Here is music made for the dog days of summer — meditative and melancholy pieces for a shady hammock in the afternoon, tangos for twilight pleasure — from New York City-based pianist Mirian Conti. A native of Argentina, Conti has spent many years championing young pianists as well as the rich store of tuneful music written for her instrument in that country. Continue reading
CBC Radio 2’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera today broadcasts the Canadian Opera Company’s 2010-11 season production of John Adams’ Nixon in China, starting at 1 p.m. Eastern. Continue reading
Toronto Summer Music Festival audience members who experienced Friday night’s performance of Brahms’ Sextet No. 2 and Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence by some of Canada’s leading musicians were no doubt left in awe. Continue reading
So far this year, artistic director Douglas McNabney has shown impeccable judgment in his choice of performers for the seventh Toronto Summer Music Festival.
This week, the focus is on great works from the chamber music canon, in various permutations of instruments. There isn’t a dodgy choice in the lot. Continue reading
English viol consort Phantasm has released a new album that celebrates the weird-and-wonderful musical world of William Lawes (1602-1645) with a collection of “consorts to the organ” that were performed at court, in the company of the composer’s friend and patron, King Charles I.
This chamber music, written in a polyphonic style where the viols pass the main musical lines to each other casually, as if playing a game of pitch-and-catch, is so unusual that Phantasm founder, director and viol master Laurence Dreyfus has written an accompanying essay, “Consorts to the Organ — A Guide to the Perplexed.” Continue reading
Violinist Dong-Suk Kang is, like so many people in the classical music world, caught in a Catch-22.
When the South Korean was trying to establish a career in the West in the 1970s, he competed as much as he was able, winning enough prestigious prizes to get noticed by orchestras and concert presenters. Now, as a veteran of the concert stage and recording studio, he is frequently invited to adjudicate.
But that doesn’t mean Kang likes what he sees and hears. Continue reading
Pure sunshine and boundless energy come to mind in listening to two neglected piano concertos by Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968).
Fellow countryman Alessando Marangoni, who has been rollicking his way through the pianistic bonbons Gioachino Rossini scattered in his wake after retiring from the opera world, attacks these three-movement showpieces with the relish of a child who has just landed in the world’s finest sandbox with a shiny new shovel and bucket. Continue reading