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 May 2010 - Nr. 5
Irena Syrokomla

Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society

Although I have written about the Chamber Music Society during the past year, another column is merited. This delicious jewel is a sophisticated musical event, with a series of quality musical pieces not heard in decades and performed by world renowned or local artists in a small but personal music room.

A number of outstanding events in this season included visits in February and again in March from Till Fellner performing more of Beethoven sonatas, this time Waldstein, Moonlight and Les Adieux Sonatas. This acclaimed artist travels internationally and graciously stops in Waterloo to play to a breath-holding crowd. He is technically perfect, playing without musical notes, gently polishing the tones and bringing the best in the music to audience.

In March The Penderecki Quartet played Haydn and Schubert, their technical expertise being without comparison. This time Simon Fryer – their past cellist – was participating, although the new one, Jacob Braun, is up to the standards of the famous quartet. Jerzy Kaplanek, Christine Vlajk and Jeremy Bell – are the original backbone of the quartet.

In April there was a Chopin and Liszt concert played by Eric Himy. This wonderful and mature pianist delivered not only the scheduled program of Chopin’s etudes, mazurkas, barcarolle, ballads and polonaise but also Liszt’s Liebestraum and Valse Oubliée. It was a memorable evening, and – please take note – the pianist came out for FIVE encores!

Himy is a sophisticated, mature pianist, able to adjust to a small venue and devoted audience, appreciating the space and the fine Steinway piano. Many thanks for this visit and hope to see you again!

Another superb concert including Mozart Symphony No.40 was performed by four artists, Peter Vinograde on piano, sometimes playing for the whole orchestra, Lydia Yang – what a marvellous flutist she is! – Emma Banfield on violin and cellist Catherine Anderson. They are a great group and play together so well. The Mozart symphony was uplifting, with much more pace and life than most traditional takes, the rhythm carrying away.

By the time this issue is in print there will be another spectacular concert of all Chopin played by our Canadian Janina Fialkowska. The tickets are sold out, Jan Narveson is expecting the last minute line-up at the door, and the admirers are looking forward to hearing this great artist play polonaises, nocturnes and Sonata in b. I cannot recall when and where I have heard it played live. It is not the one with The Funeral March; it is the one with anending like a wind. A difficult piece, very emotional and not many pianists undertake it in its greatness.

In the near future:

  • on Friday, May 15: St. Petersburg Quartet presents all Russian/Georgian program, including Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. This is an unusual opportunity to hear the Russians interpretation of classic Russian composers.

  • Wednesday, May 26: Mauro Bertoli on piano will be playing Brahms and Schumann.

  • June 4 – 9: QuartetFest will be held.

  • in July: Alexander Tselyakov is scheduled to play Chopin’s etudes.

What a season! What a number of memorable performances! Most are available on discs. The Music Room has its own recording live system, so if you missed any, they are available.

The location of the Music Room is 57 Young Street in Waterloo beside Waterloo Park,
the website or e-mail or call 519-886-1673.

Email to Irena Syrokomla
Irena Syrokomla reviews arts, entertainment, the performing arts such as theatre, musicals, stage performances.

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