World sung by the eight primary singers; followed by the traditional Ose Shalom sung by the First Unitarian Choir; then it was on to’ Ani ma’anim’ sung responsively between the female and male singers.  Each of these pieces seemed to build in confidence and power, but at this stage the whole thing still felt rather tentative.

Holocaust cantata

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MESSIAH; the 2013 N.A.O. version Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
Last evening (Monday)at St. Patrick’s Church in Hamilton the Brott Music Festival presented Handel’s Messiah featuring the National Academy Orchestra of Canada; the Arcady Choir and soloists Leslie Ann Bradley– soprano; Pamela Mac Donald, alto; tenor Michael Colvin, and Gordon Bintner, baritone.
After reviewing several recent concerts of unfamiliar music it was very nice to be able to relax into the lovely sounds of Handel’s work, a Christmas perennial on the concert circuit even though it’s content makes it seem more suitable to Easter.

Brott congratulating his principal cellist post-MESSIAH

Brott congratulating his principal cellist, post-MESSIAH

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Silent Night Concert by Musikay Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

reviewerJudithFriday evening at Grace Lutheran Church, the choir of Musikay presented an evening of Christmas inspired music.  The ten singers opened a cappella with three of the Noels Anciens of Donald Patriquin who is a French Canadian composer currently living in Montreal where he used to teach music at McGill.  He is best known for his folk music arrangements and the three chosen Noels reflect that.  Venez mes enfants is very pretty with beautiful four part harmonies.

The choir members of Musikay

The choir members of Musikay

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“MESSIAH”, performed by Oakville Ensemble Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

Dec. 8th, ‘12

Oakville Ensemble’s fourth annual presentation of The Messiah took place on Saturday. The Ensemble is a small choir of 16 singers plus soloists and is led by Maestro Stephane Potvin.  Sometimes they sing a capella but this evening they were accompanied by a nine piece orchestra of strings, trumpets, continuo and timpani.

The Oakville Ensemble in  performance

The Oakville Ensemble in performance

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Renaissance Christmas performed by the Oakville Ensemble Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

On Saturday evening at Grace Lutheran Church, the Oakville Ensemble gave us a Christmas Concert of Renaissance music sung à cappella.  The concert was taped for later airing by Cogeco™.  It will be aired several times before Christmas.
As in other disciplines, the Renaissance was a time of innovation and change for music.  There was a demand for serious music as entertainment, not just for liturgy, and musical education led to the growth of those educated amateurs who wished to play publicly.

Director Potvin & the Oakville Ensemble singers

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