Brott goes big with closing concert
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.