8 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 3 - November 2004

  • Text
  • November
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Theatre
  • December
  • Arts
  • Orchestra
  • Musical
  • Ensemble
  • Symphony


EDITOR'S CORNER Schubert's Trout Quintette is the · featured work on the latest release from the Chamber Players of Canada, house band of the Ottawa Chamber Music Society (ATMA Classique ACD2 2346). The CMS core string players Andrew Dawes, Guylaine Lemaire and founder Julian Armour are joined by pianist Andrew Tunis and double . bass player Murielle Bruneau for this sparkling performance of one of the best-loved works in the chamber music repertoire. The recording also includes the much less familiar Adagio and Rondo concertant, a piano quartet that represents Schubert's only other chamber composition with piano larger than a trio. With the group's previous release having only limited availability on the CMS's own independent label, it's nice to know that this important disc will have proper international distribution through the auspices of ATMA. Schubert's chamber music is also featured when the Salzburg Chamber Soloists perform director Lavard Skou-Larsen's own arrangement of the string quartet Death and the Maiden (Coviello Classics 30201). Taking its inspiration from the late Sandor Vegh, the great Hungarian violinist with whom many of its members studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, this string ensemble was founded in 1991 with intention of performing orchestral chamber music "with the freedom of soloists". WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM The live recording from the 2000 Festivo-Aschau captures this in a spirited yet intimate performance where the individual lines and nuances are not lost, even in the resonant acoustic of the hall. Hearing Schubert's quartet in such lush fllness is a bit disconcerting at first, but it doesn't take long to adjust thanks to the convincing performance. More familiar to me in this texture is the companion piece, Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony Op.JJOa, Rudolf Barshai 's authorized-by-the-composer orchestration of the eighth string quartet. The orchestral version is performed much slower than the quartet, with the three Largo movements drawn out achingly, thus making the Allegro molto "dance macabre" and Allegretto movements even more effective. Another recording that combines classical repertoire with the modern is Michael Sweeney's independent release Mozart and Well Beyond - works for bassoon and ensemble (available from www .michaelsweeney.corn). The disc features Sweeney's own edition of the Mozart Bassoon Concerto, a work for which no manuscript has survived, and is accompanied by an informative essay in which Sweeney explains why he undertook the editing project•and how he went about it. He is joined by some of Toronto's finest young freelance musicians in the form of the Seiler Strings (supplemented by woodwinds for the Mozart), with leader Mayumi Seiler, solo percussionist Graham Hargrove and harpist Erica Goodman. Hargrove's marimba adds a rhythmic pulse to the lush string textures in Marjan Mozetich 's gorgeous Concerto, which was premiered on Seiler's Via Salzburg series at Glenn Gould Studio in June 2003. NOVEMBER 1 - DECEMBER 7 2004

Lush and lyrical is also how I would describe the other two new works included, Rodney Sharman's At Dusk (adapted from the large scale work for voices and orchestra Love, Beauty, Desire composed in 2002 for the Vancouver Symphony) and American Michael Welsh's Serenade (commissioned by Michael Sweeney). Performance Note: Michael Sweeney is a founding member and key organizer of The Bach Consort that, with soloists, will perform Bach ·s Christmas Oratorio under Nicholas McGegan's direction at a special dinner-included event at Eglinton St. George's United Church on November26. (Call 416 481-1141 ex.250 for tickets.) Mayumi Seiler and the Seiler Strings are featured in Christmas Via Salzburg at Glenn Gould Studio December 9 and 10. "Variations on a Memory" (TBS02004) is an independent release from the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra ( that features works by five young Canadian composers. While it is perhaps a stretch to apply that designation 10 Alexia Louie, one of this contry's most distinguished and accomplished musical creators, she was indeed a young composer at the time she wrote her first orchestral work, rhe JUNO awardwinning Songs of Paradise, back in 1983 thanks to a TBSO commission. The other TBSO commission included here was written by Lakehead University professor Arrs Carastathis for a Bach-themed concert in 2003. It incorporates themes from several familiar works by the baroque master into a modern, but not particularly interesting idiom. More successful to my ears are the works by John Estacio, who has served as composer in residence with both the Edmonton and Calgary Symphony Orchestras, and Jeffrey Ryan, composer-advisor to Music Toronto and composer in residence with the Vancouver Symphony. The disc also includes a concertante piece for violin and orchestra by formances of the same work in last Regent Levasseur, Farewell to the month's issue - I would be curious Warriors, which celebrates both the to hear how John feels this com­ Mohawk heritage of violin soloist pares with those other two. My Tara-Louise Montour who corn- own experience with the sonata missioned the work, and the clas- began more than 30 years ago when sical tradition in which she was I had the privilege of attending a trained. As with Michael Sweeney's lecture/demonstration by Ives CD, there is nothing here that really - scholar John Kirkpatrick at Wal­ "pushes the envelope", but this is a ter Hall. Kirkpatrick gave a desolid recording of pleasant comem- tailed analysis of this extremely porary orchestral repertoire and complex work which still sounds the TBSO and conductor Geoffrey "modern" almost a century after it Moull are to be commended for was written. As a matter of fact it their initiative. was exactly 100 years ago, in I 904, that Ives sketched an '"A I co us" overture, one of the forerunners of this sonata. Subtitled ''Concord Mass., 1840-1860", Ives take a number of figures of the Transcendentalist movement, Emerson, awthorne, the Alcotts and Thoreau, as his inspiration. Since that fom1ative time of my youth this work has stuck with me as kind of benchmark of moder­ A new recording of Charles Ives' nity, as has Ives reported response Concord Sonata is the latest release to someone who complained about by renowned Canadian pianist his music: "Sit down and take your Marc-Andre Hamelin (Hyperion dissonance like a man!" Hamelin's CDA67469). Unfortunately it arrived too late to pass on to John Lehr performance is up to his usual vinuosic and interpretive standards and for his review of Stephen Mayer I highly recommend it. He pairs the and Pierre-Laurent Aimard's per- Continued 011 page 74 Features: Meas ha Bruggergosmilfl p···· => • : Sibelius/Sindinr II vrvALDt Yto6n Conctftos l> l>M11itJJo.. RV 395 GL.wb. ttv s Nolb. in m11.1 . .-fo p.1" lru-1•r:1 An:lrl!M.ld • .._..,.' .\rf4Lt l.:.tnhtf' 1t1l('I (·hc

Copied successfully!

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)