Monday, 21 January 2013

Toronto Brass Quintet: A beautifully played concert

Last Sunday (Jan 20' 2013), the TORONTO BRASS QUINTET shared their music making with an attentive and happy audience. The program 'Classics for Brass' featured music by Bach, Gesualdo, Calvert, and Ewald. I especially enjoyed the virtuosic playing in a rendition of Bach's 'My Spirit be Joyful', from the great master's Cantata 146. The rhythmic theme was brilliantly treated by the TBQ's five instrumentalists, and  articulation details were always brought out with fine care (particularly the coordinated ornamented trills with the two trumpeters that seemed so easy).

Next were four madrigal by Gesualdo. Who knew he was such a colourful character? Apart from being an aristocrat, Gesualdo was a highly imaginative composer. This was evident in the wild turns of harmonies throughout the four madrigals. (note: History also tells us that Gesualdo had an extra-ordinary personal life, and was particularly vengeful towards a cheating spouse...)     The Suite from the Monteregion Hills by Morley Calvert had a distinctive "contemporary" feel to its energetic dance-like tunes and passages. The music was fun, and some children in attendance were highly animated during movements like the 'marche'. 

The second half of the program consisted of Quintet no.3 by Victor Ewald, an original member of the groupf of five Russian composers called "The Mighty Handful"  (including Balakirev, Cui, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov). The four movement work is cast in the mold of the classical symphony, and is full of beautiful melodies (of Russian romantic flavour) that sticks with the listener long after the performance.

Special thanks to the TBQ's members for the wonderful afternoon of music! We hope to hear them again in the future ! 

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