6 years ago

Volume 15 Issue 8 - May 2010

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  • Toronto
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Lois Marshall: A

Lois Marshall: A Biographyby James NeufeldDundurn Press352 pages, photos; .99WHEN CANADIAN sop--Puccini’s La Bohème,is wonderful. I’ve always- - -----Barber of Seville- ----end of her career. ----Herbie Nichols: A Jazzist’s Lifeby Mark MillerThe Mercury Press224 pages, photos; .95--produced an incisive and-Lady Sings the Blues-HouseParty Starting, 2300 Skidoo, The ThirdWorld, and Love, Gloom, Cash, Love have --- --- Four Lives inthe Bebop Business---Thelonious Monk: The Life andTimes of an American Originalby Robin D.G KelleyFree Press608 pages, photos; .00-Round Midnight, Blue Monk,Ruby, My Dear and Straight, No Chaser areclassics. - --- -Read more online: thewholenote.com52 THEWHOLENOTE.COMMay 1 - June 7, 2010

Editor’s CornerSince DISCoveries began in the summerof 2001 we have reviewed 3,300 CDsand DVDs in these pages, including literallyhundreds of local and independent releases.The section has evolved over the pastnine years from modest beginnings with ahandful of writers reviewing 14 discs in ourtors,including mavens Bruce Surtees, GeoffChapman, Terry Robbins and Ken Waxmanwith their wealth of experience and diversityof expertise, covering more than three dozentitles each month in recent years.A quick check of my data base revealsCanadian classical labels have been very wellrepresented by DISCoveries, with two Montrealcompanies leading the pack - ATMA(168) and Analekta (108) – followed by Nationalcontributors CBC Records (94) andthe Canadian Music Centre’s Centrediscs(82) and the Toronto company Marquis Classics(42). Smaller classical and contemporaryCanadian labels include archival specialistsDoReMi (31), XXI-Records (24) Arktos(21), Empreintes digitales (20), Artifact (15),Opening Day (15), Skylark (12) and Phoenix(6). Canadian Jazz and improvised musiclabels are also found in abundance with AmbiancesMagnétiques (39), Justin Time (31),ALMA (16), Sackville (14), Timely Manor(6) and local newcomer Barnyard Records(3). And this does not include more than 500reviews of independent releases by mostly localand regional artists spanning all creativegenres.Of course we don’t ignore the “majors”and have featured countless reviews of Canadianand local artists on international labelsbig and small: The Artists of the Royal Conservatory(ARC Ensemble) on RCA; MeashaBrueggergosman on DG; Angela Hewitt, MichaelSchade, Marc André Hamelin and GeraldFinley on Hyperion; Denise Djokic onSONY; Diana Krall on Verve; James Ehneson Chandos and Onyx; Jane Bunnett, JesseCook and the Saint Lawrence Quartet all onEMI; Louis Lortie on Chandos; Marie-NicoleLemieux on Naïve; MC Maguire on innova;Molly Johnson on Universal; NaidaCole on DECCA; Les Violons du Roy onDorian, and I Furiosi on Dorian Sono Luminus;plus dozens of Canadian groups andartists who have appeared on NAXOS in recentyears (Joel Quarrington and AndrewBurashko, Robert Aitken, Amici, Aradia,Luc Beauséjour, Elora Festival Choir, KarinaGauvin, Mirage Quartet, New Music Concerts,Patrick Wedd, the Toronto ChamberOrchestra and the Toronto Wind Orchestra toname just a few).As the world becomes more focused oninternet services and digital downloading,we too are developing web-based features includingadditional new reviews, access to archivalmaterial, search functions, links toartists and “click through to purchase” optionson our website. But for the moment ouremphasis remains with the 30,000 copies ofthe magazine which are printed and distributedthroughout the GTA each month. Withthat in mind we continue to give priority toToronto and Canadian artists and labels andto international musicians who will be performingin the GTA in the coming months.Discs already under consideration for theJune issue include Pepusch and Gay’s “Polly”– a sequel to The Beggar’s Opera which wassuppressed at the time of composition forpolitical reasons and later reworked by SamuelArnold - performed by a host of localsingers and the Aradia Ensemble underKevin Mallon’s direction (NAXOS); MargaretLittle’s “Senza Continuo” – works forsolo viola da gamba by Saint-Colombe andMarin Marais among others (ATMA); TheARC Ensemble’s third CD “Two Roads toExile” – featuring rarely heard chambergems by Walter Braunfels and Adolf Busch(RCA); Volume 1 of the “Complete ChoralMusic of Julian Wachner” - the 10 th CD bythe Elora Festival Singers under Noel Edison(NAXOS); local blues singer ShakuraS’Aida’s second album “Brown Sugar” (onGermany’s Ruf Records); Vancouver chamberchoir Musica Intima’s latest with worksby Raminsh, Schafer, Lang, Morlock, Healey,Ryan and Sharman (ATMA); and a newrelease by Toronto pianist Mary Kenedi featuringconcertos by Bloch, Bartok and Easton(Echiquier) which will be launched at aconcert on May 9 at Gallery 345. As you cansee our commitment to local and Canadiantalent continues to be a top priority.In closing there is one recording I wouldlike to tell you about - a long-awaited 2 CDset which documentssome interestingexperimentswith microtonal divisionsof the octave.It would be easyto think that it wasonly with the adventof the computer thatit became possible to accurately divide thetraditional 12 semitone chromatic octave intosmaller parts. But there was a Mexican composer,Julian Carrillo (1875-1965), who inthe middle of the last century commissionedSauter, a German piano company, to manufactureinstruments tuned in thirds, fourths,of tones. Montreal composer Bruce Matherused the proceeds of his 2000 Serge GarantPrize to purchase a replica of Carrillo’s sixteenthsof tone piano which he donated tothe Montréal Conservatoire. The SNE releaseMusic in Thirds and Sixteenths ofTones (SNE-667-CD) includes works writtenfor this intriguing instrument by GillesTremblay, Jacques Desjardins, Michel Gonneville,Vincent Olivier Gagnon and Matherhimself among others. In all, the keyboard ofthe Carrillo instrument incorporates 96 divisionsof the octave. That is to say that the 97notes on the Carillo’s keyboard span just oneoctave from top to bottom. It is intriguinguse these tiny intervals to best advantage. Attimes there is a wash of sound which totallyimmerses the auditor and at other times anabrasive juxtaposition of notes which soundconvincing, but not quite right. Perhaps theeasiest to grasp is Desjardins’ clever reworkingof the folksong Où va Pierrot? The simplicityof the folk melody is subverted bythe extreme microtonal possibilities of thisunique instrument, but in a most intriguingand compelling way. Mather combines theicinstruments, which like the Theremin is capableof glissandi and miniscule gradations ofthe octave. Interestingly, Mather chooses touse the ondes Martenot to give the tonal cen-works composed for Carrillo’s piano in thirdsof tones by Wyschnegradsky, Mather andJean Étienne Marie performed by MartinePublicity, press kits & image consultingfor performers416.544.1803 www.lizpr.comMay 1 - June 7, 2010 THEWHOLENOTE.COM 53

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