8 years ago

Volume 13 - Issue 5 - February 2008


DIS'EDITOR'S CORNER: February 2008 by David OldsThe Glenn Gould Foundation has designated2008 as The Year of Glenn Gould. While mostof Go uld's Columbia recordings have stayed inthe catalogue throughout the years, and all arecurrently available in the 80 CD "CompleteOriginal Jacket Collection" and the 70 CD, 8box "Glenn Gou ld Edition" from Sony Classical,the world's seemingly insatiable interest inCanada's most famous eccentric has resultedin the commercial release of virtually every bitof archival material available. Recent additionsto the Glenn Gould discography include the 6CD set "The Young Maverick" (CBCRecords PSCD20306) including CBC radioperformances from the three years precedinghis signing with Columbiain 1955, and"The Radio Artist"(CBC RecordsPSCD20315) whichbrings together fivehour-long radio documentarieswhichGould "composed" forthe CBC. Highlights _o.;..;.; _______ .,of the mono piano discs include a 1954 performance of Bach's Goldberg Variations andthe Concerto in D Minor with the strings of theToronto Symphony under Sir Ernest MacMillan'sdirection, a number of Beethoven sonatas,and live performances of his first andsecond piano concertos again with the TSOand MacMillan, and the "Ghost" piano trio withAlexander Schneider and Zara Nelsova. Thefinal CD features Schoenberg's Piano Concertowith the CBC Radio Symphony and Jean­Marie Beaudet and solo pieces by Schoenberg,Webern and Berg. "The Radio Artist" includesthe three famous documentaries that exemplifyGould's "contrapuntal" approach, busily interweavingthe voices of the participants in an attimes cacophonous collage - "The Idea ofNorth", "The Latecomers" and "The Quiet inthe Land" - along with more straight-forwardportraits of Pablo Casals and LeopoldStokowski.While these archivalcollections add to ourappreciation of themastery and maturityof the young pianist(Gould was 20 yearsold in the earliest ofthe recordings) andof the technologicalvisionary who gave up public performance toconcentrate on the magic of the recordingstudio to realize not only his vision of howmusic should be heard, but also to "compose"his ground-breaking documentaries. It is these10latter which inspired Gould biographerMichael Stegemann to create "The GlennGou Id Trilogy - A Life" (Sony Classical88697130642), including "The Idea of Music",'The Drop-Out" and "The Quiet in the Studio".Produced for Germanradio WDR-3 inCologne, this outstandingthree-partdocumentary combinesGould's words,in his own voice andthat ofTom Zahnerwho portrays Gould ~ -------~1:,W.1much in the sameway as Colm Feore did in "Thirty-two ShortFilms ... ", with performance excerpts, biographicalinformation and musicological insightsin a most extraordinary fashion. Theslightly risque interaction between Gould andnarrator Leslie Malton, who in imaginary dialoguestakes Gould to task on numerous subjectsand doesn't put up with much of his nonsense,is both intriguing and exhilarating. This3-CD talking book is an entertaining andthought provoking addition to the Gould canonand I highly recommend it.A number of other discs to come my wayrecently also feature some very fine localperformers. First is the latest addition to thediscography of the ARC Ensemble (Associatesof the Royal Conservatory) with "RightThrough the Bone" (RCA Red Seal88697-15837-2) featuring chamber music byJulius Rontgen. Previously unknown to me isthis Leipzig-borncomposer(l855 -1932) who spent hisprofessional careerin The Netherlandswhere he co-foundedthe Amsterdam Conservatoryof Musicand whose lastinglegacy includes"Gaudeamus", a large house with a "floating"music room bui lt for him by one of his sons,which later became the home of the "Gaudeamus-Foundation",an organization establishedfor the promotion of Dutch modern music afterthe Second World War. The title of the disc istaken from a quote by Edvard Grieg: "JuliusRontgen may not be as famous as his cousinConrad (the pioneer of radiography) but hismusic is more powerful than X-Rays. It goesright through the bone." Listening to the discbefore reading the liner notes I mistakenlyassumed the composer to be Norwegian andbel ieved l could hear depictions of the Scandinaviancountryside a la Grieg and also tracesWWW. THEWHO LENOTE.COMof Smetana and Dvorak's beloved Czech landscape.All the works recorded here were writtenbetween 1921 and 1931 , although styl isticallythey could easily pre-date the turn of thecentury. Joaquin Valdepefias shines in thecharming Trio for clarinet, viola and piano withSteven Dann and David Louie. Dann is featuredwith Dianne Werner in the occasionallydarker Sonata for viola and piano, but thehighlights for me are the Quintet for piano andstrings, where Louie and Dann are joined byviolinists Erika Raum and Marie Berard andcellist Bryan Epperson, with its gently hauntingopening theme which returns in the final movement,and the lush String Sextet which addsviolist YosefTamir and cellist David Hetheringtonto the strings mentioned above. Youwouldn' t know from this warm pastoral musicthat at the same time he was writing theseworks Rontgen was teaching analysis classesin the music of Hindemith, Stravinsky andSchoenberg. Recorded at The Living ArtsCentre in Mississauga last April, the sound isas excellent as the playing.Canadian composer Andrew Paul MacDonald'sextensive output ranges from vocal settingsto large orchestral works and he receivedthe 1995 JUNO Award for Best ClassicalComposition for his Violin Concerto. LikeRontgen, MacDonald's music is not necessarilyof its time - no envelopes are being pushedhere - but also like Rontgen's it is very wellcrafted and has a personal, expressive voice."The Winds of Thera" (Centrediscs CM­CCD 12407) is the latest CD devoted toMacDonald's workand it was releasedby the CanadianMusic Centre justbefore Christmas. Itfeatures accordion istJoseph Petric,oboist NormandForget and thePenderecki StringQuartet performing works written especiallyfor them. Commissioned by Petric, the 1997title piece successfully balances the free-bassaccordion with string quartet and exploits therange of colours available to these "be! lowsand bows". Petric and Forget, who performfrequently as a duo, are featured in the on lypiece which doesn't involve strings, Primavera(after Botticelli) a somewhat angular andexpressive work involving extended techniqueswritten for the duo's 2006 summer to ur ofNova Scotia. The Penderecki's Jeremy Belland Christine Vlajk are featured in Hymenaeus,a wedding processional and dance for violinand viola. Acting as a book-end to the work foraccordion and strings with which the discbegins, Pythikos nomos dating from one yearearlier, is a quintet for oboe and strings. Mac­Donald requires the oboist to double on Englishhorn and oboe d'amore. Again colouration is akey factor and I love these sonorities whichremind me ofone ofmy favo urite miniatures,CONTINUES PAGE TW ELVEF EBRUARY 1 - M AR C H 7 2008

geGlennGo1.1ldStudioSunday, February 24, 2008 8:00 P.M.FrancophoniaNadina Mackie Jackson, bassoon & Guy Few, trumpetLongtime friends and colleagues from Quebec and Ontario join forces to compose,conduct and perform powerful new works for solo trumpet and solo bassoon withorchestra. Featuring, "Chronicles", a new double concerto by Alain Trudel and soloworks by Mathieu Lussier, this concert covers a vast palette of French colour andvirtuosity, from the coruscating chords of Debussy, fauvist colours of Jolivet to thelatin warmth of Lussier and insightful musical intelligence of Trudel. A rare andthrilling opportunity to hear two of the finest wind soloists in company with harp soloistErica Goodman and the Toronto Chamber Orchestra conducted by Alain Trudel.Thursday, February 28, 2008 8:00 P.M.David Rudder's Calypso JourneyWith Lord Superior & Drew GonsalvesRolling Stone proclaimed Toronto-based David Rudder as "a Trinidad national heroon the order of Marley in Jamaica, Fela in Nigeria and Springsteen in New Jersey"This three-time calypso monarch invites Trinidad's calypso legend Lord Superior andToronto's youthful calypsonian Drew Gonsalves to Glenn Gould Studio. Join threegenerations of performers as they reveal the hypnotic rhythms and power of thecalypso lyric, uncovering the roots of modern day soca, reggae, hip hop and rap.Tuesday, March 25, 2008 8:00 P.M.Toca Loca - the P*P ProjectGregory Oh, Aiyun Huang &Simon DockingWhen P*P meets pr*per, the only thing that becomes clear is that some boundariesare anything but! Listen to Toca Loca, the hardest hitting ensemble in Canada, asthey play a program of entirely new songs written especially for them. The cuttingedgeof Canada's composers write P*P influenced work, the all-stars of jazz throwtheir hats in the ring, and some of Canada's most interesting indie-rockers flex theircontemporary music chops.•111•For complete details visit 9· . 9 , .1. FMTickets ( adult I student/seniors) can be purchased in the following ways:• In Person by visiting the Glenn Gould Studio Box Office,at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front St. West, Toronto,during regular hours, 2:00 - 6:30 p.m., Mon-Sat. (except holidays)• By Phone: (416) 205-5555 or By Fax: (416) 205-5551• By Mail: Glenn Gould Studio Box Office,250 Front St. West., Toronto, ON, M5V 3G5• By Internet: visit oneGlenn Gould Studio, Canadian Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front St. West, TorontoF EBRUAR Yl - M ARCH 7 2008 W WW.TH EW HOLENOTE. CO M 11

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