Tag Archives: Bach

Ilya Poletaev

Ilya Poletaev is no stranger to Toronto.  He has performed on our stage in the past and has played with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

At the age of six, he started studying in Moscow.  He moved to Israel and eventually came to Canada when he was 14.  He obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and then went on to complete his Masters and Doctorate at Yale.  He is an accomplished and award-winning pianist and harpsichordist.

He was part of the faculty at Yale between 2005 and 2010 as a lecturer in Early Music.  In 2011, he became the Assistant Professor of Piano at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montréal, a position he still holds today.

Join us on February 7, 2017 when Ilya Poletaev takes to our stage to play Bach, Enescu, and Schumann.  http://music-toronto.com/piano/poletaev.htm


Leave a comment

Filed under Performers

Bach, Schumann, Balakirev, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev

By guest blog writer Julie Berridge

On November 15, Danny Driver plays the compositions of Bach, Schumann, Balakirev, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.

French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816 was written by Johan Sebastian Bach between the years of 1722 and 1725. It consists of 7 movements: Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gavotte, Bourrée, Loure and Gigue. Allemande in 4/4 time opens with a gentle interweaving of notes, and then becomes more lively. The Courante is light and quick and the Sarabande, is more stately. (The Sarabande dance started in Spain and as a somewhat lively dance and became more stately when it spread to France.) The Gavotte, a ballroom dance is followed by a country dance. The Loure is a soaring melody and the closing Gigue is a fugue in three voices.

Schumann’s Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13 consists of 12 etudes and was written in 1834. It’s been called one of the greatest musical achievements of the 19th century. In these 12 etudes, the piano is made to sound like an orchestra. From the one instrument, we hear woodwinds and brass, drum beats; horns and trombones, and violin and cello.

The second half of the evening features three Russian composers: Balakirev born in 1837, Rachmaninov born in 1873 and Sergei Prokofiev born in 1891. In Balakirev’s Nocturne No 2 in B minor (1901) Chopin’s grand nocturnes can be heard. Rachmaninov is said to have been inspired by the feelings conjured up by images when composing his etudes. Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 7 in B♭ major, Op. 83 (1942) was one of his “war sonatas”. It is said that in these sonatas, Prokofiev unfavourable feelings about Stalin were revealed. Ironically though, this Sonata received a Stalin prize.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

An evening of Bach, Mozart, Schumann and Stankovski

by guest contributor Julie Berridge

On March 10, Till Fellner plays for us the music of Bach, Mozart, Schumann and Alexander Stankovski.

The evening opens with Mozart’s Rondo No. 3 in A minor, K 511. The Rondo is a single movement with repeating varied themes.

Fellner then moves to Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. This is how Bach introduced the work.

“… The Well-Tempered Clavier, or Preludes and Fugues through all the tones and semitones both as regards the tertia major or Ut Re Mi and as concerns the tertia minor or Re Mi Fa. For the Use and Profit of the Musical Youth Desirous of Learning as well as for the Pastime of those Already Skilled in this Study”.

WTC as it is sometimes referred to, has become much more than a learning tool or a pastime. It is now considered the foundation on which all Western classical music after Bach has been built. It’s a collection of preludes and fugues written in all 24 major and minor keys for a solo keyboard. The collection is made up of Book 1 written in 1722, and Book 2 written in 1742.

After Bach, Fellner performs another Mozart Sonata. The Sonata in E flat K 282 has three movements. The first is a slow and lyrical Adagio. The second is a lively minuet and the third is an Allegro.

Fellner then performs for us a composition by Viennese composer Alexander Stankovski, born in Munich in 1968 and living in Vienna since 1974. Stankovski is now senior lecturer at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz.

The evening concludes with Kreisleriana, Op. 16 written by Schumann in April 1938 in just four days. The composition was inspired by the character of Johannes Kreisleriana an orchestra conductor who appears in three of E.T.A Hoffman’s books. The character is eccentric, wild, mercurial and often colourful. Kreisleriana consists of eight short movements. Together they are the musical expression of myriad moods. Some passionately dramatic and some simple and serene. Some playful, and some solemn and tragic. In the first movement we are introduced to the animated and somewhat manic side of the character. In contrast, the longer second movement reveals the romantic and tender side of the fictional conductor. The third and fifth movements evoke feelings of agitation followed by the slow fourth and sixth movements. In the seventh movement, the conversation between agitation and peacefulness continues. The final movement is for the most part, playful.
In an April 1938 letter to his wife Clara, here is what Schubert said about Kreisleriana,

“But, Clara, I’m overflowing with music and beautiful melodies now—imagine, since my last letter I’ve finished another whole notebook of new pieces. I intend to call it Kreisleriana. You and one of your ideas play the main role in it, and I want to dedicate it to you—yes, to you and nobody else—and then you will smile so sweetly when you discover yourself in it—my music now seems to be so simply and wonderfully intricate in spite of all the simplicity, all the complications, so eloquent and from the heart; that’s the way it affects everyone for whom I play it, which I enjoy doing quite frequently”.

Join us on March 10, 2015 for this wonderful evening! http://www.music-toronto.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Composers, Performers

David Jalbert

On March 11th, David Jalbert will appear for the second time on our stage. We first heard him in 2007 as part of our Discovery series.

Jalbert was born in 1977 in Rimouski, Québec. He started playing at the age of 4 and earned his Masters at 21 from the Université de Montréal, with the Governor General’s Gold Medal. He has performed with many of our Canadian symphonies including Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and National Arts Centre Orchestra. As a solo pianist, he has toured Canada, the US, Mexico and Europe. In 2008, Jalbert joined the faculty at the University of Ottawa’s School of Music. He continues to teach there as a professor of piano.

A Juno award nominee, Jalbert has released several CDs. His most recent solo CD is the Bach Goldberg Variations. This is also what we will have the pleasure of hearing live on our stage in March! You can see and hear more of David Jalbert on his website at http://davidjalbert.com/audio-and-video/

Leave a comment

Filed under Performers