Blah, blah, blah, blah

Alex Dobson_spring 2014The final show of the season for the Talisker Players, at Trinity St. Paul’s last night, was titled A Poet’s Love and featured baritone Alexander Dobson and actor Stewart Arnott in the usual Talisker format of alternating music and readings on a theme.  The first musical piece was John Beckwith’s Love Lines which took five pieces ranging from Handel’s Where’er you walk to Gershwin’s Blah, Blah, Blah and presented them with the vocal line cleaving straightforwardly to the melody with the accompaniment “deconstructed” into “fragments” for violin, viola, cello and double bass.  It’s a rather disturbing piece, especially when one knows the source material well.  I’d like to hear it again.  It was given an honest and engaging presentation by Dobson and the strings.

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How sweet to be a sloth

norine burgessYesterday’s Talisker Players concert Creature to Creature was a well balanced selection of music and readings inspired by the idea of a bestiary.

First up was a set of Poulenc settings of Apollinaire texts. These songs, for mezzo, string quartet, flute, clarinet and bassoon, are very short and deceptively simple being both textually and musically many layered. They were very beautifully sung by Norine Burgess. Her fairly bright mezzo seemed well suited and there was sensitive accompaniment from the band among whom clarinetist Peter Stoll was particularly impressive. Continue reading

Another intriguing program from the Talisker Players

BeastiaryThe Talisker Players are presenting a show called present Creature to Creature on March 16 and 18 at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre. It’s inspired by mediaeval bestiaries and takes on human foibles through the lens of animal behaviour.  It had better be good because I can scratch quite nastily. The Taliskers will be joined by mezzo soprano Norine Burgess, baritone Geoffrey Sirett (more impressive every time I see him), and theatre artist Ross Manson.

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