21C 2022/23

21c_wordmark_carrier_croppedThe line up for this year’s (and a bit of next’s) 21C at the Royal Conservatory has been announced.  The full line up is here.

I’m particularly interested in the Kronos Quartet concerts on December 8th and 9th; especially the latter which features “Music for Change” including a world premiere of a piece by Tanya Tagaq.

I’ll also want to see three of the concerts in the new year.  On January 21st at 5pm there’s a Cinq à Sept concert in Temerty Hall which, among other things, features a new song cycle by Lembit Beecher and Lisa Balkan.  The following day at 3pm in Koerner Hall there’s a concert of new works by Ian Cusson and Stewart Goodyear.  Finally, on January 28th at 10pm in Temerty Hall Brian Current and the GGS New Music Ensemble have a candlelit concert of night related works including music by Bekkah Simms and R. Murray Schafer.

Lots of good stuff!

Stewart Goodyear at Koerner

Yes, a real live concert at Koerner Hall; the first of 2022.  Owing to the current restrictions it was quite a short concert with no interval (although the time it took the stage crew to set up for the second half there could have been!).  The first piece was the premier of Goodyear’s Piano Quintet.  It’s a very complex piece riffing off Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  Stewart describes it better than I ever could:

“My piano quintet was commissioned by the Penderecki String Quartet (who played it with Stewart last night – JG) and the Canada Council for the Arts. It was composed in 2020 and pays homage to the spirit of Beethoven. The first movement is a passacaglia on the almost atonal eleven-note sequence from the finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The second movement is a Ländler, fused with gestures of rhythm and blues and calypso. The third movement is a fast toccata, sampling themes of Beethoven similarly to a hip-hop track. The last movement starts as a lament and ends with a glimmer of hope, the inspiration directly taken from the challenges of the pandemic and the need for Beethoven’s spirit during these tumultuous times.”

It’s a highly virtuosic piece requiring a lot of extended technique from the players and it’s pretty demanding on the listener.  I would need to listen to it a couple more times to really “get” it.

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Looking to November

Norway-NovemberAs the rest of the world moves to live in-person performance Toronto is still mostly stuck in Covidland.  My calendar for the month currently has two in-person shows (both courtesy of the RCM) and three streams.  So:

November 6th at 7.30pm in Mazzoleni Hall. The GGS Opera programme is presenting Ana Sokolovic’s Svadba.  It seems hard to believe that the premiere was over ten years ago!

November 27th at 8pm in Koerner Hall.  Stewart Goodyear, soloists, the Penderecki Quartet and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir present the premiere of Goodyear’s Piano Quintet plus Beethoven’s 9th symphony in piano reduction.  This one is also livestreamed.

And so to streams:

November 19th at 8pm.  Soundstreams presents Love Songs; a 45 minute programme of music by Claude Vivier and Christopher Mayo. (ticketed)

November 25th at 7.30 pm (and the following three days).  UoT Opera is performing Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. (free)

November 26th at 7.30pm.  The COC and Against the Grain are collaborating on a staged Mozart Requiem.  (free)