Saturday, June 30, 2012
The harpsichord part was played by two fine musicians - with the right hand played by one and the left hand played by the other (with his right hand). Quite a challenge - especially in the long harpsichord solo, but admirably executed. The festival blurs the line between audience and performer, between up and coming musicians and those who have been on the scene a long time. We are all there because of our passion for this music.
Some Telemann - a concerto for viola da gamba and recorder. The early music scene is healthy in Montreal, with all these young artists taking their place. And starting tomorrow, I have the privilege of spending a week up at CAMMAC (programme listing for Week Two) - a week of early music with teachers who have been performing in this festival. Oh - we are spoiled here in Montreal!
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Natural trumpets announced the beginning. These instruments have a loud enough sound to carry outdoors.
Horses were accompanied by human dancers. I was baking in the hot sun. I cannot imagine how the dancers felt in their heavy costumes, dancing on hot pavement.
The dancing was enchanting.
This rider was absolutely amazing, riding bareback without reins. Her horse did her every bidding, prancing, lifting its feet and then slowly lying down and nuzzling her. Then it got up and continued its graceful dance.
It was well worth the baking in the sun.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
This year the parade was led by this harlequin. Half way through we were met by two horses in costumes from Versailles. They would soon be performing in a horse ballet (but more on that later).
And here are a few more shots from the parade (I took time out of playing to snap these photos).
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
It is impossible to describe all the concerts in the Montreal Baroque Festival. Thursday's opening gala was really four concerts in one with music by SMAM, Les Boréades, Ensemble Masques and Ensemble Proemio. The latter, I had never heard before. They performed pieces from a codex from Peru which dates from the mid 1700s. Beautiful music! You can learn a bit about the man who collected the music here.
On Friday we heard Les Voix Humaines with natural trumpet players Jean-François Madeuf and Graham Nicholson with music from Kremsier in what is now the Czech Republic. Natural trumpets are trumpets that would have been played in baroque times. They have no keys. Playing different notes depends on breath pressure. The stance you see these players taking can also be seen in paintings, and here on the cover of a method book for learning to play the instrument. Baroque trumpets have a warmer, mellower sound than their modern counterparts. Another splendid concert!
If you want to hear a natural trumpet - here is a sample from YouTube featuring Jean-François Madeuf.
The Darling Foundry, once an industrial space is now an industrial sized visual arts space. It offers work space for artists as well as a program for artists in residence - studios which provide not only work space, but also some living spaces.
I was there for the opening concert of the Montreal Baroque Festival - an amazing concert filled long weekend. More to come about that!
Saturday, June 16, 2012
So if there is a plaque naming the artist, I could not even try to find it. I did like these prancing equines, but could only get closer with the zoom on my camera :-(
A friend just let me know that these are by Joe Fafard - a wonderful artist from Saskatchewan. One of his cows can be found here.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
I guess flowers like this remind us to live in the moment, something I am trying cultivate. I guess I'm nurturing my inner garden.
Friday, June 8, 2012
I love to walk in different parts of Montreal. The architecture changes depending on the year the area was developed as well as the clientele it was developed for. Even that evolved over the years as neighbourhoods deteriorate over time and more recently have been gentrified.
In many parts of the city you can see these three floor buildings with flats on each floor. Outdoor staircases lead up to the second floor. Some sweep up dramatically, while others march up in a straight line.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Even the bleeding hearts are slowly losing their lustre. Once profuse, fewer new blossoms appear. Each day, I venture out to inspect my garden, seeing new growth and awaiting the next flowers in the parade of perennials. Each new entry is greeted with delight.
Columbines never fail to amaze me - their comet-like flowers streaking across my garden. I never know where they will pop up from year to year as they spread easily. This year they have arrived in profusion.
More delights are waiting their turn. The tall stalks of the tiger lilies are climbing each day and others whose names I never remember are taking their place. It's a slow parade - to be appreciated over months, but the beauty of each entry demands taking time to look, appreciate and just be in the moment.
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Photo: May 30, 2012
A trip to the market always results in unanticipated purchases. While looking for interesting mushrooms to cook with lamb shanks, my spouse's eyes lit up as he saw the chanterelles. A few came home with us (the price was astronomical). They were served along with an omelet. The huge portobello and small crimini mushrooms added flavour to the savoury lamb shanks.
One advantage of a cold spell - cooking warms the home and heart.