Classical Music Club Toronto

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

27th Season
Sun Sep 22 2:00

Peter Grimes

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.


Sun Oct 20 2:00

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 will emerge.


Sun Nov 17 2:00

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.


Sun Dec 15 2:00

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.


Sun Jan 19 2:00

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 Eric Friesen. 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.

Pinchas Zukerman and Eric Friesen

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.


Sun Feb 2 2:00

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 Grammy Award.

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.”


Sun Mar 16 2:00

Give Me Five! Symphonies & Concerti Numbered 5

5 graphic

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 musical work.

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 ears.


Sun Apr 20 2:00

Ballet Music

Johan King Silverhult and Patrick King

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.


Sun May 25 2:00

150th Anniversary Commemoration: Richard Strauss

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.


Summer Season

Please note that summer programs are Saturdays at 7:00 P.M.

Sat Jun 14 7:00

The Magic Flute

Scene from Mozart's 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.


Sat Jul 19 7:00

Summer Night with Clarinet


Sat Aug 16 7:00

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.


Past Years:

Last Updated: Sunday October 1, 2023 at 1:54 pm