Home Arts I Musici is a trip to the classical

I Musici is a trip to the classical

by The Concordian February 28, 2001
In the cold of the Montreal winter there are only so many ways that one could get some kind of pick me up, and classical music is not the sort of thing that first comes to. However, a group of musicians called I Musici manages to be just that.
I Musici is a prolific Montreal-based chamber music group that has been performing here and around the world for almost 17 years. There was a wonderful performance at the Salle Tudor, a concert hall in Ogilvy’s department store, on February 16, just one of more than a hundred performances I Musici will do in Montreal and around the world this year.
For those unfamiliar with chamber music, it is classical music performed with a scaled down group of performers, in this case 15. For some, it is a more accesible way to appreciate classical music.
Commenting on how the group fits into the classical music scene in Montreal, I Musici’s conductor and co-creator, Yuli Turovsky said, “What the [Montreal Symphony Orchestra] does in symphonic form, we are doing in chamber music form.”
Turovsky’s wife, Eleonora and daughter, Natasha, are both members of I Musici. Yuli and Eleonora are both on faculty at Concordia. Natasha is also an accomplished painter.
Turovsky explained that I Musici plays everything from the Baroque period, which they demonstrated at concert at Ogilvy’s, all the way up to contemporary pieces. They are also in the process of creating original work.
I Musici has recently toured Germany and Spain, and has recorded 40 CDs with the prestigious British recording label Chandosh, which are distributed in over 50 countries. They have plans to tour other European countries shortly, and are also planning to perform in Asia.
The performance at Ogilvy’s was only an hour long, but was perhaps a good length for what could be somewhat cerebral music. It featured four composers, all from the Baroque movement and born in the late 1600s in areas of what is now Italy.
In contrast to the cold Montreal winter, hearing music from 300 years ago, composed presumably in the sunlight of Venice and other such areas, was quite a shift in tone.
One irony was that in the foyer of Tudor Hall, mounted on the wall, was a picture of an early African American boys choir, suggesting that perhaps this group had performed there. Being Black History Month, it was doubly striking because the caption next to the picture read that one of the boys was Dr. Martin Luther King, certainly before he really embarked on his civil rights career.
After soaking up the beautiful melodies of four Italian composers performed by I Musici, seeing a picture of this choir, including Dr. King, in the hallway of Ogilvy’s in the cold of the Montreal winter, proves that music brings people together in many ways and in many time periods.
Perhaps Turovsky sensed the filled-to-capacity audience’s winter malaise, when he joked a couple of times towards the end of the performance that he would cheer them up. He did, as he ended the hour long concert with an up tempo piece by Antonio Vivaldi of certainly proved that, through I Musici’s hands, classical music, whether in chamber format or in a full symphony, does not have to be boring or depressing.
Rather, it can be fun, and even challenging. In the Tudor Hall, their music created the kind of harmony that Dr. King and his choir may have produced at this same spot all those years ago.
Check listings for times and venues of future I Musici performances around the city of Montreal. Their next big performance as part of their main series will be will be Beethoven’s 8th Symphony at Th

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