Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo
During heavy rush-hour city traffic, suffering through radio’s continual commercials, it is so easy to become overwhelmed. Luckily, I found the one place sure to comfort the souls of those who struggle to interpret this mass of voices. Tafelmusik’s Thanksgiving weekend program The Eloquent Cello included challenging pieces executed with the finesse required to ensure that all voices are not simply heard, but are made meaningful by the support they lend and receive.
Like many of Tafelmusik’s faithful patrons, I hustled down the newly-named Bloor Street Cultural Corridor to Trinity St Paul’s Jeanne Lamon Hall seeking a means to restore a sense of wonder through music.
Tafelmusik’s guest soloist Christophe Coin
Review by Terry Gaisin
After 56 years, writing about classical music, the genre intrinsically belongs as the domain of O.A.R.’s Danny Gaisin. However, a definitive & very positive bias towards the Hamilton Philharmonic’s program of Spanish music would certainly affect objectivity. Thus, yours truly gets the by-line!
From the opening collage of “Carmen” excerpts; Bizet’s most famous opera and one of D.G.’s favorites, maestra New presented the prelude with its adverse theme; truly demonstrating that the orchestra is now hers…and vice-versa. The familiar ‘Habanera’ with its advice about daring to love a vamp, and the passionate ‘Seguidilla’, the amazing mezzo voice of Lauren Segal even extended her range to the contralto realm.
Newman & McFadden performing the Marquez ‘Danzon#3’ with the HPO
Review by Sylvie Di Leonardo
The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony previewed its seventy-first season at the Centre in the Square. The evening’s program featured thirteen selections from the upcoming season, and introduced the symphony’s many newcomers to their outreach and education initiatives. Patrons new to the symphony will find a lot to love this season. The audience welcomed pieces from this year’s Yuletide Spectacular and the Skating’s Greatest Hits series, which will host three-time Olympian and Canadian skating icon Kurt Browning this weekend. Patrons can expect a lively program, featuring pieces from Phantom of the Opera, Swan Lake, Casablanca, and Carmen along with original footage of the award-winning routines. *
the Kitchener-Waterloo orchestra in a preview performance
Review by Danny Gaisin
The first visual change that newly appointed HPO conductor has made was in the orchestral layout. About eight years ago, debate within the concert community took place over the concept of having the violins situated to the left of the podium, or a return to the pre-20th century notion favored by Tchaikovsky; Mahler and even Beethoven; that the first and second sections should be at opposing sides; the OSM’s Nagano; London’s Haitink and Levine of the Boston Symphony prefer splitting: – Detroit’s Slatkin takes an opposing opinion. Maestra Gemma New also has repositioned the celli and violas plus moving the basses next to percussion.
Goodyear interpreting Brahms with the HPO
Review by Judith Caldwell The National Academy Orchestra’s (NAO) latest concert entitled ‘From Tchaikovsky to Ravel’ featured some energetic, well-performed pieces interspersed with new work. The concert opened with a composition by Ana Sokolovic commissioned for the NAC Orchestra, entitled Ringelspiel, which means merry-go-round. It is meant to conjure up both the ride-on variety and the toy table-top variety to transport the audience back to childhood simplicity. The piece was unmelodic and the rhythms so fractured that it was difficult to find an access point. The use of an extreme range of strings to create scratchy, screechy sounds made it less than endearing.
Sara Davis Buechner; post-performance
Review by Judith Caldwell
Thursday, the National Academy Orchestra of Canada (NAO) offered an evening of fantastic music which began with four much-loved John Williams’ compositions: “The Theme from Superman”; Highlights from Jurassic Park; the “Theme from Schindler’s List” and the flying theme from E.T. Each had their own instantly recognizable leitmotif which then expanded into a grand symphonic film score. Superman was masterful and heroic; Jurassic Park curious and probing and Schindler’s List heartbreakingly haunting (the audience barely breathed during the violin solo played by Concertmaster Mark Skazinetsky). E.T. was light, airy and so hopeful… the music intricate and difficult – written by a true master.
Conductor Brott & a certain ‘Star Wars’ character