In fairness to our readers, a little personal history may justify a certain positive bias on the part of this reporter. It was fifty years ago this month that I blind-dated a recent immigrant to Toronto. He was from Montreal, thus cognizant of all the stereotypes his hometown bestowed on my city…lousy restaurants (true); Blue Laws; (also true) cold & insular (still true); and rolled up streets after sunset (NOT true). During those early dates when couples learn about each other; I found out he was an avid fan of live music, including jazz.
Review by Danny Gaisin
** Guilty Guilty Guilty ** A sleepy-headed scribe credited Lehninger instead of Parker for “O’ Canada” ! Editor
The H.P.O. concert was named & dedicated to its two composers, Maurice Ravel and Dmitri Shostakovich. Approximately one generation apart, the Frenchman and the Russian had some similar and yet some totally diverse musical styles and experiences.
Ravel lived from the end of the 19th century to almost the start of WWII. His compositions like Tombeau de Couperin; Daphnis e Chloe, plus his arrangement of Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures’ are now almost as familiar as the piece he wrote for the movie “10” (just kidding)!
Saturday evening, the Oakville Chamber Orchestra presented a program which their conductor, Charles Demuynck, called Brilliance and Light. It contained the Triple Concerto in C major by Beethoven and Symphony #41 in C major; ‘the Jupiter’, by Mozart. The Triple Concerto is unique in that it is the only classical concerto ever written for a trio of soloists. Amy Dorfman, piano; Carolyn Hubel, violin; and cellist Felix Wong are the Blakemore Triofrom Nashville, Tennessee and they played the trio parts brilliantly & with perfect timing.
Review by Danny Gaisin
It was mid-July of 1987 when Prince Andrew & ‘Fergie’ were visiting Toronto. The city arranged some outdoor entertainment for the Royal couple. After assisting me with solo docking of Wind Breaker I at Ontario Place, Star reporter Rosie DiManno suggested I take in the free concert with her. The guest performers were THE NYLONS! Last night we had the opportunity to again enjoy one of their live performances as part of the ‘Charles T. Cozens Presents’series at Hamilton’s Lincoln Alexander Centre. Conclusion – I waited much too long … they’re still terrific entertainers.
Saturday marked the reunion of the Hamilton Philharmonic with Basia Bulat, for the first of this season’s Pops Series. There is something about mixing together more than one type of music which can be very exciting, in the same way that combining various flavours of foods can be. We’ve become used to certain combinations, and know what to expect. A jazz vocalist with an orchestra, for example, is a “flavour” we all enjoy. We operate within a certain comfort level within that tradition, exploring the unique qualities that each vocalist or stylist brings. Sometimes, as in the food analogy, a whole different flavour is created. Put apples & cheese together, and you have an idea of what Bulat and the HPO achieved. It was a fresh, interesting sound that very much appealed to this reviewer, earning a standing ovation from the audience.
Review by Amy McBride
The song cycle “PENELOPE” was mesmerizing from beginning to end! Even after watching, and hearing it performed I am still unsure if I was really there when it happened. The voice of Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond) was captivating; somehow subtly voracious, and at the same time incredibly poetic and wondrous. Sarah Kirkland Snider, the composer of this magical story, came up with this idea of loosely basing Penelope on the story of Homer’s Odyssey; modernized into a story of a soldier returning to his wife after 20 years at war. The soldier has suffered brain damage and it seems that the sea that took him to war has finally brought him home to his wife. More…