Cello extravaganza by “5 @ 1st.” + + Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
                Five @ the First again held their annual fundraising Cello Extravaganza in aid of Blooms for Africa and the Ann Vallentyne Scholarship for string players. This year 26 cellists performed in solos, duets, sextets and as a combined cello choir. The Extravaganza is in its fourth year and the choice of music and arrangements seems to get better each year. This year there was one piece written especially for the duo who performed it and several pieces arranged specifically for groups of cellos, including a quiet, thoughtful and rather romantic Requiem written as a cello sextet by David Popper.                      The cellists …

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Tafelmusik remembers 17th & 18th century Canada Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
            Tafelmusik presented an aural and visual history of Canada from 1663 to 1763 in a program conceived, programmed and scripted by Alison MacKay and narrated by Ryan Cunningham, -Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts. The concert was at Melrose United Church on Wednesday, and performed in an afternoon concert before 500 lucky high school children. Tafelmusik is very generous to Hamilton and the local near- capacity audience showed their obvious appreciation. This is the third year they have performed in Hamilton and hopefully they will come again next year. This baroque ensemble is renowned for playing on period instruments.

The TAFELMUSIK musicians and a Canadian icon -;the Beaver’

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“SIBELIUS” a ‘New’ H.P.O. scrutiny Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Finnish composer Jan Sibelius lived from the mid-19th to mid twentieth century. A passionate anti-Nazi, legend has it that he composed his ‘Finlandia’ after ludicrously firing his pistol at an overhead Luftwaffe fighter plane. His final work, Symphony No. 7, is uncharacteristic in that the work is played as a single movement, although the tempi coincidently varies through seven diverse rhythmic ranges. To underscore the evocative themes, The Hamilton Philharmonic utilized the vehicle of PowerPoint™ projections featuring photographs of the flora & fauna of Bruce Trail.

The HPO; Lau’s composition; & Lake Moraine – projected on-screen

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Oakville Chamber Orchestra, a “smorgasbord” Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
Given that the intermission pastries were from the town’s Danish Bakery; using the ‘’ term for a wide range or variety of something seems a apropos. The O.C.O.’s concert at St. John’s had something for every taste…classical music; new compositions; operatic arias and popular standards. Almost all had an Oakville story or a connection. The opening work was a recently discovered piece by the late Amice Calverley; an Oakvillian with almost ‘Rambo’ résumé. War hero, archeologist; film maker; impresario; re-builder and composer. The work was conducted by Charles Demuynck of Oakville!  The audience also heard a premiere of his own new composition.

Sitarski performing the Mozart Andante Cantabile movement

Sitarski performing the Mozart Andante Cantabile movement

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“HPO; Beethoven; dramatic moments & a surprise. Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin

An evening with the music of Beethoven with a little Haydn & Mozart as aperitifs…what’s not to thoroughly enjoy. Augmented with an inspired dessert, the Hamilton Philharmonic’s first concert of 2017 was under the baton of guest conductor Tim Hankewich and showcased a somewhat abbreviated body of musicians. Opening with Haydn’s short three-movement Symphony No. 16, the work was presented in an almost chamber-ish approach. From a somewhat timorous opening allegro, to a deliberate yet romantically lyrical andante; Hankewich’s finale was animated yet tightly reined with the theme in contrapuntal debate between violins & celli/basses.

Hinrich Alpers performing Beethoven's 2nd concerto

Hinrich Alpers performing Beethoven’s 2nd concerto

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O.A.R.’s “THE TOP TEN” (plus plus), 2016 Reply

Editorial & Administrative opinions
There have been previous years where due to tie-votes, our ARTS REVIEW’s TOP TEN list has, in actuality contained 12 or even 14 items. This year has seen such a plethora of worthy efforts of entertainment that the final selection process was daunting. So, for the first time, O.A.R.  will also specify an ‘Honourable Mention’ (sort of Silver or Bronze medal) category.

THEATRE UNLIMITED, This successful Miss ‘a community group undertook staging the musical version of Monty Python’s SPAMALOT. The droll puns and one-liners still abound but with the addition of musical numbers, it’s even enhanced. As we wrote in our review “– an awesome giggle from start to finish and we loved it!”

the candidates for work as part of A CHORUS LINE

the candidates for work as part of Stratford’s “A CHORUS LINE”

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