Posted by Liz
Day 3 and if anything, the quality of concerts has gone up, as has the size of the audience. Today’s daytime concerts at Dominion-Chalmers were about 75% and 85% full. First up, the ever-popular Menahem Pressler, today with the Principal Winds of the NAC Orchestra. It’s good to hear a slightly different take on chamber repertoire, although the program (Mozart and Beethoven) remained very much ‘core’. Each piece – Mozart’s Quintet for Piano and Winds and Beethoven’s Quintet for Piano and Winds – was performed excellently, with Messrs Hamann, Sykes, Vine and Millard (and Pressler!) making the performance look easy. Both pieces seemed to me to be characteristic of each composer. I preferred the Beethoven, especially the 2nd movement, but really there wasn’t a bad moment.
A break for lunch before the even more popular Jewish Composers through the Ages concert. Sponsored by longtime friends of chamber music Teena and Walter Hendelman to celebrate their golden wedding, the atmosphere was part gala, part party. The selection of works (each introduced by Julian Armour) included big names (Gershwin, Copland) to relatively obscure composers (Rossi, Meyerbeer). I particularly enjoyed the suite of cello and piano works performed by Paul Marleyn and Dina Namer: Bloch’s ‘Prayer’ from From Jewish Life; Stutschewsky’s Kihan; and Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody. Lovely melodies and a dance edge to the Popper.
After the interval the excerpt ‘Lied’ from Korngold’s very romantic Suite for Two Violins, Cello and Piano Op 23 proved very popular, as did Gershwin’s Two Preludes performed by Namer. The closing piece, Glick’s Old Toronto Klezmer Suite, was a very fun and fitting end to the show. All 4 movements were fun in their own ways; ‘The Rabbi’s Wedding at the Palmerston Street Shul’ announced the after-concert reception with its party ending.
I am off to see The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings in concert this evening, but for string quartet fans tonight is the first of the Borodin Quartet’s Brahms and Tchaikovsky cycle.