8 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 2 - October 2004

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followed by two descending _notes repeated. Typical Janacek features are trills at unusual places, interesting quirky turns of phrase and mood changing, somewhat Schubenian modulations. Note the sudden shot of lightning, ff, in section IV ofln the Mists - A very thrilling effect. Hakon Austbo, an interesting and highly accomplished pianist with a penchant for the modem and unusual repertoire, plays with authority, sensitivity, imagination, passion and the flawless technique these pieces require. A wonderful recording, well engineered and anractively presented with a scholarly booklet. Ives - Concord Sonata; Celestial Railroad Steven Mayer Janos Gardo11yi Naxos American Classics 8.559221 Ives - Concord Sonata; Songs Pierre-Laurent imard Susan Graham Warner Classics 2564 60297-2 t'll.AKJ .. tS IVfS 11\aec; s"' s.), l ·C-00«rrd' l'hl· l'l•kl;E l"lu·S1m '\,. .. ; ··a';nI >"!!l;>k'lO: • w!i'" ,l,.ml·.h•

YLAIHMlii $Pr'Yjlltl.0Y' Alexander Ghindin, piano & other soloists Moscow Virtuosi; Vladimir Spivakov Capriccio 67 016 The prolific Russian composer Alfred Schnittke had many champions among the world's great instrumentalists - Gidon Kremer and Mstislav Rostropovich to name two - while he was alive. Since his death in 1998. interest in his music has continued to grow and the latest product of this interest is a first-rate disc from violinist/conductor Vladimir Spivakov. Four major works. spanning 25 years of Schnittke's writing, are represented here. The program opens with his Sonata for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, an angular, "polystylistic" work which began life as a piece for violin and piano in 1963. Schnittke orchestrated it five year later with an ear toward lush at times nostalgic string colours. Th prominent harpsichord part cuts through the texture in intriguing ways throughout. The haunting tone that Spivakov brings to the Largo 3rJ movement is one of the highlights of the recording. The most interesting piece on the CD is Schnittke's Five Fragments based on Paintings by Hieronymous Bosch, which the composer dedicated to Spivakov. Written in 1994, after the composer had endured a series of minor strokes, the work purports to reflect on the themes of sin and redemption through a modem biographer's interpretations of a few of the Netherlandi h painter's significant works. Even without taking into account its supposed programmatic qualities, the piece is a fascinating blend of sounds, bringing together tenor (in two fragments), trombone, viol in, timpani, harpsichord and strings. The other two pieces - a suite in the "old style" and Concerto for Piano and Strings - are not quite as interesting, but one comes away from Ii tening with a renewed admiration for Schnittke's art and Spivakov's multiple talents. Larry Beckwith OCTOBER 1 - NOVEMBER 7 2004 Concert Note: Vladimir Spivakov and the Moscow Virtuosi return to the Toronto Centre for the Arts with an October 30 performance at the George Weston Recital Hall that will include music of Shostakovich, Mozart and Boccherini and a special appearance by the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus. JAZZ AND SUCH According to Gordie Gordie Fleming Just A Memory (Justin Time) JAM9158-2 l 'm not sure if there are more jazz jokes about banjos or accordions. It's probably neck and neck, but one thing is certain - nobody making an accordion joke ever had Gordie Fleming in mind and this selection of recordings ranging from late 40s to 1990 shows why. It's a mixed bag of standards - superior ones like East Of The Sun and You Stepped Out Of A Dream - and originals. The music is from a variety of sources - but mostly CBC sessions and private collections, including Fleming's own. He is heard with a wide range of musicians whose names will conjure up memories for seasoned listeners, but it is the accordion which shines through consistently, although on three numbers Gordie lays down the accordion to play piano and, on Critic's Choice, organ. The earliest recording is a short version of Caravan, made when Fleming was only 16 years old. Wrapping up the CD there is an oddball recording, on which Gordie shares the vocal with bassist Rob Adams, of a song associated with another superior accordion player/ singer, Joe Mooney. It is called A Man With A Million Dollars and Gordie's is the soft 'whispering' vocal contribution. Plagued by ill health for a number of years, Gordie Fleming passed away in August of 2002. This CD is a fitting memorial to his great talent. Jim Galloway CHAN DOS DOHNANYI PIANO CONCERTO N0.2 • VIOLIN CONCERTO N0.2 CONCERTINO FOR HARP.AND CHAMBER ORCHESTRA ·· JAMES EHNES, violin • CLIFFORD LANTAFF; hrp HOWARD SHELLEY. piano • BBC PHILHARMONIC MATIHIAS BAMERT s pianist, Dohnanyi was legendary. As a composer, Abowever, he l!" as fo many years dismissed.ilittl · ore than a mus1I ad1unct or Brahms. Certainly his c s ore conservative than that of bis contemporaries, b ';

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