The Suburban: Cellist Matt Haimovitz guests with I Musici de Montréal May 24

May 22, 2018
Cellist Matt Haimovitz guests with I Musici de Montréal May 24

Photo: Musici de Montréal / Karli Cadel


Cellist Matt Haimovitz joins I Musici de Montréal and conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni for works by Schubert and Ernst Bloch, on Thursday, May 24 at 8 pm at Salle Bourgie.

The Grammy-nominated cellist is acclaimed for his visionary approach, ground-breaking collaborations and innovative recording projects, which he combines with a tireless touring schedule, and with mentoring an award-winning studio at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.

It was recently announced that, beginning in Fall 2018, Matt Haimovitz will serve as the first ever John Cage Fellow at The New School’s Mannes School of Music in New York City. Named in honour of the legendary composer John Cage, who taught at The New School from 1950 to 1960, the Artist in Residence position will include new joint projects between Mannes and the Schulich School of Music.

On May 24, Schubert’s Sonata for Arpeggione and Piano in A minor will be heard in an arrangement for cello and strings by Luna Pearl Woolf, premiered last June by Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin. Berlin’s Merker called the new version for string orchestra “atmospherically dense and a worthwhile enrichment in the performance history of this sonata.” The sonata was written for a six-stringed instrument similar to the viola da gamba, invented in 1823. Haimovitz recalls how he once stumbled upon an arpeggione in a Parisian instrument shop: “The sound that emerged from the slender frame between my legs was a heaving, animal rasp akin to the sound of cat claws scraping against sandpaper! It is no wonder the instrument faded into obscurity.” Happily, Schubert’s virtuosic song cycle-without-words is heard today in the transcription for cello or viola. “The composer spins a narrative at once autumnal and introspective, yet full of bohemian life,” says Haimovitz. Haimovitz’s 2001 recording of the Sonata with pianist Itamar Golan was recently remastered and rereleased on the PENTATONE Oxingale Series,a performance that All Music Guide called “intensely lyrical, emphasizing the sonata’s song-like feeling” and about which BBC Music Magazine decided “now replaces my previous favourite.”

Ernest Bloch’s 1924 work From Jewish Life, consists of three short pieces or movements: “Prayer,” “Supplication,” and “Jewish Song.” Utilizing various modes borrowed from traditional synagogue chants and influenced by European Jewish folksong, the work attests to Bloch’s great spirituality.

The evening’s programme by I Musici also includes Pēteris Vasks’s Viatore for string orchestra and Beethoven’s monumental Grosse Fuge orchestrated by Jean-Marie Zeitouni.

Tickets & information:


Read at: The Suburban

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