PROGRAM SCHEDULE 2013-2014
Peter Grimes (1945) is generally considered to be one of Benjamin
Britten’s masterworks and was the first of his operas to gain success.
This adaptation of George Crabbe’s poem The Borough, burst
onto the operatic scene with unimaginable excitement and his retained a place
in the repertoire of major opera companies the world over. With the title role
written for Britten’s partner, Peter Pears, the opera presents an
unrelenting picture of life in a small, coastal village, complete with prejudices
and hidden secrets. The Sea Interludes, often performed in the concert hall,
vividly depicts the relentless sea as well as the emotional turmoil boiling
beneath the surface of the inhabitants of the village.
The program will consist of excerpts from CDs as well as extended selections
from two commercial DVDs - one from Covent Garden starring Jon Vickers in one
of his signature roles and the other a recent, innovative production from
La Scala in Milan.
50th Anniversary Commemoration:
Poulenc & Hindemith
The year 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the deaths of two
important composers of the 20th century, both of whom expressed
their musical creativity with unique voices distinct from their
contemporary colleagues. Francis Poulenc’s work can be said
to express the conflict in his life between his Catholic faith and
his need for artistic freedom. Though his music is well-based in
traditional tonality, he experimented with unusual harmonies while
maintaining a love for lyrical melody. This gives his music its unusual
seductive attractiveness. By contrast, Paul Hindemith favoured a more
austere and intellectual musical expression. His music can be said to
be at the same time tonal but non-diatonic. This means that it is
centered on a tonic and modulates from one tonal center to another,
but it uses all 12 notes freely rather than relying on a scale. He
also worked to find melodies that do not clearly outline major or minor
triads. Through listening to a wide-ranging selection of the work of
these two composers, a picture of music at the middle of the century
Richard Wagner: Bicentennial Celebration (Part 2): Favourite
Moments of Wagner’s Ring
How and when did you listen to Richard Wagner’s “Ring”
for the first time? We all had our first encounter or loss-of-virginity story with
“Rheingold” or “Die Walküre”. You may have had a special
occasion with Ring music behind your
own memorable moment. How did your first Ring Cycle experience in the theatre
turn out? Boredom beyond belief or ecstasy? Do you have a recording of
“Siegfried” which relates to a crucial moment of your life? Which DVD
recording of “The Twilight of Gods” do you like best? Please bring your
stories and memories around “The Nibelung’s Ring” to the meeting. This is
CMC’s special Bring Your Own Recording with a Wagnerian twist in celebration
of the bicentennial of the composer’s birth. We will welcome listeners, so
please do not worry about attending the meeting without a story. Those who
have stories, please contact the organizers in advance, so that we can
prepare appropriate recordings for you.
Christmas With Natalie Dessay
The astonishing French soprano Natalie Dessay is making her Toronto
debut on December 16 at Koerner Hall. We will listen to her delightful
singing along with our afternoon potluck.
This is a Potluck Party. Please let us know what you will be bringing
in order to avoid duplicates. The kitchen is open to receive and prepare
food from 1:30 P.M. and the party starts at 2:00 P.M. (Note, this is
a change from previous announcements.)
Your friends are welcome. Please bring your own drinks.
We will have our Christmas CD exchange. Please wrap a CD you would like
to exchange with one of the other members.
Pinchas and the Violin (Part 5)
Experience some of the greatest music ever written for the violin
through the ears of one of the finest violinits of our time as Pinchas
Zukerman gives studio demonstrations and discusses these works with
In this series of five programs, each program will feature two
one-hour presentations. In the first half of Program 5 we will hear
the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor, Opus 64. First movement with
Pinchas Zukerman, soloist and conductor with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra;
second movement with Itzhak Perlman, violin, Danel Barenboim conductor
with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; finale with Pinchas Zukerman, violin,
Leonard Bernstein conductor with the New York Philharmonic.
After the break, we will hear the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D Minor,
Opus 47. First movement with Jascha Heifetz, violin, Walter Hendl conductor
with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; second movement with Ida Haendel,
violin, Paavo Berglund conductor with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra;
finale with Pinchas Zukerman, violin, Daniel Barenboim conductor with the
London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante
Born in Palermo, Fabio Biondi began his international career at an early age
and was introduced to pioneers of the new approach to baroque music. Since then,
he has performed with leading ensembles all specialising in the performance of
baroque music using original technique and instruments.
In 1990, Fabio Biondi founded Europa Galante, an ensemble which, in just a
few years, has become one of the most internationally renowned and awarded
Italian performers of baroque music. The ensemble has been invited to play
at the most important festivals and concert halls around the world.
Their first recording (Vivaldi’s concertos) was awarded many of the top
European awards as well as Record of the Year nominations in many countries.
In 2006, their recording of Vivaldi's opera Bajazet was nominated for a
Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante will be visiting Toronto on Sat., Feb. 8 at
8 pm at Koerner Hall. Maestro Biondi explains the evening’s program:
“The Windy Seasons is a suite inspired by
The Four Seasons and includes titled concerti for violin, recorder,
bassoon, and oboe. These are some of Vivaldi’s best known pieces and they
present a wide range of colours and tonality.”
Give Me Five! Symphonies & Concerti Numbered 5
Departing from our usual themes centred around a specific composer, work or
anniversary, today’s program will focus on well-known and less-famous examples
of symphonies and concerti that were the fifth of their types in each composer’s
Obvious examples are symphonies by Beethoven, Mahler, and Sibelius or the
Emperor Concerto by Beethoven. But, how well do you know Mendelssohn’s Fifth
Symphony (the “Reformation”) or Mozart’s Fifth Piano Concerto?
This will be an opportunity to enjoy some old favourites (although perhaps
performed not as you might expect!) and encounter some repertoire new to your
Combined with dance and movement, classical music transforms itself to an
elevated form of artistic expression. The musical leaps can be based on a biblical
epic or Greek legend, romantic fantasy or social satire. We can explore a variety
of styles, such as Baroque opera-ballet, inserted dance sequences in romantic
operas, and monumental full-length staged Tchaikovsky ballets. The contributions
of the composers who resided in Paris in the early
20th century are also
unforgettable. Without Stravinsky or Ravel, the contemporary concert repertoire
could have been so much less exciting. The presentation includes both materials
with visuals and sound only as well as full-length stage and suite-versions.
150th Anniversary Commemoration:
June 11, 2014 marks the 150th anniversary
of the birth Richard Strauss,
one of the most celebrated composers of the 19th and
20th century. To celebrate this occasion,
we will be sampling a variety of works from his prolific output.
With an emphasis on recent releases as well as classic interpretations,
we will have a chance to experience the range of his artistic achievements
in orchestral music, opera, and lieder.
Please note that summer programs are Saturdays at 7:00 P.M.
The Magic Flute
The work is in the form of a Singspiel which includes both singing
and spoken dialogue. In some ways, it is similar to the modern musical.
The Magic Flute premiered in 1791 at the Freihaus-Theater
auf der Wieden in Vienna, not in a conventional opera house.
Because of its use of supernatural effects as well as involving characters
from both the high and low social strata, the opera has inspired magical
interpretations through the years as well as providing leading stage
directors with the opportunity for challenging the inconsistency of the plot.
We will sample two productions in 2013. The production in Baden-Baden
by Robert Carsen and Michael Levine (both gentlemen from Toronto) is set
in the forest’s greenery and also under the earth. Another production
is from Bregenz by David Pountney, which is literally set on a lake,
surrounded by gigantic dragon-shaped towers.
The enigma of The Magic Flute is timeless, elevated even higher
and made more complex by the ingenious music of Mozart.
Summer Night with Clarinet
BYOR (Bring Your Own Recording)
Members are invited to bring their own CDs and DVDs which they
would like to share with other members of the club. Please limit
the length of your selection to about ten minutes, permitting
everyone to have a chance.