5 @ the 1st plus Payadora Tango ensemble 24

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
The Toronto quartet, Payadora Tango Ensemble warmed the audience on a cold November afternoon the second of the 5 @ the First 2015/16 series of concerts with tangos from Argentina.   Tango apparently comes in both dance music; either the familiar syncopated rhythm or a more waltz-like variety, or as a performance piece not meant for dancing and Payadora offered the audience all three.  The concert began with a fiery, passionate syncopated tango called ‘Retrato de Julio Ahumada’ by Leopoldo Federico which featured a piano solo in the middle and earned audience appreciation.

The members of the tango ensemble

The members of the Payadora Tango Ensemble

More…

“MOZART”; HPO consigns an entire concert to him Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDGcolor

Poor Wolfgang Mozart; a child prodigy by aged five, he never even got to celebrate his thirty-sixth birthday. Sired by a demanding father he was encumbered by names such as ‘Chysostomus’; ‘Theophilus’ and Amadeus. Preferring to go by the latter; he then had the misfortune to have that name utilized as the title in an overly embellished 1984 Milos Forman movie that depicted him as a childish fool. 41 symphonies; 15 masses; 25 piano concerti and the same number of string quartets & over half a dozen operas… not too shabby for only three decades!

Sitarski; Luk & Taurins interpreting Mozart

Sitarski; Luk & Taurins interpreting Mozart

More…

H.P.O.’s “in Remembrance” concert 1

Review by Danny Gaisin

Akin with the majority of theatre and concert goers, there have been occasions where a performance is so below par that one has opted to leave during intermission. Last night’s Hamilton Philharmonic performance was the diametric opposite; we wished we could have omitted the opening segment completely and just returned for the post-interval! Vaughan-Williams ‘Lark Ascending’, performed by violin soloist Lance Ouellette, displayed why the piece consistently makes the Most Boring Top Ten listings.   Like most Lightfoot compositions, the piece is repetitious; tedious and interminable.

Ochestra; Choir & Ryl Hamilton Regimental band together in concert

Orchestra; Choir & Ryl Hamilton Regimental band together in concert

More…

H.P.O. concert- ‘an enchanted evening!’ 1

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG

With the rare instances of improperly-tuned instruments or ill-prepared musicians; for this classical musical addict every concert is a treat. Some, however, have that special amalgam of program selection; faultless techniques, and creative interpretations…last night’s Hamilton Philharmonic presentation was just such a combination. Chopin & Beethoven; pianist extraordinaire Janina Fialkowska, and guest conductor Bernard Gueller made for “An Enchanted Evening”.
The opening work was a short composition by Alberta native Robert Rival entitled “Spring”. This is a highly interpretive work that afforded concertmaster Stephen Sitarski a brief but moving solo motif opportunity.

soloist Janina Fialkowska interpreting Chopin with the H.P.O.

soloist Janina Fialkowska interpreting Chopin with the H.P.O.

More…

“Carmina Burana”; fitting end of the 2015 Brott Summer festival Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
The final concert in the 2015 Brott Summer Music Festival featured choral works by two Twentieth Century musical titans – Leonard Bernstein and Carl Orff. The opening half of the concert belonged to Bernstein, his ‘Chichester Psalms’. This is a work for boy soprano or counter tenor, chorus and orchestra which was written around the pivotal roles of two harps, Bernstein composed their music first and then wrapped the remainder of the music around them. Instead of the traditional, tonight had soprano Leslie Fagan singing as the youthful King David. More…

“Cirque du Festival”; pleasing but distracting Reply

Review by Judith CaldwellreviewerJudith
One has to hand it to Boris Brott; he certainly knows how to put a concert together. This reviewer was not at all sure about a concert with aerialists – would they add to the program or distract? Initially, in Felix Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night Dream Suite they did distract, but later added so much to Tales of the Netsilik that they even seemed necessary to the storytelling. The evening opened with Janna Sailor conducting the N.A.O. in Engelbert Humperdinck’s Overture to Hansel & Gretel,

Chief Hill with the Brotts;  post-concert

Chief Hill with the Brotts; post-concert

More…