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May, 2004 - Nr. 5


The Editor
Meiner Mutter
Vorsicht Satire!
Rachel Seilern
Zurich Connection
A World of Contrast
Dear Mom
KW & Beyond
The Ritchie Boys
Hansa Club's 40th
Anniversary Celebration
Unter dem Motto
Concordia Choir Concert
A lose-lose Ending?
At the CKWR Studio
Toronto has the Sound
Youth Culture
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Health Newsletter
German Heavyweights
Tafelmusik in Parry Sound
Harbourfront Centre Events
Nature's Perfect Gems
Support for Shaw Festival
MoMA in Berlin
Brothers Grimm Movie
Lessons from Dresden
Frauenkirche nears Completion
Lufthansa News
"Radio Goethe"
Rudolf Stussi Exhibition
Biography - A Game
Snow Sport Show
Schumi Continues Sweep
Germany against Canada
Travel 'Smart'
Building Bridges
Most Contented Germans
Population Dwindling

KW & Beyond

  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 experience.

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 theatre show.

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 coming issues.

Stratford box office number is 1-800-567-1600, web site www.stratfordfestival.ca.


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