Wednesday, 3 September 2008

As Radio Two Shoots Itself in the Foot, Serious Music Continues to Be Played Elsewhere

Some real music in the air! Just as the CBC’s Radio Two was starting its dumbed-down programming Elin dropped by between rehearsals for supper the other night. Today she will the recording a program of Henry Purcell’s music for a disc Les Voix Humaines will release in honour of the 250th anniversary of his birth in 1659, and she was headed to Suzy Napper’s to work on that music. Just before she’d had a long lesson with Margaret Little, who is directing her work on a doctorate in performance at the Université de Montréal.

Now, we’re always glad to see her but this time she had a real treat to show us: two viola da gambas that she’ll play in the two programs in addition to the French-inspired instrument she usually plays. She’ll give the first of four recitals required by the doctorate program next week, and for that she’ll use a reproduction of a 17th century Italian instrument that she has on loan. The music featured will be that of Orazio Bassani, a gambist/composer/improviser of 16th century Ferrari. Elin is particularly interested in the way gambists (and other instrumentalists) of the time used improvisation, much like jazz musicians do today. She says it seems only fitting to use an Italian style instrument to play the music.

For the Purcell recording, though, she gets to play the real thing. She had with her a tenor viol made in the 17th century in England—a instrument with a glorious sound and a work of art in its own right. Les Voix Humaines have been able to borrow three period instruments from the University of Toronto for the Purcell which is shaping up to a marvelous musical event. More details about it later.

But for those who might make it to Montreal next week, Elin’s recital of Italian music will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday September 11 in Salle Serge-Garant, B-484 of the Faculté de Musique of the Université de Montréal, 200 Vincent-d'Indy (up the hill from the Edouard-Montpetit Metro station.)

It is particularly a pleasure to have such good music in prospect when Radio Two after 3 p.m. has become such a waste land.


Muzition said...

I'm so glad to live in a city with many good live concerts!

And thanks for the concert info. Maybe I'll come.

--Emily G

Mary Soderstrom said...

The more the merrier at Elin's recital!

Apparently Claude Gingras in La Presse didn't think much about the MSO's concert, but I think it was a good idea to try to attract a wider audience to classical music. Far better to open people's ears than to stop them up with music of no challenge or interest.

Hope your European tour was fun.


Muzition said...

It was amazing. :)