My first foray into the world of classical music-critiquing was an OSM concert under Zubin Mehta- autumn 1961. During the past five decades I’ve probably attended about 5 thousand such events. Multiply that by approximately 3 works each, thus I’ve been privileged to hear a fair sampling of the repertoire. Naturally, I have my favorites and two of these made up the last H.P.O. concert of this season. Both are works by Beethoven
A Celebration Concert by ‘5 @ the First’
Yesterday, Rachel Mercer & Angela Park offered a free Celebration concert to all those who had supported them through the year. The afternoon began with the Adagio and Allegro opus 70 written by Robert Schumann, an energetic piece with rich tones that showcased the considerable talents of this duo. More…
What a spectacular concert! The National Arts Centre Orchestra, in collaboration with the Ottawa Festival Chorus and the Ewashko Singers celebrated the work of Boublil & Schönberg, creators of the massive Broadway hits, “Les Misérables” and “Miss Saigon.” The program featured hit songs from these as well as from two other of their highly successful shows, “Martin Guerre” and “The Pirate Queen.”
The fourth concert in the series Five at the First featured Akemi Mercer, violin and Dirk Niewoehner, viola playing two duets for violin & viola plus a solo for each instrument. Prior to each work Akemi amused us by telling something about each composers love life; none of it very salacious.
Our first composer was Bohuslav Martinu, a Czech who relocated in Paris to meet other musicians and then was forced to move to the United States when he fell afoul of the Nazis during World War II. More…
Review by Danny Gaisin
Nope, not cannoli’s or pizza; Mendelssohn’s no. 4; and damn, damn, damn – Sommerville’s erudite well-informed commentary notes in the program left me with little to add but opinion!
Given the season, a performance of STABAT MATER is à propos; but truth-be-known; this particular Gentile holiday leaves me cold.
March 31st was the 280th anniversary of the birth of Joseph Haydn and on that date the Oakville Ensemble offered us Haydn’s ‘Seven Last Words’. This is a unique piece written by the profoundly religious Haydn to provide instrumental music for a Good Friday service, to be performed between meditations on Christ’s seven last utterances on the cross. This presentation included poetry readings between recent American transcriptions of each of Haydn’s nine musical interludes. More…