8 years ago

Volume 7 Issue 2 - October 2001

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • October
  • Choir
  • Theatre
  • Concerts
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  • Singers
  • Musical
  • Symphony

oots of the guitar and

oots of the guitar and its repertoire, is certainly an attractive way to organize an album. Robert A. Baker's A Forge and a Scythe, based on Raymond Carver's poem, is also quite appealing and a good example of Cumming's provocative, adventurous programming. Other pieces, by Lou Harrison, Carlo Domeniconi, Violet Archer and William Walton, are similarly satisfying, offering a broad range of expression and unexpected variety. This album is full of beautiful music, not mysterious or forbidding at all, though quite rigorously worked out. The playing is closely recorded, so that you can hear the guitarist breathing, and yet the big gong that plays the low Din Lou Harrison's Air is somehow indistinguishable from the guitarist's lowest tone (in dropped-D tuning). I could listen to that sinuous melody - with its suggestion of the guitar's "Arabic" pastall day long, and far into the night. And, as an experiment, I found Harrison's Infinite Canon, on auto-repeat, to be a great companion while typing up a review. CD Release Concert October 13, 2:00 PM at Victoria Royce Presbyterian Church. A/an Gasser DISCS OF THE MONTH Tafelmusik shines in the music of Bach J.S. Bach- Motets Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, Ivars Taurins, conductor Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra CBC Records MVCD 1136 (Full Price) Through the six of Bach's surviving motets, we are able to experience a broad range of styles, from the traditional German chorale, to the relatively modern Italian concerto form. These pieces also present such a varied representation of the composer's almost mystical ability to imbue the text with such strong emotive power that it cuts straight to the heart of the listener. And what a range of emotions - from the most devastating suffering imaginable to the most exuberant joy, to the most deep and reverent gratitude. As a result, Bach's motets are a great challenge to sing with the required sensitiv- David Tamblyn 14 Fifth St .. eet Tol"ol"lto Jsla..,d o ... tal"io ea ... ada M532B9 Telt 416-203-0789 ·-· . ··~· ~~ (·: :r·:-~] (~r.'· . ......-.. ··' · '\ ~ :::J.: 48 Wholenote O CTOBER 1, 2001 - N OVEMBER 7, 2001 ity-an ever-changing landscape from declamation to the lightness of dance-like rhythms to fuga! passages that demand a vocal agility not always easy to coordinate in a choir. Distinguished conductor Philippe Herreweghe has written that these motets are "fearsomely difficult to perform". Ivars Taurins and the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir certainly stand up to the test in this CD recorded at Humbercrest United Church in Toronto. With a mixture of lightness, clarity and intensity, and superb vocal technique they manage to convey the varied moods that Bach so skillfully achieved in his compositions. And, as always, the members of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra provide the most sensitive accompaniment, with strings and winds often accompanying vocal lines. After you hear this disc, I guarantee you'll want to attend two ofTafelmusik's coming concerts: The Genius of Bach in October, followed by The Tafelmusik Chamber Choir's 20'h Anniversary (Baroque & Beyond) in November. Dianne Wells J.S. Bach- Coffee Cantata I Peasant Cantata Suzie Leblanc, Brett Polegato, Nils Brown Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra Analekta FL 2 3136 (Full Price) This Tafelmusik recording on the Analekta label shows us a side of Bach that we don't usually think of. It's easy to forget that even the most serious composers have a humorous side, and that many deeply religious people also enjoy life's pleasures: in this instance, love, coffee and beer. Bach's secular cantatas, few in number, are really miniature operas, minus the costumes and scenery. In fact both the Coffee Cantata and the Peasant Cantata incorporate the type of sung dialogues found in opera buffa. Picander was librettist for both cantatas, which satirize topical subjects. In the Coffee Cantata, we find a father at his wits' end because of the fear of his daughter's obsession with the brew. He threatens to ruin her chances at marriage if she does not give it up, but the crafty girl gets her way in the end. Suzie LeBlanc's superb voice is as playful, sweet and free as her character would suggest. In the first aria, this is beautifully mirrored by Elissa Poole's obbligato flute. In choosing Brett Polegato as the father, it is clear that choice was made more on beauty of voice than gruff and blustery character, but he manages to serve up spit and vinegar at the appropriate places. In the Peasant Cantata, Bach and Picander turn to the peasants of Saxony as their models and Bach has the opportunity to use folk music and dance rhythms which the Tafelmusik Orchestra present beautifully. Suzie LeBlanc and Brett Polegato are charming and a better match here as the two lovers. Brew some coffee, or pull a pint, and enjoy! Dianne Wells PHILIP L. DAVIS Luthier fomJerly wit/J J.J. SchrOder: Frankfurt, Uest Germany mr~~----~~------~~----------~------~ A Fine Selection of Small and Full Sized Instruments and Bows • Expert Repairs (416) 466·9619 67 Ublver/eigh 8/vd., 1bronto. lilnt. Canada. M4.11R6

O CTOBER 1, 2001 - N OVEM BER 7, 2001 Whole note 49

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