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Volume 10 Issue 5 - February 2005

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  • Toronto
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she tend to underplay

she tend to underplay the "tenor" voice. But she delivers the pieces freshly and authentically, and relishes the shimmery coda, a magic feature of many nocturnes. Her "complete,. nocturne recording contains 21 examples. rather than the 19 of most others. incll1ding two seldom-played works published years after Chopin died. One of them quotes briefly from the finale of his Scond Concerto: its rhythm? - a mazurka. The cover, a fuzzy phoco of a young woman·s bare behind, is an early nominee for the 2005 Most Tasteless Cover Art Award. John Beckwith Editor's note: One hopes that the reviews in these pages not only inspire the readers to purchase recordings but also spark their musical curiousity. I'm pleased to note that writing this particular review inspired John Beckwith to return to his Chopin scores and have a go at the nocturnes himself. It's all about the music! Concert note: The Academy Concert Series presents chamber works of Chopin performed by the Trio Con Brio in a concert entitled "Chopin - Poet of Sound" at Eastminster United Chun.:h on February 19. Dedication Kathryn Tremills Independent KT OOl (www .kathryntremills.com) Kathryn Tremills is one pianist to Y11111111111111111 1 ; ; 314 Churchill Ave I Tor onto, Ontario ; ; M2R 1E7 Canada ; Tel: 416-224-1956 ; Fax: 416-224-2964 ; ; MIKROKOSMOS www.mikrokosrnos.com ; , I. ; ' ; ; We buy your classical LP ; ; ' collection . ; ; ; ; (classical, such as Beethoven, Mozart, Stockh au sen) , ; ; ; ; we travel anywh ere for good co llec tions ; ;,,,,,,,,,,,,1,1 111 51! watch these days. Her 2003 performances of the massive B-minor Sonata of Lizst have certainly put her on the map. And her debut CD has come along recently, to our great delight. Recorded· in a near-magical acoustic space, the sanctuary of Toronto:s Humbercrest United Church (why don't they have more concerts there?) on a most well-behaved Steinway D, her disc is a real charmer. Tremills launches straight into Lizst's 1857 Un sospiro, and before you have a chance to catch your breath she plays the twelfth Transce11de11tal Etude for the second track. Then Haydn's A-flat major Sonata makes for a change of pace, played with a real sense of joy. Three of Domenico Scarlatti's sonatas show the pianist's love of the early 18th-century idiom, before returning to relatively modern times with two of Schumann's works as transcribed by Liszt. The best is left for last, though: violinist Corey Gemmell joins the pianist in a truly impassioned reading of the well-known Brahms 2nd Sonata, Op.100. That alone is worth the price of admission. The engineers have done very well with the balance on that duet, better than you will find on some big internationally-known recordings. The booklet has concise, legible notes, largely written by composer and scholar Andrew Ager. The tasteful monochrome photographs, four in number, include one of Tremills actually playing an instrument. John S. Gray Debussy- Complete Piano Music Gordon Fergus-Thompson Resonance CD RSB 402 Little known on this side of the pond, the distinguished British pianist Gordon Fergus-Thompson's recordings include the complete works of Debussy, Ravel and Scriabin. His highly regarded Debussy set was recorded in 1989 at London's Wigmore Hall and is now available as a budget box set on the Sanctuary Resonance label. The piano was the nexus of Debussy's highly innovative music. He brought the instrument to a new sonic plateau, employing multi-layered harmonies whose projection demands as much attention from the performer's ear as his fingers. Appropriately pellucid textures and sensitive phrasing are the hallmarks of Fergus-Thompson's performances. Though there are undoubtedly more sensational performances of individual works on the market, the present collection maitains a consistency of approach that draws attention to the composer rather than the interpreter. Fergus-Thompson has technique to spare even in the most demanding and thunderous works such as the Douze Etudes of 1915, yet is capable of an exceptionally sensitive dynamic range in the quasi programmatic Preludes and Images cycles. The rfined interpretation of the smaller salon pieces helps to put Debussy in context, making the composer's achievement seem all the greater. The exceptionally thoughtful programme notes by Bryce Morrison are an added bonus. Mahler - Symphony No.4 Dorothea Roschmann Daniel Foley Mahler Chamber Orchestra; Daniel Harding Virgin Classics 7243 5 45665 2 3 Don't be alarmed that this Symphony is played by a "chamber orchestra". Founded by Claudio Abbado, now led by the phenomenally gifted young Daniel Harding, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra of 49 members, collected from all over the world, has all the requisite instruments except for a reduced string section and the winds nor doubled up. The very talented young instrumentalists play with exceptional virtuosity and inspiration creating . true Mahlerian "innigkeit". The recording is transparent with crystal clear textures shedding new light on the . whole score. Each instrument has a personality of its own, sometimes weird, like the grotesque, shrill birdcalls on the clarinet (1 st movement, bar 145) that (Ire positively nightmarish. WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM Perhaps Mahler's most approachable Symphony, free of the customary excesses that marred some of the others, it is exceptionally melodic, highly inventive, delicately scored (without trombones and tubas) and very inspired. There are many great moments such as in the first movement, when everything quiets down to ppp followed by the fantastic stringendo leading to the very effective.ff ending. One can only admire Harding's marvelous control of the strings in the Adagio and his superb pacing of the successive climaxes. The outburst at 315 is truly shattering followed by peace of an almost inaudible pppp. And with the sweet and expressive voice of Dorothea Roschmann, the last movement is pure musical heaven. This is a unique rendition. Of course I would not recommend it as the only recording for one's collection (that should be one with full orchestra, e.g. Szell or Barbirolli), but worth acquiring as an interesting alternative. Janos Gardonyi Mahler - Symphonies 5 and 10 (completed by Barshai) Junge Deutsche PO; Rudolf Barshai Brilliant 92205 In 1965 Columbia issued the first recording of Mahler's Tenth with Eugene Ormandy in musicologist Derek Cooke's first realization of the unfinished symphony. Simon Rattle has recorded Cooke's third version twice with the Berlin Philharmonic. Other scholars and musicologists have attempted to divine Mahler's intentions and recordings are available of scores by Remo Mazzelli Jr., Clinton A. Carpenter and by Joe Wheeler, whose work on the symphony was turned into a performing version under Mahler specialist Robert Olsen and recorded by Naxos. Leonard Bernstein, an early champion of Mahler's music, remained unconvinced by any of them, stating that the only Tenth he would ever perform would be one of his own creation. So, is Barshai's the real Mahler Tenth? No, none of them is. But Barshai's is richer than Wheeler's (which remains a favourite) and at times conveys feelings of desolation and apprehension ... the cognoscenti will have a field day. FEBRUARY 1 - MARCH 7 2005

My primary interest in this package was Barshai's Tenth, but from the very first bars of the Fifth it became obvious that this is not just another run of the familiar and well represented opus. The orchestra, not burdened with a tradition of Mahler under other conductors, respond,s without hesitation to Barshai'-s direction and we are given a fresh proclamation. a declamation. of the music. Those coming to this symphony for the first time may not realize how special this blazing performance is. Barshai doesn't linger to smell the roses but releases Mahler to speak for himself. Only at the end do we realize that this is a concert recording. The sound on both discs is exemplary in this unusual and, for Mahleri tes, irresistible package. A splendid achievement. Orff - Carmina Burana (a) Bmce Surtees Beethoven - Ninth Symphony (b) (DVD) Seiji

Volume 26 (2020- )

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