Here’s a quick round up of recent webstreams. The main event is the concert streamed by the COC over the weekend featuring Jane Archibald with the COC Orchestra and Johannes Debus. There’s about forty five minutes of music and it’s predictably classy music making though it’s emotionally taxing to look at an empty Four Seasons centre again. The program includes Mozart. Handel, Strauss, Massenet, Gounod and Bernstein. Arguably it’s a bit predictable but both musical and technical values are high. It’s avaiable free until August 27th via registration at the COC website.
Inevitably, this year’s Krehm memorial concert was presented virtually. It premiered last night and is available on the Canzona Chamber Players Youtube channel. It’s in two parts. In the first Rachel Krehm is the soloist in the Schoenberg arrangement of Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. I initially thought that Evan Mitchell’s tempi were on the slow side but they grew on me and Rachel sings expressively and rather beautifully. I like the chamber arrangement of these pieces precisely because the singer doesn’t have to force her voice over a big orchestra and can be more Lieder like.
The annus horribilis of 2021 seems to be going out with a whimper rather than a bang; at least musically in Toronto. Much of the streamed content on offer consists of repeats which is, I suppose, a holiday tradition. In this category we could include Against the Grain’s Messiah:Complex showing on Youtube and at TIFF and Essential Opera’s December. There’s still some new stuff appearing. Opera Revue have a rather good short piece about the exorbitant cost of aviaries in Toronto on Youtube. (They also have a live show coming up this weekend at the Emmett Ray. The COC have a show I(n Winter coming up this weekend on the COC web site featuring music by, among others, Vivaldi and Ian Cusson. There are also a couple of very short concerts from the RBA on the COC’s Youtube channel. Also, this year the annual Krehm memorial concert in aid of St. Mike’s ICU is on Youtube at 5.30pm on Boxing Day. Rachel Krehm is singing Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen in the Schoenberg arrangement and that will be followed by a chamber reduction of Beethovens Symphony No.7. Evan Mitchell conducts the Canzona Chamber Players. For live, Tafelmusik have a sort of Christmas “greatest hits” concert and the TSO have a much shortened Messiah. Apart from that the holiday season is looking like booze and booster shots.
Canadian bassist (and much more) George Koller is giving a solo recital in aid of St. Mike’s COVID-19 fund. It’s resented by Canzona Chamber Players on their Youtube channel and by the looks of it fills the slot for this year’s Elizabeth Krehm memorial concert. It’s on September 27th at 7pm and it’s free but, of course, donations to St. Mike’s are encouraged.
Toronto’s Upper Canada Choristers and their Latin ensemble Cantemos will present music from Latin America in a concert titled Inti Ukana: A Latin American Tapestry. This was originally scheduled for May as a public performance but will now be live-streamed, with some pre-recorded elements, It’s on Friday, October 2nd at 7:30 p.m. It will be accessible through the choir’s website,
There have been a few announcements over the last week or two. First up is a fund raiser for the music and social outreach programmes at St. Andrew by the Lake. St. Andrew by the Lake is the Anglican church that serves Toronto Islands and as everyone in Toronto knows this has been a tough summer for island dwellers and, among other things it’s messed up the usual summer music program at St. Andrew. The fundraiser is at Christ Church Deer Park on Thursday 24th August at 7.30pm. The concert features the Canzona Chamber Players with Evan Mitchell conducting and Rachel Krehm as soprano soloist in performances of Mozart, Gounod, Charpentier and Brahms. More details and tickets at http://www.standrewbythelake.com
So there’s another free (well almost, $5 suggested donation) lunchtime concert series. It’s Music Mondays at The Church of the Holy Trinity in Trinity Square (A most worthwhile institution which has long taken a leading role in the fight for social justice in Toronto and, on top of that, I used to play rugby with a former incumbent). As it happens yesterday saw the last concert of the 2015 season featuring the Canzona Chamber Players, conductor Evan Mitchell, and soprano Rachel Krehm. The Canzonas are a pretty big band, 53 players yesterday, for a chamber group (I guess they have big chambers in Canzona) and could be very loud in the rather resonant church acoustic.