Poèmes pour Mi

duworsYesterday’s lunchtime concert in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre consisted of early works by Olivier Messiaen written for his wife, the violinist and composer Claire Delbos.  The first piece was the Theme et variations for violin and piano of 1932.  Like much of Messiaen’s music this piece represents two contrasting moods, likely rooted in Messiaen’s Catholicism.  It’s either deeply meditative or ecstatic, almost manically so, with not much in between.  It’s also very hard to play!  Here it was presented with great skill and conviction by violinist Kerry DuWors and pianist Liz Upchurch.   Continue reading

Kurtág and Janáček at the Extension Room

ivany

Joel Ivany

Against the Grain Theatre have another hit on their hands.  Joel Ivany once again successfully combines young talent, unusual repertoire and a funky performance space to create a brilliant evening of song and story.  This time the space was a yoga studio on Eastern Avenue and the works on offer were the Kafka-Fragments op. 24 by György Kurtág and The Diary of One Who Disappeared by Leoš Janáček.  Neither work was written for the stage but both were well suited to Ivany’s sensitive direction and Michael Gianfrancesco’s minimalist “sets”.  Continue reading