5 years ago

Volume 12 - Issue 2 - October 2006

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BooK Shelfby Pamela

BooK Shelfby Pamela Marg/esXenakisby Nouritza MatossianMoufflon Publications360 pages; photos, scores,drawingsAvailable from L 'Atelier Grigorian,70 Yorkville Avenue, TorontoM5R JB9 (416) 922-6477Among the highlights of last summer'sSoundaXis conference onIannis Xenakis were the presentationsby the London-based writerand performer Nouritza Matossian.Xenakis proudly called Matossianhis 'living biographer'. In her remarkablebook, titled simplyXenakis, Matossian gives us a portraitof a man more vulnerable andhaunted than we could have imagined.But she leaves no doubt abouthis enduring greatness, calling him'a lodestone for truth by sheer example.'With the full co-operation ofXenakis and his wife, French writerFrani;;oise Xenakis, Matossianspent hours and hours over a periodof ten years in his studio, goingthrough his papers, diaries, correspondence,scores and mementos,even while he worked.The result is an elegant, luminouslypoetic yet focused narrative. Matossianclarifies the philosophical,scientific, architectural and harmonicideas that give Xenakis's musicits allure. She shows how his conceptof proportion fundamentallyshaped his music, and describeshow Xenakis transformed the visualimages that preoccupied himinto such enthralling sounds, usinghis training as an engineer andhis work as an architect with LeCorbusier. This book is an importantcontribution to the historyof twentieth century music. It wasinitially published in French in1981, with the first English editionappearing in 1986. FollowingXenakis's death in 2001, it hasnow been reissued with addedmaterials, a new afterword, updatedbibliography and notes, photosand an eye-catching cover.Matossian will be presentingBlack Angel: The Life of ArshileGorky with images, music anddance, in the Hamazkayin Theatreat theArmenian Cultural Centre, 50Hallcrown Place onFriday, Oct.21 at 8.00.Some Hustling This! Taking Jazzto the Worldby Mark MillerThe Mercury Press207 pages, photos; .95In 1918, when the word 'jazz' wasbarely known, drummer LouisMitchell wrote pianist Eubie Blaketo join him in France, 'the finest(, d /_ 1·~co ~ oyo .. oup 1cat1ng~ · - Short runs (5 - 500 or more) •Brochures .~/'I• Colour or B&W printed CD's • Posters ~ - I• Complete packaging /~ • Business Cords n6 ~• Fast dependable ~_ervice • Digital_.Colo~r Printing• Top quality \ • Graphic Design \I G"'' Co~~ective \ •Audio iJeo transfer~s·b 4€an©~©ne~ , ~~:;~"~~l-J~·,l' ....)Services Inc. / I I267 Ltkeshore Blvd. w. Toronto M8W 2N5 416 620-6933Back to Ad Index,, /.d"WWW. THEWHOlENOTE .COMcountry in the world', where 'youare treated white wherever you go'.Blake waited until 1925 to go over,but many musicians, like Jelly RollMorton, Willie The Lion Smith andSidney Bechet, did follow Mitchell.The extent of their travels isbreathtaking, as Mark Miller revealsin Some Hustling This! TakingJazz to the World 1914-1929.These intrepid musicians played inBerlin, Prague, Vienna, Belgrade,Constantinople, Athens, Alexandria,Cairo, Shanghai, and latereven traveled to Australia and SouthAmerica.In 1926 there were actually twoAmerican jazz bands in Moscowat the same time , one featuring thegreat Bechet, who ended up spendingthe last years of his life inFrance after the war. The Russians,being communist, consideredthe jazz band the 'ideal ensemble'because no single musician was incharge. Saxophonist Garvin Bushellwrote that Russia was the firstcountry where he was 'accepted asa man, and treated like an artist' .Miller, a Toronto-based jazz critic,has uncovered a crucial aspectof the early years of jazz. His terrificbibliography and notes indicatethe prodigious research requiredto put together this fascinating,stylishly presented account.The New Grove Guide to Wagnerand his Operasby Barry MillingtonOxford208 pages, photos; .95If you want to learn more aboutWagner, especially after the splendidmounting of his Ring cycle bythe Canadian Opera Company lastmonth, this volume is a handy placeto start. Though short, it covers aremarkable amount of material.Barry Millington, a British criticwho has written extensively onWagner, has collected the essayson Wagner, mostly byMillingtonhimself, from the New Grove dictionaries.For each opera, he givesthe backround, the performancehistory and a synopsis of the plot.He even discusses traditional cuts,most of which he finds regrettable.He tells us Tristan and Isoldeis of 'far-reaching influence' becauseof Wagner's 'pervasiveemancipation of the dissonance',and that Parsifal is the 'most enigmaticand elusive'.Millington's passion for Wagner'smusic, and his attention to Wagner'sown extensive writings (exceptin the bibliography, wherethey are not listed), enliven thisvolume. Yet he doesn't avoid the'venomous bitterness' of Wagner'sobsession with racial purity in thewritings, and the 'dark underside 'of the music.In his survey of various productions,Millington clearly favours themore adventurous stagings, whereWagner's own directions are treatedas 'inner visions rather thanpractical demands' (much as theywere in the recent COC stagings).He dismisses the realistic MetropolitanOpera productions as being'enjoyed primarily by thosewho regard opera houses as a refugefrom cerebral activity'.The updated bibliography and discographyare way too selective, andthe index is missing altogether. Butthere are extensive notes, a usefulglossary, and welcome illustrations.Pamela Margles can be reachedat Bookshe/

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Volume 26 (2020- )

Volume 26 Issue 1 - September 2020
Volume 26 Issue 2 - October 2020
Volume 26 Issue 3 - November 2020
Volume 26 Issue 4 - December 2020 / January 2021

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volume 25 Issue 9 - July / August 2020
Volume 25 Issue 8 - May / June 2020
Volume 25 Issue 7 - April 2020
Volume 25 Issue 6 - March 2020
Volume 25 Issue 5 - February 2020
Volume 25 Issue 4 - December 2019 / January 2020
Volume 25 Issue 3 - November 2019
Volume 25 Issue 2 - October 2019
Volume 25 Issue 1 - September 2019
Volume 24 Issue 8 - May 2019
Volume 24 Issue 7 - April 2019
Volume 24 Issue 6 - March 2019
Volume 24 Issue 5 - February 2019
Volume 24 Issue 4 - December 2018 / January 2019
Volume 24 Issue 3 - November 2018
Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018
Volume 23 Issue 9 - June / July / August 2018
Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018
Volume 23 Issue 7 - April 2018
Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018
Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018
Volume 23 Issue 3 - November 2017
Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017
Volume 23 Issue 1 - September 2017
Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017
Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017
Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017
Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017
Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017
Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017
Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016
Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016
Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016
Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
Volume 21 Issue 5 - February 2016
Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016
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Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

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Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)