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Volume 10 Issue 9 - June 2005

  • Text
  • Festival
  • Jazz
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  • Classical

COVER STORY merry

COVER STORY merry MEETINGS I N adina Mackie Jackson Three rooms and a garden by David Perlman w "* Gesher Theatre of lsraefm ROOM NUMBER ONE in lhis little story is the inverted sugar bowl at Simcc>e and King called Roy Thomson Hall, October 26 2004. Something very intimate is happening in that ordinarily cavernous space, as Bernard Labadie leads Les Violons du Roy in Mozart's Requiem. The sense of danger and discovery in the performance has every performer riveted to Labadie's hands; the audience floats an inch off our seats. Afterwards in the lobby, Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra conductor Alain Trudel speaks to the 150 or so higb-schoolers, many at their first concert, who are there as part of RTH's ongoing Share the Music program. "You may not realize it for a long time" Trudel said, "but tonight you heard something special - not just kind of special, more like once in a lifetime special." And from the grins of the performers on the edge of the crowd, you know they know it too. (The orchestra leaves RTH for the airport, straight from the· concert, facing a schedule rigorous enough to wipe the grins off most people's faces: land in Chicago; bus to St. Louis, bus to Kansas City, fly to Denver. Major-league music on a minor league budget.) Among the performers that magic night are two bassoonists, Mathieu Lussier and Nadina Mackie Jackson. ROOM NUMBER TWO FEEIS TINY. The notice on the door of the closet on its north wall reads: "This cupboard is reserved for clergy vestments." High priest, on this occasion, is San Francisco-based sound recording engineer par excellence David v .R. Bowles surrounded by .the tools of his trade: computer, mixing board; cables running through a hatch into an adjacent room, and speakers, on the floor, through which come the sounds of bassoons, contrabassoon and a harpsichord. The place is St Anne's Anglican Church, sandwiched between Gladstone Ave and Dufferin Street in Toronto's downtown west. It is Tuesday May 17 2005. The music filtering into the vestry is a sonata by Michel Corrette, part of his Opus 20, "Les Delices de la Solitude" written in Paris in 1739. The ensemble is called Musica Franca: harpsichordist Paul Jenkins, contrabassoon Fraser Jackson, ... and bassoonists Mathieu Lussier and Nadina Mackie Jackson. Corrette is one of two composers that Musica Franca is here to record. The other is Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, 20 years Corrette's senior, also a self-publishing Parisian composer of the early eighteenth century. "The Corrette is music that Mathieu and I have shared for years, carrying around to play when we have the chance" Nadina explains. "But on Last fall's tour with Violons du Roy Mathieu brought the Boismortier along, Opus 26 and Opus 50, and this idea of "Musica Franca" fell into place. The recording goes in little bursts - interrupted sometimes by tonmeister Bowles, sometimes by trucks idling, like contrabassoons (alas, not in A440) at the Cadbury Factory across the road on Gladstone. Sometimes the musicians stay in the church to Listen to tonmeister Bowles' meticulous observations after each take. "Mathieu and Nadina you need to match OIDaJllents at (measure) 22, I don't mind what but they need to match ...." Other times they crowd into the Little vestry and play the take back, scores in hand, making notes and decisions as they go: both Boismortier and Corrette expected their players to provide their own inventions and flourishes. They work steadily this way from eleven, past the anticipated one o'clock deadline till nearly two, and suddenly, trucks notwithstanding, the morning's goal is reached. Work will resume after a three hour break, with Toronto Consort lutenist Terry McKenna joining the evening session. It will be a long one. Tomorrow organist Richard Pare and theorbist Sylvain Bergeron will come in from Montreal as the focus shifts from Corret1f: to Boismortier, the second cd in the twQ-Cd set. 10 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM JUNE 1 - JULY 7 2005

ROOM THREE IS the enonnous kitchen that takes up the whole back of Nadina and Fraser's home a few blocks east and south of St Anne's. The walls of the house are covered with paintings, many of them (like the one on the cover of the magazine this issue) Nadina's own work. The kitchen talk is slow and easy. Aradia Ensemble's Kevin Mallon helps Fraser Jackson get a handle on a baroque contrabassoon. "I love how Kevin works and records, " Nadifia says, "one readthrough and then we fly aJ it. And the strange thing is tluu I come out of it feeling like I have really lived the music raJher than skimming over it." "Baroque and modem music have a lot in common, which is why so many of us are drawn to both" Mathieu says. "In both it is a constant exploration. Not like your usual symphonic work - you know, where there are three notes to blow- short, average or long." "It's even more so for our panicular instruments" says Nadina. "We are all playing the instruments that usually provide the support for the treble instruments but because of the wide range of all our instruments, we can easily provide both roles." ("Easily" might not be many bassoonists' word of choice, here, but for this founding member of the acclaimed Caliban Quartet, after thirty years engagem1mt with her chosen instrument, it's probably true.) AND THE GARDEN OF THE STORY ' S TITLE? Well, simply that July 7, Musica Franca brings Corrette and Boismortier, along with work by Mathieu Lussier himself, to the Summer Music Garden series. In the simplistic confines of this story, it's only a ten minute bike ride from the Jacksons' kitchen to the Music Garden at the foot of Spadina. Jn reality, the five perfomers will have covered tens of thousands of kilometres between now and then. For Nadina, for eKample, early June takes her to Texas for the International Double Reed Conference during which she will play a recital with longtime collaborator pianist David Swan ("Oddbird and Swan" as they style themselves). And that's just the beginning. The extraordinary trans- and inter-continental criss-crossing that makes for the summer's myriad merry meetings is under way. merry MEETINGS II Dave Young A view from the bridge by Jim Galloway I SPENT SOME TIME recently with Dave Young talking about festivals and touring in general, - if anyone can speak with authority on those subjects it is Dave. For more than three decades he has been part of the touring circuit and has experienced the full spectrum, as a sideman, as well as leading his own groups here and overseas. Dave Young was out there touring with pianist Wray Downes 30 years ago, travelling by car from.one engagement to another and without any grants. Travel grants for jazz were pretty well unheard-of in those days and it took dedication and perhaps a touch of masochism to go on the road. That has changed some but it is no easy matter to become one of the favoured few who receive money from, for example, Canada Council, and the application procedure represents something of a challenge .. with absolutely no certainty that there will be a grant forthcoming at the end. David has toured as often as not without any assistance, sometimes choosing to subsidise his own music rather than cancel a tour. In fact he hasn't MERRY MEETINGS CONTINUES ON PAGE 60 t '; ' GREAT CHAMBER MUSIC DOWNTOWN . Music .that speaks to you GARY KULESHA and the GRYPHON .TRIO Tuesday, June 21 at 7:30 pm Brahms - Echoes of the past, gateways to the future Chamber music with a difference Composer/conductor Gary Kulesha provides illuminating commentary with musical illustrations; then the Gryphon Trio provides a complete performance of Brahms' Piano Trio in C, Op. 87. , MTO subscribers Students , accompanying adult $10 2005-06 SEASON SUBSCRIPTIONS NOW AVAILABLE RUSSELL BRAUN RECITAL STRING QUARTETS Tokyo Miro [ozart New Zealand Takacs St. Lawrence Penderecki PIANISTS Lucille Chung Piotr Anderszewski Markus Groh Cyprien Katsaris Nikolai Lugansky ENSEMBLES-IN-RESIDENCE Gryphon Trio MTO Chamber Society CONTEMPORARY CLASSICS MTO Chamber Society Penderecki Quartet DISCOVERY Shannon Mercer, soprano farkus Groh Trio Fibonacci Maneli Pirzadch & Daniel Moran, duo pianists Trio Fibonacci Subscription concerts and series, from for Discovery to 1 for the whole season! torontdartsbouncil BIB CanadaCourKil ConseildesArt1 ..... Canadltin P1lrlmn• .. _ • ..., .. -..i_c.., .. ,_ I04'lh•Arts du Can.eh . at J() www.music-toronto.com T Herlt..ge c1n11dl11n R • "' Jane Malkrr Thc,mc StLC Sr. Lawrence cntrc )or tbe Arts 416-366-7723 • 1-800-708-6754 order online at www.stlc.com )UNE 1 - ) ULY 7 2005 WWW.TH

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