8 years ago

Volume 11 Issue 4 - December 2005

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  • Toronto
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familiar "Lascia Ch ' io

familiar "Lascia Ch ' io Pianga" does appear under a different title and from a different opera, reminding us how freely Baroque composers moved these things around. In the mid 1990s one of Bartol i's record producers mused on where her career would take her. Perhaps we'd see her working with Handel and other earlier composers? That proved to be an accurate prediction. Opera Proibita is the latest evidence for the argument that vocal perfection is achievable. Alex Baran Winterreise Russell Braun; Carolyn Maule CBC Records MVCD 1171 Wilhelm MUiler's poems portray a youth, disappointed in love, who sets out on a '·winter journey" down the road "from which no traveler returns." Schubert's 24-song cycle from MUiier is morbid, romantic, and self-dramatizing, but for all that a powerful tragic expression. At 26, the composer knew he himself was dying. Hearing the songs performed is an intense experience; they form a wide gamut and a deepening succession, and there isn't a clinker in the bunch. THEATRE OF EARLY MUSIC EXCLUSIVELY WITH BIS -=r"-··•1 _ _,_ ---- -..c-···-·-~ JAMES BOWMAN with RALPH Fl ENNES "The visionary eloquence of the brilliant countertenor Daniel Taylor as he now turns his attention to Conducting his ensemble of virtuoso musicians in performances that are honest and undeniably true ... " (The TIMES, UK) Theatre of Early Music in Concert DANIEL TAYLOR LOVE BADE ME WELCOME in a new work by Choreographer James Kudelka and the new Dance Ensemble Coleman/Lemieux Vivaldi Stabat Mater January 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 2006 at the Salle Pierre-Mercure, Montreal Theatre of Early Music in Concert with star Soprano Emma Kirkby Pergolesi Stabat Mater February 22nd, 2006, St-Leon de Westmount, Montreal as part of the Montreal High Lights Festival February 26th, 2006, Trinity St-Pauls, Toronto Contact 514 982-2535 or e-mail TEMADMIN@HOTMAIL.COM Upcoming engagements with Daniel Taylor include Messiah with the San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Deutche Philharmonie and the Munich Radio Orchestra AVAILABLE IN DECEMBER AT GREGORIAN, HMV, ARCHAMBAULT AND ALL FINE RECORD STORES 74 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE. COM This Canadian entry in a crowded Winterreise CD market was a brave undertaking, but the result is superb. Russell Braun's voice has matured in the last few seasons and seems exactly right for the piece. He and Carolyn Maule are both products of the late Greta Kraus 's lieder courses in Toronto, and their intelligence, warm feeling and attention to detail show how well they absorbed that experience. The baritone's applications of rubato are sparing, and all the more effective for that reason. He is especially strong when Schubert's vocal line drives wildly over close to two octaves in a single phrase, as happens several times. When, at the end of "Auf dem Flusse", the piano takes over the main tune because the singer/hero seems choked up, both artists convey the connection perfectly. Maule has an extraordinary grasp of the images in the piano part. The first introduction sets the mood (slighter faster than most performers) of a determined journey; a weathervane whirls crazily; a buzzard hovers in high register, or, in the bass, dogs growl from a distant village; staccatos are teardrops in the snow; sentimental chords become a Mannerchor in an imaginary tavern. Especially eloquent here are the keyboard post! udes to "Der Lindenbaum" and the last song, "Der Leiermann". In Maule's hands the music is so vividly realized, my only wish was that in a few places the piano responses to the voice were more prominent in the mix . Altogether this release is an occasion for cheers. John Beckwith A Song for Anything - Songs by Charles Ives Gerald Finley; Julius Drake Hyperion CDA67516 The Ottawa-born baritone Gerald Finley's triumphant first solo recital disc for the elite Hyperion label is devoted to the songs of the can tankerous Yankee iconoclast Charles Ives ( 1874-1954). Lesser known than his ground-breaking orchestral works, lves's songs cover a vast stylistic range, from the most refined and sensitive lieder (several of the early songs are re-castings of German texts such as the exquisite opening number, Feldeinsamkeit, previously set by Brahms) to the homespun vernacular of Charlie Rutlage and The Greatest Man. Particularity striking are the songs to lves's own texts such as The Things our Fathers Loved and Berceuse, which so memorably express the composer's profound nostalgia for the guileless virtues of small-town America. Finley expertly brings to life the near schizophrenic variety oflves's many voices in every one of these 31 selections. Julius Drake is an outstanding partner throughout. Finley's powerful yet supple baritone allows Drake to apply a wide dynamic range - no demure piano on the half-shell for these two! - as he expertly conjures the brass band revivalism of General William Booth Enters into Heaven. Such intelligent, heart-felt and noble singing has not been heard from a baritone since the glory days of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. This beautifully recorded disc is a magnificent achievement for all concerned. Daniel Foley EARLY MUSIC AND PERIOD PERFORMANCE Sainte-Colom be - Concerts a deux violes esgales Vol.III Les Voix humaines ATM ACD 2 2277 Les Yoix Humaines are simply unmatched in their musicality and compelling sound. This third double-disc release of the viola da gamba works of Sainte-Colombe is performed with such intensity that I am considering using it as my personal soundtrack. As I walk my children to school in the morning, the people around us will be treated to Concert XXXVll "L' heureux", and later as D ECEMB ER 1 2005 - F EB RUAR Y 7 2006

I listen to them tell me about their day, " L'attentif' will surround us. I will arrive home from tours, carrying piles of gifts for all ofmy loved ones, and streams of " Le Retour" shall drift through the door to tell them I am back. The duo (Susie Napper and Margaret Little) has had to complete and reconstruct some of the pieces on this recording in the style of Ste Colombe, because parts of the manuscript were incomplete. These moments are undetectable to the modern listener's ear. The sound that is created by Les Voix Humaines goes directly to the core of the music and does due tribute to the composer's brilliance and depth of character. The players occasionally use a technique which involves a wide vibrato as ornamentation, and the resonance which consequently emanates from the instruments is heart-stopping. There is no way to avoid loving these discs. As you buy them, you will not hear parts of"Tombeau Les Regrets". You can tell me how you feel about the music yourself - you' ll hear me coming. I will be blasting Concert XLVI " L'estonne" if you tel I me you aren't pleased with it. Gabrielle McLaughlin Hope, Fidelity, Perseverance, Jealousy and Freneticism to name but a few. The visual imagery of the early eighteenth century masqued ball is so vivid that Couperin could easily have been cast as a modern-day film composer. The piece de resistence, in my opinion, actually takes second billing on this release. It's a selection of three pieces from the next set - the I 4th order. The contrast in mood is decidedly abrupt - the sobriety, bordering on melancholy makes for an intensity of emotion that can only be described as sublime. This is an unexpected thrill from Couperin. The balance of the album is comprised of a series of singles from Books I, II and Ill. They line up out of sequence, yet they are skillfully curated by the artist. Angela Hewitt has penned extensive liner notes going into great detail concerning the narrative behind each of the cuts on the album. Although it's kind of fun to discover her thoughts, most of her comments seem like voyeurism into her imagination. I would urge the listener to allow their own visual imagery to spill onto their inner cinema. Heidi McKenzie easy to picture the scenes Rachlin describes. Keeping the different stories together, is a plot about Vivaldi asking two of his pupils to draw the images they hear in the music, thereby making a perfect activity for teachers to use in their classrooms. Tafelmusik's latest children's recording is a great CD for people of the ages 7-l 5. With astoundingly clever narration by Blair Williams it sucks the listener straight into the world of I 8th century England, where a great war is at hand over the "distant snowy lands of Canada". Since all connections with France have been cut off, the oboe and bassoon players have almost run out of reeds which are made from arundo donax, a bamboo-like plant found only in France. In their quest Frances and Edward Purcell must journey through Venice, Italy and Versailles, France traveling by carriage, boat and .. . carpet? The wonderful Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra performs the music of Vivaldi, Purcell, Marais and many other great composers of the time to ac- THE TORONTO CONSORT PRAE:TORIUS: CHRISTMAS VESPERS THIS WONDERFUL RECOR DING R EC REAT ES A V ESPERS {EVENING ) SERVIC E FOR C HRIST MAS A S IT MIG HT HAVE S O U NDE D IN A EUROPEAN C HURCH IN T H E EARL Y 17TH C ENTURY. THE O NLY C U RREN TLY A VAILABL E RECORDIN G OF THIS B EAUTIF U L Concert note: Soprano Gabrielle McLaughlin and her I Furiosi Baroque Ensemble join forces with the Caliban bassoon quartet and Aradia in a multiple CD launch party on December 4 at the Great Hal I. I Furiosi presents " Siren Tears" with guest soprano Katherine Hi 11 at Calvin Church on January 20. Seasons' Greetings From Vivaldi Ann Rachlin; Polish Chamber Orchestra; Jerzy Maksymiuk Fun With Music CMSCD 3004 Baroque Adventure - The Quest for Arundo Donax Blair Williams; Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra Tafel Kids/Analekta AN 2 9832-3 THE NATHANIEL DETT CHORALE AN INDIGO CHRISTfvlA5 LIVEI CELEBRAT E T H E J OYS OF T H E F ESTIVE SEASON WITH A F RICAN C AROLS , SPIR ITUAL S A ND SOU LFU L RENDIT IONS OF TRADITIONAL THE TORONTO C H ILDREN'S CHORUS ~~ A CEREMONY OF CAROLS - "ONE OF THE GREAT CHOIRS OF THE ,::~;,.,:,-==~',;-:::-::-= :--11 STARRY, STARRY NIGHT N EW R ELEASE .JU ST JN TIME FOR T H E H O LIDAY S! F EATURING MUSIC BY C H OPIN , LISZT, SCHUMANN A N D .-,,-'~-"-~,,.==c,._;=-ccc..;:.""-'~"'--"' MOREi "SILVE R MAN IS A P IANIST'S P IA NIST , UNQUEST IO NABLY I N THE LEAGUE OF TODAY S SUPERSTARS tt D ECE MBER 1 2005 - FEBRUARY 7 2006 WW W. TH EWHO LENOTE. COM 75

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