8 years ago

Volume 7 Issue 5 - February 2002

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spectacular, especially

spectacular, especially the icy effect of the bookend mo~ements, when Beaver's violi'n skates effortlessly iri the stratosphere. On Islamey, the VSO blooms with Bramwell Tovey. If the i Shostakovich ' , offers only brief (but character­ , ful) vignettes, Dl'iCOVERIFS advantage of playing together and getting comfortable with the material and each other. And, what a band! Pat's brother Joe on drums, Rufus Reid on bass and George Cables on piano create just the right setting for Pat's always interesting tenor playing. The compositions are mostly by Pat, with a couple of lovely contributions from Joe - (all those jokes about three musicians and a drummer go right out the window!) - plus an interesting reworking of I Wished On The Moon and a seldom heard ballad, A New Town Is A Blue Town. This is a well-rounded selection of music that showcases the playing of an important contei;nporary saxophonist in the company of three individually significant musicians who, on this CD, come '! the remaining pieces are fullblooded and voluptuous. The title work whirls madly around, a languorous intermezzo. And Borodin's Symphony No. 2 spills the entire orchestra together and form a· lovely cohesive group. ' Jim Galloway (brass especially!) in a sonic tidal wave. Yet the most successful disc of the three to this reviewer is the intimate None But the Lonely Heart. Kolomyjec and pianist Janina Chopin the Romantic: Piano Music Volume II Fialkowska, extraordinary musicians on their Alan Hobbins own, together delve into the melancholic heart Maestro Music Co. (Independent) of this increasingly popular repertoire. If an MMCD02 entire hour of Russian romances risks monotony, thank p,roducer Neil Crory for Chopin on Violin shaping a recital disc of subtle variety. The Catherine Manoukian, Akfra Eguchi enthu~iastic finale of Tchaikovsky (who comes Marquis Classics 7 7471 81235 2 7 off much better here) and Rachmaninoff songs of Spring leaves the listener's heart racing, but Chopin: Sonate, Polonaise brillant, the lesser known contributions of Cui, Glinka, · Fantasie-impromptu_, Nocturnes, Valse and others are exquisite miniatures of love and Therese Motard, Louise-Andree Baril longing. Analekta FL 2 3142 Brian McMillan Concert Note: The Toronto Philharmonia presents From Russia With Love on February 14 with music by Rachmaninoff. Rimsky­ Korsakov and Borodin. On F~bruary 17 Orche" stra Toronto per.forms music of Shostakovich and Mussorgsky at 3:00. February 20 the Nonh York Concert Orchestra presents Music of Russia with Khachachurian, Glazunov 'and Tchaikovsky. From The Heart Pat Labarbera Justin Time Records JUST 163-2 -~·/;;\,; This is Pat's second outing for the Justfo Time label - and they serve •""-'...;: each other well. Jim West is to be 'congratulated for his commitment to -good jazz and Mr. Labarbera can be relied upon to deliver the goods. The recording followed hard on the heels of a week at The Top O' The Senator in Toronto, which gave the musicians the obvious Romancing Chopin . Toronto Sinfonietta; Matthew Jaskiewicz Polish Canadian Society of Music (Independent) T AG-207 a prot~ge of the late Chopin authority Marek Jablonski. This is his second album of Chopin selections, produced on his own label and expertly recorded by veteran tonmeister Ed Marshall. Mr. Hobbins brings a welcome rhythmic vitality to this repertoire, which includes several Mazurkas as well as more familiar fare including a truly heroic rendition of the celebrated Polonaise in A-flat major. His command of the expressive rubatp, the hallmark of the Romantic style, is never willful and always serves a coh~rent structural purpose. A Grand Huzzah to Hobbins for this exceptional album in a very crowded field. Violinist Catherine Manoukian's rich and vibrant tone is well seasoned with a sentimental portamento that seems curiously old-fashioned in one,still so young. Her second album for the Marquis label, Chopin on Violin offers, among other items, a ' . "'.Ji!~ . serip of ten ()l9 f 1j 11 arrangements of \ 11 )h 1 . various Chopin ;:~ · works by great violinists of the past. The most substantial and interesting of these bonbonS is Sarasate's version of the Nocturne Op. 27 No. 2. These expertly execut.ed virtuoso showpieces are accompanied at a respectful distance by pianist Akira Eguchi. Manoukian's appropriation of Chopin's oneof-a-kind Cello Sonata as the main course in her elegant recital strikes me ,as rather ill advised. To assume that one might blithely play this music an octave or two higher than was intended is inimical to the's c~refully considered use of registers. Fortunately, Analekta has released an excelle11t recording · lli:!!m of the work in 1 110pm . ""'.t.;.~ its proper form, in an outstanding performance by Can ad i a·n cellist Therese Motard. This is playing of tremendous finesse and exceptional sens1t1v1ty. Motard knows well when to withdraw and listen with reverence to the voice of her pianist partner, Louise-Andree Baril. The disc offers as well some highly engaging performances of a half dozen duet versions of Chopin's piano works. Conductor Matthew Jaskiewicz conducts the Toronto. Sinfonietta in Romancing Chopin, an ambitious album that brings together several exceptional soloists and a pair of Canadian composers in a tribute to Chopin's continuing legacy. Ronald Royer, composer in residence with. the ensemble, contributes three substantial .­ works of his own as well as several arrangements of Chopin's chamber works in performances by pianist Valerie Tryon, cellist Coenraad Bloemendahl, clari.netist Kate Royer and flutist Nora Shulman. Toronto native Alexander Rapoport weighs in with a suite of Five Mazurkas arranged for this twenty .piece ensemble and his own hauµtingly beautiful Variationson a Theme of Chopin, a work which 48 February 1 -- March 7 2002

explores the rich harmonic vocabulary of the composer as seen through a kaleidoscopic filter of Brahms and Bartok. Though the performance of the Sinfonietta is uneven at times, exhibiting some ragged ensemble playing and less than optimal balance of the inner voices, this is still quite a fascinating release. Daniel Foley Concert Note: Violinist Catherine Manoukian is featured in recital at Music Toronto on February 21 at 8:00. Telemann Chamber Cantatas & Trio Sonatas Musica Pacifica with Christine Brandes and Jennifer Lane Dorian 93239 This latest offering from the. California-based Baroque ensemble Musica Pacifica, offers a / focused but well-varied program featuring five cantatas from Telemann's Harmonische Gottesdienst and its 'Fortsetzung' of 1731, and two trio sonatas from his Sonates Corellisantes of 1735. Georg Philipp Telemann was perhaps the eighteenth century's most prolific composer - if he were alive today he would likely be doing a roaring business in music for TV and film - but he is often regarded nowadays as someone ' whose music is more fµn to play than to listen to. Though he certainly produced his share of .18th-century wallpaper music, he created many gems of chamber music, some. of which are played here by this group of seasoned interpreters with significant individual and ensemble skills. These performances combine great musicality with technical excellence, with elegant attention to details of articulation and phrasing. From the elfin vivacity of Cantata 4's Nicht uns, nein nein to the wistful melancholy of Erguess dich zur Salbung of Cantata 33, this is.clever and thoughtful music making which seems to have the best interests of the music at heart. The continuo playing is colourful and expressive, and both vocal soloists are in wonderful form. While I am personally not -a big fan of mixing instrumental colours in trio sonatas ~at are designed for two 'like'· treble instruments, the blend between the recorder and violin in the Corelli-ized sonatas is lovely. The generous (77 minute) program is yery well planned, and the sound is excellent. _ Alison Melville French Music. on Two Harpsichords: Boismortier, Dieupart, Duphly, Leclair Luc Beausejour, Herve Niquet harpsichords Analekta fleurs de lys FL 2 3079 From the very first piece by Boismortier, a joyful romp that really,kicks up its heels, these performances are characterized by a wonder- /)/'iCOVFIUES 0 ful energy and incredible charm. The Dieupart suite is full of dances; the final gigue a treat. The Le- •••• clair sonata is •mm• light and airy, and Duphly, ------' historically the latest of the four composers, exemplifies all the sophisticated charm 9f the late French baroque. The pieces are all transcriptions of works for solo instruments and continua arranged for two harp~ichords: one improvises a right hand continuo part (as would be done in a sonata with violin) and the other plays the solo part. Where th~re would be two solo instruments and continuo, as in the Dieupl.\rt pieces, the players each take a solo part and share the bass notes. The instruments used (built,by Yves Beaupre) are versatile and elegant French doubles, perfect for this repertoire. Given the many possible registration combinations of the two instruments, the sounds of the harpsichords never tire the ear (as is the case with many otherwise fine performances). The resultant sonorities range from delicate to almost thunderous - foor 8 foot and two 4 foot registers make a glorious sound. Herve Niquet and Luc Beausejour are both veteran professionals. Niquet is the founder of "Le Concert spirituel", known for reviving many works not heard for centuries. Canadian Luc Beausejour is a well-traveled performer on organ and harpsichord and is recognized as one of pur foremost performers on period keyboards. These performances are worth it just to hear the energy and flash of these two remarkable musidans. Den Ciul The Lord of the Rings Ensemble Vents et Percussion de Quebec;. Rene Joly Disques ATMA Records ACD 2 2139 earthy and dark, and far less tidy, when considering the subject. Jan Van der Roost's Spartacus follows the de Meij with another symphonic poem that sucdeeds and fails for similar reasons. Plainer · melodies and livelier rhythms make for enjoyable listening but tile sentimentality which smoothes over the rougher edges of the Spartacus legend undercuts the chance for the music to have any profound impact. A Barrie North Celebration by Canadian Andre Jutras closes the disc with more modest ambitions. In this case, upbeat fanfare music is give1,1 a very desolate and introspective middle section to offset expectations. The willingness to contradict and surprise distinguishes Jutras from the other more profiled composers on the recording who are weakened by their ambition to make life simpler than it is. Darren Copeland INDEPENDENT AND SMALL LABEL RELEASES Cycle du son Francis Dhomont. Empreintes DIGITales IMED 0158 Recollecting a sonic spirit that has efolved over 50. years of imagining, visioning and sensing, Francis Dhomont's new CD "Cycle du son" takes us back to the roots of an unusual art form and returns us to the here and now, intact and enlightened. We are summoned by the jolt, forced to hear the distinctive ~. Y :· characteristics f .• ~ ~· of Musique Concrete of old before being led confidently into the present. After all, the first composition Objets The evidence shown on this new releas.e by the retrouves is a Ensemble Vents et Percussion de Quebec leads memorial to one of the inventors of the medium, to the irrational observation that if you take the Pierre Schaeffer. strings out of symphonic music what you lose · Collectively the four compositions included in subtlety and sobriety you gain back in here provide a sonic history of acousmatic art. simplicity and singularity of purpose. _ The classic sounds are intertwined and Clear and unambiguous harmonies of the juxtaposed with new inventions providing a winds and brass are enlisted trustfully by Johan palette of rich colours and dynamic tones. de Meij to evoke the range of moods fourid in F.ranc'is Dhomont, who divides his time The Lord of the Rings, which is the literary between his native France and Canada,, , source for his forty-minut~ symphonic poem. delicately weaves a kaleidoscope of sound If his objective is to compose popular music objects, evolving fluidly and freely through a for the symphonic tradition, then his maze of juxtapositions and contrasts. From the conservative and accessible language matched waves of an ocean to the ripple created 1 by a with a literary classic appear to be the right single drop of water he dramatically takes the ingredients. However, in the larger scheme of listener through an experience that is both ·things, there lingers a wish for something more . terrifying and serene. Dhomont's skillful February 1 -- March 7 2002 www 49

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