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

More…

Advertisements

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

More…

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

More…

“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

More…

“Brigadoon” an old favourite, renewed & improved Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
July. 9th,’19

First off; let’s deal with the elephant in the room. This scribe has read Gerstacker’s Germelhausen and it’s the antithesis of Lerner & Lowe’s terrific musical – BRIGADOON! One is a depressing tale of a curse; negativism and a depressing ending; the other is about hopes and miracles! I’ve seen Brigadoon numerous since 1957’s road company performances and loved every version. From the exciting opening number to the quotable last line (“ye must love her very much…Ye WOKE ME UP” and then the line about anything being possible if one believes in miracles). This scribe actually applauds WHEN Peter Pan needs support to revive Tinker Bell. Imagine how I respond to such an affirmative ending! Yup –teary-eyed.  Photo courtesy of ShawFest

Matt Nethersole telling his townsfolk about his feelings for ‘Bonnie Jean’

More…

Hammer Baroque showcases a quintet to interpret Vivaldi Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
Dominic Teresi is principal bassoon of Tafelmusik and teaches at The Juilliard School.  Stefano Demicheli is a composer,. In keeping with Hammer Baroque traditions, five extraordinary musicians offered a concert titled Soprattutto Vivaldi on Saturday afternoon.   Oboeist Marco Cera, trained in Italy and was lured over to Toronto by Tafelmusik.  He is also a member of the Artic fusion band, Ensemble Polaris.  Alison Melville performs on historic flutes and recorders. She is also a member of Ensemble Polaris, who has performed a lot of music for film & TV soundtracks.  Violinist Cristina Zacharias, is a core member of Tafelmusik and appears annually at the Carmel Bach Festival.

The performers of Hammer Baroque’s VIVALDI

More…