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Volume 12 - Issue 8 - May 2007

  • Text
  • Jazz
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EDITOR'S CORNER

EDITOR'S CORNER continued from page 10to these exceptional works I was left hopingthat Esprit Orchestra and the TSO mightrespectively give our local journeyman lowridersScott Irvine (tuba) and FraserJackson ( contrabassoon) the opportunity torattle our sphincters. I know that Scott hasrecently acquired (for the COC's RingCycle performances) just the rightinstrument for the task, but the liner notestell us that the contrabassoon concertorequires a very recently designed instrument that I'm not sure evenexists in Canada yet. It would be worth while to beg, borrow or stealone to hear this piece live!On a slightly different scale, but still not in the same league as themajors like Sony/BMG or Universal Music, Supraphon (distributed byGillmore Music in Canada) is the oply former Eastern Bloc musicpublisher to have maintained a number one position in its domesticmarket since the Fall of the Wall, and nas continued to measure upsuccessfully in the ever more competitive international environment.Interestingly, former CBC Records executive Jana Gonda now headsthis national label in her native Czech Republic, which she had originallyfled after the Soviet invasion in 1968. Supraphon's extensive catalogueincludes a wealth of archival material, but also features many newrecordings by outstanding Czech artists, such as the Panocha Quartet.Founded in 1968, the ensemble came to international attention as thelaureates of the 1975 Prague Spring.International String QuartetCompetition. Since that time they havebeen frequent visitors to Canada and theUSA and have performed extensivelythroughout Europe and the Middle East.Their discography for Supraphoncomprises eight CDs which include thecomplete chamber works of Dvorak,works by Smetana, Fibich and Schubert,and most recently, string quartets by JosefSuk and Maurice Ravel (SU-3955-2).The lesser-known work by Suk holds its own in the illustrious companyof Ravel's gem and is given a loving performance by the Panocha.Composed a few years before the Ravel in 1896, Suk's quartet showssome of the same sensibilities - late Romantic bordering onImpressionism - while acknowledging the influence of mentors Dvorak(his father-in-law) and Brahms. The disc offers the option of selectingan alternate finale movement composed in 1915, and the Meditation onan Old Czech Hymn "St. Wenceslas ": For me the Ravel is always likevisiting an old friend and the Panocha give us as fine a performance aswe would hope for. Of particular note is the sprightly tempo in theAssez vif second movement and the emotional tension of the Tres lentthird. All in all this is a welcome addition to the catalogue. Concertnote: The Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society presentsQuebec City's Cartier Quartet performing the Ravel as part ofQuartetFest on June 4.We welcome your feedback and invite submissions. Catalogues, reviewcopies of CDs and comments should be sent to: The WholeNot~, 503 -720 Bathurst St. Toronto ON M5S 2R4. We also welcome your mputvia our website, www.thewholenote.com.David OldsEditor, D/SCoveriesdiscoveries@thewholenote.com'fohil\( ;,,.;,,,,,,~ .;,,TJ:t>.'xit•l"llliUllllanril;:~•·IJ.r.i« ·i::l'!'Sd11l

to, sort of, run the show and save the world (with a little help from her fellowteachers and students)! The formidable electroacoustic, instrumental and vocalscore, libretto and direction of Gian Carlo Menotti! Yes, this is outrageous,but it is opera after all.:.TiinaKiikExtaseMeasha Brueggergosman; Orchestresymphonique de Quebec; Yoav TalmiCBC Records SMCD 5236If you want to hear why Measha Brueggergosmanhas quickly become one of Canada'smost. exciting singers, look no further than thisrecording of works of Berlioz and Massenet.Recorded in 2004 but only recently released, itfinds the soprano in superb voice, singing repertoire which suits her perfectly.Berlioz's song cycle Les Nuits d'ete lies somewhere between the·soprano and mezzo range, and Brueggergosman 's voluptuous middle rangeis heard to excellent effect here. She carefully balances the exuberanceof the first and last movements with the introverted, yearning qualities ofthe inner ones. Yet she always pay·s careful attention to diction and thetext. Many singers have recorded these songs, and in a crowded field,Brueggergosman 's sensitive readings stand up against the best ...· Seth EstrinThe Berlin Concert - Live from the"Waldbuhne"Placido Domingo; Anna Netrebko;Rolando VillazonOrchestra of the Deutchen Oper, Berlin;Marco ArmiliatoDeutsche GrammophQn DVD 073 4302... Perhaps hoping to replicate the Three Tenorsphenomenon, Deutsche Grammophon has issuedan exceptional concert recorded live at the BerlinWaldbuhne on July 7, 2006 and I must say thatthis is the most outstanding event of its kind ever made available on DVD.The concert consists of songs, arias, duets, and trios of solidly popularrepertoire. Sometimes a soloist, or two or three, goes 'over the top' butwho would not be swept along by the sense of occasion ...Bruce SurteesCarmen UnzippedJean Stilwell; Patti LoachIndependentCanada's most beloved and sexiest "Carmen"has just released an album that, while includingthe most famous aria from Bizet's opera(Habenera), focuses on non-operatic farewhich nonetheless retains a sense of that character'sunbridled "liberte". For this album, followingon the heels of sold-out "Unzipped" cabaret performances forTapestry New Opera Works at the Distillery District, the gYJM>y/mez;zoJean Stilwell and pianist and famous Beaches 'bluestocking' Patti Loachprovide a travel map of adventure and misadventure in love ..., Dianne WellsConcert note: Jean Stilwell is featured along with Patricia O'Callaghanand Theresa Tova in Tapestry's "3 Divas" at the Distillery May 26-27.EARLY MUSIC AND PERIOD PERFORMANCRise, 0 My Soul - English Anthems· Studio de musique ancienne de Montreal;Consort des Voix humaines; ChristopherJacksonATMA ACD2 '2506An anthem, at its most basic defilrition, is a compositionto an English non-liturgical religious textsung in the context of anAnglican service. ChristopherJackson's new album, "Rise, 0 my soul" restricts itself to verseanthems of the Elizabethan period, composed between 1600 and 1640.Jackson's three-decade reign as a leading force in early Baroque choral/organ music has culminated in a seamlessly curated anthology. The musicis peerlessly performed by the 16-voice Studio de Musique Ancienne deMontreal (SMAM) accompanied deftly by the Consort Des Voix Humaines- a highly respected 5 viols and organ ensemble in its own right. ..Heidi McKenzieMusic & Sweet ,Poetry AgreeMatthew WhiteAnalekta AN 2 9918The smooth liquid sound of Matthew Whitebrings a repertpire of 16th and 17th centuryEnglish music by, among others, Dowland,Campion, Morley, Wilbye, Byrd, Locke andPurcell. While much of this music is similar inquality, the singing is sweet, sensitive, beautifullyin tune, and born of innate musicality. Equally charming are the variouscombinations ofrecorders, viols, cornetti and sackbuts, accompanyingand providing tonal variety. The brass are particularly articulate andstylish, especially in Matthew Locke's Suite in D minor. ..Frank NakashimaMondonville - Pieces de Clavecinavec voix ou violon, Op.5Luc Beausejour; Shannon Mercer;Helene PlouffeAnalekta AN 2 9920This disc of sacred psalm texts and violin sonatascombines three of Quebec's· biggest claimsto fame - Shannon Mercer, soprano;' LucBeausejour, harpsichord and Helene Plouffe, violin:The.three of them seem to work together with ease and companionship,,which makes the recording a pleasure to hear. Mondonville's sacred worksare markedly exquisite and they paint a picture of the French Baroque that isnot soon to be forgotten. Beausejour plays with his usual confidence andassurance of style, which lends a feeling of accomplishment to every work ...Ga~riel/e McL'!'ughlinCLASSICAL AND BEYONDOffenbach - RomantiqueJerome Pernoo; Les Musiciensdu Louvre; Marc MinkowskiArchiv Produktion 4476403This recording should perhaps be renamed "Theforgotten Offenbach" or even "Offenbach rediscovered".Anyone expecting delicious tidbits fromOffenbach's famous operettas will be disappointed.Esteemed French conductor Marc Minkowski,who formed his Les Musiciens du Louvre period instrument ensemble in1982 to perform Baroque and Classical repertoire, has branched out toembrace the Romantic era and one of his favourite composers, Offenbach... The centerpiece is the premiere recording of the composer's recentlyunearthed Cello Concerto "Militaire", which took painstaking detectivework to assemble by music historian Jean-Christophe Keck ...Janos GardonyiProkofiev - Debµssy - WagnerMarina Piccinini; Adreas HaefligerAvie AV 2087Opera FantaisieLeslie Newman; John LenehanIndependent· F-LN0601WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM · 63

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