6 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 10 - July/August 2005

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  • Festival
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  • August
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sentences like, "But

sentences like, "But Latin America is vast and down to the south of the continent, other expressions are propitious to yankees' phantasmagoria." Huh? The rough edges on these original recordings are still there, giving this collection an energy and rawness regrettably missing from a lot of today's offerings. On the opening track by Fred Astaire and Oscar Peterson you can actually hear the trumpet player breathing. And Stan Kenton's Cuban Episode threatened to sear a hole in my CD player with its genuine intensity. Great stuff. Give this disc a spin at your next party and let everyone take a mambo back in time. Cathy Riches Lauren Posner Lauren Posner Milagro/Voxtone MCD 1309 It is during Lover, the third track on Lauren Posner's new self-titled CD, that you begin to wonder exactly where this talented young singer is coming from. On first glance, the track listings seem to be fairly self-explanatory- a mix of Yiddish folk songs, and music inspired by various Hebrew texts sung in English and French. And yet, this track, with its mixture of acoustic and lapsteel guitars almost strikes the listener as being as much east-coast as it is middle eastern. There is also some very nice solo work from some of the ensemble members - notably from Domenic Soulard whose flamenco guitar sets the tone for Sent irs De L 'Amour, and from Carmen Piculeata whose violin soars on several tracks including the album's opener Shalom Alecheim. The arrangements, done primarily by bassist Igor Bartula, are not rushed, and have a wonderful build. The band provides atmosphere as well as support for the vocals - the groove on Posner's rendition of Miserlou is infectious enough to allow one to forget the famous surfguitar version. Perhaps most effective is the final track, entitled Come Forth, where Posner's voice remains constant in dynamic and intensity while the band simply seems to allow the piece to unfold in what seems like an organic fashion . Overall, thi music seems like a viable definition for "world music", by seamlessly combining the traditions and harmonies of traditional Klezmer and Yiddish melodies with the rhythms and ideas of the rest of the world. Sophia Perlman Music Composed for the Piano by George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff and Thomas de Hartmann Elsa Denzey Independent (Gurdjieff Foundation of Toronto Experimental Group www. gurdj ieff .ca) I reveal unto you a mystery: put on these headphones. The Gurdjieff/ De Hartmann oeuvre is impressive, with nearly 300 works annotated. Seldom heard outside of the circle of Gurdjieff adherents, these pieces were released on a few limited-edition 12" records back in the 1970's. My fust exposure to one of those records was, predictably, in a vegetarian restaurant. This CD contains 21 brief works, mostly avoiding anything the westernized ear would recognize as development. The slowest works achieve a most beautiful sense of line. That derived , we are told, from sounds that Gurdjieff heard on his travels to remote Asian temples and monasteries. These works keep us guessing how much of de Hartmann's practised hand is in the score; he was more than mere copyist to Gurdjieff. Surprise harmonic twists startle us within a framework of drone-like or tonally simple works. It isn 't so much that they would be unusual in the context of serialism, it is that we aren't prepared for their occurrence here. You just have to surrender to this music, and many rewards come. You can extrapolate some of this music as a forward influence to Jarrett, and certainly Brian Eno. Pianist Elsa Denzey is as authentic an interpreter as possible, having studied under deHartrnann's pupil Annette Herter. The recorded piano sound is spectacular, aided by technician Anton Kwiatowski . JohnS. Gray

NEW from Deutsche Grammophon Pietro Cavalleria Rusticana MASCAGNI Ruggiero Pagliacci LEON CAVALLO Based on a production of these two seemingly inseparable operas at La Scala Milan from 1981, both movies were taped in 1982. For Pagliacci, director Franco Zeffirelli was honoured with an Emmy as best director in the category of classical music programming in 1985. Cavalleria Rusticana was filmed in the Sicilian village of Vizzini, the home town of writer Giovanni Verga on whose original story the opera is based. Both productions feature the brilliant Placido Domingo at the very height of his vocal abilities­ Teresa Stratas gives a captivating performance as his counterpart in Pagliacci. Two timeless stories of love, honour, justice and violence, captured on just one DVD - a highlight for every opera lover

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