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Consortium Concerts are Prized Events


THUNDER BAY, ON  ---  October 11, 2011  ----  There are many bright spots in the Consortium concert season. Heather MorisonFollowing the success of last season’s “Romantic Muse” concert featuring pianists Heather Morrison and Derek Oger with Clarinettist Peter Shackelton it is no surprise that the Consortium would plan a sequel concert.

This year Heather’s partners on stage was Evegueni Tchougounov piano; with Anthony Bacon cello and Jennifer Bryan playing violin. The enthusiastic crowd heard music for piano four hands by Mozart and Brahms. The closing piece a four hander by Brahms “Hungarian Dance #2 in D-“ had an zest to it. In order for all four musicians to play on stage for the closing number the violinist doubled the top note of the treble piano part while the cellist, Anthony, played the lowest note of the piano bass part. Being a Hungarian dance it is fair to say gypsies can do that to Brahms.

 We have some remarkable talent residing in Thunder Bay. When I saw the Brahms cello sonata on the programme I was anxious to hear this piece. I occasionally play cello in community  groups but to hear a masterwork played by a master of the instrument is the reason I went to this performance.

The Brahms Sonata is a true collaboration between the cello and the piano, the mood and passion of the music is set equally by both performers. Heather and Anthony delivered a 5 star performance of this piece and it was worth the price of admission.

The next piece worthy of comment is the outstanding job Evegueni Tchougounov, Jennifer Bryan and Anthony Bacon Anthony Bacondid on the Schubert piano trio #1 in B flat. Schubert’s work plays like a large Victorian novel. Its passages go on and on. The challenge for the performers is to keep themselves and the audience interested in this piece. It is easy to get lost in the dream like quality of the music but the musicians stayed focused and their performance was worthy of the sustained applause it received.

This week the Consortium will begin rehearsals on its next Concert which will be Saturday October 15th at 8:00 pm. The Concert will be held at St. Paul’s United Church 349 Waverley Street. The concert will feature three classical concertos, one with Thomas Cosbey playing violin. A treat there will be a concerto for the double bass featuring Martin Blanchet.  The third concerto will feature the St. Paul’s Sanctuary organ with the group’s Artistic Director Elizabeth Ganiatsos at the console. There will be a complement of string players to accompany the soloists.

Admission will be at the door $15 and $10. I was clearing out some junk the other day and found a bunch of concert events I had helped to promote from the early 1990’s. Surprising the ticket price was the same as the Consortium is asking for now. The difference is now the exceptional quality of today’s professional concerts .

I would like to mention that Consortium is now taking advantage of the handicap accessible elevator of the church so the admission table is to the west side of the church. Look for the door marked “Elevator” at street level and someone will be there to take you up.

Pre-concert talks will be featured in the lower level of the church beginning at 7:30. This is a great chance to gain some background on the music you will hear beginning at 8:00 pm.

Bert Rowson:
Arts Editor:

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