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Volume 10 Issue 3 - November 2004

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  • November
  • Toronto
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  • December
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1 Nadina Mackie

1 Nadina Mackie Jacksor:J., ''\' her latest CD N otesfromabroJ DISC EDITOR'S CORNER co11ti11uedfrom page 15 work with another milestone of the American repertoire, Samuel Barber's Piano Sonata, Op. 26. For anyone not familiar with these two contemporary classics this disc would make a fine introduction. A Canadian who is uncompromising in his modernism is Edmonton composer Howard Bashaw. I have an advance copy of his new CD "form archimage" (Arktos 200480) and it is one of the most dynamic and energizing discs I have encountered in some time. It features extended works for solo piano performed by Marc Couroux and VE RIES Roger Admiral. along with ensemble pieces for clarinet, violin, cello and piano and percussion/piano duet. All of the works were written in the last 3 years and all contain maniacally unrelenting rhythmic passages of extreme virtuosity. lvesian tone clusters are juxtaposed with, and sometimes incorporated into, contrapuntal molO perpetuo passages and percussive pizzicato outbursts from the cello and squawks from the clarinet punctuate some of the calmer moments of these truly visceral offerings. This is not to say that there is no re pite - there are moments of true beauty here too - but rather to emphasize that this is new music with an edge. We welcome your feedback and invite submissions. Catalogues, review copies of CDs and comments should be sent to: WholeNote, 503 - 720 Bathurst St. Toronto ON MSS 2R4. We also welcome your input via our website, www.thewholenote.com. David Olds Editor, DJSCoveries NOVEMBER 1 - DECEMBER 7 2004

VOCAL AND OPERA Arianna a Naxos David DQ Lee, countertenor Yannick Nezet-Seguin, piano ATMA Classique ACD 22326 At 26 years of age, the young Korean-Canadian countertenor, David Dong Qyu Lee, is already creating magical moments of great vocal drama on this his debut solo recording. Possessing an uncommonly rich voice especially well suited for the vocal repertoire of Beethoven and Haydn, he also sings the more traditional countertenor repertoire of arie antiche by Sarti, Caldara, Marcello, Sarro, Handel, Lotti, Mozart and Porpora. Jn the Haydn work, Arianna a Naxos, originally sung by great castrato Pacchierotti, the recirativo, "Ma, a chi parlo?" followed by the aria "Ah che morir vorrei" showcases Lee's range of expressive vocal colour. Impressive are his fearless full-voice high notes, yet it is also where he experiences occasional roughness. The charming Four Italian Ariettas by Beethoven are beautifully sung in the intimate small room ambience of this recording, though almost in danger of being overshadowed by the brilliance and sensitivity of accompanist Yannick Nezet­ Seguin who is better known for his accomplishments as a conductor. Nezet-Seguin's piano work in the Haydn is also notable for its artistic refinement. Though seemingly more comfortable with melodrama than lyricism, Lee contradicts me with his rendition of Handel's famous "Lascia ch'io pianga". I'll bet he'll soon be back with more surprises. Fra11k T. fVakashima Schubert - Winterreise Ian Bostridge; Leif Ove Andsnes EMI Classics 7243 S 57790 2 1 "Each of us makes our own Winterreise," writes Ian Bostridge in his probing booklet notes for his new recording of Schubert's seminal, much-recorded song cycle. He's right, of course, and here he and Leif Ove Andsnes make a personal, impassioned, and utterly riveting Wimerreise. Bostridge's ardent tenor gives youthful vulnerability to a role more often sung by darker-voiced baritones. He offers indelible moments of exquisite tenderness and beauty. But he readily flattens out his colour into a kind of speech-song, or cuts back to a half-voice, to emphasize the meaning of the texts. Andsnes, who comes to his ongoing partnership with Bostridge as a concert soloist, throws off the role of accompanist to share centre stage. His commanding, highly textured pl'!ying reflects the i agery of Muller's poems - wh1stl111g winds, rustling branches, babbling streams, and galloping horses. He manages to end a song effectively while barely slowing down or diminishing the sound, so that the piano seems to continue the storytelling. But throu_ghout, he remams responsive to Bostridge. Together Bostridge and Andsnes do make this work their own. They play up suggestions of madness that start to creep in at lrrlicht, occasionally relieving the growing despair with passages of heart-breaking sweetness. Eventually, in Mut, the narrator sees himself as a romantic hero, declaring "Jf we can't have gods on earth, we are g9dS ourselves". The poignancy as he goes off with the hurdy-gurdy player is unforgettable. Pamela Margles Performance notes: Matthias Goerne, who postponed his September 26 performance of Die Winterreise due to illness, will return to Roy Thomson Hall at a date yet to be determined. Gerald Finley performs Winterreise for The Aldeburgh Connection on Thursday April 14 at Walter Hall, with Stephen Ralls on piano. Brahms - Lieder Marie-Nicole Lemieux MichaeIMcMahon; Nicolo Eugelmi Analekta AN 2 9906 Quebec contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux first burst onto the stage in 2000 as a 20-year old winner of the Queen Fabiola top prize AND the Special Lied Prize at the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Music Competition. That competition, one of the most prestigious in the world, became the launch pad for a career that to-date includes perforn1- ances with orchestras conducced by some of che greatest living conductors: Plasson, Dutoit, Marriner and Minkowski, to name a few. Ms. Lemieux's voice is an operatic instrument thac can tackle successfully music of Berlioz, Handel, Mozart, Verdi, Vivaldi and Wagner. It also lends itself beaucifully to the intimate environment of lieder with piano accompaniment. One would think that songs by Mahler, Schubert and Berlioz would be her preferred milieu. Instead, Ms. Lemieux confounds expectations by releasing a beautifully crafted album of songs by Brahms. Brahms wrote nearly 200 songs, but they are not what identify him as composer to a casual listener. By purposely ignoring the great composers of the past as well as his contemporaries, he simultaneously delivered beautiful music that augments texts by the lesser-known poets and deprived his songs of a strong "marketing hook" that names such as Goethe or Heine could provide. Though frequently criticized for his choice of texts, Brahms remained true to his emotional signature: solitude, unrequited love and consolation of nature. By choosing these song cycles over the more obvious choices, Ms. Lemieux remains true to her signature: that of an art.ist of integrity. . Roberl Tomas Franco Zeffirelli's Verdi - Don .Carlo Pavarotti; Ramey; Dessi et al Teatro alla Scala; Riccardo Muti EMI Classics DVD S 99442 9 By the 1860's Verdi's reputation had reached great international fame. It was then that he decided to conquer the Paris audience with a new opera based on Schiller's drama, Don Carlos. The progress was difficult with many compromises and revi- sions but finally the opera became a huge success. Paris was accustomed to Meyerbeer' s "G rand Opera" version but Verdi infused the scory with his immortal melodies. something the much less talented Meyerbeer had never been able to do. The result is one of Verdi's greatest masterworks. Enormously expensive to produce and requiring among other things six cop quality singers, performances have always been great occasions. Such an occasion is chis wonderful performance from La Scala, directed and designed by Franco Zeffirelli, one of the great directors of our time. He has created a regal produccion of splendid opulent sets of monumental archicectural scale and detail, beautiful costumes and a creative use of colour. Jc would be worth having this re-· cording for Samuel Ramey alone. He is magnificenc as the powerful buc torcured Philip II. Daniela Dessi 's strong soprano, as Elisabetta, has a great deal of emotion both lyrically and dramatically and - lso shows her essential vulnerab1hty. She is truly unforgettable in the sublime fourth act. Pavarotti is no longer in his prime, but his greatness is still in evidence. His voice is firm and powerful in this difficult tenor role. Luciana d'lntino, the internationally famous strong mezzo, is a vocally excellent Eboli full of character. Muti conducts with verve; his leadership is dynamic, passionate and pulls the opera together well. This DVD is definitely a "must have" for Don Carlo enthusiasts. Janos Gardo11yi EARLY MUSIC The King's Teacher; Works for lute, theorbo and guitar by Robert de Visee Eduardo Egilez M-A Recordings M064A The lute music of Robert de Vi see is simply gorgeous, replete with elegance and sensuality, and more able to simultaneously evoke the qualities of intinlacy and solitude than any other solo instrumental Baroque NOVEMBER 1 - DECEMBER 7 2004 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM 75

Volume 26 (2020- )

Volume 26 Issue 1 - September 2020
Volume 26 Issue 2 - October 2020
Volume 26 Issue 3 - November 2020

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volume 25 Issue 9 - July / August 2020
Volume 25 Issue 8 - May / June 2020
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Volume 25 Issue 3 - November 2019
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