Reasons to Love Toronto: No. 15, because baroque rocks
This is the 30th anniversary of Jeanne Lamon’s leadership of Tafelmusik, the orchestra of obsessively period-perfect baroque classical music. Lamon, who plays violin, is the group’s driving force. Every recital is like a time portal to the 18th century—you hear symphonies performed much like Frederick the Great heard them, on exact replicas of the era’s harpsichords, lutes and bassoons, if not originals. On one recent night at Trinity–St. Paul’s United Church in the Annex, the orchestra’s favourite venue, the audience squeezed into the pews to witness the spiky-haired recorder player Marion Verbruggen perform concertos by Vivaldi. She appeared possessed, her fingers moving so speedily that her ivory instrument seemed to float. Impassioned musicianship has earned Lamon’s Tafelmusik an international following (on tours they play in such sacrosanct venues as New York City’s Carnegie Hall and Vienna’s Musikverein) and spawned 80-and-counting studio albums. Sometimes it pays to be old-fashioned.