8 years ago

Volume 8 Issue 5 - February 2003

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • February
  • Theatre
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Arts
  • Bloor
  • Orchestra
  • Symphony
  • Faculty

D/SCoveries is a CD

D/SCoveries is a CD review section designed to complement and enhance our pre-emine!Jt coverage of Toronto's live classical, jazz and new music concert scene, featuring reviews by WholeNote columnists _ and independent contributors. CDs are considered for review in the following categories: 1. "Concert prep" - CDs, new or otherwise, which tie in with events being featured in the current issue of the magazine. Many discs in the other categories also relate to upcoming events as noted; 2. New and Recent Releases :_ newly released CDs relevant to our magazine's coverage of the music scene; 3. "Worth repeating" - CDs newly re-issued, or previously released but still generally available, deemed particularly noteworthy by a member of our editorial panel; 4. "lndie list" - Small label and independent _release CDs, often featuring indiyiduals or groups active Of) the local music scene. 5. "Disc(s) of the month" - Discs of special interest, often with a particular connection to the month's concert activities or editorial focus. We-think D/SCoveries is 'a logical and exciting extension to The WholeNote's coverage of the Toronto music scene. We welcome your feedback and invite submissions. Catalogues, review'copies of CDs and comments should be sent . to: The WholeNote, 60 Bellevue Avenue, Toronto ON M5T 2N4 . . We also welcome y{)ur input via our website, David Olds Editor, D/SCoveries CONCERT PREP Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations , Pierre Hantal, harpsichord Opus 111 OPS 30-84 This month, Tafelmusik presents Bach's Goldberg Variations in a performance by one of today's finest interpreters, French harpsichordist Pierre HantaL His ·splendid recording, which won a number of awards when it was first released in 1992, has recently been re-released. It offers a convincing argument for hearing this work·on the instrument for which Bach wrote it, the doublemanual harpsichord. No matter how enthrallingly pianists like Gould and Perahia perform this work, it sounds quite different on a piano. Since harpsi~ chord strings are plucked, harpsichordists rely on detailed articulation to express nuances like dynamics, phrasing and accents. As well, Bach wrote many of the variations specifically for two manuals, which offer a greater vari~ty of colour combinations and voicings. Pianists need to use octave doublings and transpositions to accommodate a single keyboard. Hantai"'s sound is unmatched for Arbiter Artifaet Attacca Bridge CRI Donemus Metier Mode Montaigne NM Classics New Albion NewWotld. Tall Poppies its beauty, expressiveness, and sparkle. He takes almost all Bach's repeats, offering subtle shadings of ornamentation. and colour. The Aria is exquisitely poetic, the Giga buoyant and graceful,' the Ouverture brilliantly dramatic. In the anguished chromaticism of the ·monumental Variation 25 he achieves poignancy without sacrificing momentum. In the famous Quodlibet built on two popular folksongs, Hantal conveys the limitless inventiveness of Bach's imagination. The recording quality is superb, providing room for Hantal's· spacious textures. No one needs to give up a treasured piano version, but anyone who is interested in Bach's masterwork will enjoy Hantai"'s magnificent recording. Pamela Marg/es Concert Note: Pierre Hantai' performs Bach's Goldberg Variations February 13-j 6 at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre. The Aldeburgh Connection's 20th Anniversary Collection Various artists Independent (www To celebrate its twentieth anniversary, the Toronto-based Aide- - burgh Connection has compiled over sixty selections from the numerous concerts it has presented during the past ten years. The importance of the texts is underlined by the inclusion of readings from related poems, letters and anecdotes, which remain an important component of Aldeburgh Connection concerts. This extraordinary project is as much a tribute to founding directors Bruce Ubukata and Stephen Ralls, who share duties as supportive and stylish accompanists, as to the , remarkable singers involved. · The collection contains over sixty selections, from Catherine Robbin's· expressive Purcell (arranged by Britten, of course, since the Connection grew out of Britten's festival in Aldeburgh, England) through Nancy Argenta's characterful and Michael Schade's ardent Schubert, Adrianne Pieczonka' s and Susa~ Platts' resplendent Strauss, Russell Braun's beguiling Wolf, James Westman's impassibned Rachmaninov, Brett Polegato's stylish Poulenc, Nathalie Paulin' s scintillating Debussy, Daniel Neffs scene-stealing Gilbert and Sullivan, Valdine Anderson's incisive Webern, and Linda Maguire's witty Schoenberg, to moving Britten from Gerald Finley and eloquent Beckwith from Monica Whicher. ' Given the recording circumstances, the sound quality is unsurprisingly variable. But the twodisc set is well packaged, with full texts and translations, and provides rich and pleasurable listening. Pamela Marg/es Concert notes: The Aldeburgh ·Connection's roster is a veritable Who's who of Canadian vocalists and many of them willperfonn in Toronto in upcoming months. Opera in Concert is producing Rameau 's Castor et Pollux on Feb. 8 and 9 with Colin Ains'worth and Benjamin Butterfield. Butterfield also sings with Off-Centre Music at Glenn Gould Studio on Sunday February 23. Susan Platts sings with the COC orchestra under Richard Bradshaw at Glenn Gould Studio on Tuesday. February 11. On February 22, C(ltherine Robbin joins pianists Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata for a celebration of the lieder of Hugo Wolf with young artists and alumni of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, at Walter Hall. Nancy Argenta joins Daniel Taylor and the Theatre of Early Music for a concert on Sunday, March 9 at Trinity-St. Paul's Centre. On Sunday, ·March 16, Norine Burgess sings Gershwin, Porter and Coward with The Aldeburgh Connection in Walter Hall. The Aldeburgh Connection also presents Monica Whicher and Russell Braun in Wolf's ltalienisches Liederbuch with accompanists Ralls and Ubukata at Glenn Gould Studio on Tuesday, March ~5. James Westman sings Sharpless in Puccini's Madama Butteifly March 28 to April 19 with the Canadian Opera Company at the Hummingbird Centre. Nathalie Paulin sings Elvira in the COC production of Rossini's The Italian Girl in Algiers April 1 to 17 at the Hummingbird Centre. James Westman gives a recital in the Off-Centre Music Series at Glenn Gould Studio on Sun

Robbin and Friends, which includes Nancy Argenta and Benjamin Butterfield, at Walter Hall .. Colin Ainsworth sings with The Aldeburgh Conn.ection 's Schubertiad on May 7 cit Glenn Gould Studio. Catherine . Robbin gives her farewell concert on Monday, May 12 with members of Tafelmusik lead by Jeanne Lamon and on June~ Colin Ainsworth sings · with The'Talisker Players at Trinity­ St. Paul's Centre. belief. Gigli started his career when opera still meant new music eagerly awaited by people of all social classes. Thanks to Marston, you get sound quality more than sufficient . to capture the excitement and musical excellence rarely matched in 24-bit stereo. Phil Ehrensaft Concert note: The Canadian Opera Company presents A Masked Ball (Un hallo in maschera) at 2 p.m. on f'.eb. 2 and at 8 p.m. on Feb. 5 & 8, at the Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts. was perhaps too subtle and delicate to impart the vigour and excitement that one associates with this kind of music. In other words, one might have wished for a mor-e impassioned approach. Having said that, I'm thankful for the.opportunity to hear this beautiful music. Frank T. Nakashima C.P.E. Bach: Flute Concertos Patrick Gallois, flute Toronto Camerata; Ke\dn M:illon Naxos 8.555715-16 Though he laboured at the court in Berlin for three decades, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) was a· relatively minor figure in the. elaborate musical entourage of the· dilettante flautist Frederick the Great: To describe Patrick Gallois'. performances of these five concertos NEW RELEASES ' \ ~\'i.O~t!m rn-n WASSt:NAlm -t:om::' -.:?~'H Annonfri Verdi: Un hallo in maschera Beniamino Gigli; Maria Caniglia; Gino Bechi; Fedora Barbieri Chorus & Orchestra of.the Rome Opera House; Tullio Serafin Naxos Historical 8.110178-79. Wilhelm van Wassenaer: If you listen to one album of Un hallo Concerti Armonici before attending a COC performance, there's no better choice than _Aradia Ensemble; Kevin t h' 1s magm 'f 1cent new re 1 ease b y Mallon N 8 555384 Naxos Historical. Gigli (1890- axos · . 1957), the worthy succesimr to "Wassen-who?" you ask? This is not Caruso as the great Italian tenor of the first time that the question has the first half of the twentieth century, been posed over the past 250 years sings the lead role. I regarded the or so. Because Wilhelm van expression "golden voice" as an Wassenaer (1692-1766) wished to irritating cliche until I caught Gigli's remain anonymous (and took active performances properly re- steps to preserve this anonymity), stored. Serafin .(1878-1968), a giant the six concerti recorded on this CD in the history of opera conducting, have only recently been ascribed to leads· the forces of the Rome Opera him. He is certainly a composer of House in this 1943 'recording. A accomplished, if modest, proporyoung Barbieri is superb beyond her tions, and this repertoire provides years as the sorceress Ulrica. Un the perfect vehicle for Toronto's hallo is a high point of Verdi's Aradia Ensemble to display its talent. middle period, an ultimate Italian These concertos for four violins opera. Why it got shunted to the (Kevin Mallon, GenevieveGilardeau, sidelines of the standard repertoire Krista Buckland Reisner, and Julia until recently is curious indeed. · Wedman) are written in an idiomatic Just as much a real star of this Baroque Italian style not unlike Naxos set, however, is Wayne Corelli or Pergolesi. The writing is Marston: a blind jazz musician who, richly textured and joyful. in the eyes of many aficionados, is The spirited, stylish, arid rhythmic THI\. wizard of h\storical opera playing of Aradia does much to restoration. Two previous restor- compensate for occasional lack of ations of this 1943 Balla are available refinement in tuning. At times, the on CD. This one however is in a trills seemed coldly calculated and class by itself, with Naxos prices to measured. In contrast, the w;irm, boot. Marston combs the world for , lyrical playing of Allen· Whear's prime 78's, and then combines hi cello in the first concerto offered a tech with his musician's ear to wonderful model of musical sensiachieve sound quality that is beyond . tivity. At other times, the playing February 1 - March 7.2003 ' . www.HMV.cum www. emidassics. rn

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