Skip to main content

Aldeburgh Connection's Schubertiad

Aldeburgh Connection
The Lady of the Lake, and other tales
Walter Hall, University of Toronto
January 24

The Schubertiad is a rather delightful and civilized way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and this past weekend I was treated to a superb performance of Schubert's Lady of the Lake and other miscelleneous Lieder and piano works by the Aldeburgh Connection.

The first half consisted of the Lady of the Lake, based on Sir Walter Scott's poem. Scott was hugely successful in Schubert's time, and many composers used his pieces as inspiration, in no small part to gain some access to the lucrative English music market. (Such is the level of knowledge I got from the copious programme notes - this is the University of Toronto after all!) The story is a convoluted one, concerning Scottish clan rivalries, a disguised King James V, and three men all after the hand of the lovely Ellen Douglas. It was the Romantic era, and love and justic prevailed, I'm glad to say.

The soloists were wonderful, including Anita Krause (mezzo), Christohper Enns (tenor), and James Levesque (baritone), displaying a really nice dramatic sense and range even while they sang simply standing beside the piano. The sense of drama was aided by narration from Raymond O'Neill, whose expressive reading of the text certainly added to the story and performance. Schubert's music is easy to love, and the songs included probably his most famous, Ave Maria, along with ensemble pieces sung by a student chorus. I almost prefer voices together to soloists, and the gorgeous harmonies were an aural illustration of why.

The second half began a piano duet from accompanists Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata, the Overture in C "im italienischen Stile", D597. Apparently, Schubert wrote it, along with a second Italianate overture, on a bet over a glass of wine and a fit of pique after his friends and companions admired a piece by Rossini a little too enthusiastically. There followed a series of Lieder, the subjects including a tribute to a trout, a jealously murderous dwarf, and the Erlkonig, after a poem by Goethe, in which a young boy is stolen from his father despite his best efforts.

There was an intimate and informal tone to the proceedings, in keeping with Schubert's original intention. Pieces like the Erlkonig were written by him and first performed by Franz and his friends, just hanging out together. Ralls provided the gems and tidbits of information that filled out the gaps between the music for a very fitting tribute to perhaps the most affable of the great Romantic composers.

Portrait of Schubert by Wilhelm August Rieder, 1875.


Popular posts from this blog

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

NU MUSES 2017 Luxurious Fine Art Nude Calendar Now Available

From a media release:

NU MUSES 2017 Luxurious Fine Art Nude Calendar Now Available
24 Fine Art Prints from Celebrated Photographer David Bellemere Available In Three Limited Edition NU MUSES 2017 Calendar Packages

“What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful than the garment” -Michelangelo

Buy the collections
Check them out at Art Basel, Miami - December 1-4, 2016

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – November 22nd, 2016 – NU MUSES, the luxurious 2017 fine art nude calendar, is now available to purchase in three unique limited edition collectors packages. Drawing inspiration from the Pirelli calendar of the 1970s, NU MUSES is set to celebrate the forgotten art of the classic nude and capture the elegance and romance of the female form.

The NU MUSES limited edition art piece is a sublime collectable calendar, featuring nude photographs of 12 of the world’s most stunning models, captured by famed photographer David…

Guitar Rock | Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds Independent: May 31, 2019

Guitar Rock
Happy Freuds - Echo Of Sounds
Independent: May 31, 2019
Stream/Buy on Bandcamp
Stream it on Spotify

With tight musicians and intriguing lyrics, Happy Freuds delivers high energy guitar rock with stylistic flair on Echo Of Sounds, their debut release. Produced with a minimum of overdubs or fixes, the album consists of a mix of original material, rearrangements of works from others and selected, less known, classic rock.

A kinetic rhythm section is the bones of the music, offering interesting patterns that augment sometimes unexpected harmonic changes. It's brainy rock, in other words, meant for music lovers who can appreciate the quality. Teo's vocals are raspy and expressive, growly when necessary - perfect for the musical mode. Teo also covers lead guitar, adapt at ear worm leads, with a tone that can be clean or dirty as required

Their sound ranges from straight up hard rock in tracks like The Mountain to the pop-flavoured acoustic Background Noise and folky To …