Review by Tony Kilgannon
The 2nd concert of the BROTT SUMMER FESTIVAL – A Double of Brahms was a thoroughly satisfying evening of great music beautifully played, and listened to under conditions that I think were absolutely ideal. The evening began with the Fidelio Overture, a piece which is unmistakeably Beethoven. The concert programme announced it as his “middle period symphonic style” (that alone would get the rapt attention of this huge fan of the Fifth Symphony!). It was conducted by Brendan Hagan, Maestro Brott’s apprentice, and was a delight, allowing the mind to focus, the ears to tune, and something inside the listener to open up and receive the music. Like so many of life’s pleasure’s Fidelio seems too short!
Maestro Brott stepped back onto the conductor’s podium for Brahms’ Symphony No.3 in F major. Before lifting his baton to the orchestra, informed us, along with other things, that Brahms is interpreted in more than one way, depending partly on the size of the orchestra.
Review by Tony Kilgannon
The tyrannical overlords at the Ontario Arts Review are expecting a 500- word critique of the opening concert of the 2012 Brott Music Festival, but I can do it in 3 letters; OMG. Happily, it’s not necessary to be that brief. Everything about this concert was just about perfect. The venue was St. Christopher’s Anglican Church in Burlington. When we arrived, there was plenty of free parking, and the building was very welcoming (when one has been to a lot of folk and rock concerts, these are notthings taken for granted!)
guest soloist Martin Beaver
Review by Judith Caldwell
The fourth concert in the series Five at the First featured Akemi Mercer, violin and Dirk Niewoehner, viola playing two duets for violin & viola plus a solo for each instrument. Prior to each work Akemi amused us by telling something about each composers love life; none of it very salacious.
Our first composer was Bohuslav Martinu, a Czech who relocated in Paris to meet other musicians and then was forced to move to the United States when he fell afoul of the Nazis during World War II. More…
Review by George Crotty
“…This isn’t Los Angeles, or New York, or any other major city; this is Oakville…” Anthony Ward-Smith said at the intermission of the Masterwork’s rendition of Mahler’s 2nd symphony on Saturday night. He was right- you could tell you were in Oakville. Masterworks, isn’t exactly perfect, and Oakville is farther from the Los Angeles Philharmonic than it looks.
Demuynck, from the orchesta's perspective • Photo courtesy of Michael Willems
Review by Danny Gaisin
Distance & time constraints have kept this particular OAR critic from some concerts by the Oakville Chamber Orchestra; the hiatus is over as of last evening’s performance featuring the music of 17th-20th century Britain. From the individual instruments rehearsing pre-downbeat, this OCO is a musical force to be appreciated. In true chamber mode the program was restricted to the strings, including theorbo!
The opening work was Elgar’s ‘introduction & allegro, which like Beethoven’s 6th possesses an intrinsic delightfully-melodious hypnotic. More…
Review by Kim Wessel
The audience was waiting with anticipation and everyone was filled with excitement waiting for the show to start. Guest conductor Martin MacDonald came out and started us off with “The Irish Washerwoman” by Anderson. I have to say that Martin was quite the jokester in his comments tonight. He was telling us how he isn’t Irish and he hopes that just because he is a Scotsman that they don’t drag him off the stage. And, just so that everyone is aware, one concert (not tonight) he actually conducted while wearing a kilt, and he let us all know that they are really warm, not drafty. Unlike a true Scotsman, he wore bicycle shorts underneath.
Conductor McDonald & critic Kim Wessel