8 years ago

Volume 12 - Issue 5 - February 2007

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  • February
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to disappoint me, which

to disappoint me, which would speed tions for the four principals, it hasup my laundry-folding.made its way into the hearts of au-But Simon Keenlyside (as Orfeo) diences and never left the stage. Incame on stage and seemed actually addition, the tenor lead has been aable and willing to move his body. I fa~ourite of such greats as Caruso,was starting to suspect that this might Gigli, Tagliavini and a good production. Keenlyside This new DVD is a welcomeadwasin fact jumping through the air dition to L 'Elisir 's already plentij'ulwhile singing and intc;racting with video library. Its chief attraction isthe modern dancers.·C

CLASSICALAND BEYONDSchumann-String Quartets Nos. 1 - 3Fine Arts QuartetNaxos 8.570151Schumann-The 3 String QuartetsQuatuor TerpsycordesClaves 50-2404 ·The three Op.41 quartets werewritten in June and July of 1842,and although Schumann spent severalmonths studying the quartetsof Beethoven, Haydn and Mozartin preparation, the one voice thatjumps out at the listener, particularlyin the scherzo movements, isthat of Mendelssohn, for whom theworks were privately performed. inSeptember 1842 and to whom theywere de9icated on their publicationthe following year,In a recent WholeNote CD reviewoftwo of these quartets arranged orchestra, Larry Beckwithnoted "the combination of elegance,anguish, poignancy aad a sense offoreboding" that runs through thepieces . The joyous side of Schumann'snature is also here, however,and in none of his other chambercompositions does he seem to bemore at ease in the Classical idiomthan in these quartets . .The Naxos disc is a new recordingby a quartet founded in 1946,while the full-price release on theSwiss classical label Claves featuresthe 2004 debut recording by the youngquartet that won the 56th Geneva InternationalCompetitio~ in 2001.The Fine Arts Quartet plays withthe full-blooded Romantic warmththat one would expect from an en­.semble where three of the membershave been with the quartet forat least 25 years, but the QuatuorTerpsycordes, with a thoughtfulapproach that at times possibly borderson the cautious, is no lesscommitted to the search for theemotional heart of the music.The performance differencesare not great, and are most notice-FEBRUARY 1 - MARCH 7 2007able in the Scherzo and Prestb composers but his compositions aremovements, where the crispness performed so movingly here that noand sharper definition of t)1e Fine modem day interruptions such asArts' playing make for more clar-. ringing telephones or boiling kettlesity, rhythmic impetus, and sheer could entice me to stop listening. Alldrive; · their ending of the Op.44 three Piano Quartets are performedNo.1 in particular makes the with precision, subtle nuance,. andTerpsycordes' sound .quite casual exceptional balance. The interplayin comparison.between the instrumentalists is especiallynoteworthy - there is care­The recording quality is excellenton both CDs, with a warm, natural ful listening taking place here thatsound and any audible breathing from makes each quartet a moving experience.The· two-CD release isthe players (more .noticeable on theClaves disc) kept to a minimum. rounded out by Three Intermezzi Op.All in all, two excellent CDs of 117 for solo piano - Hamelin's performanceof especially the Andanteworks which should be much better-knownthan they are, with the moderato proves that he is just as atlow Naxos budget price making the ·home with iyrical passages as withFine Arts disc a must for any seriouslover of string quartet music release for both Brahms and Hame­technically difficult ones. Here is aas well as a rewarding buy for the lin fans alike. "Brahms -The Pianomerely curious.Quartets" \viii hold a special placeTerry Robbins in my collection.Concert note: Music Torontopresents the Fine Arts Quartet performingMozart, Shostakovich andMendelssohn on February 8.Brahms - The Piano QuartetsLeopold String Trio;Marc-Andre HamelinHyperion CDA67471/2It's All About the MusicMarc-Andre HamelinHyperion DVDA68000Montreal native and U.S. based pianistMarc-Andre Hamelin wasawarded the honours of Officer ofthe Order of Canada and Chevalierde l'Ordre National du Quebec in2005 . These are well-earned accoladesfor the Canadian virtuosowhose amazing technique, musicalityand intellect have rocketed himto the international concert and recital'stage. He is equally at home insolo performance and in an ensemblesetting as seen in these two releases.. .Hamelin and the Leopold StringTrio (comprised of violinist MarianneThorsen, violist Lawrence Powerand cellist Kate Gould) prove theirphenomenal musicianship in"Brahms - The Piano Quartets".Brahms is not one of my favouritestage. This is an excellent film of aconcert - each scene has been eqitedto provide a different vantagepoint from 0 ~--'WWW. THEWHOLENOTE~COM 63~T

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