The Romance of Josef Suk; an E.M.I.C. tribute Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

Ensemble Made In Canada presented a program entitled The Romance of Josef Suk at their February 10th concert. An appropriate title so close to Valentine’s Day. The four musicians of EMIC are Angela Park, piano, violinist Eliza Lee, , Sharon Wei, viola and cellist Rachel Mercer. They are rapidly gaining recognition as Canada’s premier piano quartet providing master classes, chamber music coaching and lectures at Universities across Canada and the United States. Their musicianship is always outstanding and on Saturday they presented a varied program mostly from the Romantic Era with a more modern Canadian composition as well.

Pinto; West; Park; Roughley; Lee & Mercer

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Seager-Scott, with the Hammer Baroque Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
Hammer Baroque’s first concert of 2018 featured harper (not harpist, she said) Julia Seager-Scott playing both the Italian baroque triple harp and clarsach (Gaelic harp). It was a very damp day and Seagar-Scott spent an hour before the concert tuning both harps and had to re tune the clarsach during the concert. This, plus the fact that the concert was held in Melrose United’s church hall, gave the whole concert a casual and intimate feel as though the audience were in someone’s living room even though the room was packed to capacity. This mood suited the music, much of which came from the Irish bardic tradition and was written by Turlough Carolan (1670-1738).

Seager-Scott and her harp; post-Hammer concert

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“Cirque de la Philharmonique ét la O.P.H.”, Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

Editor’s note: -”O.P.H.” or bilingually ‘orchestre philharmonique d’Hamilton’
The Hamilton Philharmonic offered two guests in what was an amazing evening and a stupendously entertaining one. On the podium was Kitchener’s Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser , with the renowned Cirque de la Symphonie performing on stage. The HPO was in top form; the conductor was in perfect synch with the musicians; (& vice versa). The ½ dozen Cirque members astounded; diverted & astonished the audience. Guilty admission: – this scribe uttered way too many ‘Oy vey‘s’ at what appeared to be certain-death ministrations.
The program was dedicated to the compositions created for, or used, by Hollywood.

Cirque de la Symphonie & maestro Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser -post concert

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AYR trio + Five @ the 1st. Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

The first in the current season of Five @ the First concerts was held on January 13th, 2018 featuring the AYR Trio – Angela Park, piano; violinist Yehonatan Berick,and Rachel Mercer, cello; and featuring a young artist, Albert Li. Albert’s brother- Tate, played cello here in 2016 when he was 12. This time it was 10 year old Albert who plays violin & piano and is fluent in four languages. He is tutored by Park and chose to play Alberto Ginastera’s Danzes Argentinas on the piano for this concert. It was a lovely piece which he played very well, took a bow and then bolted from the stage.

the 5@1st musicians

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“Messiah”, Bach Elgar’s 2017 version Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
Messiah is an event that defines the Christmas season. The Bach Elgar Choir has been singing for 113 years and have offered the oratorio through most of those years including 2017. Guest conductor Howard Dyck, with soloists Agnes Zsigovics, soprano, mezzo Allyson McHardy, Colin Ainsworth, tenor, and bassist Sean Watson, the choir, and a 19-piece orchestra presented the full version of Messiah on Saturday night and a shorter sing-along version on Sunday afternoon at Melrose United Church. The church has good acoustics but the pews are quite uncomfortable for a long concert. though it was written as an Easter Oratorio, it tells of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Bach Elgar interpreting Handel’s MESSIAH

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HPO’s “Home for the holidays” extravaganza evening Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The mark of a top-drawer orchestra is its ability to successfully interpret a range of genres and under diverse conductors. The Hamilton Phil’ exhibited both these talents in presenting a cornucopia of familiar melodies of the season, and under the guest baton of Lucas Waldin of the Edmonton Symphony.
Regardless of one’s religious background or affiliation, the ubiquitous Christmas music is familiar to anyone with a radio or a visit to the mall or grocery store. To make an on-stage reprise thoroughly enjoyable surely is the mark of genius. Last night’s concert certainly achieved this level accolade on three different aspects – aural; visual and imaginative.

Heather Bambrick; Lucas Waldin and the H.P.O.

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