8 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 5 - February 2005

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • February
  • Jazz
  • Theatre
  • Arts
  • Symphony
  • Orchestra
  • Musical
  • Ensemble
  • Baroque


DISCI VE RIES EDITOR'S CORNER, continued from page 13 fu• l't I Ell . 1 xw1;1.1. J>.\' H'i CD AND DVD REVIEWS VOCAL, OPERA TIC AND CHORAL to life by the sensitive artistry of these three brilliant musicians. Dia1111e Wells Beyond the Pale will join forces with The Creaking Tree String Quartet for their February 12 Glenn Gould Studio performance. Creaking Tree, contrary to what the name might suggest to some, is comprised of violin, mandolin, guitar and bass. A self-styled "Newgrass" group, their influences span traditional Bluegrass, jazz, folk and classical. Like Beyond the Pale, Creaking Tree has just released its second CD, "•Side Two" (www.creakingtree. corn), and also like Beyond the Pale this is a high energy product interspersed with moments of great sensitivity. I am especially impressed by Brian Kobayakawa, whose bowed ba s adds a special touch and helps take the music beyond the usual parameters of a populist stringband. Which is not to take anything away from violinist John Showman, guitarist Brad Keller and mandolinist Andrew Collins - they all play up a storm. I can't help but think that the February 12 performance should not be missed. As well as individual sets, the two groups will combine to perform expanded arrangements of their own original material and a new piece created collaboratively for the occasion. See you there. My final selection is a more traditional string quartet recording - Peter Maxwell Davies' "Naxos Quartets Nos. I and 2" (Naxos 8.557396) performed by the Maggini Quartet. This marks the beginning of a very special collaboration. Naxos has commissioned Maxwell Davies, Master of Queen's Music. to write ten quartets over a five year period for this renowned British ensemble. They will be performed at Wigmore Hall and subsequently recorded. While these uncomp romising works won't be to everyone's taste by any means, the first two quartets make an auspicious beginning to a truly exciting project. Maxwell Davies makes reference to Beethoven, the fiddling style of his beloved Orkney Islands and to Scottish folk traditions in works that also resonate with the heritage of Bartok and other modern masters. With this initiative Naxos, a company that has turned the classical music world on its ear over the past decade with an exuberantly extensive catalogue of generally fine, and sometimes exquisite, recordings at bargain prices, has embarked on a path of significant patronage. One can only hope that others follow this example and that commissioning new works once again becomes a tenet of noblesse oblige. We welcome your feedback and invite submissions. Catalogues, review copies of CDs and comments should be sent to: The WholeNote, 503 - 720 Bathurst St. Toronto ON M5S 2R4. David Olds Meyerbeer, Lachner, Schubert, Cornelius, Sobeck, Spohr: Le patre sur le rocher (The Sheppard on the Rock) Aline Kutan, Andre Moisan, Louise-Andre Baril ATMA ACD2 2320 The 19th-century phenomenon of a piano in every home of the bourgeois class citizen made for a warmth and tender comfort particular to this era. Piano/vocal music performed for friends was sometimes enhanced by the addition of another melodic instrument. The selections on this recording represent those pieces using clarinet, which in its range and tonal quality is a perfect complement to the voice. For these sensitive and sentimental pieces by Franz Schubert, Meyerbeer, Louis Spohr, Franz Lachner, Peter Cornelius and Johann Sobeck, this trio of musicians provides a performance both stirring and tender. With Canadian-Armenian singer Aline Kutan, there is a lovely gentleness of touch alighting tenderly on the charming and evocative phrasing of this music. All this with dialogues, echoes and interwoven melodies provided witJl equally beauteous tones from Montreal clarinetist Andre Moisan. Pianist Louise-Andree Baril adeptly provides the deep and dramatic undercurrents inherent in the texts by poets such as Heine, Muller, Reine and Rellstab. Nature, love, solitude, grief and heartbreak are the subjects painted in landscapes brought Wagner - Tannhiiuser (DVD) Peter Seiffert; Roman Trekel Oper Zurich; Franz Welser-MOst EM1 Classics 5 99733 9 This 2003 performance from the Zurich Opera features German tenor Peter Seiffert as the medieval minstrel who abandons the sensual pleasures of Venus for the redemptive love of the pure Elizabeth. The fin a I scene, where Tannhauser describes his harrowing pilgrimage to Rome, reveals why Seiffert is the leading Tarinhauser of our day. Solveig Kringelborn is incandescent as Elizabeth, and her second-act duet with Seiffert is enthralling. Roman Trekel is a tender Wolfram, and his exquisite Evening Star aria another highlight. Isabelle Kabatu's Venus is dramatically effective, although her rich voice offers more steel than seduction. The orchestra and chorus under Franz Weiser-Most supply enough sweeping grandeur and detailed colour to offset the simplicity of the sets. The mix of costumes from different periods, from medieval to contemporary, is intriguing and eerily effective. The problem is the bizarre camera work. Either the cameras avoid the singers, so that when Wolfram and Biterolf sing their paeans to love in the song contest we never once see them, or they fix on the faces of the singers so closely that we miss the staging. Instead, we get a lot of Remote Recording Recording Truck Portable Recording Systems Record Anywhere, Anytime Call Bruce @ PRB 647-272-3674 FEBRUARY 1 - MARCH 7 2005

sweating, spitting and histrionic ef- fects like eye-rolling and gesticulat- Her radiant Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier shows more feistiness ing tt ERROR: undefined·:>e seen than is usual in this role - and is a up cl OFFENDING COMMAND: get compelling character for it. tra showing 01semooo1eo nngers on isola S'r ACK: ·f instruments are give Dessay the support she deequal!y rrustranng. A /CID Font production marred by th -dictionary- ·utiny of erratic came /HeiseiMin-W'.3.D to watch ome outstanding Strauss singers serves. Baritone Thomas Allen. so delightful in recent masterclasses at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music, is a dapper and mell ifonce. /Serif !n 11sten co repeatedly. luous music master. Angelika -dictionary--,amela Marg/es Kirchschlager is a touching Octa- · p I Adobe-Japan I vian, Sophie Koch a thrilling Comer ( COC d ' . e con- . d F I' .t L t tinue - 1 c t1 onary- 1n n f W agner ' s poser an e 1c1 y . o . t a poignant S . gf /_pdfS tyleDicts o 1e " an d 11 at 6.30 . false · · b : immmg ir d · -mark nous, Amor - Richard Strauss Opera Scenes and Lieder Natalie Dessay Covent Garden; Antonio Pappano Virgin Classics 5 45705 2 The title of French soprano Natalie Dessay' new disc, "Amor", comes from Richard Strauss's fifth Brentano Lied, one of his orchestral songs and opera excerpts that make up this splendid disc. Love in different guises - sisterly love, romantic love, lost love, everlasting love - proves to be an ideal theme for Dessay. With her vibrant personality and keen sense of drama she brings each individual character to life. Her agile, silvery voice dazzles. Since Dessay stopped singing the Queen of the Night, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos has become her signature role. Zerbinetta ' s extended recitatives show what an eloquent story teller Dessay is. Yet the wordless cadenzas, with their breathtaking roulades, thrilling trills, and shapely triplets reveal her ability to express so much without any words at all. Arabella and a maJesuc Marschal- · I' 111. A ntomo · p appano e 1. 1cns · 1 um1- vibrant curtains of sound from his Covent Garden orchestra. The booklet is well-presented and informative. This is indeed a tour de force from the most exciting coloratura soprano of our day. Pamela Margles Debussy; Faure; Poulenc Ian Bostridge Julius Drake; Belcea Quartet EMI Classics 5 57609 2 German Lieder have, for decades, dominated the popular preference for art song. Their Gallic counterparts, however, are happily finding a growing number of singers and record companies eager to invest in performance and wider distribution. ' EM! has selected the work of three French colourists for tenor Ian Bostridge. The colour of his vocal instrument is set perfectly mid-way between the poles of heady, lyrical and darker, full-bodied voices enabling him to move in either direction with ease. Bostridge shows his mastery of stylistic contrast as he embraces the intimacy of Debussy's Co/Loque semimemal, declaims the operatic drama. of Faure 's Fleur jetee and deftly handles the angular and by times sprechstimme songs of Poulenc. All three composers share a distinctively French palette yet write with a distinctively individual vocabulary. Bostridge's ability to capitalize on their individuality makes this recording a compliment to his artistic maturity. A special treat is the inclusion of Faure's cycle. La bo1111e chanson which adds a string quintet to the piano accompaniment. After hearing voice with piano for most of this CD, the expanded sonority of the chamber ensemble i truly thrilling. Its effect is nowhere more potent than in the aurally seductive La lune blanche. Play at room temperature and serve with a mature Merlot. Alex Baran Carry Me Home - The Story & Music of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale (DVD Nathaniel Dett Chorale Marquis 77471 88801 9 2 The genesis and background of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale is told in this .documentary DVD through interviews with the group's founder and artistic director, Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, choriters, and a diverse collection of musical figures, (including singer Mary Lou Fallis, jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis, musicologist Ill Ill Ill Ill Ill Ill Ill Ill Ill mw rnn rnn rnn nm NAXOS 111 111 11111 111 11111 MONTHLY FEATURE Ernt-,to NAZARETH ' ERNESTO NAZARETH Tangos and Waltzes for Piano Iara Behs, Piano 8.557687 NEW RELEASES tm>;-t MAX BRUCH Scottish Fantasy Maxim Fcdotov, violin 8.557395 !em VAllGllAN WJJ..LIAMS .. )"mphon ,,_ 4 l"l•h''rtmpl o:>o· : ." ; ' f:lEMOTE CONTOL On location recordings of jazz and classical music Twenty years of live recording for public radio Symphony No. 4, Flos Campi Bournemouth Symphony, Paul Daniel conducting 8.557276 William Van Ree 97 Highview Avenue Scarborough ON M1N2H6 FEBRUARY 1 - MARCH 7 2005 phone: 416 694 3505 cell: 416 452 6623 Available at all fine record stores. For more information go to www . naxos .com 55

Copied successfully!

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)