Vi­olin­ist Alexan­dre Da Costa fea­tured in ‘The Great Mu­si­cal Im­pres­sion­ists’

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - LEONARD TURNEVICIUS Leonard Turnevicius writes about clas­si­cal mu­sic for The Hamil­ton Spec­ta­tor. leonard­turnevi­cius@gmail.com

If you’re think­ing about catch­ing Va­lerie Tryon at the ivories this Sun­day af­ter­noon, you can sim­ply for­get about it.

Tryon’s 2 p.m. High Tea recital un­der the aegis of the Brott Mu­sic Fes­ti­val at the Art Gallery of Hamil­ton, 123 King St. W., has long been sold out. Ob­vi­ously, the par­tial list of Tryon’s bill on the BMF web­site was enough of a tease for pa­trons. And, well, maybe the High Tea’s scones, clot­ted cream, fin­ger sand­wiches, squares, and English tea had some­thing to do with it, too.

But back to Tryon’s bill. The pro­gram she’s cho­sen plays to her strengths. It in­cludes, in ad­di­tion to the works listed on the BMF web­site, the “Spring Song” from Book 5 of Felix Men­delssohn’s “Song with­out Words,” Fran­cis Poulenc’s “Noc­turne in C,” the “Bal des je­unes filles,” com­pleted on Christ­mas Eve 1933 and in­cluded in “Huit Noc­turnes,” as well as the “Toc­cata” from “Trois Pièces.” Plus Tryon will of­fer up some Chopin, two etudes from op. 10 and op. 25 as well as the “Berceuse” op. 57, the “Polon­aise in C sharp Mi­nor” op. 26 no. 1, and the “Scherzo no. 3” op. 39.

Yearn­ing for more? Tryon will make a fur­ther ap­pear­ance at the BMF, on Wed­nes­day, Au­gust 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Burling­ton Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre to solo in Beethoven’s “Piano Con­certo no. 5” with Boris Brott and the Na­tional Academy Orches­tra.

Af­ter tonight’s per­for­mance of Bizet’s opera, “Car­men,” Brott and the NAO will be back in ac­tion on Thurs­day, July 20 at Mo­hawk Col­lege’s McIn­tyre Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre, 135 Fen­nell Ave. W., for a pro­gram en­ti­tled “The Great Mu­si­cal Im­pres­sion­ists” fea­tur­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed Cana­dian vi­olin­ist Alexan­dre Da Costa. Oui, the same Mon­sieur Da Costa who snagged a Juno in 2012 in the Clas­si­cal Al­bum of the Year: Soloist with Large En­sem­ble cat­e­gory for his “Daugh­erty: Fire and Blood” Warner Clas­sics CD with the Orchestre sym­phonique de Mon­tréal.

Da Costa and his 1701 Stradi­var­ius vi­o­lin (well, it’s not ac­tu­ally his Strad, but loaned to him as a gift from Guy De­veault, pres­i­dent of Canadel Fur­ni­ture, Inc. in Loui­seville, Québec) will be heard in the open­ing ti­tle from his 2016 “Stradi­var­ius à l’Opéra” Spec­tra Musique CD, “Aper­tura: Lo spet­ta­colo deve an­dare avanti” (Rhap­sody on a theme of Freddie Mer­cury/Brian May) as whipped up by him­self and Bobby Cyr, a Québec-based pi­anist­com­poser-or­ches­tra­tor. He’ll fol­low up with other ti­tles from that same disc, the “Médi­ta­tion” from Jules Massenet’s opera, “Thaïs,” the “Span­ish Dance” from Manuel de Falla’s opera, “La vida breve,” and the “Valse” op. 59 no. 3 from Richard Strauss’s opera, “Der Rosenkava­lier.” In ad­di­tion, he’ll toss off a bon­bon ev­ery first-rate fid­dler has in his or her back pocket, Vit­to­rio Monti’s “Czardas.”

Cana­dian com­poser Pierre Mer­cure would have turned 90 this year had he not died trag­i­cally in a car accident near Aval­lon, France in Jan­uary, 1966. Mer­cure’s sym­phonic fan­tasy, “Kaléi­do­scope,” his firstever or­ches­tral com­po­si­tion was writ­ten in 1948 and re­vised for re­duced orches­tra the fol­low­ing year. It re­mains his most fre­quently played work. It’s popped up on sev­eral BMF bills in the past, and is sched­uled to open the July 20 bill. True to its ti­tle, the work’s ev­er­shift­ing or­ches­tral colours are the mu­si­cal equiv­a­lent to the shift­ing pat­terns of colours and shapes that are re­flected in a kalei­do­scope.

When it comes to Im­pres­sion­ist com­posers who were mas­ter­ful, colour­ful or­ches­tra­tors, two of the greats are Claude De­bussy and Mau­rice Ravel. Both are rep­re­sented on the July 20 bill.

De­bussy’s 1905 panorama for orches­tra, “La Mer” (The Sea), with its three sym­phonic sketches en­ti­tled “From Dawn till Noon on the Sea,” “Play of the Waves,” and “Di­a­logue of the Wind and Sea,” fits the bill to a T. It was last heard in Hamil­ton in May 2014. Back then, the Hamil­ton Phil­har­monic Orches­tra’s guest con­duc­tor Jean-Philippe Trem­blay emerged from that charged, 25 minute read­ing as if he’d been sprayed by the sea. But what most in the au­di­ence likely didn’t see or pick up on were per­cus­sion­ist Bob Becker’s eight cym­bals and the imag­i­na­tive man­ner in which he played them. Per­haps the NAO’s per­cus­sion men­tor, Jean Norman Iadeluca, can pass on those price­less pro­fes­sional point­ers to the NAO’s ap­pren­tice per­cus­sion­ists?

Last, but not least, Ravel’s “Boléro,” in essence a 15-minute crescendo un­der­pinned by a quasi-re­lent­less, hyp­notic part for two snare drum­mers who com­bine for a to­tal of 4,647 notes, has been a con­cert hall favourite since its 1928 pre­mière. But c’mon, ’fess up. You re­mem­ber it from that, ahem, 1979 Dud­ley Moore-Bo Derek flick, “10.”

Tick­ets are $32, se­nior $27, Brott35 $25, stu­dent $15. Call 905525-7664.

BO HUANG PHOTO

In­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed and Juno-win­ning vi­olin­ist Alexan­dre Da Costa will per­form at the McIn­tryre Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre July 20.

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