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Volume 12 - Issue 10 - July/August 2007

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stuff. Maybe

stuff. Maybe that'sbecause I spent toomuch time listeningto Led Zeppelin inmy youth, or maybeit's because theseguys make playingreally fast sound reallyeasy. The coreSultans are Chris... continuedMc Khoo I on violin, Kevin Laliberte on guitar andDrew Birston on bass, with a long list of specialguests adding their specialties to the Sultan'sabundant skills. Laliberte played with local rumbaflamenco hero, Jesse Cook, for many years,and that influence is evident, so fans of Cookwill be in familiar territory.This eclectic collection of music starts off witha few breezy rumba style flamenco tunes featuringviolin and nylon-string guitar, with the talentedMaryem To liar adding vocals in Arabic toAlhambra, evoking the storied Moorish castle inAndalucia. It then veers into Celtic country for afew tunes, with a side trip to the West coast ofCanada for Luna - a song dedicated to a legendarywhale - before returning to Spanish territorywith Contessa a lovely romantic ballad sungby local Latina luminary Amanda Martinez. Then,to mark McKhool's Lebanese/Egyptian roots,we get treated to El-Kahira played on traditionalMiddle Eastern instruments. And finally thespirits ofDjango Reinhardt and Stephane GrappeIii are resurrected for My Squid Has a Rash.We won 't ask where the name comes from -just enjoy!Cathy RichesConcert Notes: The Sultans of String performat the Beaches International Street Fest (July26-28) and the Oshawa Jazz and Blues Fest(August 11 ); Amanda Martinez is featured atSun fest at London's Victoria Park (July 5-6) andGlobal Grooves (Yonge-Dundas Square AugustIO); Maryem Tollar will give a variety of performancesduring the Ottawa InternationalChamber Music Festival (July 21 - August I).WHO'S READING WHOLENOTE?Dinner for twoat La Creperieand premiumtickets to theaward-winningSoulpepper TheatreCompany.LOG ON TO WIN DINNER & THEATRE TICKETS!www.thewholenote.com60OLD WINE IN NEW BOTTLESFine Old Recordings Re-released reviewed by Bruce SurteesAfter their widely publicizedand bitter court case, Mr.W.S . Gilbert and SirArthur Sullivan werebarely on speaking termsalthough they did collaborateon two more light operas.In Gilbert's absence,Sir Arthur collaborated with author Sydney Grundyto compose Haddon Hall which opened in 1892and ran for a healthy 204 performances. GeorgeBernard Shaw wrote that Haddon Hall was thevery best of the Savoy operas! The Divine ArtRecord Company has recorded a complete performance(divine art 21201, 2 CDs) of thiscurio. The Prince Consort of Edinburgh, an enthusiasticcompany that presents Victorian andEdwardian musicals, recorded this in 2000 to celebratethe IOOth anniversary of Sullivan's death.The story of goings-on in Haddon Hall, a statelyEnglish home, related in 40 ballads, it includespatter songs, and ensemble pieces. The dialogueis omitted but printed in the accompanying bookletwhich also has the complete libretto. Bound inthe morality and style of the late 19th century, thewhole production is so utterly and innocently charmingthat listening to it ensures a very pleasing evening.Very well recorded, too.Testament' s issue(SBT1410) of the premierperformance ofStrauss's Four LastSongs on 22 May, 1950given by Kirsten Flagstadin an all Furtwangler/Philharmonia concert isnot from a new pristine source but derived perhapsfrom the only recording known to exist. The bestpossible sound is extracted from the available acetates,now much corrupted. Still, one is able to hearthrough the source material's artefacts to the performancethat pays gentle homage to the composerwho placed the scores into Flagstad's hands fora premier. Often when we hear voices from thepast we are astonished at just how awful many ofthem sound, particularly the females in the higherregisters. Not so here. Flagstad is superlative! Shegenuinely radiates in a soaring Liebestodfrom Tristanand a triumphant Immolation Scene fromGotterdammerung complete with her own vocalniceties. No arguments about the interpretationsor her vocal ability. Her disarmingly beautifulsinging is empathetically supported by the legendaryFurtwangler. Incidentally, this orchestrahas two Brains, Aubrey and son Dennis. Thesound for the Wagner items is better than theStrauss."The most unbelievable musician I ever met... Hepossessed mystical, hypnotic power," said MischaMaisky of the all but forgotten violinist PhilippeHirschhorn. Hirschhorn was born in Riga in 1946and in 1967 awarded the first prize in coveted QueenElizabeth International Competition in Brussels. Previousfirst prize winners include David Oistrakh(1 937) and Leonid Kogan ( 1951 ). Hirschhorn's timebefore the public included playing with the likes ofWWW.THEW HOLENOTE.COMKarajan and touring Europe,America, and Japan .Ill health put an end to concertizingin the late '70s buthe began teaching in Brusselswhere he died in 1996.He was of those largerthan-lifeperformers fromthe Russian-Jewish school who had spectacular internationalcareers. His prize-winning performanceof the Paganini First concerto was recorded liveby the Competition and it has place ofhonour in a 3CD set from DOREMI which also has the loneconcertos by Brahms, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky, andBerg recorded live across his short career (DHR-7906-8, stereo & mono). Also included are fivechamber pieces by Saint-Saens, Bach, Brahms,Ravel, and Prokofiev. The gem among gems thoughis that Paganini, which showcases playing of unequalledbrilliance, sensitivity and super-human control,making Maisky's opinion into an affirmation.A new best recording of thiswork or that comes along everyweek, ifone believes the pressreleases,but here is a best recording:Rimsky-Korsakov'sScheherazade played by SergiuCelibidache conducting theSWR Radio Symphony of Stuttgarton DVD from EuroArts(2060368). This 1982 video was made with theconductor's collaboration and is so persuasive inevery way that I must prefer this performance, evenwithout the video, to others including Reiner andany ofStokowski 's. This may not be true for everylistener but for drama, exquisite balances and generosityof expression it is without equal. Celibidacheisn' t simply conducting a performance; he and hisband are telling a story of power, fear, and seduction.Asan example, Scheherazade's seductive voiceturns to sheer panic and fear in the opening passagesof the last movement. Included on the DVDis a 1965 performance of Till Eulenspiegel precededby a rehearsal that says much about the conductor.Finally, Sony has issued a •complete performance ofS'JIRAVINSKYStravinsky's The Sol- 11 11'JE

A Concert in Wine CountryQuartetto GelatoLinus 2 79009A starry night at the Jackson-Triggs Wineryin Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario; a hugecrowd seated on lawn chairs faces a stagedrenched in multi coloured lights; on stage,the four incredibly gifted members ofQuartettoGelato give a spectacular performance.This DVD presentation is not only a musicaltour-de-force, but a visual tour of someof the most beautiful scenes of southern Ontario'swine county. It is also, sadly, a memorial to thequartet's oboist Cynthia Steljes, who passed awayin late December 2006, of asbestos-related lungcancer, a little over a year after this performancewas recorded. Cynthia was one of the best Canadianoboists ever, and her virtuosity of playingand grace of spirit are captured in both the musicalselections and interview excerpts in whichshe and violinist/tenor husband Peter De Sottospeak about the musical life of the quartet, theirfellow musicians (accordionist Alexander Sevastianand cellist Kristina Reiko Cooper), and thepassion for what they do.The musical selections range from "light classical"to tango to schmaltz, and include a coupleof "show off'' pieces: Weber's KonzertstiickOp.79, Finale, is a display ofSevastian's incredibleaccordion technique, and among the bonusfeatures, which include a slide show of the Niagarawine region, is the Concerto Sopra MotiviDell'Opera La Favorita di Donizetti, by Pasculli,one of the most technically demanding piecesin the oboe repertoire, which Steljes plays withseeming effortlessness. This is preceded by anexplanation of circular breathing! There is alsoan arrangement of three movements of Ravel'sorchestral masterpiece Le Tombeau de Couperin;and no Quartetto Gelato performance wouldDISCS OF THE MONTHGmi:;w M;1hlC'r:be complete without De Sotto's rendition of DannyBoy.Quartetto Gelato is known for "removing theboundaries between different styles of music" ,says Cynthia Steljes. She also credits the quartetwith being, for some audience members, theirfirst exposure to classical music.The quartet continues to perform and tour,with clarinettist Shalom Bard, Cynthia's handpicked successor. May they continue to inspireaudiences for years to come!Karen AgesMahler - Symphony No. 2Maria Stader; Maureen Forrester; New YorkPhilharmonic Orchestra; Westminster Choir;Bruno WalterMusic and Arts CD-1199This is the most inspired and inspiring performancethat one is ever likely to hear of Mahler'ssecond symphony - a previously un-issued Sundayafternoon concert from Carnegie Hall on 17February, 1957.The Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra ofNew York, as they were known then, was reputedto be a merciless bunch that often made thegoing pretty tough for some conductors. In theera of martinet maestros, Walter was a man whogot exactly what he wanted, not by tyrannybut by courteously and finnly enrollingthe players, as his many issued rehearsalsattest. Here is a compelling performancewhich, to my mind, clearly andproudly declares that 'This is what myfriend, Gustav Mahler, wrote.' Even aftermany, many hearings it is this imprintthat stirs this listener to respond so deeplyto this driven performance given on thatday, in that place with those musiciansand that audience. By definition, unrepeatable.Everything went splendidly ... orchestra ontheir metal, choir up for the occasion, and bothsoloists in glorious voice. This level of commitmentand sense of oneness on this occasion wasnot, nor could not, be attained for the commercialrecording made the next year in which Maria Staderwas replaced by Emilia Cundari. AlthoughMaureen Forrester was the contralto in both performancesit is here that she conveys more deeplythe eternal aspirations of Mahler's libretto. Inher time, Forrester was the contralto of choicearound the world for Mahler and was recordedin performances conducted by Bruno Walter, FritzReiner, George Szell, Bernard Haitink, and WilliamSteinberg. She was the contralto in the MahlerSecond conducted by Andrew Davis, chosen tobe the very first event in Roy Thomson Hall.Maureen Forrester's final public performance wasa benefit concert for Toronto Sinfonietta whichtook place in Newmarket in June 2001.The monaural sound is clean, clear and articulatewith wide dynamics and a good sense ofdepth, providing a very satisfying reproductionof this unique event. There are some occasionalaudience sounds which to my mind only add tothe sense of being there. As usual with this company,the booklet is interesting and informative.Bruce Surtees---- -Eleven additional CD reviews are available onlineThe following eleven newly released recordings, for which space was not available in the magazine, were alsoreviewed for DISCOVERIES this month. Reviews are available at our website: www.thewholenote.com.VOCALLiszt; Rachmaninov - RomancesChantal Dionne, soprano; Louise­Andree BarilAnalekta AN 2 9923Reviewed by Dianne WellsSongs by Mahler, Handel and LiebersonLorraine Hunt Lieberson; RogerVignolesWigmore Hall Live WHLive0013(www.wigmore-hall.org. uk)Reviewed by Seth EstrinMODERN ANDCONTEMPORARYJohn Corigliano; Jefferson Friedman -String QuartetsCorigliano QuartetNaxos 8.559180Reviewed by Terry RobbinsFUSIONS, HYBRIDS AND POTPOURRIComposition/Improvisation Nos. 1, 2 & 3Roscoe MitchellECM 1872 (www.ecmrecords.com)Reviewed by Ken WaxmanTuva-lrish Live Music ProjectSainkho Namchylak; Roy CarrollLeo Records CD LR 480NomadSainkho NamchylakLeo Records CD LR 482(www.vergemusic.com)EXTENDED PLAY -EDMONTON COMPOSERS'CONCERT SOCIETYVisions of NothingnessRoger AdmiralCLEF Records 03006-2Westwind - Canadian Music forSaxophoneWilliam H. StreetEclectra ECCD-2076The Weather lnside - New Music forClarinetDon RossReviewed by Tom Sekowski Eclectra ECCD-2071Here We Are!This is Daniel CookMarblemedia 84424-2(www.childrensgroup.com)Reviewed by Tiina KiikRainDances - Canadian ChamberMusicARA EnsembleCLEF Records 05007-2Reviewed by John S. Grayj U LY 1 - S EP TE MBER 7 2007 WWW, THEWHOLENOTE. COM 61

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