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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“From The Beatles, With Love”; an HPO treat Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Over two dozen of the Fab Four’s standards; the Hamilton Philharmonic and Hamilton Jazz great Darcy Hepner at the podium; a musical trifecta. Faultlessly presented with stage rear overhead projections from a certain Beatles cartoon that incorporated the artwork of Peter Blake and Jann Haworth; the evening was an almost psychedelic experience. This was an evocative evening recalling songs we danced to; identified with ; and sang the lyrics to 8-tracks or cassettes or top-twenty radio stations. Last night, I and a filled Great Hall audience turned a concert into a 1500 person singalong.

Tributing the output of the FAB 4;   Note the projection of Hamilton from the mountain!

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“Compose Yourself” an HPO concert 1.0 event Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

 ‘A long time ago in a Province far away’, I and many other classically-minded kids would religiously tune in to CBS on Saturday for Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Young People’s Concerts’. It was an opportunity to learn more of the intricacies involved with classical music, without feeling that the pedagogue was patronizing or condescending. It also gave us the occasional trivia that could be impressively incorporated into dating conversations!
Conductor
Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser is a master at performances before young audiences. Like Bernstein, he never talks down to his audiences, and has an innate ability to integrate with the audience on an educational journey through classical music/orchestras utilizing humor and colloquial terms.

The maestro teaching us how to be a conductor!

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