Canadian Brass visits H.P.O. Reply

Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin

Two emotional events:- the Hamilton Philharmonic’s musical acknowledgment of Remembrance Day and THE CANADIAN BRASS as guest performers. The former touches both of us as we can remember the days of WWII. Air raids; rationing; slit headlights & blackouts and especially the black sedans that would drive into the neighborhood and disgorge two military types and a priest, minister or Rabbi. That always brought out everyone in sympathy. As for the ‘Brass’ we bought their 1980 album with Leona Boyd & Erica Goodman. Obviously we’ve been fans for decades. Finally got the album jacket autographed. Traditionally, the concert was opened by the RHLI’s Regimental Band.

“The BRASS” and HPO under maestro Giuseppe Pietraroia’s baton

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CZECH TALES; opening concert of 5@1st Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

The opening concert of the 5 at the First season was entitled Czech Tales, featured  the
AYR Trio;  comprised of Angela Park, piano, cellist Rachel Mercer, plus Yehonatan Berick, violin; playing music of Dvorak and Smetana.  The afternoon began with an Hungarian piece, ‘Scenes de la Czarda No.4’ by Jeno Hubay a noted teacher, violinist and composer who taught the teacher of Berick, who then called him his ‘grand teacher’.  This was performed by Julian Kwon, a young violinist from Oakville who is currently the concertmaster of the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

Berick, Park & Mercer – The AYR TRIO

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Mozart, Mendelssohn, John Williams, & Ping Yee Ho Reply

Review by Danny & Terry Gaisin

Under maestra Gemma New, the concert programs of the Hamilton Philharmonic are nothing if not eclectic. Old masterpieces are partnered with contemporary and even commissioned works. Last evening was no exception. ‘Silk Road’ by Alice Ping Yee Ho is subtitled a fantasy, and it certainly is. The work’s three movements all try to evoke differing aspects of what was the trade route from the Middle East, through Persia, India and thence to Asia. Naturally, the intro describes the Nomadic atmosphere. Glorious and effective, her scales bear a resemblance to pentatonic rather than Bachian. Short staccato riffs with melodic viola & celli are underscored by intense demand of the percussionists.

Chooi & New performing the M ozart concerto #5 with the HPO

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Hammer Baroque Lute Recital Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
Hammer Baroque presented lutenist Lucas Harris in a recital titled “Circa 1600” on Saturday afternoon.  In his opening remarks Bud Roach, the organization’s artistic director said that he is always surprised that so many people come out on a holiday weekend to hear early music.  The feeling among musicians apparently is that the earlier the music – the fewer audience members it attracts.  In Hamilton, however, a reasonable number turned up.
Harris said he chose 1600 because that is approximately when the lute went from the previous five courses of strings to 6 then 7 giving the composers and players more bass notes.

the soloist performing on the lute

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O.C.O. honors ‘friends’ L.V. Beethoven & company Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

It behooves a classical music writer to have a sliding scale of criticism; the big (size & $$$) outfits should be held to a higher standard than community organizations. Hearing the Oakville Chamber Orchestra’s three dozen musicians and their director, Charles Demuynck, in performance, they deserve as sharp a pencil point as any group…they’re that good! Unfortunately, last evening’s concert was held in St. Simon’s Anglican Church and acoustically; the closest simile I can recall is hearing a band play inside a Quonset Hut construction shed!
The opening work was Beethoven’s ‘Coriolan’ overture. The tale behind the work is about the semi-legendary Roman ‘Coriolanus’.

Soprano Charlene Pauls interpreting “Zerlina” From Don Giovanni

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“Radiant Ravel”; and other stuff by H.P.O. Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

  It’s autumn. School’s back and so are the musicians & conductor of the Hamilton Philharmonic. The opening concert was eclectic in selections… brief old standards, a premiere composition and an orchestral interpretation of a dramatic ballet. Interestingly, the connection between two pieces is esoteric and somewhat convoluted, unless one is familiar with ancient Greek fables.
The opening work was Dvo
řák’s ‘Carnival Overture’. One of a triptych, this work is well-known and two seems the only one of the three to be performed. Maestra Gemma New gave the piece a forceful yet touching rendering that offered the clarinets and violins the opportunity to demonstrate the familiar syncopation that is a hallmark of the work.  It was an exuberant welcome back.

Dunlop; New & Fedyshyn and an abbreviated HPO performing a new composition

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