7 years ago

Volume 16 Issue 3 - November 2010

  • Text
  • November
  • December
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Symphony
  • Choir
  • Concerts
  • Orchestra
  • Choral

on a set of discs and if

on a set of discs and if there is not much interest,you can wind up paying next to noth-end for the item and it can be quite exciting.They also have a tremendous selectionof CDs and DVDs and generally you cannotlose.A good local option is Grigorian founded his AtelierYorkville Avenue and later opened branchesis noted for excellent selection and serviceand dedication to classical music and jazz.The company has now expanded into onlineshopping with a user friendly website whichincludes CD reviews from WholeNote,-season. The extensive selection of recordingsis easy to browse, but understandably not aslarge as Amazon and digital downloading isnot available. DIGITAL DOWNLOADING: Taking full advantageof that marvellous machine now ineverybody’s household one can realize thecomputer’s full potential by not buying anyphysical product but obtaining the contentelectronically, directly from the recordingcompany. No expensive warehousing or storeinventory is required, as the company needonly put its entire catalogue on one giantset up a system for the customer to buy anddownload a disc or individual tracks ontotheir hard drive. My favourite one of these isclassicsonline.comThey represent many labels, not the mostChandos, Hungaroton, Analekta, ATMAClassique, Centrediscs and many others, plushere. Prices are usually US .99/disc, .99each and you can make your own CD mix ifyou wish. And the quality is excellent not tomention the product is in your hands instantly,no running downtown, no HST, no parkingor tickets and no aggravation. Downloadingis a simple step by step process withthe program supplied by the site. You registerand pay by credit card then downloadingthe CD with a burner program such asNero or Windows Media and out comes yourbrand new recording. You also get bonuspoints that can be applied for the next pur-and can be easily printed out.From my investigations I found outthat the labels under the Universal umbrel-thingsimilar going at the entire catalogues are offered andalthough the prices are presently in Britishpounds, soon they will accept US and Canadiandollars.Latest news is that Sony Music Enter-name of No details are availableat the moment, but I do know that theyDigital Classics, which were previously unavailablefor downloading. STREAMING DVD RECORDING FROMTV, INTERNET VIDEO, INTERNET MOVIESAND RADIO: has been with us for a long time by tapeand VHS, but now one can record digitallyusing a DVD recorder. And what do peopledo with the saved video? Some put it on, a video sharing site now ownedby Google. What this does to classical musicperformances cannot be overestimated. Wecan see great pianists, orchestras and famousconductors from the past and present performing,rehearsing, giving masterclasses instreaming video with excellent picture andsound quality. Entire symphonies and operascan be presented at no charge to you.the composer or the piece you wish to see/hear. Unfortunately each segment is limitedto 10 minutes and that can be irritatingwhen watching a longer piece, but I am surethis will soon be improved. There are limitationsfor the upload: no copyrighted materi-which is understandable. Many excellent videoshave been removed for this reason, buta wealth of exciting material remains. Muchcould be written, but I don’t want to spoilyour fun of discovering this marvellous territoryyourself. called DigitalConcert Hall. The idea was initiated bythe orchestra members of the Berlin Philharmonicand they are putting all the con-and state of the art sound. The concerts aresimulcast onto your computer and you canwatch the entire concert interruption freefor the price of a ticket. Tickets are availableon the site for 9.99 Euros per concertwhich is charged to your credit card. Theprograms are of the highest quality. Currenttle,Boulez, Haitink, Barenboim, Janssons,Järvi, Thielemann and soloists like Schiff,Uchida, Grimaud etc. Programming is adventurousand there is an emphasis on mod-cialty.I urge you to look into this site seriously.You won’t regret it. lines of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus demSerail: “Wer zu viel Huld vergessen kann/roughly translates: For whom all these blessingsare not enough, let him be held incontempt!VOCALOrlando di Lasso – Lagrime de San PietroStudio de musique ancienne deMontréal; Christopher JacksonATMA ACD2 2509 -was highly respectedby the courts ofEurope, not least byhis main employer,Duke Albrecht V ofBavaria. William,Albrecht’s successor,spiteongoing disagreements, a testimony todi Lasso’s expertise.Those last years saw di Lasso suffer whatare now believed to be manic depression, astroke and acute fear of death. They also sawand one Latin motet, all for seven voices.The pieces constitute the Lagrime di SanPietro, poems that describe Peter’s tormentafter he denied Christ. the latter’s grief. From the start there is a celestialquality to the singing, soothing as thepainful sequence of Biblical events is playedout. No detail of Peter’s ordeal or Christ’sreaction is spared. Perhaps most poignant ofall is the last track, the one in Latin, wheremankind is rebuked by Christ for its ingratitudetowards him.It would have been good to attribute eachof the sung parts to the individual performersbut there is no indication as to whichof the eleven singers are performing onany given track. Which is a shame consideringtheir passionate interpretation of thiscomposition.—Michael SchwartzNobil DonnaSuzie LeBlanc; La Nef;Alexander WeimannATMA ACD2 260562 thewholenote.comNovember 1 - December 7, 2010Maffeo Barberiniterknown as PopeUrban VIII, who1644. His familycrest was changedto incorporate bees,a symbol of industriousbehaviour, and under his patron-honey-pot.Seventeen of their compositions are collectedhere. This is not just the conventionalbaroque string ensemble; Giovanni Kapsberger’sCorrente Quinta is embellished byMatthew Jennejohn’s cornetto playing, whilethere is a virtuoso harpsichord solo as La

Nef’s conductor Alexander Weimann plays aciaccona by Bernardo Storace.As for Suzie LeBlanc, her sopranovoice is thoroughly tested from the spiritedAmarillide, deh! Vieni to the far more profoundNobil Donna in rozzo manto by MarcoMarazzoli with its tragic classical narration,and then to the jocularity of Amanti, iovi so dire as it pokes fun at the tribulationsof young lovers. on the CD and one must mention Suzie Le-Blanc’s rendition of Lasciate Averno with itsaccount of tragic events, this time perhapsstill-recent loss of his wife.With nine instrumental and eight vocal-teenth-centuryItalian courtly music.—Michael SchwartzBritten – Divine Music: LateWorks for Tenor and HarpLawrence Wiliford; Jennifer SwartzATMA ACD2 2623The works of thiscollection date fromBenjamin Britten’speriod marked by recurringheart problemswhich surfacedin 1968. It was notattempted, the composer having in the meantimedevoted most of his energies to the com-Death in Veniceand led to a stroke that compromised his abilityto play the piano, threatening an end tothe numerous recitals he enjoyed presentingwith his life partner, tenor Peter Pears. Brittensubsequently passed on his accompanist’swith whom he had collaborated since 1959,and composed and re-arranged material forPears and Ellis to perform in concert.The fruits of this creative partnership arelovingly recreated in this striking album onthe ATMA label. It features a selection ofBritten’s celebrated folk song settings re-castfor voice and harp and the world premiererecording of the Five Songs from HarmoniaSacra fordexhibits a wide range of colours as theoccasion demands, sensitive and intimate inthe sacred songs, more forceful in the folkderivedarrangements and fully at ease withthe quaint Scots dialect of A Birthday Hanselday.His brilliant partner Jennifer Swartzshines in the solo Suite for Harp composedfor Ellis in 1969. The balance between voiceand harp is superbly recorded and full textsand translations are provided.—Daniel FoleyConcert Notes: Lawrence Wiliford isAcis and GalateaHandel: Dixit Dominusof Britten’s Death in Venice continues toNovember 6.EARLY, CLASSICAL & BEYONDThe English TubaEugene Dowling; London SymphonyOrchestra; Paul Freeman; Edward NormanTromba Bassa Records TBCDD595( one of mypersonal all time favouriterecordings isa collection of duetsfor tuba and guitar,the tuba isn’t usuallythought of as a soloinstrument. Thereforewhen a completerecording of tuba solos appears, it warrantsmore than passing mention. This isdoubly so when all of the works on the recordare by English composers. In that regardcall him English.More than any other composer of note,from the back of the orchestra to centre stagewhen his Concerto for Tuba and Orchestrawas premiered in 1954. Since its introduction,this work has become the benchmarkfor aspiring tubists. In this performance withEugene Dowling, a long time member of theVictoria Symphony and faculty member ofthe University of Victoria, proves beyondany doubt that the tuba deserves to be recognizedas a solo instrument capable of manymoods and styles. ingis accompanied by pianist Edward Norman.These works include Elgar’s Romancefor bassoon, Malcom Arnold’s Fantasy forTuba and Six Studies in English Folk Songarranged by Paul Droste. Gordon Jacob, astudent of Vaughan Williams and teacher ofMalcom Arnold, is represented by his eightmovement Tuba Suite. The most familiarHandel’s ubiquitous Harmonious Blacksmith,long a part of the repertoire of euphoniumsoloists. Dowling’s skill is such that inplaces it is hard to realize that we are hearinga tuba and not its more agile cousin, theeuphonium.—Jack MacQuarrieRavel; Stravinsky; Gershwin -Piano Concertos & CapriccioIan Parker; London SymphonyOrchestra; Michael FrancisATMA ACD2 2656This is Vancouverborn, New YorkCity based, Ian Parker’sdebut CD, andwhat an auspiciousdebut it is! For starters,the CD was recordedat AbbeyParker notes with delight in a YouTube cliptaken during the recording session. Second-concerti, in G major and F respectively, andthe Stravinsky Capriccio, with the acclaimedFrancis.No stranger to accolades and awardshimself, Parker, who hails from piano-play---a conductor with the Windsor Symphony inand Master of Music degrees), he was awardedthe Canada Council for the Arts’ SylvaGelber Career Grant, given annually to the ertoirewith gusto, sensitivity and intelligence.The featured works were written be-knew and admired each other, their worksitionalstyles to varying degrees. In Parker’sjazz, sparkles and shimmers in all the rightplaces, the Stravinsky is playful, charmingand spirited, and the Gershwin, sophisticatedin its use of French melodic and harmonicidiom, is a complex, jazz-infused joy.Clearly, Parker is in his element here,and judging by the smile on his face and theenthusiasm in his voice in that YouTube clip,he enjoyed every minute of the experience.It comes through in his playing. In all threepieces, Parker demonstrates controlled, re-precise, uncluttered technique.—Sharna SearleUrsula Bagdasarjanz Vol. 1: Bach;Nardini; Mozart; BartokUrsula Bagdasarjanz; LucianoSgrizzi; Fernande KaeserGallo CD-1248Ursula Bagdasarjanz Vol. 2– Othmar SchoeckUrsula Bagdasarjanz; Gisela SchoeckGallo CD-1249 ( the Swiss violinist Ursula Bagdasarjanzretired from the concert stage inthe late 1990s, she compiled a CD collectionof radio and live recordings of her performances.These were, in turn, re-mastered twoyears ago for a commercially available seriesNovember 1 - December 7, 2010 63

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