Reviews

“On the stength of a well-conceived and equally well-annotated evening of beautiful music – performed accordingly – that took place on Wednesday at the Rozsa Centre, lovers of chamber music and song would be well advised to take in as much  of the remaining music in this year’s Mountain View International Festival as possible.

“The hugely attractive…concert in question, An Evening with Pierrot: An Evolution of Character in Four Parts, featured not only the superbly expressive young Nova Scotian soprano, Allison Angelo, accompanied by four pianists…Robert Lee, Nathaniel Schmidt, and Festival founders and organizers, Charles Foreman and Kathleen van Mourik (who also came up with the Belle Epoque theme for the eight-day event) – but also University of Calgary actor/director Barry Yzereef reading from writings on the life and times of Pierrot, with Calgary mime Olga Primak as the show’s title character, moving gracefully around Angelo as a gently comic embellishment of the lyrics.

“Pianist van Mourik writes in her preface to the illustrated and illuminating ‘libretto’ of the songs presented throughout the week, ‘ This year’s festival has led me into the land of Commedia (dell’ Arte) and the poets and musicians of the 19th century who never seemed to leave that world behind. I found myself looking at the 1800s in Paris and realizing that there was a sub-culture of life that revolved around the metamorphosis of a clown…Pierrot became an obsession as he had been for so many others.’

“Moments that especially stood out in what quickly turned into 90 minutes of generally divine music-making included Angelo’s wonderfully moving realization of Debussy’s Apparition [accompanied by van Mourik]…and the wonderful playing by van Mourik in the final, Victim of the Moon chapter of the concert – performances that included a collaboration with Angelo in creating surely one of the most hauntingly affecting accounts yet heard of Kozma’s perenially popular Les feuilles mortes (Autumn Leaves).” – Bob Clark, Thursday, August 12, 2010, Eye on the Arts, Calary Herald

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