Posts Tagged ‘Keith Horner’

On the Trail of . . . Ralph Vaughan Williams (part one)

September 4, 2018

“19 villagers. 3 smallholders. 12 slaves. 1 priest.”   Those were the residents of the lovely Cotswold village of Down Ampney, as recorded in the Domesday Book of 1066.   That priest’s successor (with a switch from priest to vicar after Henry VIII’s say in such matters) was the father of Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). […]

2018 | Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

On the trail of . . . Beethoven in Heiligenstadt (with audio)

September 11, 2016

Does any composer have more plaques, statues, museums or memorial sites than Ludwig van Beethoven? Top of the list are the 12 museums and memorial sites spread over five countries. Vienna has a quarter of them. The city is also decorated with many of the more shadowy ‘Beethoven lived here’ and ‘site of the dwelling of . […]

2016 | Quartets Series | Tags: , , , , , ,

On the trail of . . . Edvard Grieg in Bergen

September 7, 2014

When Janina Fialkowska performs a selection of Grieg’s Lyric Pieces for MusicTORONTO October 28, she continues to champion the cause of a composer who remains his country’s most widely known cultural export, more than a century after his death. For Norway today, as it continues to preserve and discover a cultural identity outside mainstream Europe […]

2014 | Piano Series | Tags: , , , , ,

Mendelssohn’s Octet – an athlete sets the bar high

October 13, 2013

When the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Ensemble brings the Mendelssohn Octet to MusicTORONTO at the end of the month, we’ll be treated to a work that has been at the heart of the ensemble’s repertoire since they were founded almost a half-century ago. It’s music they have played more frequently than any other work […]

2013 | Quartets Series | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Only 88 hammers on the piano, you say? Pity!

January 12, 2013

When Marc-André Hamelin brings his latest delicious, over-the-top, home-baked treat to MusicTORONTO, the confection will be iced with enough piano-insider jokes to give a pianist’s fingers cavities. Hamelin will venture where few living pianists dare to venture and none can quite bring off with the Montreal-born pianist’s deadpan nonchalance – and chops! Hamelin’s 10-minute take […]

2013 | Piano Series | Tags: , , , , ,

Mendelssohn in Love

September 13, 2012

There’s a back story – a love story – to the remarkable quartet by Mendelssohn that the Attacca Quartet brings to MT later this month. A love story that lies in the shadow of the powerful, intellectually compelling A minor quartet, Op. 13, the first quartet that Mendelssohn wrote for a public audience. In it, […]

2012 | Quartets Series | Tags: , , , ,

Dancing on the graves

August 15, 2012

Brahms left slim pickings for the musical grave-robber. He composed in his head, not in a notebook – directly to his C:\\, as it were. Brahms also burned his sketches – reducing PhD candidates to tears. He also admitted to destroying dozens of completed works that fell short of his own exacting standards. Sibelius, too, […]

2012 | Quartets Series | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Uncovering the roots of Bartók’s string quartets

March 8, 2012

  “The right type of peasant music is most varied and perfect in its forms. Its expressive power is amazing, and at the same time it is void of all sentimentality and superfluous ornaments. It is simple, sometimes primitive . . .  and a composer in search of new ways cannot be led by a […]

2012 | Quartets Series | Tags: , , ,

Rufus Wainwright’s All days are nights: Songs for Lulu

February 11, 2012

  “Depressing, lugubrious and down” is how Canadian singer-songwriter Rufus  Wainwright speaks of All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu.  The 48-minute song-cycle,  written during the long and painful death of his mother Kate McGarrigle, divided fans.  When the pop star toured the piece, alone at his piano, dressed in a 17-foot-long, black feathered cape, […]

2012 | Discovery Series | Tags: , , , ,

Who’s afraid of Hugo Wolf?

January 5, 2012

The late 19th century Austrian composer Hugo Wolf was born into a great musical tradition.  By temperament, though, he remained an outsider.  Song – German art song – was the weapon of choice with which he confronted the Viennese Establishment.  With it, Wolf brought the tradition of Schubert and Schumann to a level of intensity […]

2012 | Quartets Series | Tags: , , ,