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Volume 10 Issue 4 - December 2004

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  • Toronto
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ill Ill ill Iii ill Ill Ill Ill Ill nnr tffi( tm( tffi( rrrn NAXOS 111 111 111 111 111 MONTHLY FEATURE '\ l'I .,. ... "-t•' rr• .. . ... . - , ,... ...... .. 9'\· ... , r . . · ' ... /I .. .. · . ,'· , VIVALDI: Sacred Music V11lumc I: Aradia Ensemble Kc' in lallon 11.557445 Oon·1 fori:ct Aradia's spccial !!I \'haldi Chrhlma Conccrl & CD launch Sun Dec 121h. 3 p.m. Si Paul'> Basilica X3 l'owcr S1. Toron10 rickc1s: S20.00IS12.00 1'1 II K \I\"\! I l""' ,... t;.. ' '- 1 •• l .... ,,_... .., ., MAXWELL OA VIES Nnxos Quartets I & 2 Mai:gini Qu11rte1 8.557396 ._...., . ... \ 'I "" . . " ...,... ,... .. ... . .. .... .. _,,,_.,_,. RACHMANINOV Vespers Finnish Opera Chorus 11.5559011 \t all line record stores. For more information about a\os go to www.naxos.com . performs on recorder. transver e nute and violin. Now based in Montreal the group also includes Sophie Lariviere (recorder and transverse nute), Lukas Friedrich (violin), Michael Spengler (viola da · gamba), Maria Grossmann (harpsichord), Hubert Hoffmann (lute) and Rafik Samman (percussion). Frank T. Nakashima CLASSICAL AND BEYOND Jacqueline du Pre in Portrail (DVD) Elgar Cello Concerto; Beethoven Ghost Trio BBC Opus Arte DVD OA CN0902 0 beautiful ing much ducted various orchestras around There were about JOO CDs issued Europe bu1 after the Nazi occupa- by RCA remastered as Living This is a 1ion he was sent lO Terezin to lead Stereo. mainly classical. featuring the prisoners' orchestra. He was their prized conductors and their film cell­ later moved to Auschwi12. which orchestras, their distinguished inhe survived but his wife and six strumentalisls and singers. In spite of the month old baby did not. He met of all the advances in technology. musical his second wife in 1he camp and most, or perhaps all, or those rethey side of married after the liberation. cordings sound as remarkable 10- life of Following the departure of Vaclav day as 1hcy most certainly did then. the late Talich from The Czech Philhar- These and all other SACDs u1imonic, cc I Ii s t David Oistrakh suggested Jize a new process, DSD (Direct who died that Ancerl should take over. He Stream Digi1al), developed by in 1987, became established and guest con- Sony and Philips which by samducted the victras with distinguished orches- pling at 2,822,400 times per sec­ including The Berlin Philhar- ond dramatically increases possimonic and The Concertgebouw ble frequency range five-fold and Orchestra. But he never really re- dynamics by 24 db. The ne1 result covered from his horrific WW2 is that SACD is, at least for now. experiences and after the Russian ihe ultimate way to hear the origi­ tim of MS. hu1 whose all too few recordings are still held in the highest universal esteem. In 1his production we see her first well after she stopped performing in 1973 and then back to her receiving her first cello as a four year old. We learn tha1 she could sing in 1une before she could 1alk. l-lighligh1s of her career are touched on including her spiritual association wi1h the Elgar Cello Concerto, and we are treated lo lhe complete broadcast video of the concerto conducted by husband Daniel Barenboim. This is in black and while, which seems to enhance the experience. The Ghost trio is in colour. Wi1h lots of interviews and wonderful candid videos of che musicians a1 work and ac "play", this exemplary biography by Christopher Nupcn is one DVD that will be experienced many Limes over. Jacqueline du Pr(! is someone you would like to have known and those of us who heard and saw her live will forever be grateful. Bruce Surtees Karel Ancerl Gold Edition: Karel Ancerl and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; various distinguished soloists 42 Supraphon CDs (so far) This honoured conductor's recordings are available on various labels but Supraphon is the home·· label Vol.33 has 1he Mahler Ninth; Vol.31 has the Brahms Double Conceno and Second Symphony: Vol.29 has an auractive collection of famous overtures; and Vol.27 has Scllelomo and the Schumann Cello Concerto with Andre Navarra. Bruce Surtees and has documented a considera- The RCA Living Stereo SA CDs ble number or his performances. RCA SACD mid price During 1he 1930s Ancerl con- remastcrings occupation of his country in 1968 he decided 10 never go back. He became conductor of the Toronto Symphony, a post he held un1il 1he on SACD players for the full ex­ perience. Even on CD players the year of his death in 1973. His were neither controversial nals. The hybrid Living Stereo discs have two layers and may be played on regular CD players or improvement over the originals is nor heaven-storming performanc- unquestionable. At budge1 price, cs but clearly true 10 the score. He the SACD layer may be considered balanced the orchestra so that no a bonus for now or later. instrumental line was left unheard In the initial 10 releases, a few nor given uncalled-for prominence stand out as absolutely spectacular: and his sense of rhythm and phras- Pictures at an Exhibition with Reining was not always conventional. er and the Chicago Symphony; Supraphon has issued some 42 Saini - Saens' Organ Symphony, La Gold Edition discs, carefully re- Mer. and £scales with Munch and mastered using 1he latest 1echnol- the Boston Symphony; Munch again ogy and I have been I istening to a conducting 1he comple1e Daplmis et dozen or SQ of the newer releases. Chloe; and Chopin's four Ballades One quickly becomes auuned to and Scherzos played by Arthur the conductor mannerisms and Rubinstein. Van Cliburn plays the soon Ancerl's characteristic ways Tchaikovsky First and the Rachsound perfectly logical. These Su- maninoff Second concertos; and praphon discs are rich wilh Czech Heifetz and Munch play the composers. many unavailable else- Beethoven and Mendelssohn conwhere. but there are many stand- cenos. The most famous disc of all ard repertoire items: Volume 9 has is Also Sprach Zarathustra and £in the Shostakovich First and Fifth; Heldenleben conducted by. of Vol. 36 has Alexander Nevsky; course, Fritz Reiner in Chicago. 78 WWW. THEWHOlENOH.COM DECEMBER 1 2004 - FEBRUARY 7 2005

Some aficionados will buy all ten discs. Getting imo SACD is as inexpensive as 99 for a live channe I DVDISACD/CD/MP3 oream System- from Sony. complete with speakers and a powerful sub-wooter. It turns any TV into a complete surround sound theatre. I bought one. Bruce Surtees Concert Note: Sir Andrew Davis conducts TSO performances of Sibelius Symphony No.5 on December 8 and 9. Sibelius - Symphonies S & 6 London Symphony Orchestra Sir Colin Davis LSO Live LS00037 It inust be terrifying for an orchestra to perform for an audience with n:cording engineers hanging around as well. h is a testament to the high standards of orchestras these days. and to the wizardry of modern recording equipment, that these products are hitting the market so frequently. This Sibelius disc was recorded in the Barbican Centre, on the London Symphony Orchestra's own LSO Live label. But I'm not convinced of an audience's presence during these recordings, as there is nary a cough nor a sneeze 10 be heard. and any live audience would have to be .stupefied with tranquilizers to refrain from applauding from performances as exciting as these. However you can faintly discern the conductor trying to suppress his urge to sing, but nothing like the excesses of the late Glenn Gould in that regard. That being said, this is a very valuable addition to the collection, and would also be an excellent choice for one's first Sibelius 5th in a junior collection. The LSO displays its usual finely crafted roar on the climaxes. The discipline of the woodwinds must be heard to be believed. The less popular 6th Symphony is particularly satisfying on this disc, and it holds up well next to the Berglund and Sarasce readings. At only 57 minutes, one might have expected them to toss in Finlandia or another tone poem, but that is the record business. John S. Gray Bruckner - Symphony No.7 Orchestre des Champs-Elysees Philippe Herreweghe Harmonia Mundi BMC 901857 Volumes could be written about interpretations of this monumental symphony. which first put Bruckner on the international scene. In fact there are at least 15 recordings in existence conducted by the greatest conductors of past and present and the public and critics alike welcome a new recording with great anticipation. Philippe Herreweghe, discovered by Nicholas Harnoncoun, already has a great reputation in Europe. He is a scholarly conductor who thoroughly researches his work. He advances some new ideas about performing Bruckner, advocating cutting away the mysticism and treating it purely as music. The orchestra of period instruments sounds every bit as powerful as any modern one due to magnificent acoustics, a perfect balance and the brilliance of the instruments. With clear textures and tempi faster than usual, the conductor keeps tight control, concentration and unwavering interest. The wonderful first theme is presented with the utmost sensitivity. The buildup to the mighty brass at the end of the first movement is very effective. The Adagio moves along with richness and great feeling, well paced to the two great climaxes. The cymbal crash is missing in the second climax, but theJ!f effect is there. The Scherzo is electrifying with its military trumpet calls and the underlying menace of the obsequious string theme. In the Finale the main theme is light on its feet, the unison trombone subject Strong and menacing and the symphony ends with a tremendous, uplifting brass peroration. Excellent digital sound. J011os Gardo11yi DECEMBER t 2004 - FuUARY 7 20.05

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