The focal point was the Toronto Symphony’s first-ever performance of a work many people consider to be a late-20th century classic: the 1988 Concerto for Piano and Orchestra by Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski. The organization programmed it in honour of the composer’s centenary, which falls this year.
The Green Door, about halfway between Dundas and Queen Sts, at 100A Ossington Ave., hosts a nicely matched pair of talents: singer Theresa Tova (left) and pianist Fern Lindzon in a Christmas- and Chanukah-themed show.
Humour and whimsy in music are difficult to describe, but easily experienced. Our musical expectations are thrown for a loop, and it feels like a joke or a punch line has just been delivered. Now throw in a nine-piece ensemble featuring instruments from different traditions, a love of Nordic repertoire and folk-inspired arrangements, and what you might get is the essential Ensemble Polaris experience.
Perhaps exquisitely wrought and deeply heartfelt are better ways of describing the powerful experience of hearing three seasoned musicians, accustomed to playing together for nearly 25 years, applying a combination of intense craftsmanship, wide experience and, ultimately, what sounds like unconditional love to music from their homeland.