Jeunesses Musicales

symoon Last night I was fortunate enough to be at a musical evening organised by Jeunesses Musicales Ontario.  The umbrella organisation has come a long way since being founded during WW2 as an anti-Nazi youth movement (*).  In Ontario it’s main activity is promoting musical events for young people and providing performance opportunities for young artists; notably an annual song recital tour.  You may recall that I wrote about the kick off of the latest one in which Simone Osborne and Anne Larlee are performing across Canada with a show that includes a specially commissioned piece by Brian Current.   Continue reading

Farewell Queen of Puddings

Lorca-horizontalChris Paul Harman’s La selva de los relojes (The Forest of Clocks) had its premier at the Four Seasons Centre at lunchtime today.  It’s a setting of some very beautiful texts from Lorca’s Suites scored for mezzo, harp, piano/celeste, flute, clarinet, cello, percussion and tape.  The tape consists of sections of the texts read by Martha de Francisco.  Sometimes the text comes from the tape, sometimes it’s sung by mezzo, sometimes it’s spoken by the mezzo and at other times they overlap.  The accompaniment is mostly very spare but occasionally becomes surprisingly dense with lots of work for tuned percussion.  There are also some unconventional roles for the instruments, especially the flute, and there is a whistled passage for the singer near the end.  All in all it’s very 21st century; decidedly modern but quite approachable.  And did I say the texts are gorgeous?  Continue reading