Archive for January, 2013

An afternoon at the Glen Gould Studio

January 28, 2013

This cloudy, dry and gloomy Sunday afternoon in Toronto, 27 January 2013, was just the right day for a little recital at the Glen Gould Studio, a cozy venue of ideal proportions for a soloist and a piano. The concert was prefaced with the insightful historical and biographical details from the lives of the composers presented by Ms. Julia Zarankin (PhD in Comparative Literature) about the friendships between Mozart and Haydn, Schumann and Brahms, and Wolf and Mahler.
Most of the programme was songs on German poetry both literary and folk. It also included two famous arias from Mozart’s operas: “Deh’ vieni alla finestra” from “Don Giovanni” and “Smanie implacabili” from “Cosi fan tutte “. Baritone Russell Braun and mezzo soprano Erica Iris Huang were followed by pianists, Ms. Elina Kelebeev and Ms. Carolyn Maule.
It was a good day for Mr. Russell Braun, who effortlessly transformed the verses by his impeccable rendition and refined phrasing into a vivid gliding journey through a series of different emotions. A little more affection in Deh” vieni alla finestra would not harm, though. Ms. Erica Iris Huang has a powerful voice with still undiscovered potentials for breadth and refinement. It became more transparent in her rendition of “Smanie implacabili”, where her expressiveness has not yet explored all the potentials of this aria. The overall impression was that that both singers enjoyed the afternoon, as we in the audience did too.
My friend and I agreed that the most rewarding piece came from the pianist duo, co-founders and artistic directors of Off Centre Music Salon and spouses of one another, Ms. Ina Perkis and Mr. Boris Zarankin. They were playing Brahms’ own piano four-hand arrangement Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 (1858) with zesty surrender. Warm and enthusiastic applause followed.
The modest but comprehensive programme brochure offered the complete text of the poems in the German original and English translation, and refreshingly–commercial free. Thanks to the generous patrons of this performance Ms. Katalin Schafer and Mr. Roger Moore, it was an afternoon worth attending at the Glen Gould Studio.
The next concert will be on April 28, 2013, celebrating philanthropists in music.

Glen Gould Studio, Toronto

Glen Gould Studio, Toronto