Friday, October 2, 2015

Overstuffed weekend

So much going on this weekend.  (I guess I'll attempt to cover this now and then talk about my recent trip to the Maritimes, as well as a number of books I've read recently that have inspired me -- both for good and bad -- over the weekend (if there is any time left over!).)

In terms of theatre, there is still one more weekend for Antigone at Alumnae Theatre (though I mentioned that I didn't like this version of the tragic tale) and George F. Walker's We the Family at Hart House.  (Despite one character I thoroughly disliked and a number of other morally suspect characters, this was wickedly entertaining, so I would recommend it.)  It looks like Tremblay's Forever Yours, Marie-Lou is a hit, and I am going Sat. afternoon and will report back soon.  That runs another few weeks, however.

I was totally bummed that I missed the Vieux Farka Toure show, which I only found out about yesterday (the same night he was playing).  If I hadn't already had tickets to the TSO symphony doing Prokofiev's 5th Symphony, I would have gone to that.

I will report back that I thought that the TSO played magnificently in both the Prokofiev symphony and the Shostakovich Suite for Variety Orchestra (often termed his Jazz Suite #2).* I particularly liked Shostakovich's use of the saxophone and he incorporated an accordion into the mix -- I've only seen an accordion on stage a few times at classical concerts, including a memorable version of Piazzolla's Four Seasons of Buenos Aires a few years back in Vancouver. While I appreciate all kinds of concertos, I must say that when it comes to symphonies, I really tend to favor the more bombastic ones, such as Dvorak's 9th, Beethoven's 5th, and Prokofiev's 5th.  All of those are favorites of mine.  Last night is probably the first time I would say the TSO edged out the VSO (who also did a great version of Prokofiev's 5th), mostly because the wind section was outstanding.  The full program can be caught one more time this Saturday.  More information here if you are thinking about going.

It looks like Tafelmusik has a pretty interesting concert going on this weekend (Musik Mania), and I am hoping to squeeze in a visit on Sunday, though tickets are pretty scarce.

Finally, as if that wasn't enough, Sat. night is Nuit Blanche.  I don't feel there is nearly as much coverage this year as there was last year, but maybe that is actually better, so expectations are a bit more reasonable.  I'll still plan to go out for a while (which will probably stretch to 3-4 hours), though really I ought to buy a better pair of shoes, since mine are really falling apart!

* Actually, the TSO admitted they only took 5 pieces of the 8 from this Suite, but I think they actually mixed it up even more and grabbed one movement from his Jazz Suite #1.  I'm not complaining -- it sounded fine, and I would encourage anyone interested to go tonight, since the Prokofiev Symphony #5 was really well done and a lot of fun.

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