8 years ago

Volume 13 - Issue 6 - March 2008


EDITOR'S CORNER by David OldsWhile editing this month's reviews I noticed that the Modern andContemporary section had just one entry - the CMC CanadianComposer Portrait of Alcides Lanza as critiqued by RichardHaskell. Surprised by this under-representation of living composersin the current issue, I decided to use the upcoming 2008 JUNOAwards as an excuse to highlight some of our finest creators whowill be in the public eye in the coming weeks. All of the nominees inthe category of "Best Classical Composition" have been covered inthese pages over the past year, as you will see from the followingexcerpts from previously published WholeNote reviews.Brian Current - This Isn't SilenceVarious artistsCentrediscs CMCCD 12607Wallace Halladay, July 2007: "Brian Currentis quickly becoming one of Canada's mostaccomplished young composers, and thisdisc of orchestral music is a testament to hispopularity across the country.[ ... ] Bestknown for his use of'slanted time ' - a stateof continuously changing tempo - the techniquepermeates every work on this disc. Performed here by the WinnipegSymphony, [ ... ] in This lsn 't Silence, Current juxtaposes the orderedclatter ofLachenmann with the austere tonality of Shostakovich.[ ... ] Brian Current's craft is mature; he is able to achieve a synaesthesiawith his palette of colours. Reminiscent ofa young Ligeti, there isunrelenting activity in Current's orchestrations; combined with his notionof 'slanted time', the listener is provided with a continuously exhilaratingjourney."Christos Hatzis - ConstantinoplePatricia O'Callaghan; MaryemHassan Tollar; Gryphon TrioAnalekta AN 2 9925Heidi McKenzie, July 2007: "ChristosHatzis says that he 's not a religious man.Not in the sense that conjures societal stereotypes.Yes, he was raised Greek Orthodox,and his upbringing has marked him indelibly.[In Constantinople] the texts are a composite of Greek and SerbianOrthodox chants to 12th c. Egyptian and I 9th c. Byzantine poetry. Theoverarching theme is death and resurrection. However, Hatzis' musicand his mind transcend conventional barriers. Elements ofurban gospel,parlour music and tango with plain chant are interlaced with traditionalwestern and eastern tones.[ ... ] The hauntingly ethereal voices of bothConstantinople s soloists, Patricia O 'Callaghan and Maryem Tollar, aredeftly supported and enveloped by Toronto's Gryphon Trio, who commissionedthe work. The added impact of audio electroacoustics somehowbinds the disparate pieces and pulls the whole together. Hatzis is awell-known advocate ofborderless music - if this is the direction ofspiritual music in the 21 st century, I say, bring it on!" Concert notes:The Gryphon Trio will premiere a new work by Canadian composerMarjan Mozetich at Music Toronto on March 4. Maryem To liar is oneof the featured guests with Tafelmusik's "In the Garden of EarthlyDelights" at Trinity-St. Paul 's March 6 - 9.Oskar Morawetz - A Child's Cry from lzieuJasper Wood; David RileyCentrediscs CMCCD 12807Larry Beckwith, December 2007: "This disc contains five intense piecesfrom the pen of one of Canada's most significant and celebratedcomposers of the last half of the 20th century- Oskar Morawetz (1917-2007). [ ... ] AChild's Cry from /zieu [ ... ] was inspired bya heartbreaking " letter to God" written by theI I-year old Liliane Gerenstein, a Jewish orphanfrom the French town of Lizieu whowas shipped to Auschwitz and eventuallyperished. Morawetz wrote the piece in 1987and never heard a public performance of it.It's a very strong work, mixing grandeur and tragic sense with playfulmotifs clearly suggesting Gerenstein's innocence and lost promise. Theperformances from Wood and Riley are ofa very high standard, full ofdrama and expressiveness. Wood especially is to be applauded for hisdevotion to contemporary Canadian music. He throws himself intothese performances and makes this a very exciting and passionaterecording.Jeffrey Ryan - Quantum MechanicsVarious artistsCentrediscs CMCCD 12206David Olds, June 2007: "Jeffrey Ryan hasbeen Music Toronto's composer-advisor forthe past I O years, ever since manager JenniferTaylor launched MT's ContemporaryClassics series, and he is also currently thecomposer in residence with the VancouverSymphony Orchestra. The CD presentsdiverse sides of Ryan,[ ... ] but the highlight for me is the very successfulQuantum Mechanics, a work first " read" by the Arditti StringQuartet in Ottawa at the inaugural Strings of the Future Festival in1997 and since given concert performances by six different ensembles.It is recorded here by Scott St. John, Annalee Patipatanakoon, DavidHarding and Roman Borys, all long-time colleagues of Ryan's fromtheir association with Music Toronto." Concert note: Jeffrey Ryanserved as an affiliate composer to the Toronto Symphony for two seasonsand the TSO's New Creations Festival on April 12 will feature hisConcerto for Piano Trio and Orchestra with guest artists the GryphonTrio.R. Murray Schafer - Letters from MignonEleanor James; Esprit Orchestra; Alex PaukATMA ACD2 2553Andrew Timar, June 2007: "Letters fromMignon[ ... ] reveal[s] Canadian composerR. Murray Schafer at the top of his dramaticform. Almost operatic in emotional intensityand in their beautifully nuanced orchestration,these songs belong in the first tier of thegenre, and the Esprit Orchestra under thedirection of Alex Pauk illuminates the score,serving to highlight the darkly rich and passionatevoice of the dramatic mezzo, Eleanor James. The cover photosand liner notes make clear the romantic context of the songs, involvingthe composer and singer. [ ... J The (post)Romantic sound-world ofGustav Mahler and even Alban Berg wells up in the orchestra, despitethe predominantly modernist musical language ... R. Murray Schaferhas established a formidable body of compositions which have earnedhim international honours and set him at the forefront of the ranks ofCanadian composers."You can find a complete list of nominees in all the JUNO categoriesat We will not know the JUNO results atthe time we go to press with our next issue, but you can watch theceremonies live on CTV on Sunday April 6.We welcome your feedback and invite submissions. CDs and commentsshould be sent to: The WholeNote, 503 - 720 Bathurst St.Toronto ON M5S 2R4. We also welcome your input via e-mail.David Olds, D/SCoveries Editor:discoveries@thewholenote.comM ORE R EVIEWS ON PAGE 628 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM MARCH 1 - APRIL 7 2008

3,9~="""'~~~~ BRENTANOQUARTETTh. Oct. 16TOKYOQUARTETTh. Jan. 22i~A...._ 4KELLERQUARTETTh. Oct. 30PRAZAKQUARTETTh. Mar. 5with Roger Tapping, violaGRYPHON TRIOTh. Nov. 6ST. LAWRENCEQUARTETTh.Apr. 2with Barry Shiffinanand Marina HooverMIAMIQUARTETTh. Dec. 4TOKYOQUARTETTh. Apr. 30CONTEMPORARY CLASSICS PIANO 5, 0ALEXANDRETHARAUDTu. Oct. 21MARC-ANDREHAMELINTu. Nov. 11BARRY DOUGLASTu. Jan. 27DISCOVERY EVEEGOYANTu. Dec. 9MARKUS GROHTu. Apr. 7KELLERQUARTETTh. Oct. 30EVEEGO YANTu. Dec. 9DARRETTZUSKOpianistTh. Jan. 15DARRETTZUSKOCECILIAQUARTETpianist Th. Feb. 5Th. Jan. 15DAVIDPOMEROYtenorTh. Mar. 12Full season of 16 concerts 6, 7Other combinations availableat Jane Mallett Theatre 416-366-7723 -1-800-708-6754 order on1ine at www.stlc.comSt LAWRENCE (ENTRE "OBARTS torontdartsbouncil 1-*-I Ca".'d;an Patr;mo;ne lilfe, CanadaCounc;i Consell des Arts ,qi. ONTARIOARTSCOUNCIL• THt .-.~a,m·s1topt1>bodyolthaC,tvofTo,omo T Heritage canadlen ~ for the Arts du Canada 7-\ CONSEJLDESARTS OCL°ONTARIO

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