The Montreal Baroque Festival Goes Green
From June 19 to 22, nature is the theme! Chosen by artistic co-directors Susie Napper and Matthias Maute, the 12th edition of the festival will be presented on McGill University’s verdant campus. In addition to Redpath and Pollack Halls, audiences will have the opportunity to listen to music in sites that, while non-traditional for concerts, have stunning acoustic qualities and singular architectural elements.
On Thursday the 19 at 7 pm, Vivaldi e la natura brings together violinist Davide Monte and tenor and guitarist Nils Brown with l’Harmonie des Saisons. At 9 pm, sonatas and Venetian canzonas are presented by the Pallade Musica ensemblethe Pallade Musica ensemble presents sonatas and Venetian canzonas.
Friday the 20, three masterclasses are offered during the day. At 7 pm, a new opera-ballet, Les Indes mécaniques, highlights the 250th anniversary of Rameau’s death. With Les Jardins chorégraphiques and Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière.
Saturday the 21, the day begins at 9 am with breakfast on the lawn and troubadour songs, featuring violas da gamba and recorders. In the afternoon, make way for songs about medieval hunts and fantasies for six violas da gamba. At 7 pm, the winners of the Bruce Haynes International Competition, accompanied by the Bande Montréal Baroque, perform Bach cantatas. A treasure hunt at 9 pm completes this busy day.
Sunday the 22 is devoted entirely to Beethoven. Various ensembles performing one after the other make a pianothon in two parts until the Grand Finale at 7 pm, which makes a beautiful finish to the great annual celebration of early music: Symphony Nno. 6
(Pastorale) and Piano Concerto Nno. 4
with Tom Beghin at the piano and Ensemble Caprice under the direction of Matthias Maute. www.montrealbaroque.com
- Renée Banville
Suoni per il Popolo 2014: Pushing Boundaries
In 2001, the Casa del Popolo launched its festival, the Suoni per il Popolo. The first edition was a bold undertaking due to the fact that it focused entirely on avant-garde music and lasted no less than five weeks. Since then, it has scaled down its time frame to two and a half weeks while drawing steady support from a younger audience attracted to musical experimentation. This year’s edition, like all of its predecessors, runs for 18 days, from June 4 to 22. But that doesn’t mean it is simply content with the status quo. A look at its program reveals that is expanding in all directions. True to its mission, the Suoni will be stretching its boundaries by exploring the cutting edge of rock and punk, electronic, experimental, contemporary classical, folk and avant-pop. Not to be overlooked either is its jazz and improvised music content, but there will also be a focus on media arts and interactive technologies. All told, there are 68 shows on tap—several include two or more groups—and eleven film programs. Six workshop sessions are also scheduled, hosted by guest performers of all musical stripes, some of which allow amateur musicians to join in.
This year, new activities have been added. First, the festival, in conjunction with the Bozzini Quartet, has put together a conference around the life and work of visionary British composer Cornelius Cardew, including a performance of his masterwork “Treatise”. Another first is Cartel MTL, an international symposium of new music presenters with some thirty delegates. Hosted by the festival, this event is aimed at networking contacts and is sponsored by the local new music umbrella organization le Vivier, with added support from the Huddersfield Festival in England.
The Suoni will be more visible than ever within the community in that its events will take place in 17 venues, the result of may new co-production agreements, including some unusual ones like that of the Jewish General Hospital and its ten-day satellite festival running from June 9-19.
As for jazz, it is but one facet of the whole. But its choices are quite enticing for the venturesome. Most concerts slated here will go down at the Café Résonance, 5275-A Parc Avenue (at Fairmount). Of note will be a new quartet lead by alto saxophonist Yves Charuest with Catalonian pianist Augusti Fernández (June 17); drummer Harris Eisenstadt’s Golden State Quartet (20)—see CD review— and lastly, a half-Scandinavian, half-German group called the Deciders (22). On the local front, alto saxman Eric Hove’s tentet will tackle his compositions of striking originality (21). If you like music in your face, no one does it better than the blustery German saxman Peter Brötzmann, and ditto for his American counterparts William Parker and Hamid Drake (Sala Rossa, 10).
- Marc Chénard
St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival (June 2-22)
The 24th Fringe Festival is held in a variety of venues around Plateau Mont-Royal, Montreal. There are shows co-presented by Indie Montréal and Culture Cible au Divan Orange and, among others, Hey Ocean, Miracle Fortress, Chic Gamine, APigeon, The Zolas, Lakes of Canada, The Beatdown, Buddy McNeil & The Magic Mirrors, Sultans of String, Pif Paf Hangover. www.montrealfringe.ca
- Hassan Laghcha
FrancoFolies (June 12-22)
The 26th annual FrancoFolies includes a tribute to Serge Fiori in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts. Other concerts of note feature Stromae, the Boulay Sisters and the Grand Corps Malade. A few other highlights are Malajube’s lead Julien Mineau’s return to the stage and a concert with Ingrid St-Pierre, accompanied by I Musici. The festival offers 70 indoor shows and 180 free outdoor concerts. www.francofolies.com
- Hassan Laghcha
Labels: FrancoFolies, Preview, St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival, Suoni per il Popolo 2014, The Montreal Baroque Festival