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PREVIEW | Soundstreams opens season with loving tribute to Vivaldi in "The Seasons"

By Margaret Lam on September 26, 2014

Max Richter, recomposed "Vivaldi - Four Seasons"
Max Richter, recomposed “Vivaldi – Four Seasons” (© Erik Weiss)


We show our love of particular pieces in a variety of ways. We put the track on infinite loop in the background, we bring the score with us to follow along in concerts, or we perform it as often as possible. Soundstreams shares with us its reverence for Vivaldi with violinist Daniel Hope and Max Richter reimagining of this iconic work.

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is one of those works that I listened over and over again when I was first introduced to classical music in orchestral form. Granted it was only strings, but I often put it on during those sunny snowy weekends when you’re not old enough to be venturing out on your own and it was in everyone’s interest to just cozy up

The September 30, Soundstreams concert offers a second chance to experience it as if for the first time once more.

Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons from Max Richter on Vimeo.

Soundstreams has been consistently presenting programs inspired by musical ideas that bear the resemblance of cultural memes that resonate with a wide public, yet remain deeply rooted in contemporary music traditions in all its manifestations.

Behind the scenes they have built an international community of composers and performers under the guidance of Lawrence Cherney, who has great vision for the combination of talents and artistic programs that make for a great musical experience, regardless of ones musical loyalties.

Before each of their main stage productions, they present a free Salon21 event at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts, offering a much more intimate experience of Soundstreams’ unique blend of musical and intellectual curiosities, in a warm and beautiful setting.

These salons are an entry point for audiences whose curiosities are piqued by innovative programming.

Since launching this initiative in 2009, it has come into its own with an equally high level of artistic excellence and use of recording technology to share the experience with those who could not be present.

Soundstreams presents Salon21: The Four Seasons-Fall performed by SlowPitch from Soundstreams on Vimeo.

See all 4 movements reimagined by local composers includeing Soundstreams’ own Ben Dietschi here.

The rest of the 2014-2015 season for Soundstreams offers this winning artistic approach in four other concerts.

Vespers, in November, celebrates the choral music of Monteverdi, a master of the form paired with a more contemporary vesper written by Giles Tremblay in 1986 to celebrate the 850th birthday of Notre-Dame de Sylvanés Abbey in France. Soprano Shannon Mercer will be a treat to hear in performance in these two works.

David Lang, (© Peter Serling, 2009)
David Lang, (© Peter Serling, 2009)

Soundstreams presents their take on indie opera with The Whisper Opera, by David Lang, which will be performed over 4 days starting February 26 at The Theatre Centre; this delicate work can only be experienced by 60 people at a time.

Large contemporary vocal works has always been one of the strengths of Sounstreams, and the April 16th concert Song for Athene, will be a gem of an opportunity to experience the work of the late British composer John Tavener, in a special collaboration with The Toronto Children’s Chorus.

Their season finale will be a relief to those who missed the flamenco experience last year with Soundstreams, as guitarist Grisha Goryachev returns with pianist and composer Serouj Kradjian. New additions this year include: guitarist Fabio Zanon, who will premiere a new piece for two guitars by Andrew Staniland, Argentinian bandoneon player Hector del Curto, and a musical tribute to Toronto’s hosting of the 2015 Pan American Games.

Soundstreams is truly a landmark musical organization of Toronto, and if you have not experienced what they have to offer, or had drifted away lacking a reason to return, what you are waiting for?

Tickets are still available for next Tuesday’s performance. Details here.


Soundstreams 14/15 Trailer from Soundstreams on Vimeo.

Margaret Lam
is the founder of the BeMused Network

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