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Volume 12 - Issue 2 - October 2006

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • October
  • Theatre
  • Choir
  • Concerts
  • Jazz
  • Choral
  • Arts
  • Singers
  • Symphony

trombone, Bernard

trombone, Bernard Falaise on guitarand Pierre Tanguay on drums.The seven selections have elementsof both jazz and musique actuellebut also encompass a varietyof musical styles. An almost LasVegas style sentiment surfaces in IInous aurait fallu while La chansonde Marie is almost simultaneouslyan Irish jig and an EasternEuropean dance. My favourite, Mirabeau,using a text of GuillaumeApollinaire, begins in a fugal manner,then moves more upbeat, andcloser to the end almost becomes a1970s rock anthem with its screechingguitar solo. Cartier's vocals arethe glue that holds the works togetherthroughout.The bilingual French and English linernotes describe Cartier's ideas behindeach piece, though my high schoolFrench leads me to wish the lyrics alsohad an English translation. This is amoot point however - the music wouldbe a welcome backdrop to any drivein the country or dinner affair. I' llleave the final words to Pierre Cartier- "And if we may say that sometimeslove is blind, how could we everimagine love being deaf?" Touche !Tiina KiikldiolallaDB Boyko; Christine Duncan;Jean Martinambiences magnetiquesAM 147 CDWhile I couldn't find the intriguingsounding title word ldiolalla anywhere,I did however uncover theneologism "idiolalia", which arose recentlyfrom "idio": personal, distinct,private, peculiar, and "lalia": speech;therefore "idiolalia'', meaning a privateor unique form of speech.On this CD, the two singers, DBBoyko and Christine Duncan, nostrangers to the exploration and extensionof vocal limitations, certainlymake good use of idiolalia. JeanMartin , the polished jazz percussionistimpresses us with his free improvchops and fine musicianship.On first listening, the sheer rangeof vocal utterance astonishes, whatwith lightening quick switching betweenvocables and effective presentationof many extended vocaltechniques. On the other hand, it didtake me a while to relax with thismix of Dadaist-inflected aesthetics76Back to Ad Index(which was originally designed topoke fun and agitate) and (much) nonsenselanguage. Except when used intouches of irony, don 't expect to hearbelle canto singing here!There is more to this music thanvirtuoso exploitation of avant-gardevocalism. The lack of intelligible lyrics(much of the time) doesn't impedethe singers' ability to sound intum lyrical, childlike, declamatory,menacingly silly, hysterically scary oramazingly like Inuit throat singers. Justwhen one imagines they have run thegamut of emotional set-pieces, theypull out a comically operatic bit, includingwicked Pagliacci laughter.Stay with it. This CD rewardsrepeated listening and reveals initiallyhidden structural elements andan adventurous and playful soul.Andrew TimarIn ConcertEl Viento FlamencoIndependent EVFCD-002(www.elvientoflamenco.com)WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COMIt never ceases to amaze me howflamenco has infiltrated cultures farfrom its original Spanish roots. ElViento Flamenco is a dance/musictroupe from Halifax via Newfoundland.Yes Newfoundland. And thisis the real deal. The members whocomprise the troupe, founders EvelyneBenais (dance), and Bob Sutherby(guitar), singers Sean Harrisand Maral Perk and percussionistsTony Tucker and Megan Matheson,come from a variety of musical backgrounds- rock, blues, folk - but theyhave all been infected by the flamencovirus and have come togetherto bring us authentic gypsy soul.This is a CBC recording ofa liveperformance and while listening toan audio recording of a dance performancemay seem odd, it workswell due to the percussive nature offlamenco dancing. Especially whenit is performed with the rhythmicprecision that Benais has. Add tothat Sutherby's lyrical playing andthe solid percussion accompanimentand you have a fine performance.However, what lifts this recordingand group into stellar territory isSean Harris. The man sings like anangel. For diehard flamenco traditionaliststhis may be a bit of a problem.Flamenco singers aren't supposedto sing like angels. They' resupposed to sound tortured; likethey've been to hell and back andchain-smoked the whole way. ButHarris delivers all the rest of therequisite flamenco attributes inspades: passion, power and the vocalgymnastics that flamenco's modaland rhythmic quirks demand. ElViento Flamenco " In Concert" deliversa gorgeous and accessible flamencothat is made in Canada.Cathy RichesConcert Note: El Viento Flamencoperforms in Fraser Auditoriumat Laurentian University in Sudburyon October 14.KiroKiyoshi Nagata EnsembleIndependent KNE004( www .kiyoshinagata.com)Japanese taiko drumming is knownnot only for its powerful sonic energy,but also for the stylized, almostchoreographed movements of theperformers when striking a collectionoflarge, barrel-like drums. Obviously,the visual element is missingon an audio recording, but a goodset of stereo speakers and a reasonablygenerous volume will helpgive the effect of an exciting liveperformance, bringing out the fullnuance and timbre of the variousinstruments on this Toronto-basedensemble's fourth CD release.This recording is not all thunderouspercussion however. While rootedin tradition, the Kiyoshi NagataEnsemble has expanded upon thisancient art form. Most of the numbers,all composed by members ofthe ensemble in the last three yearsor so, incorporate various other traditionalJapanese instruments alongsidetaiko drums. These include theshinobue and shakuhachi (transverseand end blown bamboo flutes),shamisen (three-stringed lute), andan array of gongs, bells, shakers andwooden percussion, for an extreme-1 y varied and nuanced spectrum ofsound and rhythm.Vocals also figure on this recording,with Hon-ChOshi, featuring thepowerful and expressive singing ofAki Takahashi who also composedthis piece. One of the purely taikodrum pieces Tentetsu No Kase ,composed by the group's founderKiyoshi Nagata, features energeticand complex driving interlockingrhythms, conveying a spectrum ofdifferent timbres. And KhandaTaiko (composed by Heidi Chan)is a foray into the structure ofSouth-Indian rhythm, specificallythe 5-beat Khanda tala.Karen AgesPerformance note: Kiyoshi NagataEnsemble will be premiering newworks at the Al Green Theatre (MilesNadal JCC), October 13 and 14.Le Son de Soie/Silk SoundLiu FangAccords Croises AC 116Here we have yet another superbCD (her seventh in as many years)from Chinese-Canadian pipa (lute)and guzheng (zither) player, Liu Fang.One difference is that this recordingis her first produced in France, and ithas already garnered that country'sprestigious L' Academie Charles CrosAward. Clearly Liu Fang is well onher way to replicating her NorthAmerican success over in Europe.The care and detail lavished onall aspects of this production areoutstanding, from the exquisite accompanyingbooklet replete withstunning photos and an informativetext in French and English, to thehigh quality of the recorded soundand musical performances. My onlyquibble is that sometimes the text isoverly romantic and effusive.Of the eleven tracks, three are forsolo pipa, Liu Fang's first instrument.In particular, the elevenminutepiece, The King of Chudoffs his Armour, is impressive,with its traditional military and percussivesty le. On three other trackswe hear solo guzheng with its softer,undulating melodies. However, itis the cross-cultural improvisationswhich are the most innovative aspectof the recording-Liu Fang is joinedin tum by Alla on oud (North Africanlute), Henri Toumieron bansuri, andBallake Sissoku on kora (West Africanharp-lute). The interplay betweenLiu Fang and these three musicians iseloquent and seemingly effortlessanaltogether ve1y convincing andbeautiful musical fusion.Annette SangerO CTOB ER 1 - N OVEM BER 7 2006

Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"San Francisco Symphony;Michael Tilson ThomasSFS 821936-0006-2 (Hybrid SACD)Wiener Philharmoniker; Pierre BoulezDeutsche Grammophon 477 6004Budapest Festival Orchestra, Ivan FischerChannel Classics CCS SA 23506(Hybrid SACD)Two highly significant Mahler cycles are nearingtheir completion, with only the monumental EighthSymphony remaining from Michael Tilson Thomas'(MTT) opulent SACD recordings with the San Franciscoand Pierre Boulez's entirely different approachwith the Vienna Philharmonic. San Francisco'ssplendid performance of the "Resurrection Symphony"clearly has the edge in its choice of vocalsoloists, the late lamented mezzo Lorraine HuntLieberson and Canadian soprano IsabelBayrakdarian. The Boulez however is the real stunner.It is absolutely revelatory in its unswerving paceand transcendent lucidity. Emotionally less ostentatiouson the surface, repeated listening reveals aDISCS OF THE MONTH -A SUITCASE FULL OF MAHLERsubtle, absolute mastery thatis both passionate and deeplycompelling.The second instalment ofIvan Fischer's fledglingMahler cycle with his BudapestFestival Orchestratraverses a middle course betweenthe neurotically impulsiveMTT performance and the inexorable treadof Boulez. Fischer is clearly a Mahler conductorof the first rank, with a telling attention to detail.His performance of the "Urlicht" vocal movementis one of the very few to go to the troubleof sounding the 12 bar brass chorale offstage asMahler suggests. The Hungarian Radio Choir 'scontribution to the finale is fervid though slightlyunderpowered.Symphony No. 4 (arr. Stein);Songs of a Wayfarer (arr. Schoenberg)Smithsonian Chamber Players &Santa Fe Pro Musica,Kenneth Slowik, Dorian DOR-90315One might well ask, justwhat point might there beto reviving small scale arrangementsof Mahlerfrom the 1920s? Wouldwe care to do the samefor Beethoven? In thecase of Mahler's Fourth .._ ---=~c::..::::..Symphony, I was quite surprised to learn that thisan·angement by Arnold Schoenberg's compositionstudent Erwin Stein already has four recordings devotedto it. These arrangements were originally createdfor Schoenberg's short lived Society for PrivateMusical Performances in Vienna, a Quixoticchamber music series which had scant promotionand little more than a cult following. Critics werebanned from these concerts, and a photo I.D. wasrequired for admission."Krupp makes only cannons, Mahler only symphonies,"quipped a critic of Mahler's day.And indeed,as there is no significant chamber music fromMahler's pen, these arrangements apparently fillan important need for performers. Among his colossalsymphonies, the Fourth is the most modest inits demands, and apart from the lack of a horn partin Stein's arrangement, the translation for smallerforces is remarkably adroit. The third movement inparticular benefits from the intimacy of the ensemble.Conductor Kenneth Slowik has made a pointof consulting the annotated scores of the pioneeringMahler devotee Willem Mengel berg for importantclues regarding Mahler's own performancepractices. The disc also includes Schoenberg's arrangementof the Songs of a Wayfarer, luminouslysung by Canadian mezzo Susan Platts.Das Lied von der Erde (arr. Riehn)Smithsonian Chamber Players & Santa FePro Musica, Kenneth Slowik. DorianDOR-90322 (See next page)QUARTETTO GELATOFriday, November 3, 8:00 p.m.Hammerson HallTickets: & upFor over a decade, this dazzling ensemblehas enchanted audiences and criticsworldwide with their exotic blend ofmusical styles. Both traditional andnon-traditional classical audienceswill love the performances.Back to Ad Index

Volume 26 (2020- )

Volume 26 Issue 1 - September 2020
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