Mysteries plus

The Halloween concert by the UoT Contemporary Music Ensemble in Walter Hall was fun.  Unfortunately I was only able to catch the first half which featured Sofia Gubaidulina’s In Erwartung for saxophone quartet and percussion.  This was a cool piece making interesting use of the space.  It was followed by Robert Paterson’s Closet Full of Demons which is scored for small ensemble plus alarm clocks and jack-in-a-box.  Sometimes I feel I should listen to music like this more often (and sometimes I don’t!).  The main reason for being there though was to see Maeve Palmer and the Ensemble do Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Clearly tons of work had gone into this and it was much crisper than when I saw it in Barbara Hannigan’s master class a few weeks ago.  Maeve really got into character as Gepopo.  It was all there.  The notes of course but also the keen sense of timing and the ability to convey the paranoia of the character.  The Ensemble was well into it too.  The bassoon and trombones were ugly.  The shouting was convincing.

I wish I had photographs because everyone was in costume not just Maeve.  The firs conductor (lorenzo Guggenheim) appeared as a back to front neon lit Wolfman and the second; Wallace Halladay, as a reversed skeleton.  The Ensemble included Superwoman among others and Maeve was a sort of leather mini-skirted SS officer.  Much fun!

If anyone does have photos I could use please drop me a line.