Lenten music series at St. Matthew’s

Ottawa flutist Michael Zappavigna will perform in a program “Flights of Fancy” at St. Matthew’s on February 24.

By Margret B. Nankivell

St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in the Glebe will present a series of three classical music recitals by superb artists during Lent. Organized by Robert Hall, St. Matthew’s interim director of music, the concerts will be held on Fridays February 24, March 17 and March 31 at 7 p.m. Hall will also perform as organist and pianist with three special guest artists.

Lent is the Christian spiritual-preparation season leading up to Easter. “It’s a wonderful time to enjoy chamber music in a relatively quiet period,” says Hall, formerly a professor of music at Laurentian University. “And having spent a few months in the acoustical environs of St. Matthew’s, I’m excited to hear how the space responds to intimate chamber music presented by three very different instruments controlled by amazing musical communicators.”

The first recital on February 24 will feature Ottawa flutist Michael Zappavigna who will play a range of flute music. Entitled “Flights of Fancy”, the program will feature 19th and 20th century music and includes the Ottawa premiere of Hall’s The Lonely Land for baritone, flute and viola. Poetry about the Canadian north by early Canadian poets is set to music in this remarkable piece. Zappavigna and Hall (as baritone) will be joined by violist Henry Janzen.

Janzen returns on March 17 for his recital “Music to Die” For which includes some of the 20th century’s most haunting viola repertoire, like Paul Hindemith’s Trauermusik and Dmitri Shostakovich’s exquisite Sonata, completed weeks before the composer’s death. The work intimately quotes Beethoven’s beloved Moonlight Sonata. Janzen has performed extensively in Europe and North America as a violist and is music director and principal conductor of the Hart House Orchestra at the University of Toronto.

On March 31, Saskatchewan contralto Lisa Hornung will present “On Wings of Song”. Hornung has a distinguished career as a soloist, including some 25 appearances in the Messiah with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. Her repertoire ranges from classical to folk to spirituals, and she has toured Europe and the U.S. with the American Spiritual Ensemble. Her voice has been called “rich and powerful,” and her stage presence has “inspired audiences and musicians alike.”

Believing everyone deserves the opportunity to sing, Hornung runs a non-auditioned Community Youth Choir and is the founder and director of Summer School for the Solo Voice.

All concerts are presented by St. Matthew’s Anglican Church at 130 Glebe Avenue near Bank Street. There are no tickets, but proceeds from free-will offerings will support organ maintenance at the church.

Margret B. Nankivell is a long-time St. Matthew’s parishioner and regular contributor on music to the Glebe Report.

Friday, February 24, 7 p.m.,
“Flights of Fancy”
with flutist Michael Zappavigna
Robert Hall pianist/baritone and violist Henry Janzen.

Friday, March 17, 7 p.m.,
“Music to Die For”
with violist Henry Janzen
Robert Hall piano/organ

Friday, March 31, 7 p.m.,
“On Wings of Song”
with contralto Lisa Hornung
Robert Hall piano

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