8 years ago

Volume 11 Issue 1 - September 2005

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • September
  • Jazz
  • Festival
  • Musical
  • Theatre
  • October
  • Sept
  • Index
  • Bach


THE RCM COMMUNITY SCHOOL II D/SC(11fjj;J1,1 EDITOR'S CORNER Well it's been quite an eclectic summer, as far as listening goes. A number of diverse offerings have crossed my desk in the past two months and I'd like to tell you about a few of them.~------, : .. nv!r,q !lor:i@ •• •Cl:XD CD+ DVD set featuring Daniel Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (Warner Classics 2564 62190-5). This is a project that The 5 Elements - Rick Scott & Harry Wong brings together young (sometimes very young, i.e. 10 year old) musicians COMMUNITY CONCERT from across the Middle East, The first reminds me of a book in my collection with the charming title, "The Complete Book of 20th resenting many diverse cultures of the most promising performers rep­ Century Music" written by David the region. The idea of the West­ Ewen and published in 1952. Although I was quite impressed by the a collection of poems by Goethe) was Eastern Divan (a name derived from SERIES many-titled DVD "Leaving Home/ conceived in 1998 by the Israeli Jazz, World Music, Folk, Classical Dancing on a Volcano/Orchestral Barenboim and the late Palestinian Music in the 20th Century - A Conducted Edward Said. Begun as a workshop Tour by Sir Simon Rattle" for young musicians it has developed (ArtHaus Musik 102 033), like the into a full fledged orchestral experience aforementioned book, the idea of an for these talented young peo­ orchestral tour of the 20th century ple. More important it has proved that ends with Alban Berg's 1935 to be a humanizing experience during Violin Concerto seems somewhat which they learn to appreciate incomplete to say the least. Nevertheless, the similarities and differences of Sir Simon's presentation is their cultures, and the joy of mak­ quite exceptional as we see him sitting ing music on a truly international at a piano playing examples to scale with a "level playing field" . Anne Lederman Seamus Blake Laila Biali illustrate his lecture about German I must confess that when I looked and Austrian musical development at the repertoire of the final concert Loretto Reid & Anne Lederman: ceilidh dance from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde I wondered to myself why the world through Schoenberg's Verkliirte needed another recording of Tchaikovsky's Jonathan Tortolano: classic cello Genticorum: Quebecois folk Nacht, Mahler's Symphony No.7, Strauss' Elektra and Webern's Five 5th Symphony (along with Verdi 's La forza de! destino overture and Sibelius' Valse Triste) and Laila Biali Trio: award-winning jazz Pieces for Orchestra. These illustrations are then fleshed out by the concentrated on the DVD documentary about the project and its partic­ The 5 Elements: family fun in Cantonese and English City of Birmingham Symphony Shalom Bard: contemporary clarinet Orchestra, providing an excellent ipants. But when I eventually got Seamus Blake & the Toronto Jazz Orchestra introduction to one particular and around to listening to the CD I found very important period in the history it convincing. Any orchestra that includes The Royal Conservatory of Music 90 Croatia Street (Bloor & Dufferin) of modern Western Art Music. But is it really a "tour of the century"? Perhaps it is to be continued ... a solo horn with such impec­ cable intonation is welcome to record any repertoire they choose as far as (Performance note: Scott St. I am concerned. Rest assured that I 416-408-2824, ext. 321 John performs Berg's Violin Concerto will make sure my friend has a copy at the U of T on Saturday of this wonderful package to take October 1 as part of the U niversity's International Bach Festival.) people are learning to live together with her as an example of how some adults, students & seniors, family Group rates available through music. Subscribe & save up to 30% As I write this column a friend of (Performance note: On a somewhat related note you may want to mine is about to embark for two Call for details years in Gaza as the music teacher check out the Yitzhak Y edict Trio, in an international school for Palestinian children. This on the eve of ~ I••• Israeli and Palestinian musicians Canadian Patrimoine playing world jazz together at the Heritage canadien the Israeli withdrawal. While I fear Al Green Theatre on Sunday September 11 . Earlier that same day they for her safety, I do admire her courage and conviction and it is with this will give a 10:30 AM performance in mind that I will mention a at the Guelph Jazz Festival.) 14 WWW. THEWHOLEN OTE.COM EPTE M BER 1 - (TO B ER 7 2005 Back to Ad Index

·t:i A disc I found particularly interesting this summer is entitled "Scenes d' Enfance". On it pianist Denise Trudel intersperses her performance of Schumann's Kinderszenen with related works by Canadian composers John Rea and Denis Dion. It is kind of a hypertext approach in which the contemporary works act as commentary on Schumann miniature masterpieces. Rea's Las meninas give us twenty-one impressions on the thirteen originals, each in the style of a different composer. Those that I found particularly noteworthy were Rea's tributes to Jose Evangelista, Claude Debussy, Arnold Schoenberg, Conlon Nancarrow, Erik Satie and Philip Glass. While Rea sticks with the solo piano of the original set, Dion combines the piano with prepared soundfiles which add an extended and often eerie ambience to the eight impressions he has created. While purists may feel that Schumann does not need the assistance of these post-modern "glosses" I found the project intriguing, well thought out and well presented. Unfortunately the otherwise comprehensive liner notes are only printed in French. This independent release on the Mires label ( is carried by the Canadian Music Centre Distribution Service at 20 St. Joseph St. or online at if~: ..,~-- .··~:-L·-.:~ . [~. ~W~· Jigj!:l·?:lilff4S·fC!T: .illf·lHil:TI .-~:li;%~1Ji1~'.:ftI(~·, 0-: ·:' -.-:',n".":,.,,,J,· -;,,..._,;.. ,:, ,-,~~: ·:~::~,\~ Another theme-based disc of contemporary music recently came my way, "Nature! - Musiques Montreal/ Liege" (ATMAACD22363). This CD is the third part of a collaboration between Montreal and Belgian musicians that began in 2001 at Conservatoire de Musique de Montreal with Veronique Lacroix and the Ensemble contemporain de Montreal. The title comes from the central piece on the disc, a work for solo horn based only on natural harmonics by Henri Pousseur. This influential Belgian composer was S EPTEM BER 1 - OCTO BER 7 2005 Back to Ad Index instrumental in laying the foundations of the new musical language of the 1950's and 60's, and later helped generalize and expand "serial" thought by returning to some elements of past musical languages that had for a time been rejected. Francis Orval gives a stunning performance of Pousseur's Nature[, a work which leads seamlessly into Michel Gonneville's haunting ize Arc-en-ciel for microtonal organ and soprano (Yolande Parent). The disc also features Bruce Mather's microtonal quintet for clarinet and strings and Jean-Fran9ois Laporte's string quartet De la Matiere Premiere. Of particular note is Nawba, a striking work for 2 sopranos and 3 clarinets by the Belgian composer Paula Defresne based on texts by Gwenaelle Stubbe that focus on the "desperate nature of 'modern' man's activities as he loses genuine contact with his surroundings ... a journey impregnated with liquid elements: from the sap of felled trees to the swelling of a sea clogged with hydrocarbons." A timely reminder of the perils of the path we seem to insist on following even as we watch gas prices reach an all-time high. I started by saying it had been an eclectic summer, and I will finish by mentioning three CDs that would normally be consigned to our catchall "Pot Pourri" section. All three present variations on the traditional string band, but each with their own unique tla vour. The farthest afield from tradition is "Scratching the Surface" , the premiere release by the Mirobolus string trio (Anaglyph Records ANGCD242601). This local group was founded by bass player Bret Higgins who is also responsible for 5 of the 7 original compositions that constitute this maiden voyage. Higgins is joined by violinist Bogdan Djukic and cellist Monica Fedrigo, who contributed the other 2 compositions. Higgins and Djukic both perform in the local Klezmer band Beyond the Pale and so it is no surprise that some of the tunes have an Eastern European (via the Lower East Side) feel . But other influences abound. There are hints of Appalachia (via Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer CONTINUES ON PAGE 56 WWW. TH EWHOLENOTE.COM 15

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