It’s by no means too late for a New Yr’s celebration, significantly one which was postponed twice.
That’s precisely what occurred to the HPO’s “A New Yr’s Celebration” broadcast, which in the end premières this Saturday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. and runs by Might 2.
Initially, the published was to have opened the 12 months on Jan. 23, however as a result of lockdown, no recording session was held. The première was then punted to March 27, however that date was additionally scrubbed when one of many scheduled musicians reported signs of a chilly. In response to HPO govt director Kim Varian, the musician was examined for COVID-19, and fortunately, the take a look at got here again adverse. The recording session which had been postponed out of warning was then rescheduled for the next week.
“The protection of all musicians, manufacturing group and workers is our precedence and everybody has been extraordinarily understanding and co-operative all through this course of,” mentioned Varian.
The recording session befell in McMaster College’s L.R. Wilson Corridor on Thursday, March 25 — simply days earlier than the grey-lockdown — with flutist Vivian Minden, oboist Nancy Nelson, clarinetist Michele Verheul, bassoonist Melanie Eyers, French hornist Jessie Brooks, violinists Lyssa Pelton and Philip Sarabura, violist Brandon Chui, cellist Laura Jones, and Rob Wolanski on double bass.
Now, whenever you consider New Yr’s, these Strauss waltzes you hear at a “Salute to Vienna” live performance in FirstOntario Live performance Corridor or on TV from Vienna’s Musikverein on New Yr’s Day might come to thoughts.
Nonetheless, on this explicit broadcast of chamber music, there’s not a Strauss waltz to be heard, although there’ll be some stylized variations of dance music.
“Everybody likes a great dance at New Yr’s,” mentioned HPO music director, Gemma New. “The woodwind quintet presents a number of dances from the French baroque period by Jean-Philippe Rameau. Add the Parisian allure of Jacques Ibert, and the sweep and beauty of Tchaikovsky and Dvorak, and we’ll get pleasure from collectively probably the most romantic, celebratory and chic night.”
And comedic, too, due to Ibert’s “Three Quick Items,” culled from his 1930 incidental music to Maurice Constantin-Weyer’s “Le stratagème des roués,” a French adaptation of George Farquhar’s comedy, “The Beaux’ Stratagem,” which finds two gents on a quest to marry heiresses.
“There’s a lightness to the music that means comedy,” mentioned Melanie Eyers of the Ibert. “It is extremely showy and difficult significantly for the oboe and clarinet, though all devices have their moments of glory,” added Nancy Nelson.
Eyers had been itching to play Japanese bassoonist Ryohei Nakagawa’s transcription for wind quintet of Rameau’s “Gavotte with Six Doubles” for harpsichord since final summer season.
“After we finalized this system final August, I sat on my again deck and listened to this piece, and it jolted me again to being enthusiastic about getting again to performing,” mentioned Eyers.
The wind quintet may also carry out “Three Dances,” Nakagawa’s transcriptions of the mazurka, polka and waltz from Tchaikovsky’s “Youngsters’s Album” for piano.
“This piece is an opportunity to see him at work on a small scale,” mentioned Eyers of Tchaikovsky.
Invoice Rowson, music director of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra and a former HPO librarian, composed his nine-minute, one-movement “Quintet for Winds” in 2015 for Toronto’s Blythwood Winds.
“I wrote the primary 60 seconds of it in 1996,” mentioned Rowson. “Later, I took this opening music and wrote a collection of brief variations on it, which quickly started to organically unfold into the piece it’s. I’ve by no means performed that earlier than (revisit outdated sketches).”
“This ‘Quintet’ takes us on a pleasant development from its serene pastoral opening, to quirky syncopated rhythms and motifs, and an lively uplifting ending,” mentioned Eyers.
Which brings us to Dvorak’s “String Quintet no. 2.”
“It is a nice work that could be a staple of the chamber music repertoire,” mentioned Rob Wolanski. “It’s arguably the foremost chamber work to incorporate the double bass.”
Ticket: $31 (tax and repair price included) at hpo.org/a-new-years-celebration/.
From Friday, April 2 to Sunday, April 4, the Brott Music Pageant rebroadcasts Handel’s “Messiah” for $10 at brottmusic.com/handels-messiah-easter-weekend-special/.