6 years ago

Volume 11 Issue 10 - July 2006

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nist Aurora Dokken, the

nist Aurora Dokken, the sentiments of this bygone era are brought back to life. This is music to enjoy strawberry shortcake with! The disc features compositions by such early popular composers as W.O. Forsyth, Calixa Lavallee (best known as the composer of "O Canada"), Gena Branscombe and Guillame Couture. The comprehensive liner notes give historical details in an entertaining manner. The title track, When You and I Were Young Maggie is a comforting rendition of the popular song still sung today, though for some mysterious reason it appears twice on my copy on both tracks 11 and 16! House shines in his performance while pianist Dokken captures effortlessly the stylistic nuances of the works, especially in the solo piano tracks. The closing track, J. W. Garwin's rousing Canadian Flag Song rounds out an enjoyable disc. The release "Departs" is a labour of love from the brother and sister vocal duo of Bruno and Aurelie Cormier. The Cormiers along with their accompanist Ana Maria Nunes all originally hail from New Brunswick. Bruno Cormier has arranged some of his favourite Acadian folksongs and has superbly captured the essence of their cultural heritage with a contemporary sound. Mezzo-soprano Aurelie Cormier has a voice that would melt ice in the dead of winter. Her voice is clear and her musicality precise in her duets with her older brother. She is especially touching in her solo rendition of the song Beau ciel. Baritone Bruno Cormier has a large, operatic voice that effortlessly conveys all the emotions that this music has to offer. However, he is surprisingly at his best when he pulls back in the ballad-like solo Virginie, a moving song of love and longing. Pianist Ana Maria Nunes provides a consistent and solid accompaniment to all the duet and solo works. The French language liner notes support a recording that would be a welcome addition to any collection. No matter where you place your lawn chair this summer, make sure that these two CDs are close at hand! Tiina Kiik Back to Ad Index Editor's note: Both of these discs have limited distribution. For "When You and I Were Young Maggie" contact Lawrence House at (613) 546-9868. "Departs" is available from Sam the Record Man at 347 Yonge St. and at the Music Store at Roy Thomson Hall. Musiques des Montagnes LaNef ATMA ACD2 2390 The Montreal quintet La Nefis an idiosyncratic group which performs music of tremendous stylistic diversity on instruments of medieval and Middle Eastern origins. Their theatrical performances are often designed within a thematic context. The stylistic genres of "Music of the Mountains: music and sounds of Greece and the Balkans", are quite literally all over the map. Several selections feature rollicking traditional Macedonian and Thracian instrumental numbers enlivened by the vigorous drumming of the percussionists Patrick Graham and Hassan El Hadi, underpinned by deep drones and crowned by Elise Guay's sinuous shawm. Co-founder Claire Gignac delivers several sultry-voiced Greek renditions of elegiac folk songs on the themes of exile, migration, and separation. The clever arrangements of the instrumental selections are credited to hurdy-gurdy overlord Ben Grossman. The laid back, disconcertingly contemporary harmonies of one of these, Xenitemeno, might easily pass as a New Age anthem. A hint of musique actuelle may also be discerned in selections such as the improvised Invocation (based on an ancient Cretan melodic fragment and performed on porcelain bowls) and the extemporaneous conclusion of the lengthy Mavro Khelidhoni. With one foot in World Music, another in Early Music, La Nef resists categorization. It's a swiftly moving and satisfying musical travelogue you shouldn't hesitate to investigate. Sympathique Pink Martini Audiogram ADCD 10195 Daniel Foley WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM The popular Oregon-based "mini orchestra" Pink Martini, has only recent! y made their first CD "Sympathiq ue" available in Canada, although it was released in 1997. (Their second CD "Hang on Little Tomato" came out here first, in 2004, and was reviewed in these pages in September 2005, see www Since they are the darlings of compilationists and soundtrack producers, bits of Sympathique can be found on such diverse offerings as "Buddha Bar", "Starbucks/Hear Music", "Josie & The Pussycats" and "The Sopranos", which should give you an inkling of what this group is all about: everything. Instrumental, vocal, danceable, listenable, Doris Day, Frederick Chopin, Spanish, French, Japanese and Greek, it's all here and delivered with a charm and skill that is totally engaging. Many of the songs will be very familiar, even though the titles may not be recognizable. These songs are stored deep in our memory banks from old movie scores and television shows and although some are rather kitschy and even bordering on corny - Acuarela de Brazil, Que Sera Sera, Children of Piraeus (Never on a Sunday) and Andalucia - they are redone with such elegance and sincerity, that they are wonderful. The members of the group, who are as diverse as their repertoire - Harvardtrained classical musicians, Brazilian samba percussionists, Diana Ross alumnae and jazz aficionados - all have musical excellence in common. Sympathique transports us to a time and place where romance is possible and heartbreak too, but hope springs eternal. Cathy Riches Monty Python's SPAMalot Original Broadway Cast Recording Decca Broadway B000426502 Hi. My name is Merlin, and I' m a Monty Python addict. I've watched every episode of the television show countless times, and I own DVDs of all the movies. Hardly surprising really, that I'd seize the opportunity to get the cast recording of SPAMalot as soon as it hit the shelves . For those of you who are still not up to speed, SPAMalot is a Broadway musical loosely based on the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The key word here is loosely. The tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table is not really an adaptation of the movie - it's more like a framework for making fun of the very form of the Broadway musical itself. And it's brilliant! Anyone who has ever been a fan of Broadway shows knows how formulaic the plotting and pacing of the musical numbers can be. In SP AMalot, these very devices themselves are parodied. "The Song That Goes Like This" deconstructs the lovers duet with wicked precision. The singers not only mock the delivery style used in this form, they even poke fun at the overused key changes in Broadway ballads. I'd recommend this disc just on the strength of the show stopping number "You Won't Succeed On Broadway". The fact that Eric Idle manages to work in the line "There's a very small percentile who enjoys a dancing gentile" had me in gales of laughter the first time I heard it. Merlin Williams Performance note: Spamalot runs at the Canon Theatre from July 14 through September 9. TRUMPET & ORGAN Celebrated works by Jere miah CLARKE, Henry PURCELL, JS BACH, GF HANDEL and oth ers. 1•1 := ;:;;:;: Canada J ULY 1 - SEPTEMB ER 7 2006

B::1ck to Ad Index Proceeds Benefit Jazz Alliance International, a charitable organization dedicated to expanding the audience for jazz by advocacy, education and research. JAi is comprised of artists, artist representatives, publishers, record companies, manufactu rers, presenters & media. 36 selections on 2 specially priced cos THE GREATEST STORE ON EARTH 347 YONGE STREET Tuesday July 25, 2006@ NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE and Tuesday August 15, 2006 @ MEL LAST MAN SQUARE Toyich International Projects (TIP) is pleased to present its an n ual "Gala Monster Concerts", outdoor musica l extravaganzas to be held in Toronto. These exciting eve nts showcase young Canadian classica l musicians performing popular classical favo urites. Toyich International Projects, a non-profit organization, performers.TIP supporters incl ude piano sponsor Robert Lowrey's Piano Experts, the BMO Financial Group, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, Grano, Peter Paul's Flowers and others. Both concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. ADMISSION FREE 20 Prince Arthur Avenue Suite l 7D Toronto, Ontario, Canadian Charitable Registration No. 86005 7876 ROOOl. Canada M5R 1 Bl Tax Receipts will be issued for donations of or more. (416) 922 -0755 www.toyich i nterna t io na ! j ULY 1 - SEPTEMBER 7 2 006 WWW.TH EWHOLENOTE.COM ROBERTS LOWREY'S PIANO EXPERTS

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