“HPO’s Halloween ‘Spooktacular’ afternoon concert Reply

Review by Danny GaisinThe musicians and concertmaster were in costume; the dancers of Freedom Studio – costumed; the audience – totally dressed up. And yours truly was fully attired for ‘Trick of Treating’. The somewhat abbreviated afternoon performance was aimed at a definitely younger audience, hence the selections and duration. Our seatmates were a 4-year old Alice and her slightly older brother. Observing their attentiveness and physical participation spoke well for the endeavour as well as the future of classical interest. Their mimicking of the conductor and fascination with the on-stage dancers defined total engrossment. The concert focal point was conclusively the conductor.

The HPO musicians awaiting Bartholomew-Poyser (aka Grim Reaper)

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The ELIXIR ENSEMBLE, part of the Hammer Baroque season Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

On Saturday evening, Hammer Baroque presented The ELIXIR ENSEMBLE playing string quartets on instruments using gut strings as opposed to the more usual modern metal strings.  The second piece on the program explored the different sounds gut strings can make.   Many patrons of Hammer Baroque have complained of the short notice given for the concerts, the email announcement of this concert only went out on Thursday, but Bud Roach explained in the program notes that these concerts offer no-fee guarantees for the performers, and flexibility with dates is the trade-off to secure high-quality (and very busy) performers. 

       The Elixir Ensemble in concert

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“TIME”, an afternoon recital in a century-old loft Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
Rebecca Morton, cello, and pianist Emily Rho, presented a recital around the theme of Time at the Cotton Factory on Sunday afternoon, for a small, but enthusiastic audience.  The thought, preparation and musicianship on display deserved a much bigger following.  Morton introduced each piece with amusing explanatory notes which greatly helped the appreciation level.  The afternoon began with a delightful March for Solo Cello by Sergei Prokofiev in 2/4 time that was something between a stroll and a sashay – much more fun than a simple march.  A Sonata for Solo Cello in three parts by George Crumb followed. 

Mrs. Morton Sr.; Rebecca Morton & Emily Rho

 

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“H.P.O., L.V.B. + W.A.M”; a memorable concert Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Gemma New’s Hamilton Philharmonic is of such a critical plateau that even if she’s away from the podium; the musicians are still an “A-Team”. Last night, her conducting mentor, the renowned Quebec native Jacques Lacombe, directed an exhilarating reading of Gluck’s ‘Dance of the Furies’ from Act II of “Orphée et Eurydice” (pronounced Yur rid a sea). In the opera; the dance backgrounds Orpheus & his lyre being hindered in going down to Hades to reclaim his dead wife! The music also appears in the composer’s “Don Juan” opera. This rendering was highly evocative and intense and set the bar at an apogee level for the evening.

Laplante performing Beethoven’s concerto No. 4 with HPO under Jacques Lacombe

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“O.C.O’s competition winners in concert” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
The Oakville Chamber Orchestra is starting it’s 35th year; concertmaster Aleksandar Gajic begins his 2nd decade with the ensemble, and maestro Charles Demuynck has held the podium almost forever. Like every forward-thinking musical organization, looking ahead means nurturing the musicians that will follow and the O.C.O. has always made such actions its mandate.
The Queen Elizabeth Park Cultural Centre does suffer from poor acoustics and the Yamaha may be a little tinny but the talents of four young (
as in 2 x age14 & 2 x19 year olds) made such problems minuscule.
The afternoon started with
J J Bui performing the Mozart Piano concerto no. 12’s allegro (opening) movement.

Sun; Orlenko; Bui & Yuan :- OCO competition winners post-performance

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The Gulencos & an evening of classical music at Mac 5

Review by Judith Caldwell

Larisa and Alexei Gulenco presented a demanding program for two pianos, in this case two Steinway’s, in the new L. R. Wilson Concert Hall at McMaster University.  The 350 seat Hall is a welcome addition to the Hamilton entertainment scene.  The acoustics are excellent delivering a wonderful clarity of sound; plus the size is perfect for concerts and recitals.
The Gulenkos are a husband and wife team who each have impressive credentials.  Alexei received his original musical training in Russia where he won the Rachmaninoff competition, then the Jose Iturbi competition in Spain and the Liszt in Italy.

the Gulenco’s – post concert

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