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

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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.

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“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

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“POPERA”; a smorgasbord of standards + divas/divo’s Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG

From the opening notes of Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” opera overture to the closing  (audience-participating)’ Va Pensiero’ from Verdi’s “Nabucco”; POPERA 2015 had three distinct entities showcased, and one lone (musical) arranger who, even out of context, brought out some of the essence of operatic arias. Entity one certainly had to be the polished members of the National Academy orchestra whose faultless technique and instrumental skill shone throughout. Under the batons of conductor Boris Brott and his apprentice Janna Sailor; the ensemble plus the seven vocalists worked as a harmonious unit.

The soloists performing an aria from "Barbiere"

The soloists performing an aria from “Barbiere”

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“TEA TIME”, N.A.O.’s annual musicale/social event Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell
The Brott Summer Festival’s High Tea with Giampiero was presented at the Royal Botanical Gardens on Sunday. The National Academy Orchestra and clarinetist Giampiero Sobrino offered a very full and satisfying program. It began with a work by Montreal composer Allan Belkin titled ‘Night Passages’ which did carry the listener along fascinating paths, with intriguing surprises- as promised. It was tonal, harmonic and reminiscent of traditional European works and received emphatic applause.
Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto (one of my personal favourites) is one of those rare works where all three movements are equally well known and loved.

Sobrino & Max Mauricio-Cardilli; post-concert

Sobrino & Max Mauricio-Cardilli; post-concert

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