Philanthropists in Music

salon1Yesterday afternoon saw the final concert of the season for Off Centre Music Salon; the concert series organised by Boris Zarankin and Inna Perkis at the Glenn Gould Studio.  This one, as the title suggests, celebrating philanthropy in music by putting together a concert of works by composers who were supported by patrons.  It was very much salon style with many short sets by various combinations of performers.  There was some instrumental music; an impressive performance of Khachaturian’s Toccata in E flat minor by twelve year old William Leathers, reprised later on accordion by Michael Bridge.  Jacques Israelievitch and Boris Zarankin collaborated on a bravura rendition of Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne and Zarankin and Perkis gave their traditional one piano/four hands performance, this time an arrangement of Beethoven’s Egmont overture, which was received with enthusiasm.

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Fifty shades of Braun

russellThis afternoon’s Off Centre concert at the Glenn Gould Studio was structured around three pairs of composer friends; Mozart/Haydn, Schumann/Brahms and Wolf/Mahler.  It was a mix of lieder, opera excerpts and piano pieces and was pleasantly varied.

Things kicked off with Russell Braun singing a number of songs from Schumann’s Liederkreis accompanied by his partner, Carolyn Maule on the piano.  This was maybe the third time that I’ve heard Russell in recital and he really is impressive.  He has a really good command of a wide range of dynamics and tone colour and lovely floaty high notes.  If I was being hyper critical I’d say I think there’s a point in the middle voice though that can’t quite sustain the volume he sometimes tries to get.  He has quite an operatic approach to lieder (compared to, say, DFD) but that’s quite fun in its own way.

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