La Scena Musicale

Sunday, 13 November 2011

This Week in Toronto (Nov. 14 - 20)

The Gryhpon Trio (l. to r.) Roman Borys, cello; Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin; Jamie Parker, piano)

This week is a bit strange, as many interesting concerts fall simultaneously on Nov. 17. The second and final week of Lang Lang's residency at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra begins on November 17 when LL plays Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2, and ends on Nov. 19 with the "biggie", Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor." Also on the program both nights are Chinese composer Bright Sheng's piece with the intriguing title, Tibetan Swing. Sheng is an accomplished composer who infuses western musical idioms with eastern sensibilities. Some years ago, I saw his opera, Madame Mao, at the Santa Fe Opera. An acerbic yet lyrical commentary on recent Chinese history, it was a riveting evening in the theatre. According to the program notes on the TSO website, Tibetan Swing is "based on a typical Tibetan dance rhythm, trying to evoke both the beauty and the savagery of a particular mountain dance, an expressive dance well known for swinging the long sleeves of its traditional costumes and for its rhythmic foot stomps." The other piece on the program is Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, conducted by Peter Oundjian.

On Nov. 17 8 p.m. at the Jane Mallett Theatre, Music Toronto is presenting the Gryphon Trio in Beethoven's Piano Trio in C Op. 1, No. 3. Also on the program is Anton Arensky's Piano Trio in D Minot, Op. 32, and the Canadian premiere of William Jordan's Owl Song.

University of Toronto Faculty of Music is presenting a free noon hour concert on Nov. 17 at Walter hall, Andiamo a casa, a program of operatic music for multiple pianos, played by members of the faculty, pianists Mia Bach and Andrea Grant. If you are one of those who love opera if only there's no singing (!), this is your chance - the two pianists will play transcriptions from Ernani, L'Italiana in Algeri, Norma, Lucia and Aida.

On Friday Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. at the Glenn Gould Studio, Sinfonia Toronto is presenting Gems Old and New, a program of two well known pieces (Mozart and Beethoven) with two new works (Teehan and Hatzis). Pianist Ratimir Martinovic and bass clarinetist Jeff Reilly are the soloists.

If you like your chamber music with a modern bent, try Art of Time Ensemble's Songbook 6 with Steve Page, arrangements of popular songs by Harry Nilsson, Scott Walker, Randy Newman, Elvis Costello, Dan Mangan and others, interpreted by singer/songwriter Steven Page. Nov. 18 and 19 8 p.m. at the Enwave Theatre, Harbourfront.



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