The third and final concert in Confluence Concerts and the Toronto Bach Festival’s presentation of the Bach cello suites is now on line. It features Andrew Downing playing the Suite No.2 in D minor BWV1008 on double bass and Ryan Davis playing the Suite No.5 in C minor BWV1011 on viola. Both pieces were recorded in front of a live audience at Heliconian Hall.
The second of three concerts of the Bach cello suites prresented by Confluence Concerts and the Toronto Bach Festival is now up on Confluence’s Youtube channel. There’s an hour or so of really nice cello playing with Kieran Campbell playing the Suite no.4 and Eleanor Fry performing the Suite no.6. The most interesting segments though are hearing the musicians talk about their rather unusual instruments. Kieran was playing an early 18th century instrument that is quite a bit larger than a modern cello and has no spike at the foot. It’s strung with gut of course though two of the strings are metal wrapped. Eleanor’s instrument is a modern reproduction of a baroque five stringed cello. I had no idea such a thing existed! As with all the Confluence streams, technical quality is impeccable. Definitely worth a look.
Here are a couple more shows I missed one way or another.
Tomorrow (October 29th) at 7pm the second of Confluence’s Bach cello suites concerts will be streamed on Youtube.
Saturday November 13th at3 pm at St. Andrew’s Church in Toronto and Friday November 19th at 7.30pm at People’s Theatre for the Performing Arts in Markham, Toronto City Opera are doing Verdi’s <em>Nabucco</em> in concert. It’s the usual formula; young local singers, volunteer choir and piano accompaniment. There will be no surtitles but the libretto will be available plus a narrator. More details here.
Confluence Conerts has announced its 2021/22 season with some details to be firmed up when anyone figures out what the “new normal” actually is. First up is a presentation of the Bach suites for solo cello in conjunction with the Toronto Bach Festival. They are being performed at Heliconian Hall and recorded for later, free, Youtube streaming on Confluence’s channel. There will be some tickets available for the live performance but no details on that yet. The performances are as follows:
Cello Suites No. 1 in G Major BWV 1007 and No. 3 in C Major BWV 1009
Concert September 22nd at 7pm at the Heliconian Hall
YouTube premiere October 1st
With Winona Zelenka and Michelle Tang, cello
Cello Suites No.4 in E-flat Major BWV 1010 and No. 6 in D Major BWV 1012
Concert October 21st at 7pm at the Heliconian Hall
YouTube premiere October 29th
With Keiran Campbell, cello and Elinor Frey, violoncello piccolo
Cello Suites No. 2 in D Minor BWV 1008 and No. 5 in C Minor BWV 1011
Concert November 3rd at 7pm at the Heliconian Hall
YouTube premiere November 10th
With Andrew Downing, double bass, and Ryan Davis, viola
Just a couple of “listings”:
Confluence are repeating most of their season during May. All concerts are free of charge, “premiere” at 7:00 pm on the Confluence YouTube Channel and will remain available for viewing for 48 hours.
- Monday, May 10th – Walter Unger Salon; Aging and Creativity
- Wednesday, May 12th – Something to Live For; A Billy Straythorn Celebration
- Friday, May 14th – Mandala; the Beauty of Impermanence
- Sunday, May 16th – Tuesday May 18th – The John Beckwith Songbook (3 concerts)
- Thursday, May 19th – Gracias a la vida; Celebrating Astor Piazzolla and Mercedes Sosa
Full descriptions of each concert are here. I reviewed them all first time up so if you want to know what I thought it it’s easy enough to find. Continue reading
I only have two confirmed events for May. On Thursday 6th there is Tapestry’s Sketch Opera Singers 2. SOS1 was a hoot and the brief excerpt for the upcoming show on Tapestry’s Youtube channel suggests the new one will be fun too. If you haven’t seen it check it out. It’s the famous ABBA-nera by Sven Bizet. Like all Tapestry’s streams SOS2 will be free on Youtube.
Canadian composer John Beckwith will be 94 tomorrow. His son, Larry, under the auspices of Confluence Concerts webcast a trio of concert’s of Beckwith’s extensive song output yesterday on their Youtube channel. There’s four and a half hours of music and interviews! It’s extremely varied. Composition dates range from 1947 to 2014 and the diversity of the music is equally broad though with a distinct personality. The pieces range from a set of etudes for cello and voice written for his grand-daughter when she was nine years old to the the crazy Avowals which requires a gifted and slightly mad tenor and a keyboardist who can play piano, celeste and harpsichord; sometimes simultaneously!
There are three new Youtube videos that aren’t performances but may be of interest. On the Confluence Concerts channel there’s the John Beckwith Songbook Lecture. I was expecting the usual sort of pre-show thing ahead of this weekend’s concert but it wasn’t that at all. What we get is Bradley Christensen explaining his doctoral thesis research on developing an interpretive and pedagogical guide to Beckwith’s songs. One might expect this to be rather dry and in a way it is but dry like a certain kind of British (or I guess Kiwi) humour. It’s a sort of “Note the sheep do not so much fly as plummet” performance. No sheep though. One would have thought a Kiwi could have fixed that. I shouldn’t joke really. It’s a perfectly serious and valuable project but the deadpan delivery is curiously compelling.
Mandala – the Beauty of Impermanence is the latest on-line offering from Confluence Concerts. It’s curated by Suba Sankaran and should have seen the light as a live show last May. The programme is as eclectic as one has come to expect from Confluence and lots of fun. In the spirit of impermanence it will be available on the Confluence channel on Youtube only until February 10th.