Rainer Hersch & the HPO- ‘shtick’ but no sticks 2

Review by Danny Gaisinreviewerdgcolor1.jpg

reviewer_DannyNov. 15th, 2009   “Conductor/arranger/performer/writer Rainer Hersch is a knowledgeable and highly talented musician. What Victor Borge did for (and to) the piano; Stan Freburg to many pop songs of the fifties; and Anna Russell to Wagner’s Ring Cycle- Hersch does to all classical music. He also destroys every preconception about the orchestra, its sections and its instruments. A learning opportunity- hardly; a comedic instance –CERTAINLY. I actually was concerned about peeing in my pants!”

The above intro paragraph is what this journalist opined about Rainer Hersch’s last visit with the Hamilton Philharmonic. Last night; more of the same except that London (the other one) and Beethoven plus Mozart were the subjects for his clever barbs.

Sutherland toasting the audience with her bottle of 'gargle'

Sutherland toasting the audience with her bottle of ‘gargle’

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O.C.O.’s paean to ‘romanticism’ Reply

Review by Danny Gaisin
To musicologists; the term ‘romanticism’ refers to the evolved compositional style of the late 18th and 19th centuries. The label derives from the noun meaning optimistic, idealized or subjective.  The music reflects on nature, chivalry and even mysticism in formats that are usually dissonant and chromatic with a definitive virtuoso requirement. The OAKVILLE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA’s decision to stage a concert totally within the aegis meant enlisting an artist of such a skill level as to meet the prerequisite. Cellist Rachel Mercer is just such a performer.

Mercer performing with the O.C.O.

Mercer performing with the O.C.O.

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Danton & the H.P.O. –uninspiring Reply

Review by Danny GaisinreviewerDJG

This was the week that a local groundhog interrupts his burrowing to see what the winter duration will be. The Hamilton Philharmonic’s Pops Concert paid tribute to the rodent by presenting a concert that was…Boring!  Promoted as a jazz event with guest soloist Diana Panton, the selections and arrangements were stereotypically ‘piano bar’ and should have had the percussion team clinking glasses as background.

Panton & quartet with the H.P.O.

Panton & quartet with the H.P.O.

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“MESSIAH”, performed by Oakville Ensemble Reply

Review by Judith Caldwell

Dec. 8th, ‘12

Oakville Ensemble’s fourth annual presentation of The Messiah took place on Saturday. The Ensemble is a small choir of 16 singers plus soloists and is led by Maestro Stephane Potvin.  Sometimes they sing a capella but this evening they were accompanied by a nine piece orchestra of strings, trumpets, continuo and timpani.

The Oakville Ensemble in  performance

The Oakville Ensemble in performance

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Hepner; Hillfield-Strathallan & “Linc” Reply

Review by Terry Gaisin

In fairness to our readers, a little personal history may justify a certain positive bias on the part of this reporter.  It was fifty years ago this month that I blind-dated a recent immigrant to Toronto. He was from Montreal, thus cognizant of all the stereotypes his hometown bestowed on my city…lousy restaurants (true); Blue Laws; (also true) cold & insular (still true); and rolled up streets after sunset (NOT true). During those early dates when couples learn about each other; I found out he was an avid fan of live music, including jazz.

The HEPNER Jazz orchestra @ Hillfield-Strathallan

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Two guests, two composers at the H.P.O 2

Review by Danny Gaisin

** Guilty Guilty Guilty ** A sleepy-headed scribe credited Lehninger instead of Parker for “O’ Canada” !  Editor

The H.P.O. concert was named & dedicated to its two composers, Maurice Ravel and Dmitri Shostakovich. Approximately one generation apart, the Frenchman and the Russian had some similar and yet some totally diverse musical styles and experiences.
Ravel lived from the end of the 19th century to almost the start of WWII. His compositions like Tombeau de Couperin; Daphnis e Chloe, plus his arrangement of Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures’ are now almost as familiar as the piece he wrote for the movie “10” (just kidding)!

Sitarski & Lehninger, post-concert

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