6 years ago

Volume 11 Issue 2 - October 2005

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  • Toronto
  • Choir
  • October
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from Des Moines.

from Des Moines. Listening to the music, it's hard to believe that even the percussion is vocally produced. Each of the four singers take a turn at lead, and each sings equally well. But it's the ensemble feature Hit That Jive Jack that stands out the most - the three singers on melody manage to seamlessly blend, while the bass line keeps the piece swinging, with a fantastic soli section thrown in for good measure. The band's opening number, Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps, is also a treat. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps Cadence is one the best vocal groups I've ever heard. Ezra Perlman, Sophia Perlman \t H ..,. i1h d frnJ •Ji Fmrnh \iugn~ \~. I \ T >;J.",{ •. i[ ' ,)t~>.n:;1, 4 At Home with the Trapp Family Singers - An Evening of Folksongs Von Trapp Family Deutsche Grammophon 477 5722 The sprightly Austrian character of "Fraulein Maria" from the immortal Rogers & Hammerstein Musical, "The Sound of Music" was based on a real human being: Maria Augusta Kutschera (1905-1987). As a young novice, she was sent to the home of widower, Captain Gayorg von Trapp, as teacher to his nine children. Maria married von Trapp in 19'27, and the musical von Trapp family became famous throughout Europe as (primarily) a cappella performers of German folksongs and classical renaissance music. As the face of Hitler spread across Europe, the von Trapp family hiked across ~l,PIIP,IIPl$PIHPIIHf " ; ~ 314 Churchill Ave ; I Toronto, Ont.1rio ~ I M2R 1E7 Canada f ~ Tel: 416-224-1956 ,' p Fax: 416-224-2964 ~ I MIKROKOSMOS www.mikrokosn, ; t ' ;" I ; : We buy your ~ " " ~ classical LP ~ " ! ~ collection ~ P I " (classical, such as ;" Beethoven, Mozart, ; " Stockhausen) ; " " ~ ~ (" ".. " we travel anywhere ., I P " for good collections t f ; ,.,.~ " .. ,,,,,,,,,,,_~. p 66 Back to Ad Index the Alps, leaving behind their beloved Austria. This excellent CD was first released in 1955, and captures the von Trapps at the height of their skill. By the 1950's, the boys' voices had changed, resulting in a fully-matured choral sound, replete with solid four-part harmonies. The vocal blend is incomparable, as are the carefully controlled dynamics and deadly accurate intonation. Their vocal music is enhanced on several tracks with a variety of acoustic instruments, including recorders and various strings. Much of the material is rendered in austere German, however the von Trapps have infused these traditional folk songs with a warmer, Austrian dialect. Of note is the Tyrolean "Ach Himmel, es ist verspielt", on which their mellifluous performance conveys an emotional subtext that transcends any language. For any enthusiast of international, vocal folk music, "At Home with the Trapp Family Singers - An Evening of Folksongs" is a must-have. Lesley Mitchell-Clarke You've Stolen My Heart - Songs from R. D. Burman's Bollywood Asha Bhosle; Kronos Quartet Nonesuch 2 79856 At first sight it may seem incongruous for a string quartet- the preeminent symbol of refined European classical music - to be collaborating with a Bollywood "playback" superstar whose songs feature in over 1000 movies. However, we are talking about the Kronos Quartet, arguably one of the most venturesome ensembles, renowned for flouting conventional musical boundaries. This new musical journey takes them to India and the music of the legendary film song composer, R.D. Burman, the late husband of vocalist Asha Bhosle. Also featured are Zakir Hussain (percussion) and Wu Man (pipa). One can only marvel at Bhosle's fresh and tender vocal sound, especially given that she is over 70 years old. Here she sings eight Bollywood hit songs, all with lyrics in Hindi and typical romantic themes (e.g. My Lover Came Silently and the title track, You've Stolen My Heart). By comparison, the WWW.TH EWHOLENOTE.COM instrumental accompaniments to these songs are not always in the usual Bollywood style. Instead the Kronos Quartet adds a novel and creative twist, playing not only their stringed instruments but also keyboards, cymbals and other percussion. As well, four tracks are instrumentals. Of these, Smoke Rises across the River is especially evocative, with some gorgeous Indian-style cello lines. Though this novel and exciting blend of styles and cultures may not have such wide appeal for listeners in India itself, I do think the large diasporic Indian community in the West as well as non-Indian world music aficionados will appreciate this musical work ofart. Many, no doubt, will also attend the Bhosle/ Kronos concert at Carnegie Hall next Spring. Annette Sanger Acoustica - Alarm Will Sound performs Aphex Twin Alarm Will Sound Cantaloupe CA21028 Cantaloupe Music has widely been known for championing new music from the left field. With top notch releases from Terry Riley, David Lang, Frederic Rzewski and Evan Ziporyn, it has established itself as a prominent label in the world of new music. Alarm Will Sound - a 20- piece ensemble that has already proven itself in aptly covering Steve Reich's music - now returns to give us a much more dangerous territory in the music of Aphex Twin [AKA Richard D. James] . What is dangerous about this endeavour, you ask? Well, for starters, Aphex Twin used to be one of the world's most prominent electronica artists, back in the mid- 90's, and what Alarm Will Sound accomplishes is to bring his music into the realm of the all acoustic world. So, still, what's so shocking about all of this? I guess you need to understand the complex nature of Aphex Twin's music - the obscure beats, the divergent story lines that he tells with his sometimes noisy, sometimes break-beat, and at times ambient electronic music. Here all of this is accomplished using purely acoustic means. Listen to Mt. Saint Michel and notice a couple of things. First, take note of how closely it re- j sembles the original and pay close attention to percussion and how that is strikingly similar to the sampled bits in Aphex Twin's original piece. What is astounding is how fluid the ambient pieces are. Without being sloppy or even overt! y orchestral, they retain the same graceful feel. Two bonus remixes at the tail end of the CD beg the question, is this orchestral music for fans of electronic music or is this simply a new way of looking at some still fresh standards? Tom Sekowski Chavez Ravine Ry Cooder Nonesuch-Perro Verde Records 2 79877 Many of you will remember guitarist Ry Cooder from when he shone a light on an obscure, mostly forgotten corner of the musical world with his 1997 recording Buena Vista Social Club. He has taken a journey down a similar path with Chavez Ravine, only this time the subject is both closer to home and his heart. Cooder was raised in Southern California and remembers when Chavez Ravine, a bucolic neighbourhood in Los Angeles, was razed to make way for Dodger Stadium in the late 1950's. All of the mostly poor, mostly Mexican-American people who lived there, were unceremoniously turfed from their homes in the name of progress. Chavez Ravine is a tribute to that time and those people and it is a mix of political protest, musical history and, mostly, a lament for the Los Angeles of Cooder' s childhood. It is apparent that a lot of research and affection have gone into this project. The liner notes are rich with photos, illustrations, quirky song explanations and lyrics in both Spanish and English. A plethora of musicians lend their songwriting and playing talents. Two veteran singers Lalo Guerrero & Ersi Arvizu, while no longer at the top of their game when the recording was done, bring a lot of depth to the songs. The core musicians are Cooder on guitar, his son Joachim Cooder on drums and Mike Elizondo on bass. Despite the seriousness of the theme of the CD it is not overwrought or strident, and it is full oflighthearted and lovely music. Cathy Riches CONTINUES O CTO BER 1 - N OVEM BER 7 2005

01uff1 ~,,e Productions Inc. B a THEC h presents CONSORT chorus & orchestra l~G~NDA~Y !ORODIN QUARlff NOVEMB~~ 11 AT 8:00P.M. ~@ V~ARS ANNm~~SARY the fifth annual benefit concert & dinner Christmas Oratorio by J.S. Bach Eglinton St. George's United Church 35 Lytton Boulevard, Toronto Friday December 16, 2005 at 6:30pm concert & buffet dinner: .00 per person wine bar available Chorus & Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nezet·Seguin Monica Whicher Soprano Elizabeth Turnbull Contralto John Tessier Tenor Dennis Giesbrecht Tenor TBA Boss UNIVERSITY 0 ! TORONTO"'"""'' I N ITRl'-:ITl\lNAI I .\· J\U:l.t\l.\llJ) '>Cll'l(.\l'-(l ,\ Nil FACU[T\" OF Ar•,•[IIJ) S< :ru,c T :li\D ENLINFER[Nl; .-\[ l ',\11'A ISABEL BAYRAKDARIAN Benefit concert to support the refurbishment of the historic Convocation Hall pipe organ FRIDAY NOVEMBER 25 8 PM A fund raising event for ~ secondary school programmes ID in North Toronto provided ...... . To reserve tickets call by Delisle Youtfi Services 416-481-1141 ext. 250 catering by Shaws( OCTOBER 1 - NOVEMBER 7 2005 Back to Ad Index WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM Convocation Hall 31 King's College Circle, Univcrsiry ofToronro Tickets: - On sale October 14 Available exclusively th rough: 67

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