by Irena Syrokomla
Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society
In February 2003 I wrote about the K-W Chamber Music Society
and its program. Dr. Jan Narveson disseminates the information on coming
events on the web site www.k-wcms.com
or by e-mailing to anyone who requests it.
In the last month there were several piano concerts very
much worth mentioning: At the very end of March Janina Fialkowska played
Grieg, Schubet, Szymanowki and Chopin to an enthusiastic audience and at the
end of April Nina Sapiejewska offered the evening of nothing but Chopin.
Fialkowska has many years of practice and experience, I have heard her
playing at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto about 15 years ago and can say her
technique has become more subtle and mature. The crowded, but entranced
audience followed each note and each movement, in appreciation of this rare
occasion of such superb artist to come to our community.
Sapiejewska’s evening concert was so fulfilling for Chopin’s
lovers, there are not many opportunities to hear such a great pianist,
opportunities full of appreciation of the smooth heart-tearing melodies of
the romantic era. The selection was superb: Polonaise in A-flat with its
broad sweeping melody, nocturnes with the dark deep moods and the best,
Sonata No.2 with the famous funeral march. Needless to say one can hear it
every now and then at some funerals. I have noticed not only trembling hands
but also tears.
K-W Symphony – Legends and Myths
and Shall We Dance
Masterpiece Series concert of Legends and Myths was a
memorable experience. The conductor Carlo Palleschi led the orchestra
through Sibelius The Swan of Tuonela, a Finnish composition based on
the legend of the swan swimming majestically on the black waters surrounding
Tuonela, the land of death. Malcolm Forsyth’s Atayoskewin is a more
modern Canadian based composition embracing the Canadian north and its
beauty. The suite is just asking to be a background for some film depicting
Canadian vast lands, the snow, ice and the north. It was, I believe, Jack
London who said that once you experience the north it will never leave you.
I can confirm that, even with my quite limited exposure to its beauty.
The concert was completed with Rimsky-Korsakov’s
Scheherezade, the audience sitting in hypnotized silence through the
oriental motives of the tales. The standing applause brought an encore, a
Khachaturian’s motive dedicated to the final games of the Maple Leafs.
Everybody was happy!
Shall We Dance was a Sunday Light Classics Series
concert combining classical music of Prokofiev from Romeo and Juliet,
Tchaikovky Swan Lake, Gounod, Stravinsky and, closer to home, Aaron
Copland’s fragment from Rodeo. It was Sunday afternoon, with quite a
number of young attendees – children being brought up to become familiar
with and love classical music. There was a very young soloist on flute Diana
Morgan (this young lady has a future, watch for her!) leading Concertino by
Cecile Chaminade and KWS Youth Orchestra filling up the stage for another
piece. What was especially interesting was the participation of young people
in the audience, obviously students from Wilfred Laurier University music
program and friends of the members of the Youth Orchestra: following every
note, whispering on real or perceived errors, enthusiastically whistling at
applause and commenting on the show. It was a pleasure to see young people
so involved in classical music, supportive of each other and sharing the
The subscriptions for the next year are up for renewal. With
the decision of the new Board of Directors to bring back Martin Fischer-Diescau
as a conductor (we still hope) and work some kind of an arrangement with
Simon Streatfeild is should be a varied and interesting season. Hopefully it
will be much more peaceful and satisfying than the last one.
Stratford Festival 2004
The 2004 Visitors’ Guide has been out for some time. It is
the year for Macbeth and Midsummer Night Dream, Cymbeline, Timon
of Athens and a couple of Kings, King Henry VII and
King John. If you have never seen "The Scottish Play" this is
your chance. I have seen it in many interpretations over several decades in
different countries, but I cannot forget the opinion of one of my professor,
teaching English Drama, that all that happened was the result of Mr. Macbeth
being unable to satisfy Mrs. Macbeth. One way of looking at it…
Besides the classics, there are a couple of musicals Guys
and Dolls, Anything Goes of Cole Porter and an adaptation of
The Count of Monte Cristo. It is a lighter fare, very suitable for a
summer weekend, country drive, good meal and the outing completed by a
There is also some new dimension to the classical
professional theatre we are used to: Studio Theatre presenting slightly
different plays, neither classics nor comedies: The Human Voice
doubling up with The Elephant Song, both psychological dramas with a
very limited number of actors, and The Swanne: Queen Victoria The
Seduction of Nemesis.
I will be happy to report on some of these plays in the
Stratford box office number is 1-800-567-1600, web site