La Scena Musicale

Monday, 22 February 2016

Cette semaine à Montréal (22 à 28 février) / This Week in Montreal (February 22–28)

LES CYCLES À LA CHAPELLE ­HISTORIQUE / SERIES AT THE CHAPELLE HISTORIQUE 


Animé par Éric Champagne, compositeur en résidence à la Chapelle, un concert unique célébrant l’apport exceptionnel du mécène Paul Sacher à la musique classique sera présenté avec l’Ensemble Arkea dirigé par Dina Gilbert. Œuvres de Bartók, Ginastera, Dutilleux et Britten. Le 25 février, 19 h 30. www.ville.montreal.qc.ca/chapellebonpasteur

Éric Champagne

Éric Champagne, composer-in-residence at the Chapelle, will host a unique concert celebrating philanthropist Paul Sacher’s extraordinary contribution to classical music. The Ensemble Arkea, conducted by Dina Gilbert, will play works by Bartók, Ginastera, Dutilleux and Britten. February 25, 7:30 pm. www.ville.montreal.qc.ca/chapellebonpasteur

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LMMC


Le 28 février, on entendra le Calidore String Quartet, lauréat de nombreux concours prestigieux. Formé en 2010 de jeunes musiciens du Colburn Conservatory of Music de Los Angeles, il est maintenant établi à Manhattan. En 2013, après la participation du Calidore à l’Académie internationale de McGill, le critique Claude Gingras avait parlé de révélation et titré son article « Le Calidore, sommet absolu ». Au programme : Haydn, Mendelssohn et Debussy. Salle Pollack, 15 h 30.  www.lmmc.ca

Calidore String Quartet

On February 28, the spotlight passes to the Calidore String Quartet, winners of numerous prestigious competitions. The quartet was created in 2010 by young musicians at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, and has now settled in Manhattan. In 2013 it took part in McGill’s International Academy, prompting critic Claude Gingras to speak of a revelation and entitling his article “The Calidore, the absolute summit”. On the program: Haydn, Mendelssohn and Debussy. Pollack Hall, 3:30 pm.  www.lmmc.ca


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VIOLONS DU ROY


Pour les soirées Arte Musica, Bernard Labadie propose ses propres transcriptions d’œuvres majeures de Bach. Salle Bourgie, 26 février, 19 h 30. www.violonsduroy.com

For the Arte Musica evenings, Bernard Labadie is offering his own transcriptions of major works by Bach. Bourgie Hall, February 26, 7:30 pm. www.violonsduroy.com

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ORCHESTRE DE CHAMBRE McGILL / McGILL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA


En coproduction avec l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, Trilogie de la séduction comprendra des ­extraits d’opéra de Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro et Così fan tutte, dans une mise en scène d’Alain Gauthier. Dans le cadre du festival Montréal en Lumière. Le 23 février, 
19 h 30. www.ocm-mco.org

In collaboration with the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, Trilogy of Seduction will include opera excerpts from Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Così fan tutte, all staged by Alain Gauthier. This event is part of Montréal en lumière. February 23, 7:30 pm. www.ocm-mco.org

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I MUSICI – DES TÉNÈBRES À LA ­LUMIÈRE / I MUSICI: FROM ­DARKNESS TO LIGHT


Pour sa participation à Montréal en Lumière, I Musici propose l’avant-dernière symphonie de Chostakovitch qui enchaîne des poèmes évoquant la fin dernière. Pour passer à la lumière, on entendra ensuite la brillante symphonie no 45 de Haydn « Les Adieux », à la fin de laquelle les musiciens quittent la scène en éteignant les chandelles qui les auront éclairés pour ne laisser que l’obscurité. Avec Jean-Marie Zeitouni à la direction et les solistes Andrew Foster-Williams, baryton-basse et Dominique Labelle, soprano. Salle Bourgie, 25 février, 20 h. www.imusici.com

I Musici will take part in the Montréal en lumière festival, playing Shostakovich’s penultimate symphony and leading up to poems narrating the final days. To get to the light, we’ll hear Haydn’s bright Symphony No.  45 (“Farewell Symphony”). At the end of this work, musicians will leave the stage and blow out their candles. Only darkness will remain. Jean-Marie Zeitouni, conductor, Andrew Foster-Williams, bass-baritone, and Dominique Labelle, soprano. Bourgie Hall, February 25, 8:00 pm. www.imusici.com/en

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STUDIO DE MUSIQUE ANCIENNE / SMAM


L’intégrale des cantates de Bach se poursuit à la salle Bourgie, cette fois avec le chœur et l’orchestre du SMAM, sous la direction d’Andrew McAnerny. On y entendra les cantates BWV 22, 97 et 150. Solistes : Marie Magistry, soprano, Maude Brunet, mezzo-soprano, Nils Brown, ténor et Normand Richard, basse. Salle Bourgie, 27 février, 14 h. www.smamontreal.com

The complete set of Bach’s cantatas continues at Bourgie Hall. This time, we’ll hear the SMAM choir and orchestra conducted by Andrew McAnerny. Cantatas BWV 22, 97, and 150 are programmed. The soloists are soprano Marie Magistry, mezzo-soprano Maude Brunet, tenor Nils Brown, and bass Normand Richard. Bourgie Hall, February 27, 2:00 pm. www.smamontreal.com

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CARACTÈRE HÉBRAÏQUE ET ­MONUMENTS SLAVES À L’OM / HEBREW CHARACTER AND SLAVIC ­MONUMENTS AT OM


En l’honneur de l’identité hébraïque, l’Orchestre Métropolitain présentera, sous la direction d’Airat Ichmouratov, des œuvres de Prokofiev, Bruch, Bloch et H. Oppenheim, avec l’ensemble Magillah et le talentueux violoncelliste Yegor Dyachkov. Maison symphonique, 28 février, 15 h. En tournée dans deux arrondissements les 25 et 26 février. www.orchestremetropolitain.com

In celebration of Hebrew identity, the Orchestre Métropolitain presents works by Prokofiev, Bruch, Bloch, and H. Oppenheim with the Magillah ensemble and the talented cellist Yegor Dyachkov. Airat Ichmouratov, conductor. Maison symphonique, February 28, 3:00 pm. This concert will be presented in two boroughs on February 25 and 26. www.orchestremetropolitain.com

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LOUISE BESSETTE EN SOIRÉE ­INTIMISTE / LOUISE BESSETTE: A ­SPECIAL EVENING


La pianiste Louise Bessette nous offre une soirée tout en délicatesse et virtuosité sillonnant quatre cycles pour piano aux influences ­multiples. Parmi les œuvres au programme : Las Meninas de John Rea, une commande de la SMCQ, variations sur les Scènes d’enfant de Schumann et Monodias Espanolas de José Evangelista. Salle de concert du Conservatoire, 28 février, 15 h. www.smcq.qc.ca

Pianist Louise Bessette will prepare a light, dazzling evening with four piano cycles and multiple influences. John Rea’s Las Meninas, commissioned by the SMCQ, variations on Kinderszenen by Schumann, and Monodias Españolas by José Evangelista are some of many works on the program. Conservatoire concert hall, February 28, 3:00 pm. www.smcq.qc.ca

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LES OPÉRAS DANS LES UNIVERSITÉS /  UNIVERSITY OPERAS


Du 25 au 28 février, l’Orchestre de l’Université de Montréal, sous la direction de Jean-François Rivest, et l’Atelier d’opéra de l’UdeM, sous la direction de Robin Wheeler, présentent Le Nozze di Figaro de Mozart. Cet opéra-bouffe de Mozart est « plus qu’une œuvre de commedia dell’arte », nous dit Jean-François Rivest. On peut vivre cette Folle Journée de Beaumarchais, mise en scène par François Racine, à la salle Claude-Champagne, du 25 au 28 février, 19 h 30. ­www.calendrier.umontreal.ca

The orchestra of Université de Montréal, conducted by Jean-François Rivest and the opera workshop of UdeM, directed by Robin Wheeler, present Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. This opera-bouffa is “more than a work of commedia dell’arte,” says Rivest. One can experience this Crazy Day of Beaumarchais, staged by François Racine at salle Claude-Champagne, February 25-28, at 7:30 pm. www.calendrier.umontreal.ca

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Lebrecht Album of the Week - Ivry Gitlis (SWR/Naxos Deutschland)

 

4/5 stars

Great violinists come in two forms: stars and legends. Think about it. Jascha Heifetz was a star, Nathan Milstein a legend. One was a household name, the other inspired a kind of spiritual reverence among musicians of all stripes, not just violinists.

Fritz Kreisler was a star, Jacques Thibaud a legend. The late Yehudi Menuhin was a star, as was Isaac Stern.

Ivry Gitlis, their close contemporary, lives on – and he’s a legend. A child prodigy from the port town of Haifa, Ivry came to London before the Second World War to study with Carl Flesch. Turned down by big agents, he settled in Paris and performed extensively without ever earning world fame. Among artists, however, he became a magnet – both for his unique musicianship and for a repository of human wisdom that cannot be replicated.

Today, Ivry carries the violin at all times but no longer plays. To sit with him is to share the secrets of music that can only be transmitted by a legend who received them intuitively, in another century. Ivry, at 92, is one of the last of the living legends.

In this compilation from the archives of Southwest German Radio, he plays like no-one else before or since. A 1972 Paganini concerto performance strays sometimes too close to the edge of the notes, but the D minor Brahms sonata exudes a warmth and wit that sound incontestably authentic. The opening phrases of the Debussy G-minor sonata tell you, in this reading, that the composer is about to die before he knows it himself. Ernest Bloch’s Nigun, a 1986 recording, is dark with post-Holocaust shadows.

The twin peaks – for which you will rush out to buy this album and thank me ever after – are the little-played Hindemith concerto of 1939 and the more familiar Bartok second concerto. In Hindemith, often dismissed as dry and uninspired, Ivry finds fluidity and fun, along with a nonchalant serenity that makes the piece feel all too short. In the Bartok, pathos is held in check as the soloist gives the impression that the concerto was written for him, and him alone, to play.

This is commanding artistry, not the kind that necessarily brings a crowd to its feet at the end of a performance but the kind that knows exactly why music exists and what it can do to our deepest seats of emotion. If you’ve never heard Ivry Gitlis before, you will not have glimpsed that secret in the raw.


—Norman Lebrecht

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Sunday, 21 February 2016

This Week in Toronto (Feb. 22 - 28)

My Toronto Concert Previews for the Week of Feb. 22 to 28

~ Joseph So

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra is presenting a real "heart of the repertoire" program this week, opening with Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 2, followed by  Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Canadian pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin. The centerpiece is the Schumann Symphony No. 4, with French conductor Louis Langree at the helm. Performances on Thursday Feb. 25 and Saturday Feb. 27 8 p.m. at Roy Thomson Hall. https://www.tso.ca/concert/schumann-symphony-4


Pianist Marc Andre Hamelin (Photo: Fran Kaufmann)

This is the final week of the Canadian Opera Company's winter season.  Siegfried has already been consigned to history, and only four performances of The Marriage of Figaro remaining. On Feb. 22 is the special COC Ensemble Studio Performance.  I attended a preview of it last week at noon at the RBA, and I can honestly say the audience is in for a treat!  The young singers are simply wonderful, with not a weak link.  Gordon Bintner (Count), Iain MacNeil (Figaro), Karine Boucher (Susanna), Aviva Fortunata (Countess), Jean-Philippe Fortier-Lazure (Basilio), Aaron Sheppard (Curzio) are joined by former Ensemble sopranos Sasha Djihanian (Barbarina) and Jacqueline Woodley (Cherubino) plus guest artist Megan Latham (Marcellina).  Johannes Debus conducts. http://www.coc.ca/PerformancesAndTickets/1516Season/TheMarriageofFigaro.aspx

Ensemble Marriage of Figaro Cast (Photo: Chris Hutcheson)

In the meantime, there are three final performances of the regular cast Marriage of Figaro this week - Feb. 23, 25, and 27.  Josef Wagner sings the title role, with Jane Archibald (Susanna), Erin Wall (Countess), Russell Braun (Count), Emily Fons (Cherubino), Helene Schneiderman (Marcellina), Robert Pomakov (Bartolo), Sasha Djihanian (Barbarina) and Doug MacNaughton (Antonio). Uli Kirsch plays the silent role of the Cherubim. It took me awhile but I've warmed up to Claus Guth's vision. COC Assistant Conductor Jordan de Souza takes over for Feb. 23 and 25, with Johannes Debus wrapping up the run on Feb. 27.  


Soprano Jane Archibald

The brilliant violinist Christian Tetzlaff is joined by his sister, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt in a chamber recital of Piano Trios of Schumann, Dvorak and Brahms on Feb. 26 8 p.m. at Koerner Hall.  http://performance.rcmusic.ca/event/tetzlaff_vogt

Violinist Christian Tetzlaff (Photo: Giorgia Bertazzi)

As part of the Emerging Artists Concerts presented by Desjardins in partnership with Jeunesses Musicales du Canada, French Canadian pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin, Second Prize Winner of the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw last fall, is giving a recital of the Chopin Piano Sonata No. 3 on Tuesday, Feb. 23rd  noon at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Four Seasons Centre. This is a free concert, so be sure to show up an hour early to ensure a seat.  
http://www.coc.ca/PerformancesAndTickets/FreeConcertSeries/February.aspx


Pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin (Photo: Elizabeth Delage)

Hungarian pianist Andras Schiff is in town for a recital of the Final Piano Sonatas of Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert. Any performance by Sir Andras is an occasion. Toronto audiences obviously agree, as the recital on Feb. 28 3 p.m. at Koerner Hall is completely sold out. But it doesn't hurt to call the box office to see if there are returns.
http://performance.rcmusic.ca/event/andras_shiff2016

Violinist Mira Glodeanu

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra is presenting The Best of Mozart, in other words a program of warhorses!  Top on the list is Eine kleine Nachtmusik, a piece that even the most casual classical music fan would know, as well as Symphony No. 40 and Sinfonia concertante, with violinist Julia Wedman and violist Stefano Marcocchi . Romanian violinist Mira Glodeanu is the guest director. Four performances Feb. 25 to 28 at the Trinity St. Paul's Centre. http://www.tafelmusik.org/

Toronto City Opera, formerly Toronto Opera Repertoire, is a community-based, largely non-professional opera company offering fully-staged productions of standard repertoire with piano accompaniment.  As TOR, it was under the directorship of its long-time founder Giuseppe Macina. After his retirement a few years ago, the group was taken over by mezzo Beatrice Carpino and pianist Adolfo De Santis as co-directors and the named changed to Toronto City Opera. The format and the venue remain essentially the same. This season, Toronto City Opera is presenting Die Fledermaus and L'Elisir d'amore at the Bickford Centre. Performances of the Strauss operetta on Feb. 25 and 27, and the Donizetti opera on Feb. 26 and 28. 
http://www.torontocityopera.com/

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