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Volume 13 - Issue 3 - November 2007

DUBEAU'S LA PIETA:Little

DUBEAU'S LA PIETA:Little Moments of BonheurBY MJ BUELLA little girl after a school performancesasked: "MadameDubeau ... the fireman will putwater on afire. And a doctor willbring help to a sick person, theteacher teaches us ... what does amusician do?""Mon dieu, I thought to myself,what kind of a question is that?"Dubeau at 7 would have had thegood fortune just to know."A musician, " she replied, isthere to bring little moments ofjoy to people. "Angele Dubeau at the New Classical96. 3 fm launch party in September.Angele Dubeau's achievements reflect a determined, ambitiousascendancy: a solo career studded with successful recordings, a decadehosting Radio-Canada broadcasts, a thriving summer festival(Music in the Mountains). She's a Member of the Order of Canada,recipient of the Calixa-Lavallee award, a Knight of the Ordre Nationaldu Quebec.The underpinnings of that independence and drive, captured inOctober's Music's Children photo, are her experiences of sharedmusic, from a very young age, reflected in her adult life by La Pieta- her string ensemble, whose constancy, like a sparkling constellationin the Dubeau universe, is being celebrated by a lOth anniversary tourand a new CD, Une Conte des fees - Fairy Tale (Analekta).Angele says that while a little child is discovering an instrument, ifmorn and dad are happy, and the teacher is happy, the child is happytoo. I remember kissing goodnight my violin and putting a little blanketon it, at 4 or 5 ...But by age 8 or 10 music-making has to be shared to thrive. Youneed to find a reason ... why do you play? You understand this whenyou play with others, and ultimately you bring this to the audience.What a beautiful way of living ... bringing these little moments ofbonheur.That photo was taken at a group lesson: not an unusual thing today,but in 1969 the Suzuki method was radical and new. As a child youdevelop a taste for making music by seeing others your age also playingmusic, sharing music, then going outside to play ball and eatchips. It's very social and seriously important. Jean Cousineau 'sapproach put in each child this little spark that would grow with them:that music is fun to listen, to share, to do.Sharing continued with L'Orchestre des jeunes de Joliette and withsummers at music camps. I remember crying when my parents cameto pick me up. We all wanted to stay there, making an orchestra,making chamber music, singing, having swimming and sports.Fast forward to 1997.As a soloist on the road, and when you are alone practising ... the solitudeis sometimes heavy to bear. You have to remember what you getfrom other musicians and the audience, for the answer why you do this.In 1997, Angele Dubeau created La Pieta for an all-Vivaldi recordingfor an ensemble of 12. Determined they would perform withouta conductor, imagining who to work with, the first who came tomind was a woman, as it happened, and the second and third. By thetime the ensemble, named for the Venetian girls' orphanage (Vivaldi's music school), was half-formed, the concept was irresistible -inspired also by Jean Diwo's acclaimed novel "Les Violons du roi" .The women in La Pieta share not only their musicality, but a commonhuman quality.When we look to the world, it goes so fast. The little moments ofsoftness we bring with the music: everybody needs those in their life.What we say is, "here is the music. Without prejudging, open yourheart and it will bring you somewhere".FOR Music's CHILDREN, PLEASE SEE PAGE 23EDITOR'S CORNER by David Olds will returnOur CD editor takes break for the month (recharging his batteriesfor the Christmas onslaught?).In his stead (tipping a hat to Opera Atelier's current landmarkToronto production of the work), PIDL EHRENSAFT takes a look at IIritorno di Ulysse in Patria, as an expression ofThoroughly modern MonteverdiThe birthplace of the modern market-driven world economy was theItalian peninsula' s Renaissance era commercial city-states. And thequeen of these was Venice. In 1567, when Claudio Monteverdi wasborn in Cremona, Venice was the primary intermediary in the tradebetween Europe and Asia, and the primary musical centre of theWestern world - a 16th century New York, London, and Paris rolledup into one.By the time that Monteverdi died in 1643,after a three decade stint as the maestro decappela at Venice's Basillica di San Marco,Venice had ceded its commercial supremacyto Amsterdam. The centre of gravity shiftedfrom the Mediterranean basin to the NorthAtlantic. Dutch vessels dominated the seas.Amsterdam became the centre of scienceand art. Venice , on the other hand, retainedits predominant musical role during the seventeenthcentury, the central plank in thecreation of modern opera as we know it.While the first operatic ventureswere in the patrician salonsand courts of Florence, Venetiansextended these via the firstcommercial opera theatres, beginningin 1637 with Teatro SanCassiano. Nine other Venetianopera houses were establishedduring the seventeenth century,attracting musicians and audiencesfrom all over Europe.Impresarios, investors, professionalopera companies, boomingbox seat sales, and individualground floor tickets drove Venice'sopera scene. Much of the capitalcame from nobles , but the demandsfor elaborate staging andeffects came from the new payingaudience. As Patrick Barbierobserves: "There lay the two-foldgenius of Venice: that of havingtransformed a luxury product parexcellence into a commercialproduct accessible to the generalpublic; ... [and daring to imagine]that social classes as far apart asprinces and ordinary people couldbe together in the same place andexperience the same emotions ...watching one single spectacle. "Monteverdi, the grand doyen ofVenetian music, gave the newcommercial scene a big boost withhis final two operas, II Ritorno diUlysse in Patria (1641) andL 'incoronazione di Poppea(1643). Both rarrk among thefinest works in the four-centuryhistory of modern opera. Theyare the culmination of Monteverdi'smusical genius .Il ritorno, continuing its OperaAtelier Toronto run November 1-3,is superbly represented on DVD aspart of the Nikolaus Harnoncourt/Jean-Pierre Ponnelle productionsof Monteverdi's three extantoperas, L 'Orjeo (1607) plus IIritorno and L 'Incoronzione. All arelandmarks of opera on film . Ponnelle,called "the father of theopera film" was both a theatredirector and master film maker.The Monteverdi trilogy was shoton 35 mm film at the OpernhausZurich between 1978 and 1980. Itis available on finely masteredDeutsche Grammophon DVDs.Harnoncourt, as one of thepioneering conductors of earlymusic on period instruments, hadsome difficult musical choices.There is no surviving score of anyof Monteverdi's operas in his ownhand. Each practical edition stirsup a scholarly storm. As HaroldSchonberg aptly explains, "Thereare problems deciding what Monteverdi'sdirections really meant,what his orchestra really was. "CONTINUES ON PAGE 5510 W WW . THEWHO LENOTE. COM N OVEMBE R1 - D EC EMBE R 7 200 7Back to Ad Index

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