Monthly Archives: March 2017

Raiders: Williams & the matter of popularity

The recent fad for films with live accompaniment is shining a light on artistry that has often languished in obscurity.  Oh sure, film music composers are well paid, especially someone like John Williams, composer of the score for Raiders of … Continue reading

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Kommunisten: Straub sans Huillet

TIFF have been presenting “Not Reconciled”: which is both the epithet attached to this powerful retrospective and the first film from the uncompromising collaborative team Danièle Huillet and her husband Jean-Marie Straub. Tonight we ventured into a very dark, place, … Continue reading

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Tallis Scholars & friends: Magnificat

Tonight felt like a kind of affirmation of permanence in the face of change and disorder in the world. The Tallis Scholars, conducted by Peter Phillips, joined forces with two University of Toronto ensembles –Schola Cantorum and Theatre of Early … Continue reading

Posted in Music and musicology, Reviews, Spirituality & Religion | 1 Comment

Beyond Reason: Wagner contra Nietzsche

I finished my previous book last night (They Can’t Kill Us All). I began the review of that fascinating book—filled with the keen-eyed observations of Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery—by a kind of apologetic preamble about my life in fantasyland, … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Literature, Opera, Politics | 1 Comment

They Can’t Kill Us All

I may seem to lead a divided life, vanishing into realms of violins and sopranos, opera and oratorio, without much apparent connection to the struggles of people in the 21st century: with the possible exception of the singers trying to … Continue reading

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Lintu Finesses TSO

I don’t know if Hannu Lintu is a candidate to succeed Peter Oundjian or not, but I wish he were.  The Finnish conductor enticed some of the finest playing I’ve heard all season out of the Toronto Symphony in a … Continue reading

Posted in Music and musicology, Reviews | 2 Comments

COC’s 2017 Revival of Louis Riel: “from a more inclusive perspective”

CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY’S 2017 REVIVAL OF LOUIS RIEL FEATURES VOICES NOT HEARD BEFORE A Uniquely Canadian Contribution to Opera Revisited for the 21st Century Toronto – Louis Riel, composed by Harry Somers with libretto by Mavor Moore, is a uniquely … Continue reading

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Schönberg and Sicilia: two more from Straub /Huillet

Tonight’s installment of TIFF’s retrospective “Not Reconciled: the films of  Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet” must have seemed like a remarkable opportunity to James Quandt and the team assembling the schedule.  Each film is almost exactly an hour long, a … Continue reading

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Too Early/Too Late: you say you want a revolution?

Too Early/Too Late (1980), the latest installment in “Not Reconciled“, TIFF’s Straub-Huillet retrospective, is aptly titled for at least a couple of reasons.  As a study of revolutions co-opted or hijacked by others, the title is about timing.  But the … Continue reading

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Moses,Aaron, and a few others at TIFF

Today TIFF presented two musically-oriented films from their Straub-Huillet retrospective, introduced with a live performance by Against the Grain Theatre. AtG have boldly gone where opera has not often gone before, taking their productions into bars, TV studios, and now … Continue reading

Posted in Cinema, video & DVDs, Opera, Reviews | 1 Comment