Brott goes big with clos­ing con­cert

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - LEONARD TURNEVICIUS leonard­turnevi­cius@gmail.com

We’ve said it once, we’ll say it again: go big, or go home.

And once again, Boris Brott is go­ing big, hold­ing his epony­mous fes­ti­val’s sum­mer sea­son clos­ing con­cert in FirstOn­tario Con­cert Hall, for­merly known as Hamil­ton Place, next Thurs­day, Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

The Aug. 17 con­cert, the BMF’s sec­ond visit to FO Con­cert Hall this sum­mer, will round off the sea­son with an or­ches­tral-choral razzmatazz, raise-the-roof fi­nale.

“In cel­e­bra­tion of our 30th an­niver­sary we wanted to present the choral move­ments of three great works we have done reg­u­larly through­out the past 30 years. The ‘best of ’ our choral reper­toire,” wrote Brott in an email to The Spec­ta­tor.

And for Brott and his fes­ti­val, the “best of our choral reper­toire” means Mahler, Orff, and Beethoven.

The Mahler in ques­tion isn’t, how­ever, “Sym­phony no. 8,” the so-called “Sym­phony of a Thou­sand,” which was per­formed at the BMF in Hamil­ton Place in 2007 and 2013.

In­stead, it will be Mahler’s “Sym­phony no. 2,” the so-called “Res­ur­rec­tion Sym­phony” be­cause the com­poser set a por­tion of F.G. Klop­stock’s poem, “Die Aufer­ste­hung,” (The Res­ur­rec­tion) plus his own poetic ru­mi­na­tions on the topic. It was per­formed at the Brott Fes­ti­val in 2008 in Mo­hawk Col­lege’s McIn­tyre Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre.

Brott, his Na­tional Academy Or­ches­tra and 100-voice Brott Fes­ti­val Cho­rus with mezzo Lauren Se­gal and so­prano Leslie Ann Bradley. will open the con­cert per­form­ing the sym­phony’s fi­nal two move­ments. Sure, we said “go big,” but do­ing the en­tire “Res­ur­rec­tion” won’t leave enough time for Orff and Beethoven af­ter in­ter­mis­sion, two fur­ther rea­sons why Brott had bet­ter not kick the bucket mid­way through the Mahler.

The Orff in ques­tion is, of course, none other than “Carmina Bu­rana” which has been given many read­ings at the BMF, most re­cently in Au­gust 2015.

But, just like the Mahler, the Orff won’t be per­formed com­plete. Ap­pren­tice con­duc­tor Roï Azoulay will be on the podium for all of the eight ex­cerpts from “Bu­rana” which in­clude the haunt­ingly al­lur­ing “In trutina” and the work’s clan­gor­ous con­clu­sion, “O For­tuna.”

The Beethoven, if you haven’t guessed by now, will be the cel­e­brated “Sym­phony no. 9,” the go-to piece for big oc­ca­sions. You know, big oc­ca­sions like the G20 shindig in Ham­burg, Ger­many this past July where Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel or­dered up Beethoven’s “Ninth” to be per­formed for the other 19 head hon­chos and their sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers, if ap­pli­ca­ble, plus other big shot guests in the city’s Elbphil­har­monie. But we di­gress. Beethoven’s “Ninth” was last heard at the BMF in Au­gust 2010.

But the Beethoven, like the Orff and the Mahler, won’t be done in toto, only the fi­nal move­ment with its joy­ful “Ode to Joy” choral paean to hu­man­ity.

On Sun­day, Au­gust 13 at 2 p.m. at the Cot­ton­wood Man­sion Mu­seum, 740 Haldimand Rd., Selkirk, the Cot­ton­wood Brass with spe­cial guest Hank Mered­ith on an­tique brass in­stru­ments hold their an­nual peach so­cial con­cert, this year fo­cus­ing on Canada 150: His­tory in Brass. Selections in­clude “Brant­ford Ga­lop,” “Cayuga Two-Step,” H.L. Clarke’s “Maid of the Mist” and other Cana­di­ana. Bring a lawn chair. Ad­mis­sion: $10, un­der 12 $5.

Start­ing Mon­day, read Leonard Turnevicius’s re­ports from some of Europe’s best classical mu­sic fes­ti­vals at thes­pec.com.

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