“Culture Days” is a weekend long festival in Toronto where various arts organisations put on free events. This year it included a concert in Koerner Hall by the ARC Ensemble with guests Baritone Peter Barrett and cellist Se-Doo Park. The main draw for me was Respighi’s Il tramonto; a setting for baritone and string quartet of an Italian translation of Shelley’s The Sunset. This was indeed very well executed but was far from the most interesting part of the afternoon.
It was actually the final piece that was the revelation; Castelnuevo-Tedesco’s Piano Quintet No. 1. It’s a really fun piece in high romantic style with tons of melodic ideas and lots of colour. It was given a truly virtuoso performance by Erika Raum, Benjamin Bowman, Steven Dann, Se-Doo Park and Dianne Werner. I think I’ll be looking for more examples of Castelnuevo-Terdesco’s work.