Friday night: Three small but significant concerts for different sensibilities

New Yorker Dan Tepfer riffs on the Goldberg Variations tonight.

There are three very different concerts tonight that come from three deep traditions that play to three very different sorts of sensibilities:


New York pianist Dan Tepfer has spent several years using improvisation as a way of meditating on the bottomless well of inspiration that are Bach’s Goldberg Variations.

Earlier this season at Gallery 345, we heard Californian Lara Downes present a collection of composed responses to Bach’s masterpiece. Tonight, as summer laps at our newly sun-kissed toes, Tepfer offers an immediate, jazz-flavoured riff on that tireless narrative.

This should be an ideal crossover experience. The concert starts at 8 p.m. You’ll find all the details here.

Here’s a sample of Tepfer in action, on the Aria and first improvisation, this one at an intimate venue in Paris, in 2009:


The six female voices of Toronto’s Schola Magdalena, founded and led by Stephanie Martin, close their season with an 8 p.m. concert of Medieval chant, organum and polyphony at their home, the Church of St Mary Magdalene, on Ulster St.

I can’t think of a better soul-cleansing at the end of a sticky week.

The details are all here.

Here is a wonderful recording of one of tonight’s pieces, a four-part organum (chant combined with drone voices) setting by Perotinus of Sederunt principes (The princes did sit) an introit for the Feast of St Stephen (Boxing Day), written 800 years ago for use at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris:


I’ve already written about the all-Beethoven pop-up 7 p.m. community concert at Heliconian Hall here.

For anyone who can’t attend in person, the live audiostream will be available here.

John Terauds


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