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Volume 7 Issue 5 - February 2002

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  • Toronto
  • February
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' this moment with Don

' this moment with Don Carlo's bloodlust (La Forza de/ Destino) or Macbeth's world-weariness, and the impression is magnified tenfold. The French songs, recorded in 1998 with his wife Christina Petrowska, show a voice little marked by the passing years. Here Quilico paints in broad emotional. strokes, but the selections by Duparc, Faure, Ravel,. and even Debussy stand up to this "operatic" approach. Of greatest interest, however, are the live recordings that close the disc. Though less perfect (Quilico is often muffled by· the orchestra), they offer. exciting glimpses of Quilico in his prime and in less familiar roles: Lescaut from Massenet's Manon is the most charming. Weaknesses common to' vanity projects do crop up here. The booklet is woefully incomplete, with several careless errors. And Schubert's Ave Maria ends the disc on a rather maudlin note. Still, the voice that rings out over forty years is unstintingly generous. Strangely, Quilico recorded few complete operas; "Mr. Rigoletto" makes that lack even more painful. Brian McMillan The #1 Baroque Album Various Artists. 2 discs priced as one A Universal Music twofer (028947141129) /)/\('OVFRIES DISCS OF THE MONTH Beethoven: Sonatas for Piano and Violin Jane Coop, piano; Andrew Dawes, violin Skylark 0101 These are very, very fine discs. This should perhaps come·as no surprise to listeners who heard this duo play all 10 Beethoven sonatas at the Ford (now Toronto) Countertenor duets aod solos by Henry Purcell and John Blow · James Bowman, Michael cha.nee, countertenors The King's.Consort; Robert King, director Hyperion CDA66253 Centre back in 1995/96. But those unfamiliar This recording, first released in ,1988, remains with the combined talents o.f Orford Quartet unsurpassed. Pre-eminent British countertenors veteran Andrew Dawes and pianist Jane Coop James Bowman and Michael Chane~ have ideal may be astonished by the thoughtful, stylish and voices ' for this repertoir~ - clear' muscul11r' - when necessary ~ virtuosic playing re.corded agile and gorgeous - and the way th~y ,blend here. really sets this disc apart. . Throughout these three expertly engineered In the duets, highlights abbund: the CDs', Coop and Dawes favour a lighl, bright overlapping entries anp intertwining vocal lines tone, clean textures and articulation, a·nd an of Henry Purcell's/n Vain The Am 'rous Flute, Most people in 'the business' know that the best even-handed balance between · their two with the "flutes" (appropriately played by selling CDs today are concept albums. There instruments. (Notably, first mehtion on the recorders) in perfect tuning and balance; the are collections devoted to such alluring subjects ~ove·r of this boxed set goes to Coop: a no-doubt heightened expressiveness of 0 Dive Custos as the Most Relaxing, the Most Inspiring, or. deliberate re-ordering of the traditional Auricae, an elegy written on the death Queen the Best of Opera, the Best of the Best, the Best "soloist" and "accompanist" bi'lling.) This is Mary, with its poignant word-painting; the of Everything. Let's not forget that Mozart Will Classical -:- as opposed to Romantic - irresistible buoyancy of Hark How the Make You Smarter -and Mozart Will Make You Beethoven. Songsters; the emotional immediacy of John Softer. Have Mozart for Breakfast and Take Beyond that, it's difficult to ·ge~eralize about Blow's extended Ode on the Death of Mr. Henry' Mozart for Bedtime. these interpretations, as they blend with this Purcell. Blow wrote this last selection in grief There have been baroque 'collections before music like a chameleon, taking on all the colpurs over the loss· of his friend and former student, but this is not the usual hastily assembled bunch in Beethoven's rainbow of expression. The that ~·matchless man", after Purcell died of indifferent walk-throughs. Here is a well- finale of the Sonata No. l is a model of nuanced, unexpectedly in 1695 at just thirty-six years old. balanced program from premium artists, classical proportion; the opening of the Sonata Bowman sings 0 Solitu'de, one ·of Purcell's imaginatively selected from the catalogue of No. 7 is unsettled and turbulent;vthe second most sublime works for solo voice, with Deutsche Grammophon; much of which is not movement of Sonata No. 6 is introspective and intensely focussed passion and quiet drama. otherwise available in Canada. Featured are dreamy - indeed, every phrase of every lncassum, Lesbia" rogas, his melancholy second The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Trevor movement could be described in terms of its · ode on the death of Queen Mary, is so eloquently Pinnock and The English Concert, Camerata own distinctive character. sung by Chance that Purcell's graphic treatment Bern, with distinguished soloists. . As for the two most famous sonatas, the of words like "immodulata" (discordant) and There are four major works, ,the Suites from "Spring" (No. 5) has a disarmingly fresh "singultre" (sobbing) gain maximum effect. The Royal Fireworks and Water Music, The Four quality, and there's no hint of anyone getting Robert King and his suitably small consort of Seasons, and Brandenburg Concerto No.2. The bogged down in the lengthy second movement authentic instruments offer warm, lively and shorter gems include: Pachelbel's Canon, of the "Kreutzer" (No. 9) - on the contrary, responsive support in the complex contrapuntal Albinoni's Adagio, Handel's Largo and The this 15-minute s~t of variations is fairly bursting textures and surprising harmonic progressions. Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Boccherini's with energy. · The recording takes full advantage of the Menuetto, Dance of the Blessed Spirits, and There are of course many recordings of these resonant church acoustic, without sacrificing more. sonatas on the market. But rm sure that anyone . the immediacy of the voices. King's erudite liner If you wish to put you toe into Baroque who purchased these discs would derive hours, notes are a delight. . ( waters, with over two and a half hours of years and ·even decades of enjoyme~t from Pamela Marg/es scintillating performances, this would be the them. Colin Eatock Concert note: James Bowman and Canadian best place to start. Beautiful sound, excellent performances-I like this album! countertenor Daniel Taylor perform a similar Bruce Surtees program of duets and solo songs by Purcell and Blow at Trinity-St. Paul's on March 2 at Bpm . . 52 www.thewholenote.com February 1 -- March 7 2002

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volume 25 Issue 7 - April 2020
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Volume 25 Issue 1 - September 2019
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Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
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Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
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