Classical Music Club Toronto

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

30th Season
Sun Sep 25 2:00

Mahler: Symphony No. 3

Mahler's Third Symphony in D minor is considered to one of his most extrovert and positive scores. It is also his longest symphony, lasting at least an hour and a half. Using large-scale forces similar to those in his Second Symphony, the score presents a panoramic vision of Mahler’s world view.

In his own writing he states that the keys to his philosophy in this work are the fourth movement (a setting of Nietzsche) and the Wunderhorn song “Das himmlische Leben” (The Heavenly Life), which he had originally planned as the symphony’s finale. The combination of these influences offers an image of a world filled with a pain relieved only by death, and a longing fulfilled only by heavenly paradise.

The sounds of nature combined with birdcalls, rustic dances, military marches, and other mundane sounds are combined with music representing deep human emotion. For Mahler, nature meant everything; it was the world.

To commemorate performances of Mahler’s Third Symphony by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, we will sample excerpts from several classic recordings and enjoy a marvelous video performance from the Lucerne Festival under Claudio Abbado.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra — 
  Wed., Sept. 28 at 8 pm & 
  Thurs., Sept. 29 at 8 pm

Peter Oundjian, conductor
Jamie Barton, mezzo-soprano
Women of the Amadeus Choir & Elmer Iseler Singers
Toronto Children’s Chorus


Sun Oct 2 2:00

Erik Satie: An Anniversary Celebration

Erik Satie was a French composer (1866—1925) who is best known for his eccentric piano pieces which names such as Three Pieces in the Shape of a Pear, Unpleasant Glimpses, and Flabby Preludes for a Dog. During the psychedelic 1960s his music became incredibly popular and was recorded by many rock bands as well as serious music performers.

Our program celebrating the 150th anniversary of Satie’s birth will include a survey of his most well-known works and some that are not as famous. We will also examine his song output which came from his work in French cabaret. Performers such as Aldo Ciccolini, Aki Takahashi, Reinbert de Leeuw, Mady Mesplé, and Gabriel Bacquier will be featured.


Sun Nov 13 2:00

Rossini's Operas

It may seem that Rossini’s operas have been continuously performed on the world’s stages for over 200 years. Surprisingly, it is really only since the 1980s that there was a tremendous revival in interest in this composer’s works beyond The Barber of Seville.

Through the tremendous efforts of the critical versions of the original scores, followed by the annual realizations at the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, many works that were previously almost unheard and unknown began to take their place with acclaim from both the academic realm and from the opera-going public. Surpassing the familiarity of Rossini’s comic opera buffa, Rossini in his opera seria genre has revealed the universal identity of grand epic Romanticism.

The Rossini Festival in Pesaro produced many co-productions with first-class international opera companies and in the last decade the majority of them are available not only on CDs but in High Definition video on Blu-ray. We will have the opportunity to examine the entire range of the operatic output of Rossini, and our presentation will glimpse just the tip of the iceberg.


Fri Dec 9 6:00

Festive Season Party

Members and friends of the Classical Music Club, Toronto, are invited to our annual Festive Season Party with potluck supper.

This is a Potluck Party. The kitchen is open to receive and prepare food from 5:30 P.M. and the party starts at 6:00 P.M.

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 22 2:00

Haydn: A Celebration of Musical Genius

In his 43 piano trios, 68 string quartets, and 106 symphonies, Joseph Haydn demonstrated maturity and a challenging spirit simultaneously all thorough his long life. He never rested on his own reputation and stability; rather he explored passionately something new and innovative. Let’s listen to the voices of his wisdom and wit. We will focus on his late works in this program.

Left: Joseph Maydn by Thomas Hardy; Right: 1808 performance of The Creation, reproduction of a painted stationery box lid painted in watercolors by Balthazar Wigland


Sun Feb 12 2:00


Schubertiade, by Julius Schmid, 1897

A Schubertiade is an event held to celebrate the music of Franz Schubert.

During Schubert’s lifetime, these events were generally informal, unadvertised gatherings, held at private homes. While in those years many Schubertiades included the composer’s participation, this was not necessary, and they were sometimes held in places other than Vienna, where Schubert spent most of his life.

Schubertiades in early 19th-century Vienna were typically sponsored by wealthier friends or aficionados of Schubert’s music. In addition to Schubert’s music, they often also featured poetry readings, dancing, and other sociable pastimes. Attendees numbered from a handful to over one hundred. Schubert’s friend Leopold Kupelwieser claimed to hold them on his own, writing, “I treat myself to a Schubertiade now and again”.

Modern Schubertiades are more likely to be formal affairs, presented as concerts or festivals devoted to Schubert’s music. In 2017 in Toronto, CMC’s Schubertiade is intimate and relaxing, and somehow a touch personal.


Sun Mar 26 2:00

In Memoriam: Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Nikolaus Harnoncourt 1929-06-12 to 2016-05-03

Last year on March 5, Austrian conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt passed away. He started his career as a cellist in the Vienna Symphony, but soon formed an important question: Why is Baroque music boring to play? His pursuit of historically informed performance practice was thus born and grew internationally. The artificially smooth surface of the old performance style was replaced with accented, vivid rhythm, characteristic tone colours, and rich textures. What used to be uninspiring elegance became the intense energy of Sturm und Drang. The balance of the orchestral parts was totally re-structured and made transparent. Historically informed performance was such a phenomenon in the classical music world after World War II, and Harnoncourt was one of the founders of the movement and always the top runner.

He was active with his own group Concentus Musicus Wien, but also with regular orchestras such as the Concertgebouw, Vienna Philharmonic, and Berlin Philharmonic. Operas in Zurich and at Salzburg Festival were vitalized by Harnoncourt. The attempt of his re-examinations expanded the repertoire far beyond the Baroque to include Classic and Romantic composers even Bruckner or Verdi.

To the one who opened so many doors for us to the unknown charms of music, here is a program of homage in gratitude.


Sun Apr 9 2:00

Mozart: Mass in C minor

Mozart’s transcendent Mass in C Minor K427 is considered to be one of his greatest choral works. The composition was a celebration of the young ambitious man’s marriage. Mozart returned to his troublesome home town, Salzburg, briefly from Vienna together with Constanza, who sang the soprano solo in the premiere of this mass. Although the piece was left unfinished for reasons we may never know, this piece contains an extraordinary range of style and depth of expression. In preparation for the rare chance to listen to this masterpiece live in our city, we will explore performances by Bernstein, Harnoncourt, Gardiner, and others.

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir
Thu May 4, Fri May 5, Sat May 6 at 8pm, Sun May 7 at 3:30pm
Koerner Hall

· Haydn Symphony No. 98 in B-flat Major (London, 1792)
  Directed by Elisa Citterio, violin
· Mozart Mass in C Minor (Vienna/Salzburg, 1782—83)
  Directed by Ivars Taurins

For more information, visit Tafelmusik


Sun May 14 2:00

Weill: Seven Deadly Sins

The Seven Deadly Sins (in German, Die sieben Todsünden) is a “sung ballet” in seven scenes originally produced in 1933 with music by Kurt Weill to a libretto by Bertolt Brecht. The title character of Anna is divided between two performers — Anna I is a singer while Anna II is a dancer who speaks only a few lines and is called “Anna’s sister”. The cast is completed by four male singers who play Anna’s family. The program will feature several recordings (including one made by Lotte Lenya in 1956). To round out the afternoon, a selection of other works by Weill will be presented.

There is an upcoming live performance of this and other works:

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Wed, June 14 & Thur, June 15 at 8pm
Roy Thomson Hall
Peter Oundjian, conductor
· Andrew Balfour:
  Kiwetin-acahcos (North Star): Sesquie for Canada’s 150th
· Barber: Adagio for Strings
· Bartók: Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
· Brecht/Weill: The Seven Deadly Sins
  (semi-staged by Joel Ivany; Wallis Giunta, mezzo-soprano)


Sat Jun 24 7:00

In Memoriam: Zoltán Kocsis, Hungarian pianist

The celebrated Hungarian pianist Zoltán Kocsis passed away in his native Budapest on November 6, 2016, at the age of 64. He began his musical studies at the age of five and continued to study at the Béla Bartók Conservatory in 1963, studying piano and composition.

In 1970 he won the Hungarian Radio Beethoven Competition and made his first concert tour of the USA in the following year. Kocsis performed with the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Dresden, and other renowned orchestras. In 1990, his recording of Debussy’s Images won The Gramophone Instrumental Award for that year. He won another Gramophone award with the violinist Barnabás Kelemen in 2013 in the chamber category for the recording of Bartók’s Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2. Kocsis was famous for his “impressive technique, and his forthright, strongly rhythmic playing which is nevertheless deeply felt and never mechanical” (Grove Music Online). Kocsis co-founded with Iván Fischer the Budapest Festival Orchestra in 1983, thus opening a new epoch in the history of Hungarian orchestral playing. He played a determining role in the direction and the development of the program policy of the orchestra from its founding, and from 1987 also appeared as a conductor at their concerts. He became the musical director of the Hungarian National Philharmonic in 1997 and held the title until his death.

The program will feature video and audio recordings of his concerts and recitals.


Sun Jul 9 3:30


Live TV Broadcast from Munich, Germany. Please note the unusual day and time.

This is a new form of a CMC meeting. We are sharing a live streamed broadcast of Richard Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser, in a new production from the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Germany. This is almost (about three hours delay) live through the internet. Let’s enjoy a summer evening together, watching the entire opera of Tannhäuser with nibbling and chat between acts. The broadcast will be in High Definition with CD sound quality.

Conductor: Kirill Petrenko

Director and Set, Costume and Lighting Designer: Romeo Castellucci

· Landgraf Hermann: Georg Zeppenfeld
· Tannhäuser: Klaus Florian Vogt
· Wolfram von Eschenbach: Christian Gerhaher
· Walther von der Vogelweide: Dean Power
· Biterolf: Peter Lobert
· Heinrich der Schreiber: Ulrich Reß
· Reinmar von Zweter: Ralf Lukas
· Elisabeth: Anja Harteros
· Venus: Elena Pankratova
· Ein junger Hirt: Elsa Benoit

Bayerisches Staatsorchester and Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper

Please note that because this is a live broadcast, there will be two intermissions.


Sat Aug 12 7:00


Bring Your Own Recordings

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 1:47 pm