5 @ 1st, honouring Canadian women composers Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell    Apr. 14, ’19

Hamilton should be very grateful to Rachel Mercer for frequently offering wonderful new music she has found or commissioned to local audiences. The most recent concert featured compositions by Canadian female composers from the 20th and 21st centuries and included three works especially commissioned by Mercer for the occasion.   The afternoon began with a young artist, 8 year old Azlyn Spleit, playing Felix Borowski’s Adoration on the violin.  She played entirely from memory and with great aplomb, obviously not a bit nervous, and completed the fairly long and difficult piece without a glitch and to appreciative applause.  More…

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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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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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“MOSAIQUE” from the ‘Ensemble Made in Canada’ Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

Ensemble Made in Canada, comprised of Angela Park, piano; violinist Elissa Lee,; violist Sharon Wei and cellist Rachel Mercer, commissioned a major new work from 14 Canadian contemporary composers pulled together into a piece called Mosaique. The composers were each given an area of Canada to represent musically, usually an area where they had lived or visited frequently, EMIC then arranged these compositions into the finished work. In the Q & A after the performance Mercer said they had tried various groupings and were still open to change, at the moment seven compositions form the first part of the concert and the remaining seven are played after intermission.

the MOSAIQUE performers, post-concert

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