Oakville Ensemble:- subject –Majestic; O.E. – ditto 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

The Oakville Ensemble‘s season finale is titled “Majestic”; a referral to both the program and the composers themselves. In spite of artistic director Stéphane Potvin’s claim that Johann S. Bach and Georg Handel were ordinary people; this particular musicologist feels that great composers are ‘special’ and imbued with a God-given talent to make an eternal contribution to humanity. Beethoven’s nine symphonies impress me even more than reading about someone walking on water! (I can hear the shouts of ‘sacrilege’ even without opening our windows!)

The mixed orchestra/choir OAKVILLE ENSEMBLE

The mixed orchestra/choir OAKVILLE ENSEMBLE

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Rainer Hersch & the HPO- ‘shtick’ but no sticks 2

Review by Danny Gaisinreviewerdgcolor1.jpg

reviewer_DannyNov. 15th, 2009   “Conductor/arranger/performer/writer Rainer Hersch is a knowledgeable and highly talented musician. What Victor Borge did for (and to) the piano; Stan Freburg to many pop songs of the fifties; and Anna Russell to Wagner’s Ring Cycle- Hersch does to all classical music. He also destroys every preconception about the orchestra, its sections and its instruments. A learning opportunity- hardly; a comedic instance –CERTAINLY. I actually was concerned about peeing in my pants!”

The above intro paragraph is what this journalist opined about Rainer Hersch’s last visit with the Hamilton Philharmonic. Last night; more of the same except that London (the other one) and Beethoven plus Mozart were the subjects for his clever barbs.

Sutherland toasting the audience with her bottle of 'gargle'

Sutherland toasting the audience with her bottle of ‘gargle’

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O.C.O.’s paean to ‘romanticism’ Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
To musicologists; the term ‘romanticism’ refers to the evolved compositional style of the late 18th and 19th centuries. The label derives from the noun meaning optimistic, idealized or subjective.  The music reflects on nature, chivalry and even mysticism in formats that are usually dissonant and chromatic with a definitive virtuoso requirement. The OAKVILLE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA’s decision to stage a concert totally within the aegis meant enlisting an artist of such a skill level as to meet the prerequisite. Cellist Rachel Mercer is just such a performer.

Mercer performing with the O.C.O.

Mercer performing with the O.C.O.

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5 at the First, Strauss to Sondheim …and then some Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
               The concert’s subtitle was ‘Contrasts’ and that was accurate.  I had no idea what type of music would be presented on Sunday at The First Unitarian Church, our musicians were Alex Samaras, a vocalist; pianist Gregory Oh; and Bram Gielen, bass; each have such a wide range of studies and interests that the concert could contain anything.  What we did receive was an eclectic group of art songs and cabaret songs with several good old story-songs thrown in.

Gielen; Samaras & Oh ...the guest soloists

Gielen; Samaras & Oh …the guest soloists

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Danton & the H.P.O. –uninspiring Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG

This was the week that a local groundhog interrupts his burrowing to see what the winter duration will be. The Hamilton Philharmonic’s Pops Concert paid tribute to the rodent by presenting a concert that was…Boring!  Promoted as a jazz event with guest soloist Diana Panton, the selections and arrangements were stereotypically ‘piano bar’ and should have had the percussion team clinking glasses as background.

Panton & quartet with the H.P.O.

Panton & quartet with the H.P.O.

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POPERA + …definitely PLUS Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

Opera Hamilton’s traditional ‘Popera’; a mélange of arias performed in concert; has an uneven history. Some were a delight, others less so. The programmes varied from the strictly familiar to interesting but lesser-known sources. Last evening’s programme was a quadruple-threat… entertainingly diverse; faultless orchestral technique; exceedingly talented vocalists and the introductory performances of two rising but still somewhat novice young operatic soloists.

conductors & soloists, "POPERA+" 2013

conductors & soloists, “POPERA+” 2013

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