Join us at Walter Hall in Toronto for the opening of the University of Toronto’s Faculty Artists Series featuring NEXUS and the piano duo 2 x 10 (Midori Koga and Lydia Wong). Also performing will be the University’s Women’s Chamber Choir and special guest, percussionist John Rudolph. It is going to be an interesting and unusual evening, presenting two rarely-heard arrangements of two orchestral masterpieces, The Rite of Spring and The Planets, for two pianos and percussion!
This is an anniversary performance: Holst’s their recent visit to Japan, and welcomed Japanese superstar Ayaka Hirahara backstage there. She was attending because her pop version of Jupiter had skyrocketed to the top of the charts and has stayed there for a number of years. (Check it out on YouTube!) (English translation of Ayaka Hirahara’s website is here.)
The other piece that NEXUS and 2×10 are performing on Monday, November 1st, is The Rite of Spring. Stravinsky composed a piano four-hands version before he had finished the orchestral score; it was performed with Debussy. Stravinsky continually revised the work (for both musical and practical reasons), well beyond the ballet’s premiere with orchestra in 1913. Speaking of unusual arrangements, Stravinsky made two arrangements of the The Rite of Spring for player piano! These were issued by Aeolian on standard pianola rolls, and also for the Pleyela (the brand of player piano manufactured by Pleyel in Paris). The master rolls were not recorded using a “recording piano” played by a performer in real time, but instead were cut mechanically/graphically. Northwestern University, (at its RussianDrama.net), says that the premiere of the ballet, “its ‘barbarous’ music and unconventional choreography that Nijinsky designed…caused one of the most famous theatrical scandals in history.” Here is the initial sketch of the stage set for the first act by Nikolai Roerich:
Tickets for the NEXUS concert on November 1st can be obtained by calling the Box Office at 416-978-3744 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org