8 years ago

Volume 14 - Issue 1 - September 2008

narrator with soloists;

narrator with soloists; a shattering experienceof Margaret Atwood's nearly brutalpoetry, linked with Corl is' masterful writing.It is twenty-five of the most intense minutesof listening you arelikely to experience.The DaCapo ChamberChoir is in topform . Gaps betweenthe tracks areshort on this disc,adding to the ambig- _uous suggestion that ".::'!:::"these works mightbe considered partof a diverse suite. Following the choral poemwith the angst-filled chamber piece WesternProjections seems the right step. ViolinistJerzy Kaplanek exhibits his glassy tone, notably.Two musicians in this project contributetheir own pieces to end the disc: PianistHeather Dawn Taves' As Through a GlassDarkly, for tenor (Brandon Leis) and piano,with words by poet G. Victor Toews. ConductorLeonard Enns has the last word withhis Cello Sonata. Cellist Ben Bolt-Martinshines in this, a work written for him .Engineers Earl McCluskie and Ed Marshallhave brilliantly captured the sound of St.George' s Church, Guelph, and MaureenForrester Hall in Waterloo. Warm acousticsbestow a rich benediction on the project.John S. GrayJohn Antill - CorroboreeNew Zealand Symphony Orchestra; JamesJuddNaxos 8.570241A corroboree is aceremonial happeningin which AustralianAboriginesdepict their origins,folklore and currentevents including thestylised mimickingof their reveredJ.,tn\Ill Ifauna . Performed in the evening by firelight,it is enjoyed by performers and viewersalike. Unspoiled until after 1770, the Aborigineswere, from a colonial perspective, themost primitive, na'ive people in the world.They did not have the wheel. But they didhave rhythm.Antill witnessed a real corroboree as ayoungster in 1913 which drove him to an indepthstudy of Aboriginal music . He emulatedthe atmosphere and sounds of the originals inthe music of his ballet completed in 1944.Consider the scoring which, in addition to theusual complement of strings, winds, brassand percussion, uniquely calls for this collection:xylophone, vibraphone, bass drum, thorasticks (two hardwood sticks struck together),2 cymbals, 2 gongs, triangle, tambourine,snare drum, slap stick, ratchet, tom tom,woodblock, sleigh bells, castanets, sandblocks, Chinese temple blocks, thunder sheet,and, of course, a bullroarer. The bullroarer,as we all know, is a cigar shaped flat piece ofwood attached at one end to a two strandedchord. It is whirled above the head whichcauses it to twist and make the deep, unnervingwhirring sound clearly heard in the orgiasticfinale of this extraordinary work.A suite from Corroboree was first performedon August 17, 1946 at a free Sundaymatinee concert by The Sydney SymphonyOrchestra conducted by newly arrived SirEugene Goossens. Goossens introduced LeSacre du Printemps to Australia in the sameseason. Corroboree was an immediate hit butit was not until December 1960 that a suitewas recorded by Goossens and the Orchestra(now reissued on Dutton CDBP9779). Goossenstook the score to Europe and made arecording of the suite for Everest, still availableon CD (EVC9007 or DVDA1029).This stunning new CD from Naxos, whichalso boasts the first recording of the exuberantOutback Overture, is the only completeperformance of Corroboree available. EMIAustralia's 1977 CD of the ABC's recordingconducted by John Lanchbery is in the nevernever.There are seven parts, opening withthe Welcome Ceremony (Witchetty Grub menassisted by members of the Emu Totem) andclosing with the propulsive Procession ofTotems and Closing Fire Ceremony (in whichrepresentatives of the Lace Lizard, Cockatoo,Honey Ant, Wild Cat, and Small FlyTotems participate with much use of Boomerang,Spear and Fire Stick).This unique and attractive work, excitingand accessible, is a natural for a collectorseeking something beyond the usual repertoire.Audiophiles will certainly want it.Bruce SurteesEXTENDED PLAY - CONTEMPO­RARY STRING QUARTETSBy Terry RobbinsReviewing contemporary music can be a bitlike being handed a copy of War and Peace inthe original and being asked what you think ofit when you don't speak Russian; if you're notfully conversant with the composer's individuallanguage then how can you judge? Musicis different in one critical respect, of course,in that regardless of the particular musicallanguage the composer uses, somethingshould be communicated by the music itself.Does it actually say anything?There are two essential CDs of contemporarystring quartet music this month that saya lot, plus an extremely interesting DVD thatdoesn't say quite as much.Per Norgard, now in his mid-70s, has longbeen a major figure on the Danish musicscene, and the world premiere recordings ofhis String Quartets 7, 8, 9 and 10 by theKroger Quartet (DACAPO 8.226059) providea fascinating glimpse of his recent work.Written between 1993 and 2005, these arecomplex, varied and ~ iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiioiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidifficultquartetsthat display a verystrong command ofstructure and sonority.The KrogerQuartet shot toprominence 8 yearsago with a performanceof N0rgard'sFifth String Quartet (to which they dedicatedthirty rehearsals!), and N0rgard has workedclosely with the artists since then; two of thequartets, numbers 7 and 10, are dedicated tothe Kroger, with the latter being written forthem. These are definitive performances,highly expressive and technically dazzling.Artistic cooperation between composer andperformers is also a key element in LaunchPad, an album of five Canadian string quartetscommissioned and performed by thePenderecki String Quartet (CentrediscsCMC CD 13308). There is an interestingdiversity of sound and style here from fiveestablished midcareercomposers:Laurie Radford,Alice Ho, PiotrGrella-Mozejko,Daniel Janke andJeffrey Ryan. Ofparticular note areRadford's EverythingWe See InThe Sky (2005), a single-movement workinvolving digital signal processing, althoughthe computer manipulations are not as apparentas you might expect, Ho's String QuartetNo .2 (2003) in two parts - a soulful Dreamand an agitated Reality - and Ryan' s StringQuartet No.3 "sonata distorta" (2006), afascinating work reflecting on the Tolstoystory The Kreutzer Sonata and the Beethovenviolin sonata that inspired it, with excerptsfrom the Beethoven appearing 'distorted' atvarious levels in the quartet. Some readerswill recall the premiere performance of thiswork at Music Toronto in a theatrical presentationthat included actor Colin Fox. Again,this disc features definitive and stunning performancesin all respects by the PSQ.In the 1960s Karlheinz Stockhausen, whodied last December at the age of 79, was thedarling of the musical avant-garde and capableof sparking passionate arguments aboutwhat was or wasn't music. Now comes atimely DVD of Frank Scheffer's documentaryon Stockhausen's Helicopter String Quartet(medici arts 3077508), which was writtenfor the Arditti Quartetand premiered at the1995 Holland Festival. The quartet membersplay in four different helicopters flyingthrough the air, shouting numbers in German,but unable to hear each other and linked onlyby a click-track for coordination. The music58WWW. THEWHOLENOTE , COMSEPTEMBER 1 - O CTOBER 7 2008

(mostly tremolo scrubbing) is sent to aground-level mixing board operated by thecomposer. The footage of the rehearsals isriveting, but disappointingly the only performancefootage is from the helicopters, givingus no idea of what the performance was actuallylike for the audience on the ground. Loveit or hate it - and the comments on theYouTube video postings prove that Stockhausen'sability to spark heated controversyhasn't diminished over the years - this is athought-provoking and fascinating insight intothe composer's philosophy.What does the music itself 'say' for me,though? Unfortunately, absolutely nothing.Terry RobbinsJAZZ AND IMPROVISEDWords We Both Could SayShannon ButcherIndependent SB2008You Go To My HeadJanelle MoniqueZaFeMusik ZAFE2007Debut discs from several young singers havemade their way over the WholeNote transomthis summer. This month we have two examples,with more to come in future issues.Shannon Butcher has come out of the gatestrongly with "Words We Both Could Say".The main attraction of this disc, besidesButcher's very fine vocal work, is the refreshinglyunusual (for a jazz record) sourcematerial. With nary a standard in sight, theten tracks of jazzified pop tunes draws fromsuch diverse sources as The Beatles, NoDoubt, Blondie (Deborah Harry) and JimmyWebb/Glen Campbell. The only tune thatremotely resembles a standard is It Might AsWell Be Spring, and that gets a bossa nova-ishtreatment that spritzes it up nicely. Butcher'sappealingly light, clear, and at times breathyvoice, works well on both up tempo andslower tunes. Although the disc is an eclecticmix there is a very definite style to thearrangements and performances from coreplayers Ross Macintyre on bass, MichaelShand on piano and Mark McLean on drumsthat make it a cohesive yet unique collection.The standout tracks for me are Tearsfor Fears' Mad World, which has been gettinga lot of airplay on JazzFM, and WichitaLineman with its gentle syncopation, enrichedharmonies and gorgeous guitar workby Rob Piltch, which is worth the purchaseprice alone. www.shannonbutcher.comJanelle Monique's offering "You Go toMy Head" takes a completely differentapproach. Monique and producer OliverMiguel draw heavily on standards - andsome, like Misty, even tip over into thechestnut category - but the use of 80's pop/funk/salsa instrumentation render themexhilaratingly difficult to recognize. Thereare also a handful of pop tunes, like Dust inthe Wind and Sting's Fragile, on which MaxSenitt and Richardo Lewis on drums, KibweThomas on keyboards and Oliver Miguel onsax, guitars, and programming turn in somebeautiful playing. Add to that a few bossanova standards and it all adds up to a quirkypop/funk/Latin/soul/swing stew. Monique'ssinging style is rooted in R&B and LatinAmerican soil, so, for me, the vocals on thesongs that are not swing standards workmuch better. Some, like A Felicidade, are aperfect fit. www.moniquemusique.comCathy RichesEXTENDED PLAY -LOCAL INDEPENDENT JAZZBy Ori DaganWhen he isn't gigging with fellow young catson the local scene, guitarist Harley Cardleads three_..___groups: "God'sGift to Yoda","Robson'sChoice" and aquartet under hisname. The HarleyCard Quartet'sI -

Copied successfully!

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)