I recently had a discussion with a friend who asked about the difference between the term chamber, philharmonic, and symphony orchestra. “What makes one a philharmonic and another a symphony orchestra, he asked? “Also, what is a chamber orchestra exactly?”
Yesterday marked the anniversary of the first time “O Canada” was sung, on June 24, 1880. 100 years later, on July 1, 1980, it was adopted as Canada’s official national anthem. The music was composed by Calixa Lavallée, and its English lyrics have changed a few times over the years.
The words “Space: the final frontier”, and the opening notes of Star Trek’s theme song written by Alexander Courage in 1964, have become ingrained in the imaginations of all of us.
Composer, conductor and pianist Dinuk Wijeratne, who moved to Toronto last year from Halifax, had his musical sensibility awakened by Claudio Abbado, who died on Jan. 20.
Our digitally connected age is amazingly good at illuminating dark places. It is even better at perpetuating lies — some of which are centuries old.
But before we jump to multimedia conclusions, it may be worth taking a fresh look at that boring old orchestra. The big picture may be static, but, as is the case with a duck gliding across the mill pond, there’s an awful lot going on underneath.
We also don’t read aloud much, if ever, so even the natural rhythms of language and speech are not really natural in a big, 21st century city.
Ahead of the first of four concerts with Tafelmusik in his Toronto début this week, fortepiano master Kristian Bezuidenhout eloquently answered questions about what makes his instrument different from a modern concert grand.
Every now and then, the Canadian Music Centre holds special events at Chalmers House, where it invites musicians, composers and the general public to look into the world of this country’s music.
In preparing for tonight’s first local performance of this 2007 work commissioned by the National Arts Centre Orchestra, I ran across Kulesha’s blog, which is a goldmine of insights into the musical creative process, the art of making music, the act of listening and a whole web of related issues.
Whether a person is making it or listening to it, music is like the clichéd river whose waters are different every time one steps into it.
Hough’s insights have passed through the ever-finer sieves of necessity — of needing to find time to perfect his art while engaged in a very busy performance calendar. But the beauty here is in how he relates the practical necessities with larger, artistic goals.