LSM Newswire

Monday, January 5, 2009

OSM / January at the OSM

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KENT NAGANO in Stravinskys Rite of Spring Bachs Mass in B Minor presented in collaboration with Tafelmusik The worlds great concert halls: a program paying tribute to the OSM on tour

January at the OSM



OSM Standard Life Competition: prize-winners concert

Montreal, January 5, 2009 The Orchestre symphonique de Montral is launching the new year with seven concerts in January 2009. Music director Kent Nagano rejoins the OSM musicians for two exceptional programs. The first features a pair of masterworks of the early 20th century, The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky and The Song of the Earth by Gustav Mahler. Like a cubist painting by Picasso, the Rite proposes a new conception of musical time, which becomes a multifaceted mosaic. The Song of the Earth, meanwhile, inspired by a collection of Chinese poems rewritten by Mahler himself, remains one of the most sublime examples of music ever imagined.

Kent Nagano will also be conducting the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, specialists in the music of Bach, who will be joined by some musicians from the OSM in the Cantor of Leipzigs majestic Mass in B Minor, a monument of the sacred choral repertoire. A unique musical event in Montreal, the Mass is being given at the OSM for the first time in over 20 years.

The excellence of the OSM has been confirmed in a dazzling way in the course of some 40 national and international tours, during which the Orchestra has had the privilege of playing in several of the mythical concert halls of the world. These include Thtre du Chtelet in Paris, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Royal Festival Hall in London and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. The musicians, under the direction of conductor in residence Jean-Franois Rivest, will be revisiting some of the works performed in those halls.

Over the years, the OSM Standard Life Competition has become a compulsory stage for many young musicians, not only from Montreal but from across Canada, an indispensable springboard as they aspire to a musical career. The 69th edition, devoted to voice and to winds, was held this past November, and the two winners who tied for the Grand Prize, Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse and Keith Dyrda, will be the guest soloists for the first concert of 2009, under the direction of Mark Wigglesworth. Hearing them will help listeners understand just why they so unambiguously bowled over the members of the prestigious jury.

Information and reservations: 514 842-9951 or www.osm.ca

THE JANUARY CONCERTS:

January 11 at 2:30 p.m. (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier) Musical Sundays: OSM Standard Life Competition. Mark Wigglesworth, conductor; Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse, clarinetist and Keith Dyrda, trombonist.

January 13 and 14 at 8 p.m. (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier) Grand Concerts: The Rite of Spring with Kent Nagano. Kent Nagano, conductor; Christian Gerhaher, baritone; Stuart Skelton, tenor.

January 16 at 8 p.m. and January 18 at 2:30 p.m. (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier) Panasonic Signature Performances: Bachs Mass in B Minor. Kent Nagano, conductor; Sibylla Rubens, soprano; Renata Pokupic, mezzo-soprano; Christoph Genz, tenor; Detlef Roth, bass; Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra & Chamber Choir.

January 20 at 8 p.m. (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier) Air Canada Classical Escapes: The Worlds Great Concert Halls: The OSM on Tour. Jean-Franois Rivest, conductor; Hlne Guilmette, soprano; Brian Manker, OSM principal cello.

January 21 at 10:30 a.m. (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier) Symphonic Matinees: The Worlds Great Concert Halls: The OSM on Tour. Jean-Franois Rivest, conductor; Hlne Guilmette, soprano; Brian Manker, OSM principal cello.

Information on the months concerts:

Musical Sundays:

OSM Standard Life Competition

Two grand prizes were awarded at the 69th edition of the OSM Standard Life Competition, which took place last November. Exceptionally, given the remarkable level of the two first prizes in the woodwinds and brass categories, the jury decided unanimously to award two OSM Standard Life Grand Prizes, Mr. Welz Kauffman, chairman of the jury, explained at the time. We will therefore be hearing Keith Dyrda, a bass trombonist born in Manitoba in 1981, in the Concerto by Henri Tomasi, composed in 1956, a work featuring an especially refined orchestration and brimming with rhythmic energy; while clarinetist Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse, born in Qubec in 1989, will be performing Carl Maria von Webers Concerto No. 1, which wonderfully exploits the expressive powers of the clarinet and abounds with brilliant use of tone coloration, especially in the instruments low and middle registers.

The concert will take place under the direction of British conductor Mark Wigglesworth, winner of the Kondrashin International Conducting Competition in 1989, a guest of the great European and American orchestras, and who led the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the closing ceremonies of the 2000 Olympic Games. In the second part of the program he will conduct Sergei Rachmaninovs Symphony No. 2, a work of subtle architecture and of exemplary mastery and maturity. The author Michel-R. Hofmann describes it admirably in these terms: All the poetic intensity of a beautiful Russian landscape, with its tall white birches, its serene, almost smiling melancholy, its distant hues of blue, can be heard to sing in it . . . against a tranquil and rippling background of strings.

A Yamaha pre-concert will be presented in the Piano Nobile by Marie-Jose Simard at 1:30 p.m. Recognized as an outstanding performer on percussion instruments, she has been heard in numerous concerts in Canada, Mexico, Paris, New York, and in Poland and Belgium as well as on tour in China and Korea, and has been forging a reputation for excellence on the national and international scene for 25 years. She will be heard in Wind and the Bamboo Grove for marimba by Keiko Abe, lan for vibraphone by Francois Bourassa, and Marshmallow for marimba by David Freedman.

Musical Sundays

January 11 at 2:30 p.m.

Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts

Mark Wigglesworth, conductor

Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse, clarinetist

Keith Dyrda, trombonist

Carl Maria von Weber Clarinet Concerto No. 1

Henri Tomasi Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra

Sergei Rachmaninov Symphony No. 2

1:30 to 2 p.m.: Yamaha Pre-concert with Marie-Jose Simard.

Tickets starting at $24.75

Information and reservations: 514 842-9951 or www.osm.ca

Grand Concerts:

The Rite of Spring with Kent Nagano

This program, under the direction of music director Kent Nagano, tackles two masterpieces written at almost the same time, but with fundamentally different esthetics. The Rite of Spring constitutes one of the pillars of musical modernism. As was the case with Petrushka, The Rite of Spring was born of a vision that came to Stravinsky in 1910. He wrote in his autobiography, Chroniques de ma vie: I had a glimpse in my imagination of the spectacle of a great pagan rite: wise elders, sitting in a circle and observing a young girl dance herself to death, a girl they are sacrificing to the god of spring to earn his benevolence. This was the theme of The Rite of Spring. The ballet is divided into two tableaux: Adoration of the Earth (sacred dances progressively transform into savage trances that end in combat between rival tribes who carry the young girls off), and The Sacrifice (one of the girls must be sacrificed to the Earth, and dies after a frenetic dance). It will be recalled that the OSM won a Flix award for record of the year in 1985 for its recording of this work.

In the second part of the concert, Kent Nagano will conduct Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), the penultimate work finished by Gustav Mahler. This symphony with voices marks, for its composer, a return to life after a series of severely testing experiences. In 1907, in the space of three months, he was forced to resign his post at the Vienna Court Opera, to which he had dedicated 10 years of his life; he lost his older daughter, Maria Anna (Putzi), who was only four; and he was diagnosed with a grave heart defect. The themes dealt with are therefore of a poignant humanity: the difficulty of the human lot, mans essential needs, consolation. Made up of six lieder with orchestra, sung alternatively by tenor and baritone voices, the work is a poem of the human condition, of detachment from appearances to unite with the eternity of the Earth.

Baritone Christian Gerhaher has collaborated in his career with the likes of Helmuth Rilling and the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Sir Neville Marriner, Philippe Herreweghe, Heinz Holliger and Trevor Pinnock. His last disc was named best vocal recording by Gramophone magazine in 2006. Australian tenor Stuart Skelton, a member of the Metropolitan Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper, will sing in place of Edgaras Montvidas who was originally announced.

Grand Concerts

January 13 and 14 at 8 p.m.

Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts

Kent Nagano, conductor

Christian Gerhaher, baritone

Stuart Skelton, tenor

Igor Stravinsky The Rite of Spring

Gustav Mahler Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth)

Pre-concert discussion at 7 p.m.: Catherine Mercier interviews musicologist Guy Marchand.

Tickets starting at $24.75

Information and reservations: 514 842-9951 or www.osm.ca

Panasonic Signature Performances:

Bachs Mass in B Minor

Bachs Mass in B Minor, one of the monuments of the sacred choral repertoire, is a profoundly expressive and humanistic profession of faith and a touching appeal for mercy. Some musicologists (Gilles Cantagrel, in particular) have noted the ecumenical aspect of the work, Catholic in form and Lutheran in spirit. The fact that Bach, a Lutheran, conceivably dedicated the work to the Elector of Saxony, who was in the process of converting to Catholicism, may partially account for this. The score was not published until 1833, decades after Bachs death, and the composer therefore never heard a complete version performed. The premiere seems to have taken place in Leipzig in 1859. Musically speaking, what is to be found in the mass is mastery of the horizontal dimension of counterpoint and the vertical dimension of harmonization of the basso continuo.

Kent Nagano will be conducting the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, specialists of this repertoire. The soloists will be German soprano Sybilla Rubens, who has recorded Bach cantatas as well as the St. Matthew Passion, and who was heard with the OSM in last seasons Christmas Oratorio; Croatian mezzo-soprano Renata Pokupic, who sang the Mass in B Minor in 2004 at the BBC Proms with Sir John Eliot Gardiner before undertaking a tour with him; German tenor Christoph Genz, first prize at Leipzigs Bach Competition and at Englands Grimsby International Singers Competition and who has recorded the St. John Passion with Ludwig Gttler as well as Bach cantatas with Sir John Eliot Gardiner; and German bass Detlef Roth, who sang in Bachs St. John Passion with the OSM in 2006 and in the Christmas Oratorio last season.

Panasonic Signature Performances

January 16 at 8 p.m. and January 18 at 2:30 p.m.

Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts

Kent Nagano, conductor

Sibylla Rubens, soprano

Renata Pokupic, mezzo-soprano

Christoph Genz, tenor

Detlef Roth, bass

Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir

Johann Sebastian Bach Mass in B Minor

Pre-concert discussion at 7 p.m. on January 16 and at 1:30 p.m. on January 18. Kelly Rice welcomes musicologist Guy Marchand.

Tickets starting at $24.75

Information and reservations: 514 842-9951 or www.osm.ca

Air Canada Classical Escapes:

The Worlds Great Concert Halls: The OSM on Tour

The period of the Orchestre symphonique de Montrals great international tours began in April 1962, when the OSM traveled to Europe for the first time, under the direction of conductors Zubin Mehta and Jacques Beaudry, with stops in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Vienna and Paris. The first visit of a Canadian orchestra to the old world, the tour was the result of lengthy negotiations. Audience excitement was especially intense in Russia, where the Orchestra filled every hall, including the 6,000-seat Kremlin Palace. Since then, the OSM has had the opportunity of being heard all over Canada, in Europe, the United States, South America, Asia, and in the Canary Islands. This program offers a reinterpretation of some of the works performed on tour such as the Mother Goose Suite by Maurice Ravel, the Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun by Claude Debussy and the symphonic poem Don Juan by Richard Strauss or certain scores associated with a city visited by the Orchestra: Saint Petersburg (at the time Leningrad) with the Variations on a Rococo Theme by Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, Leipzig (a city associated with the genius of Bach) or Vienna (which saw the premiere of several Mozart operas).

Air Canada Classical Escapes

January 20 at 8 p.m.

Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier de la Place des Arts

Jean-Franois Rivest, conductor

Hlne Guilmette, soprano

Brian Manker, OSM principal cello

Maurice Ravel Mother Goose Suite

Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata BWV 21, Seufzer, Trnen, Kummer, Not

Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata BWV 211, Heute Noch

Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme

Claude Debussy Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Nozze di Figaro, Deh vieni, non tardar

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Recitative and concert aria A BereniceĶ Sol nascente in questo giorno, K. 70/61c

Richard Strauss Don Juan

Tickets starting at $24.75

Information and reservations: 514 842-9951 or www.osm.ca

Symphonic Matinees:

The Worlds Great Concert Halls: The OSM on Tour

A repeat of the program of the day before, minus one of the Bach cantatas and Debussys Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.

Air Canada Classical Escapes

January 21 at 10:30 a.m.

Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts

Jean-Franois Rivest, conductor

Hlne Guilmette, soprano

Brian Manker, OSM principal cello

Maurice Ravel Mother Goose Suite

Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata BWV 211, Heute Noch

Piotr Ilyitch Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Nozze di Figaro, Deh vieni, non tardar

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Recitative and concert aria A BereniceĶ Sol nascente in questo giorno, K. 70/61c

Richard Strauss Don Juan

Tickets starting at $24.75

Information and reservations: 514 842-9951 or www.osm.ca

The Orchestre symphonique de Montral is presented by Hydro-Qubec

in association with National Bank


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