Review by David Richards
Toronto ON September 16 2017
James Parker(piano) and James Campbell(clarinet)
Annalee Patipatanakoon(violin), James Parker(piano), Roman Borys(cello), and James Campbell(clarinet)
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GRYPHON TRIO combines with clarinetist James Campbell for a lively beginning of the 2017-18 concert season!
The third work on the program included the entire Gryphon Trio and Campbell in Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano by Peter Schikele perhaps better known as PDQ Bach. The quartet had a jazz feel with humour and virtuosity that the quartet seemed to enjoy making sound easy. The compound metre and rhythmic complexity combined to engage my whole body.
Thursday noon hour concerts have been a tradition of the Faculty of Music since my undergraduate years. I recall having to get a ticket punched to prove that I was in the audience in those days in the late sixties. With music like we heard yesterday, coercion won’t be necessary to encourage students to attend.
Upcoming concerts will include cellist Winona Zelenka along with pianist James Parker on September 21st and UofT Jazz Faculty: Dave Young, bass, Dave Restivo, piano and Gordon Foote, saxophone on September 28th.
The new concert season has begun and Toronto Concert Reviews looks forward to an exciting year of music in Toronto and beyond. We had a wonderful vacation in Europe which included my competing in the FINA World Masters Championships in Budapest. The swimming competition was followed by an adventurous two weeks touring throughout Austria and Switzerland spending time in Vienna, Saltzburg, Innsbruck, and Lucerne where we learned some great trivia about the musical geniuses from that part of the world. Hiking in the mountains was the real source of inspiration.
Alas, we are back, refreshed, and ready to take on another exciting season of live music in Toronto and beyond. Thursday was a wonderful kickoff to the season. The Gryphon Trio along with clarinetist James Campbell, gave an upbeat performance to a capacity audience at University of Toronto’s Walter Hall in the Faculty of Music’s first weekly free noon hour concert of the 2017-18 academic year. On most Thursdays from now until April, there will be an assortment of concerts and lectures.
The Gryphon Trio began with an upliftingly joyous Piano Trio in E flat, Hob. XV:29. The work was full of light-hearted surprises with a gorgeously pleasing slow movement bookended by the high energy of the other two movements. Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin, Roman Borys, cello, and James Parker, piano make up the renowned trio.
James Campbell joined pianist James Parker in Leonard Bernstein’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, a two movement work of expressive and haunting beauty followed by a lively rhythmically charged finale. One could hear hints of West Side Story in the finale.