Yesterday afternoon saw the final concert of the season for Off Centre Music Salon; the concert series organised by Boris Zarankin and Inna Perkis at the Glenn Gould Studio. This one, as the title suggests, celebrating philanthropy in music by putting together a concert of works by composers who were supported by patrons. It was very much salon style with many short sets by various combinations of performers. There was some instrumental music; an impressive performance of Khachaturian’s Toccata in E flat minor by twelve year old William Leathers, reprised later on accordion by Michael Bridge. Jacques Israelievitch and Boris Zarankin collaborated on a bravura rendition of Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne and Zarankin and Perkis gave their traditional one piano/four hands performance, this time an arrangement of Beethoven’s Egmont overture, which was received with enthusiasm.
The rest of the programme consisted of art songs and opera excerpts sung in various combinations by soprano Ilana Zarankin, mezzo Lauren Segal and baritone Peter McGillivray variously accompanied by Boris Zarankin, Perkis and Elina Kelebeev. It was a long and varied programme making good use of the contrasting tone colours of the three singers. Zarankin is a very light soprano with bell like high notes whereas Segal is very dark toned, almost smoky. They sounded particularly good together in a duet from Chabrier’s Le Roi malgré lui. McGillivray has a powerful voice though on this occasion he throttled it back much of the time. He’s also a very decent comedian and was able to make effective use of that talent in more excerpts from the Chabrier and Ravel’s songs Don Quichotte à Dulcinée.
All in all, an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday afternoon. My only beef is that if one is to have a long varied programme and supply the audience with texts and translations it might be a good idea to leave enough light to read the programme by.