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Volume 7 Issue 8 - May 2002

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • Choir
  • Jazz
  • Festival
  • Arts
  • Singers
  • Choral
  • Symphony
  • Orchestra

Concert note: Eve Egoyan

Concert note: Eve Egoyan gives the world premiere pe!formance of Michael Finnissy 's Erik Satie: ·Like Anyone Else at Glenn Gould Studio on May 16. Continuum performs music of Michael Longton on May 11 at the Church of St. George the Martyr. Exquisite Fires: Music of Linda Bouchard Kevin McMillan; National Arts Centre Or.f;hestra; Trevor Pinnock . .. Marquis Classics 81219 This disc devoted to Linda Bouchard' s orchestral works contains seve'hty minutes of wonderful music , by the National Art Centre Orches- · tra's 1992~1995 Coinposer-in­ R es id enc e. With one exception ·the titles were. commission'ed' during Trevor · Pinhoc.k "s· tenure in Otta~a, and he conducts the programme with affection. Exquisite Fires occupies ti.}e first fifteen minutes of the disc, a set of nine miniatures for orchestra inspired by Linda Bouchaq:I' s reading of mediaeval stories. SongsforanAcrobat, with !ibre~o by.Maurice Tourigny, spans twenty-one minutes. The songs contain a whiff of Benjamin Britten, and I find myself listening to them repea.tedly . .The implied Britten connection is abett~d ·by Kevin McMillan's delivery, which soars above a middle ground somewhere to the right of Peter Pears and to the left of John Carol Case, Venige follows the songs and shows a ni'ore'iritense Bouchard, with some real virtuoso work required from all the players, and the NACO rises to the challenge. Ressac from 1992 ls the one non-commissioned work, another tourde-force in three sections, ending with a plaintive bassoon:solo. The final Eternity, virtually a four-movement symphony, displays true breadth of vision by the composer. · While · the whole orchestra works hard in this piece, special mention should go to the percussion. Booklet and cover design are attractive and sensible with notes in both official languages. Marquis is to be congratulated: Exquisite Fires is an exquisite record. John S. Gray Concert. Npte: Music of Linda Bouchard will be pelf armed on May 26 in a concen by New Music Concens Crystal Bones Barry Prophet; Janice Pomer fodependent BPJP 9701 (distributed !>y the Canadian Music Centre) The subtitle "Chamber percussion music performed on percussion, piano, electronics and 54 DISCOVERIES microtonally tunetl glass instruments created by Barry Prophet", and the cover art showing performers standing inside larger-than-life musical structures, invite the curious to enter a world of musical invention. The names of the newly created instruments add intrigue to the mix: Glass Lit hop hones, Transparent Tone Arch, Revolving Tone Door (a 6' poplar and rattan structure) and Glass Box (a 5'6" cube). Within we find a'variety of offerings, from energetic microtonal pattern _music to meditative meanderings through percussion sculptures and imaginary landscapes. Prophet and Pomer are joined by percussionist Ben Grossman, pianist Barbara Morrison and synthesist David Jaeger in differing combinations of the new and the somewhat more traditional. Perhaps most reminiscent of the music of inventor Harry Partch, these offerings are not however restricted by such rigorous tuning systems. As Barry Prophet explains "The glass instruments make use of pentatonic, chromatic and microtonic relationships. No one system is used exclusively or rigidly. Equal temperament comes and goes ... while Middle C and A 440 appear with humorous persistence." This allows for some very interesting combinations and juxtapositions between traditionally tuned instruments, unpitched drums and glass creations. While the improvisations themselves do not "push the envelope" in a creatively developmental sense, they do provide entry and a pleasant journey through several new and interesting soundworlds. David Olds Concert note: The Music Gallery's Composer Now series presents Barry Prophet - New compositions for micro tonally tuned glass lithophones & percussion on May 4. Havana Remembered Hilario Duran Avalon 21217 Like Chucho Valdez and Gonzalo Rubalcabo, Cuban-born Hilario Duran is another in a · significant line of pianists who have helped to popularize the music of that island within: the framework of world jazz. He has technique to spare and is an extremely versatile musician - performer, composer, arranger and teacher. Duran has been a Toronto resident since 1995 and has, inevitably, absorbed much of the w~.w. thewholenote.com music of his new environment. Havana Remembered is, however, full of "old world" charm and features art interesting collection of traditional Cuban themes "from the golden era of Cuban·music", the music of his heritage, to which he has added his own musical handprint. Don't look for a lot of freewheeling jazz here. There is a fair sprinkling of Duran himself anc:\ trumpeter Dave Dunlop gets a w'orkout on Cintura de alambre, but for the most part the music is arranged and ensemble is the thing. There are, for my ears, some interesting overtones - at times reminiscent of the music of Mexico, at others, almost a hint of the music of the New Orleans ragtime orchestras. - The overall effect is indeed charming, to use a rather old-fashioned, out of fashion, word. And here's another old-fashioned word, but becoming less so - acoustic. You will not hear any synthesizers or electronic enhancing here. The music is refreshingly acoustic and the repertoire with its authentic themes makes for close to an hour of very enjoyable listening. • Jim Galloway ... Concert note: Hilario Duran. performs at Havergal College Recital Hall on May 24. Rachmaninov Vespers (All Night Vigil), Op.37 Olga Borodina; Vladimir Mostowoy; St. Petersburg Chamber Choir; Nikolai Korniev Philips CD 442 344-2 There are few choral works that send shivers down my spine each and every time I listen to them. One of those rare gems is the Rachmaninov Vespers, or more accurately All Night Vigil, as recorded by the St. Petersbdrg Chamber Choir under the direction of Nikolai Korniev. Korniev, a graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, founded tlte choir in 1977. Since then the choir _l}as frequently toured and recorded both in Russia and abroad, and has demonstrated to audiences that it belongs among the ranks of the world's best choirs. The dense textures of All Night Vigil demand strong ensemble singing to display its elegance and beauty. For the mo~t part the choir delivers thanks to a tremendous soprano section, which displays angelic chant-like phrasing, and a supernatural bass section chat helps the choir with intonation and overall balance, with only a few exceptions. Korniev's interpretation is generally straight ahead, however Olga Borodina's solo in 'Bless the Lord, 0 My Soul' has an operatic feel which would have been more appropriate in a less traditional recording. The disc's sonic quality is reasonable; however dense reverberation occasionally affects the overall clarity of the work, disguising some of the textures that make this piece so beautiful. This 1994 Philips recording of the Vespers remains one of my favourites and I will make sure to be in attendance next month to hear the choir perform it live at the Toronto International Choral Festival. Michael Warning May 1 - June 7 2002

Concert note: Korniev and the St. Petersburg Chamber Choir perform Rachmaninov's All Night Vigil at Massey Hall pn June J. NEWAND RECENT RELEASES Graupner: Partitas for Harpsichord Vol.1 Genevieve Soly Arialekta FL 2 3109 · Me~dels~ohn, Lalo: Piano Trios Gryphon Trio Analekta fleurs de lys FL 2 3127 Recorded in the marvelous acoustic of the George Weston Recital Hall last autumn, this marks the Gryphon Trio's third recording for the Analekra label. It is the first to feature the extr.aordinary Stradivarius· and Gagliano instruments on loan to violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon and cellist Roman Borys from the Christoph Graupner (1683 '-- 1760), instrument bank of the Canada a long-time friend of Handel and CounciL Both the instrurrients and the Telemann, is perhaps best known as players are heard to advantage in the man who turned down the job these performances of two lesser-' that allowed Bach to be given the known gems of the trio repertoire. post as Cantor at St. Thomas's in . It's hard to know just why these Leipzig. He was a prolific compo- pieces are neglected. Mendelssohn's ser and although one is often aware Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 66, is of the influences of J.S. Bach, every bit as charming as its betterlutenist Sylvius Leopold Weiss, or known predecessor inD minor and Fran9ois Couperin in his music, like all of this compos·er's work~ i~ there is still a distinct and brilliant seems, it contains a playful and individuality in the music of energetic Scherzo reminiscent of A

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