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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 18, No. 2 October 2012

Upcoming Concerts

by Renée Banville, Catherine Hine, Emmanuelle Piedboeuf, Joseph K. So and Jacqueline Vanasse / October 1, 2012

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As part of International Music Day, the Ensemble Morpheus, the resident quartet at the Chapelle, will open its 23rd season with Mozart’s Quartet No. 1, Fauré’s Quartet No. 1, op. 15 as well as Franck’s Prélude, Choral et Fugue for solo piano.
October at a glance: on the 4th, soprano Helen Wieser, baritone Alex Dobson, and pianist Mark Wieser will perform Hugo Wolf’s complete Italienisches Liederbuch. The 21st, Stéphan Sylvestre will give a recital of Brahms works. On the 25th, world-renowned Italian pianist Francesco Nicolosi will stop in Montreal to perform a Thalberg recital. www.ville.montreal.qc.ca/chapellebonpasteur RB

Laureate of the 2012 Competition, pianist Geoffroy Conquer will perform Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 1. Conducted by Alexis Hauser, the McGill Symphony Orchestra will perform Berlioz’s Le Corsaire overture and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 “Romantic.” Pollack Hall, October 5 and 6. www.mcgill.ca/music RB

After dazzling his audience in 2010, the exuberant violinist Stefano Montanari will return to conduct the Arion Baroque Orchestra. The fiery virtuoso will perform, alongside an ensemble of shimmering works, musical gems to rediscover. On the program: Lidarti, Sirmen and Locatelli. Bourgie Hall. October 12, 13 and 14. www.arionbaroque.com RB

After completing a Master’s degree in vocal performance at McGill, soprano Charlotte Corwin pursued her training at the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal until 2008. For her debut at the SAVM, she has chosen Lieux exotiques as seen by French composers: works from Bizet, Ravel, a Delage song cycle and four Hindu poems, accompanied by pianist Marie-Ève Scarfone. Conservatoire de musique, October 14. www.artvocal.ca RB

Emmauel Pahud, first flute of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and guest soloist of Les Violons du Roy, will take us to the court of flute king and composer Frederic the Great. He will perform the flute king’s Concerto for flute in C major, as well as Quantz’s Concerto for flute in G major and Bach’s Concerto for flute in A major. Also on the program are Bach and Benda works for strings. Bernard Labadie will also present this program at the prestigious Carnegie Hall during his North-American tour. Bourgie Hall, October 17. www.violonsduroy.com RB

The Arte Musica Foundation will celebrate Debussy’s 150th anniversary by hosting internationally-renowned pianists such as Jean-Philippe Collard and Michel Béroff as well as the promising young soprano Kimy McLaren for their upcoming concert season.
In addition, concerts from the Musical Canvasses series presented in collaboration with the OSM will be held Fridays at 6:30 p.m., presenting chamber music with musicians from the OSM. On October 19, violinist Olivier Thouin and cellist Brian Marker, accompanied by pianist François Zeitouni, will deliver two Debussy sonatas and a trio. On October 26, violinists Olivier Houin and Marianne Dugal, violist Rémi Pelletier, cellist Sylvain Murray, double-bassist Ali Yazdanfar, flutist Denis Bluteau and harpist Jennifer Swartz will perform various Debussy works. www.sallbourgie.ca RB

A remarkable cellist and magnificent musician, Pieter Wispelwey was one of the first artists to excel on both the modern and period instrument, playing a repertoire extending from baroque to contemporary works. Invited to perform with major orchestras all over the world, he has won many prizes and acquired a faithful following, including the Ladies’ Morning Musical Club, who he will be playing for for the eighth time. Pollack Hall, October 21. www.lmmc.ca RB

Saxophonists Jean-François Guay, Corinne Lanthier, Alfredo Mendoza and Michel Éthier will offer a varied repertoire of transcriptions and music written for four saxophones, an instrument invented by Adolphe Sax in 1846. The quartet will offer a rich repertoire, skimming through the Baroque era until the 21st century, lending itself as well to Bach’s fugues as to contemporary music. The ensemble’s musicality and dynamicism will allow you to appreciate the saxophone within a world of diverse styles. Free admission. Église de la visitation, October 21. www.accesculture.com RB

Hong Kong Sinfonietta Debuts in Montreal
On October 8, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta will conclude its North American tour with its Montreal debut at the Maison Symphonique. Since its inception in 1990, the Sinfonietta has become one of Asia’s most prized orchestras, performing close to 100 times a year and featuring young musicians (many under 30 years old) from across the globe. Musical director Yip Wing-sie will lead the Sinfonietta in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2, featuring dazzling violinist Yang Tianwa, and Chan Hing-yan’s whimsical and dramatic new work for orchestra and mouth organ entitled ’Twas the Thawing Wind, featuring soloist Loo Sze-wang. www.hksinfonietta.org CH

Composed of violinists Ana Drobac and Lizann Gervais, violist Amina Myriam Tébini, cellist Octavie Dostaler-L. and double-bassist Anais Vigeant, the Epsilon String Quintet will present a rarely-performed repertoire of chamber music. On the program: Glazounouv’s String Quartet op. 39, Arcangelo Corelli’s Concerto No. 2 op. 6 and Alexander Tansman’s Tombeau de Chopin or Béla Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances. Hosted by Edgar Fruitier. Maison de la culture Frontenac, October 29. www.accesculture.com RB

An operatic Helen of Troy
The Opéra Bouffe de Montréal will perform Jacques Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène, a parody of Helen (Geneviève Charest) and Paris’s (Gaétan Sauvageau) elopement, which led to the start of the Trojan War. Under the musical and artistic direction of Simon Fournier and with staging by Sébastien Dhavernas, the cast will perform on two occasions: first, on November 3 and 4 at the Théâtre Outremont, and second, on November 11 and 12 at the Théâtre Hector-Charland. www.operabouffe.org CH

On October 28 at the Oscar Peterson Hall, the Association La Muse will present Rapsodies et Ballades, a musical voyage through different cultures. Canadian composers Alain Payette (1857-1917) and Ben McPeek (1900-1956) and Romantic composers such as Rachmaninoff, Iacob Muresianu (1857-1917) and George Enescu (1881-1955) are on the program. Soloists will include Romanian sopranos Felicias Istoc-Bordianu and Marina Negruta, Mexican tenor Jaime Sandoval, Iranian pianists Hourshid and Mehrshid Afrahtek, Canadian pianist Andrea Larivière, Romanian pianist Ruxandra Oancea and American pianist Andrew Costello. www.la-muse.org CH

Quebec City

Piano, Guitar and Autumn Leaves
“Piano, Guitare et Feuilles d’automne”—”Piano, Guitar and Autumn Leaves”—is the captivating title of this concert organized by the Association Lyrique de Beauport, scheduled for October 12 at the Centre municipal Mgr-Laval. The association, which aims to promote vocal art in all its forms, will host a duo made up of baritone Pierre Rancourt and pianist Jérémie Pelletier. www.cbculture.qc.ca/Association/lyrique.htm JV

Florence K and the OSQ
On October 4 and 5, Florence K, a singer in the image of her mother Nathalie Choquette, will lend her warm and entrancing voice to a passionate program. Accompanied by the Orchestre symphonique du Québec conducted by Stéphane Laforest, Florence K will perform at the Grand Théâtre de Québec. www.osq.org JV

Emmanuel Pahud, flute virtuoso
Under the direction of Bernard Labadie, Les Violons du Roy will join Emmanuel Pahud and his virtuosic flute on October 16 at the Salle Raoul-Jobin of the Palais Montcalm. First flute in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Pahud will perform works from both Bachs and one of flute king Frédéric Le Grand’s flute concertos. www.palaismontcalm.ca JV

Elsewhere in Quebec

Stéphane Tétrault in the Eastern Townships
Winner of the 2007 OSM Standard Life Competition and Radio-Canada’s 2011-2012 classical music revelation, Stéphane Tétrault will be in the Eastern Townships on October 20 and 21. Currently an undergraduate student in performance at the UdeM, the 19 year-old cellist made a name for himself performing with Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain and I Musici. He will play a 1707 “ex-Paganini Countess of Stainlein” Stradivarius cello, accompanied by Oleksandr Guydukov on the piano. Saturday and Sunday October 20 and 21 in Lac-Mégantic and Sherbrooke. www.stephanetetrault.com EP

A tribute to Rachmaninoff with Jacques Lacombe
The Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières, under the direction of Jacques Lacombe, will perform a concert in Rachmaninoff’s honour. The program includeshis Symphony No. 2 and Piano Concerto No. 3 featuring guest soloist Dong-Hyeg Lim. The evening will open with Anthony Rozankovik’s Thème du 25e anniversaire du Conseil Québécois de la Musique, orchestrated by Philippe Béland. In two minutes, this festive work will offer a preview of various styles of music. October 20. www.ostr.ca EP

The Alcan Quartet in Saguenay
The Alcan Quartet, made up of violinists Laura Andriani and Nathalie Camus, violist Luc Beauchemin and cellist David Ellis, has earned an international reputation since its inception in 1989. It will appear in Saguenay on October 30 as part of the Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean’s Concert Tuesdays to perform Schumman, Mendelssohn and Beethoven. www.lorchestre.org EP

Mozart Overtures with the Orchestre de Drummondville
The Orchestre symphonique de Drummondville, under the direction of Pierre Simard, will perform works from Elgar, Prokofiev and Sibelius. The program will also feature the overture from three Mozart operas: The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così Fan Tutte. Another significant work, Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe BWV 1060, will feature Natalia Kononova on the violin and Marat Muliukov on the oboe. October 4. www.osdrummondville.com EP

Vigneault and Verdi in St-Placide
The Choeur Philharmonique du Nouveau Monde will perform Vigneault’s Grand Messe and popular Verdi works two nights in a row for the Orgues et couleurs festival. Founded in 1975 and directed by Michel Brousseau, the choir rapidly reached semi-professional standards and performs regularly throughout Quebec and Ontario. It will be accompanied by Jean Willy Kunz. October 6 and 7 in St-Placide. www.orgueetcouleurs.com EP

Recital with François Zeitouni and Marie-Nicole Lemieux
On October 28, L’Assomption will host two important figures in Quebecois classical music when Marie-Nicole Lemieux and François Zeitouni share the stage for an evening. A world-renowned contralto, Lemieux has sung in most major halls. She has also recorded a dozen CDs, many of which were acclaimed by critics. François Zeitouni, for his part, has studied both organ and piano. The winner of many awards and bursaries, he is now a sought-after chamber musician. www.hector-charland.com EP

Flûte Alors
Whereas we usually think of the recorder as being a traditional instrument for initiating students to music, Jeunesses Musicales Canada’s recorder quintet Flûte Alors manages to restore its nobility. Made up of Vincent Lauzer, Jean-Michel Leduc, Marie-Laurence Primeau, Alexa Raine-Wright and Caroline Tremblay, the ensemble has already released an album, Kaléidoscope, and won the chamber music category at the National Music Festival. Through a repertoire ranging from the Middle Ages to the contemporary era, the quintet will showcase an array of novel musical colours. The program will feature Bach, Vivaldi, Purcell and a Beach Boys arrangement. Octobre 2nd in Rouyn-Noranda, 3rd in La Sarre, 4th in Amos, 6th in Ville-Marie, 14th in Trois-Rivières, 16th in Gatineau, 25th in Granby and 27th in St-Georges de Beauce. www.jmcanada.ca EP


Il Trovatore
There is no shortage of operas in Toronto this month. Top on my list is the return of Verdi’s potboiler Il Trovatore to the COC, last staged in 1999. Never mind that the story makes little sense; we go to this warhorse for the sublime music. Mexican tenor Ramón Vargas sings his first-ever Manrico. Last heard at the COC Diamond Anniversary Concert three years ago, it’s good to have him back. (My interview with him can be found on www.scena.org and www.coc.ca.) Leonora is South African soprano Elza van den Heever, who makes her Met debut in Maria Stuarda later this season. COC favourite Russell Braun sings his first Conte di Luna; Azucena is Russian dramatic mezzo Elena Manistina. Italian maestro Marco Guidarini conducts. (until October 31) JS

Weber opera’s inaugural Canadian production
Last but not least is Opera Atelier’s first foray into the German Romantic period with Weber’s Der Freischutz, its first staging in Canada. Croatian tenor Krešimir Špicer returns as Max, and rising soprano Meghan Lindsay sings Agathe. Carla Huhtanen is her companion Äanchen. Another OA regular baritone Vasil Garvanliev is Kaspar. David Fallis leads the Tafelmusik forces in six performances. (October 27 – November 3) www.operaatelier.com JS

Die Fledermaus
Paired with the Verdi is Johann Strauss’s frothy Die Fledermaus, led by COC music director Johannes Debus. Canadian tenor Michael Schade takes on the role of Eisenstein, commonly sung by a baritone, for the first time. The tenor antics of Alfred are left to fellow Canadian David Pomeroy. American soprano Tamara Wilson, last heard as Amelia and Elettra, returns as Rosalinda. Mezzo Laura Tucker sings the trouser role of Prince Orlofsky. The saucy maid Adele is shared by COC Ensemble Studio sopranos Ambur Braid and Mireille Asselin, while former Ensemble baritone Peter Barrett returns as Dr. Falke. James Westman makes a star turn in the cameo role of Frank. With Christopher Alden directing, it’s bound to be an unconventional take on this beloved piece. (October 4 – November 3) JS

Maxim Vengerov and the TSO
A highly anticipated event this month is the return of the great Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, this time playing the ever-popular Tchaikovsky Volin Concerto. Vengerov has devoted more of his energies as a conductor than as a violinist during the last few years, partly due to injury he suffered, so it’s good to have him back as a soloist. Vengerov is playing the violin solo as well as conducting Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Shalom Bard, the young conductor recently appointed Resident Conductor of the TSO, is at the helm during the Tchaikovsky. (October 20) www.tso.ca JS

Translation: Catherine Hine
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