PROGRAM SCHEDULE 2018-2019
To begin the Club’s 32nd season, we will concentrate on
the pianistic virtuosity of Marc-André Hamelin.
Born in 1961 in Montreal, Hamelin is known for his
interpretation of a wide variety of composers. He is
also well–known for his attention to lesser–known
composers especially of the late nineteenth and early
twentieth century and for performing works by pianist–composers
such as Leopold Godowsky and Franz Liszt. Alex Ross in
The New Yorker referred to his “monstrously
brilliant technique and his questing, deep-thinking
approach”. We will sample a number of recordings
from his impressive catalogue.
Hamelin will be performing at the Jane Mallet Theatere, St. Lawrence
Centre for the Arts, 27 Front St. E. 416-366-7723. Tickets $47.50 - $52, students $10.
Programme: Bach-Busoni: Chaconne; Feinberg: Sonata No. 3 Op.3;
Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Cypresses; Chopin: Polonaise-Fantaisie in A-Flat Op. 60;
Chopin: Scherzo No.4 in E Op.54
Schubert’s 1818 Compositions
Throughout his composing career Schubert was always prolific.
His catalogue numbers over 1500 individual pieces.
Focusing on a 12–month period exactly 200 years ago,
we will examine a cross–section of his works in genres
including piano sonatas and marches as well as a selection
Debussy in Historically Informed Performance
The music of the early decades of the 20th century is
being subjected to the kind of scrutiny that happened
several years ago to the music of the early baroque and
classical period. Orchestras, particularly French ones,
are re-examining the works of Debussy, Stravinsky, and
Ravel, performing them using instruments of that earlier
period and performance practices of that earlier time.
The results are often surprising -- sometimes less
glossy and Romantic then the way we are used to hearing
these works performed today. Pianists have also approached
the works of Debussy using instruments of that period,
again with surprising results.
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Part 2)
As a follow-up to our December 2018 program, we will again focus
on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125. Composed
between 1822 and 1824, it was first performed in Vienna on May 7,
1824. The symphony opened up new era of orchestral music in its
structure, length, addition of the chorus, and global theme.
One of the features of the modern era of recording has been the
number of orchestras who perform this work using reduced forces
of the mid–19th century and instruments of that period.
We will listen to recordings on both modern instruments and by
historically informed performing ensembles.
As we noted last year, this symphony has very often been performed
on special occasions, including season openings or finales, and the
inaugural opening of concert venues. Interestingly, it is a popular
feature of symphony concerts during the Christmas season in Japan,
in a way similar to performances of Handel’s Messiah
in North America.
Christine Goerke’s Elektra
Dramatic soprano Christine Goerke returns to Toronto to perform in
Richard Strauss’s Elektra with the Canadian Opera Company.
This soprano’s repertoire includes many of the major dramatic
soprano roles in the repertoire which we will include in the program.
Masaaki Suzuki’s Bach
A major recording project of the 21st century was completed in 2014:
a 55-volume set of the complete church cantatas of Bach by the
Bach Collegium Japan led by its founder and conductor Masaaki Suzuki.
For many years Maestro Suzuki has been one of the most internationally
respected and sought-after Bach specialists. Next month,
on March 21-24, Toronto’s Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra will
welcome Suzuki onto the podium for their performances of the
St. Mathew Passion. To commemorate this Toronto visit, we will
share a selection of audio and video performances from his vast
Tafelmusic - St. Matthew Passion
Diabelli Variations Bicentennial
The 33 Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli, Op. 120
(commonly known as the Diabelli Variations) was written
between 1819 and 1823 by Ludwig van Beethoven on a waltz
composed by Anton Diabelli. Often considered to be one of
the greatest sets of variations for keyboard along with
J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, the work has been called
“the greatest set of variations ever written” (Donald Tovey),
“the greatest of all piano works” (Alfred Brendel), and
“a microcosm of Beethoven’s art” (Hans von Bülow).
In celebration of the bicentennial of this piece in 2019
we will examine a selection of video and audio recordings.
Peter Serkin, Pianist
Originally, the program scheduled for today was to be a survey
of the pianistic viruosity of Murray Perahia presented in
conjunction with his appearance in Toronto on May 1.
Unfortunately, Mr. Perahia had to cancel his appearance
and the Royal Conservatory of Music has scheduled
Peter Serkin for that date. Hopefully, Mr. Perahia
will be able to return to Toronto at a future date.
Meanwhile, the Club now has an opportunity to enjoy
the work of an equally virtuosic American.
Although Peter Serkin was born as an heir of the
European tradition being the son of the great pianist
Rudolf Serkin and the grandson of influential violinist
Adolph Busch, he grew up to become an Amercian hippie
wandering in Tibet. Peter began studying at the age of 11
at the Curtis Institute of Music, and in the following year
made his concert debut at the Marlboro Festival, but
his interest turned to contemporary music as one of the
founding members of the avant–garde group TASHI.
Perhaps a typical feature of New York–based classical musicians,
as with Perahia, a deeply rooted sense of tradition and touches
of contemporary sensitive twists magically live together in
Peter Serkin’s performances. Let’s hear his brilliant
jazz–like wit being sprinkled on top of the magnificent
base of his solid sound structure.
One of the highlights of the 2018/19 opera season in Toronto has been the
Canadian Opera Company’s wonderful production of Verdi’s Otello.
This opera is always a challenge to present because the three main
characters (Otello, Desdemona, and Iago) must be performed by singers
who are at the peak of singing excellence, a rare occurrence. This is
certainly the case for the Toronto cast of Russell Thomas, Tamara Wilson,
and Gerald Finley. But three top singers is just the beginning. You
also need a creative team to construct this very special universe. How
lucky we are to have such a combination of talents here in Toronto. To
celebrate this occasion, we will be presenting a selection of audio and
video recordings featuring Del Monaco, Vickers, Tebaldi, Gobbi, and
Cappuccilli, with Carlos Kleiber and Herbert von Karajan as conductors.
Please note that summer programs are Saturdays at 7:00 P.M.
Welcome, Maestro Gimeno!
The incoming music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
presents a series of concerts at Roy Thomson Hall from
June 28 to 30. To give you a taste of the maestro in action,
we will listen to a selection of his audio recordings with
the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra. There are also a
number of videos available on YouTube which we will sample.
Composers will include Shostakovich, Debussy, Ravel, Bruckner,
Let’s Go Fishing! Bicentennial of Schubert’s Trout Quintet
The year 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of one of Franz
Schubert’s most popular pieces, his Piano Quintet in A major,
D. 667, composed when he was only 22 years of age.
This work has been a favourite with chamber music enthusiasts,
both players and audiences alike, since its first appearance.
We will examine recordings featuring Jos Van Immerseel,
Alfred Brendel, L’Archibudelli, Emil Gilels, the Amadeus Quartet,
Alexander Schneider, and Peter Serkin. Rounding out the program
will be the Lied “Die Forelle” (“The Trout”) on which Schubert
based the later chamber piece as well as works with an aquatic or
fishy connection by other composers.
Bring Your Own Recordings
Members are invited to bring their own CDs, Blu-Rays 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.