Monthly Archives: November 2017

Philip Chiu

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 bring pianist Philip Chiu to our stage.  While Chiu has performed in Toronto many times, this will be his Toronto solo recital debut.  The evening will include Ravel – Ma mère l’Oye (Mother Goose Suite), John Burge – Studies in Poetry No. 4: Loop (2009), Rachmaninoff – Preludes (Five Selections from Op. 23, Op. 32), Schubert/Liszt – Fantasy in C Major, “Der Wanderer”, D. 760, and Liszt – Legends, S.175.

Current residing in Montreal, Chiu was born in Hong Kong and raised in Toronto and London, ON.  In Montreal, he can be found working at McGill University as an accompanist and coach, at the Conservatoire de musique de Montreal as an invited professor and accompanist, and at l’Universite de Montreal as an accompanist.

He frequently tours as an accompanist for competitions, and does a lot of chamber music and collaborative playing. In 2015, he was the inaugural recipient of the Prix Goyer (Extreme Emerging Artist Award). The $125,000 prize is one of the largest in the world for a collaborative emerging artist.

This recent Q&A in WholeNote magazine will give you some insight into Chiu

https://www.thewholenote.com/index.php/newsroom/feature-stories/27446-solo-phil-a-q-a-with-philip-chiu

You can find out more about him on his own website www.philipchiu.ca and here him live at our concert on November 28thhttp://music-toronto.com/piano/Chiu.html

 

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Carducci Quartet

After a cancellation by another quartet, we were fortunate enough to secure the Carducci Quartet with fairly short notice to perform on November 16, 2017.  This will be their Toronto debut. The performance will include Beethoven – Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op.95, Serioso; Shostakovich – Quartet No. 4 in D Major, Op. 83; and Debussy – Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10.

2017 marks the 20th anniversary for Britain’s brilliant Anglo-Irish quartet.  The Carducci Quartet members are Matthew Denton (violin), Michelle Fleming (violin), Eoin Schmidt-Martin (viola), and Emma Denton (cello). Award winning in several areas, they received the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Chamber Music Award for their Shostakovich15 project, in which they commemorated 40 years since the composer’s death by performing all of Shostakovich’s string quartets in 2015. Check out their blog about the project http://shostakovich15.blogspot.ca/

As you would expect, they perform around the globe and record. They actually have their own recording label, Carducci Classics. Sharing their knowledge is also important to the quartet.  They set up the Carducci Music Trust in 2009 to help fund their work with schools and at their annual Festival at Highnam.

You can read more about the Carducci Quartet and all of their endeavours on their website http://www.carducciquartet.com/ and hear them live in Toronto on November 16, 2017. http://music-toronto.com/index.html

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Appeal, imitation and inspiration

by guest blogger Julie Berridge

On November 7, Benjamin Grosvenor plays Mozart, Debussy, Brahms, Berg and Ravel.

Appeal, imitation and inspiration

Appeal

“Teeming with dissonances” is how Brahms described the first Intermezzo in Opus 119.  In a letter from May 1893 to Clara Schumann, Brahms wondered if the piece would please her palate. He wished “they would be less correct, but more appetizing and agreeable to your taste”.  Clara must have found it appealing because she wrote back, that the piece was “grey, pearl-veiled and very precious”

Imitation

Brahms’ appeal is timeless and not just for lovers of classical music.

While doing research for this post I came across a 2000 blog post about an article titled “Santana really should acknowledge Brahms”.  The writer points out the similarities between “Love of My Life,” played by Santana featuring Dave Matthews & Carter Beauford, from Santana’s 1999 album, Supernatural, and the third movement (III. Poco allegretto) from Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90.  Here is a link to the article.  Scroll down to hear audio clips of the two pieces.  What do you think?  I tend to agree with the writer. It seems audibly obvious. And both are lovely. I wonder if Santana ever did acknowledge Brahms?

https://leleftovers.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/santana-really-should-acknowledge-brahms/

On a less lovely note, the first movement of Mozart’s Sonata in B-flat Major, K.333 was performed by Frank Zappa’s back up band, the Mothers of Invention at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969. The band members did what was described as a “grotesque parody of the art of ballet dancing” as part of the “performance”.

Inspiration

Debussy’s L’après midi d’un faune was inspired by and is a musical depiction of a Mallarmé poem. In the poem, a faun sleeping on a sunny slope awakes from a dream and tries to realize the dream by pursuing the nymphs that he dreamt about.  After playing a soliloquy on his flute he realizes that he is unable to bring the dream to life, and he goes back to sleep.  It’s been said that Debussy found a way to break with orthodoxy when he “passed into the symbolist domain of Stéphane Mallarmé”. To Mallarmé, then we are forever grateful.

Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit is based on a poem by Aloysius Bertrand which features a mermaid a monster and a corpse.  Ravel’s composition is in three movements.  Listen for the seductive whispers and cheerful laughter of Odine the mermaid, the slight swaying of the hanged man in the repeated B-flat and the frenzied appearances of the evil dwarf Scarbo, waiting to pounce and scare.  Gaspard de la Nuit was first published in 1842, one year after Bertrand’s death. The poem was reprinted in 1908 in the Mercure de France which was where Ravel may have first encountered it.

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