La Scena Musicale

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

This Week in Montreal: March 2 to 8

Ensemble Constantinople (Photo: J. Michel)

This Week in Montreal: March 2 to 8

Adventures in the East
The OSM has commissioned a piece by Kiya Tabassian for a concert including works by Saint-Saëns, Dukas, and Strauss, to go with the exposition
Marvels And Mirages of Orientalism: From Spain to Morocco, Benjamin-Constant in His Time (until May 31 at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montreal). Says Tabassian, “The work is inspired by Arab-Andalusian music, but I didn’t want to do arrangements of traditional melodies for large orchestras.

It remains a very personal music, but with the Persian colours that live within me. There’s also the voice of Françoise Atlan, with whom I’ve worked for several years, as well as Didem Bashar, who plays the kanun [a type of tabletop zither]. It’s the first time that I’ve composed for a symphony orchestra, and it’s a great pleasure, of course. I must say that it’s a work that has surprised even me!” Adventures in the East performed by the OSM, March 4 at 8 pm and March 8 at 2:30 pm at the Maison symphonique de Montréal.

MNM Highlights
From 26 February to 7 March, the 7th edition of the Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques festival will present some 30 concerts in 11 venues on the theme: “Environments and new technologies”. A few highlights:

To give credit where credit is due, the producer of the event, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ), will open the festivities with the extravagance characteristic of its artistic director, Walter Boudreau. The program includes a music video (Yan Breleux, Soizic Lebrat – 2012), a prepared piece for the piano (John Cage – 1945), extracts from the film Ce soir on improvise (Raymond Gervais, Michel Di Torre – 1974) and a reorchestrization by Boudreau and René Bosc of the “unplayable” radio work, Atlantide (1985), by Michel Georges Brégent (Salle Pierre-Mercure, 26 February – 7 pm).

Mention must also be made of the double multimedia concert by the Onix ensemble from Mexico (Agora Hydro-Québec, 4 March, 9 pm and 11 pm).

Let’s not forget free events: the 500 voices of Les Papes Hurlants of the Mruta Mertsi ensemble, under the direction of André Pappathomas (Compexe Desjardins, 29 February – 11 pm), or the 100 guitarists of the Instruments of Happiness Extreme ensemble, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the legendary guitarist Les Paul, under the direction of Tom Brady (same place, 7 March – 3 pm).
- Réjean Beaucage (Translation Christine Lacroix)

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