SCHEHERAZADE, HPO’s masterful interpretation Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Considering this scribe’s sixth decade of writing about classical concerts, it seems like I’ve heard every work in the genre. Not so, Last night we finally had the opportunity to hear something novel. The Hamilton Philharmonic’s opening work was Rossini’s Semiramide overture. Composed two centuries ago, the tragic libretto deals with the Queen having to choose an heir to her throne. Final act screw-ups result in her and those around her all dying. The longish overture (14 minutes) incorporates actual themes and arias from the opera and is a toe tapping work that like ‘Bolero’ offers multiple opportunities for individual instruments to shine.

David Pell; Gemma New & the HPO interpreting Henri Tomasi’s concerto

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Hammer Baroque Ensemble performs Boccherini & Mozart Reply

review by Judith Caldwell
Hammer Baroque presented a program of music by Boccherini and Mozart organized by cellist Elinor Frey.  In her introduction Frey said Boccherini was one of her favourite composers because as a cellist himself he wrote interesting music for that instrument instead of the typical ‘accompaniment’ music for cello as composed by his contemporary Hayden.  The concert had an international flavour with Belgian traverso player, Jan De Winne, who is also currently one of the most respected flute makers in the world.  He performed on a flute he recently made tuned to A = 422 Hz, the pitch of the tuning fork of Mozart’s piano.  *

DeWinne; Andriani; Chalk; Frey & Croce performing

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Mixed bag of performers at “5 @ 1st” opening 2020 concert Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
For their first concert of the new decade  5 at the First had no less than twelve string players in a quartet, several duos and finally an octet.  The program began with a quartet from the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Beth Cushnie & Elise deBlieck violin, Sarah Cushnie, viola and cellist Christiana Lammers playing the first movement of Antonin Dvorak’s String Quartet in F major.  This is a group of 16 & 17 year olds who have played together for about six months who played this difficult piece very well, especially once they overcame their initial tension and relaxed into the music.

the performers for 5@ 1st’s 2020 opening concert

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A delightful H.P.O. Closing 2019 concert Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

‘Tis the season to be jolly” and director Gemma New’s Hamilton Philharmonic ended the year with what epitomizes eclectic and certainly jolly. A projected BBC cartoon, recited and orchestrially accompanied; Hamilton’s Youth Choir; and the musicians of the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra augmenting their more mature professionals. Something for everyone.
From a vibrant opening interpretation of Anderson’s ‘Christmas Festival’ to the sing-along ending, this was an evening with something for every taste and especially, every age group.  The youth choir under long-time director Zimfira Poloz performed works by Quartel; Kastalsky and Saindon.
*

  “ILLUMINI” – the Ham’n Children’s Choir with the HPO

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Canadian Brass visits H.P.O. Reply

Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin

Two emotional events:- the Hamilton Philharmonic’s musical acknowledgment of Remembrance Day and THE CANADIAN BRASS as guest performers. The former touches both of us as we can remember the days of WWII. Air raids; rationing; slit headlights & blackouts and especially the black sedans that would drive into the neighborhood and disgorge two military types and a priest, minister or Rabbi. That always brought out everyone in sympathy. As for the ‘Brass’ we brought along their 1980 album with Leona Boyd & Erica Goodman. Obviously we’ve been fans for decades. Finally got the album jacket autographed. Traditionally, the concert was opened by the RHLI’s Regimental Band.

“The BRASS” and HPO under maestro Giuseppe Pietraroia’s baton

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CZECH TALES; opening concert of 5@1st Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

The opening concert of the 5 at the First season was entitled Czech Tales, featured  the
AYR Trio;  comprised of Angela Park, piano, cellist Rachel Mercer, plus Yehonatan Berick, violin; playing music of Dvorak and Smetana.  The afternoon began with an Hungarian piece, ‘Scenes de la Czarda No.4’ by Jeno Hubay a noted teacher, violinist and composer who taught the teacher of Berick, who then called him his ‘grand teacher’.  This was performed by Julian Kwon, a young violinist from Oakville who is currently the concertmaster of the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

Berick, Park & Mercer – The AYR TRIO

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