5 years ago

Volume 12 - Issue 2 - October 2006

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

never loses the sense

never loses the sense that it is astaged work. The audience is oftenvisible, and backstage scenes arealso included, again blurring the linebetween public and private lives.Dianne Wells\II :t•·,,( '" •\I( 1 I H \IUll !(ill\R\ Pllitlfili11i\t')&~n1rnHl 1111111,1,m ri11rn.Wolf· LiederIan Bostridge; Antonio PappanoEMI 3 42256 2Finally, a disc of Hugo Wolf liederfrom British tenor Ian Bostridge -and it's delightful. Bostridge hasbeen perforrning Wolf right from thebeginning of his career. Yet, apartfrom a 1 i ve concert released onDVD, this is his first recording ofthe late-19th century German master.Bostridge's trademark mannerismsare in evidence here, especiallyin the way he emphasizes a wordor shapes a note. But Bostridge'sintense theatricality proves ideal forWolf's freewheeling expressiveness.Bostridge generally works withthe most interesting pianistsaround. But in Antonio Pappanohe has something rather different,since Pappano is also one of theleading conductors of today.Bostridge and Pappano turn eachsong into a miniature opera. Youcan almost hear them listening toeach other. While Bostridge illuminatesthe lyrical quality of Wolf'svocal lines, Pappano brings out theorchestral colours that Wolf distilledinto his piano parts.. Bostridge's vivid word-paintingin Verschwiegene Lied (Love's Discretion)is well complemented byPappano's luminous surfaces. Tendernessof a rare degree is achievedin An den Schlaf(To Sleep). In SeemannsAbscheid (Sailor's Farewell),Pappano's zestful accompanimentadds great character. Bostridge andPappano bring out the satirical humourof Abshied (Leave-taking),where the poet Morike imaginesrevenge on a critic, with gleeful stylishness.The booklet contains full textsand translations and an essay byBostridge, but, unfortunately, nobiographical notes whatsoever. Theengineering is exemplary in its naturalness,balance and clarity.Pam Margles68Back to Ad IndexBarber • Choral MusicChoir of Ormond College;Douglas LawrenceNaxos 8.559053Boy, that Samuel Barber was a softie.Listening to this recording of hischoral works - including excerptsfrom works for the stage - is anemotional journey, to say the least.For a composer with such a profoundlove of poetry, and prowessat setting the English language, it isa shame that NAXOS can't take anextra panel or two of its booklet toprint the varied texts. For on theirown, they would make a movinganthology of American and Englishpoetry, by such familiar names asShakespeare, Gerard Manley Hopkinsand Emily Dickinson, to namea few. Barber sets their words withloving care and meticulous craft. Hise.nharrnonic modulations and deceptivecadences owe a great deal tothe part-songs of Elgar and Finzi,though I think Barber is much moreexpressive and unpredictable thaneither of them.The performances are exceptional,though the recording of themdoes them no favours. Unfortunately,individual voices stick out andtuning issues are exacerbated by theclose miking. That said, the wholespirit of the CD is magnificent, andthere are some utter gems, like Dickinson'sLet down the bars, O death(which brought tears to my eyes)and the choruses from Antony andCleopata. More familiar works,such as the op. 16 Reincarnationsand a choral setting of Sure on thisshining night don't fare quite aswell, I' m afraid. Special mentiongoes to Len Vorster for the artfulpiano accompaniments.Larry BeckwithEARLY MUSIC ANDPERIOD PERFORMANCEPurcell - Suites and GroundsToros Can, pianoL'empreinte digitale ED1321SAt first glance, this CD presenteda possible dilemma. I'm a big fan ofPurcell 's remarkable keyboard music,and I happen to love the soundof the piano - but Henry Purcellplayed on the piano? I'm delightedWWW . THEWHOLENOTE.COMto report that in (and under) thehands of Turkish pianist Toros Can,who is better known for his interpretationsof Ligeti, Crumb andHindemith, this dilemma has hardlyhorns at all.During his student days in London,the harpsichord music of Purcell(1659-95) provided a kind ofemotional refuge for Can. He experimentedto find ways of bringingthis repertoire alive on the pianowhile remaining true to thecomposer and the music's origins,and the results of his research areextraordinarily successful. Theeight suites are heard here, as arefive grounds and a Round-0, andCan's playing is tender, thoughtful, and deeply expressive. Whetherin the melancholy sweetness ofthe grounds, the sunny energy ofthe D- and G-major suites, or theexpressive gravity of the G-minorsuite, I was continually impressedwith Can's success in finding awonderful middle ground betweenhis modern instrument and the delicatemusic he explores.Though the liner notes leavemuch to be desired, the disc's programorder is excellent, as is thesound. Purists may not like it, butthis CD made me smile many times,and for all the right reasons.Alison MelvilleLeo • 6 Concerti di violoncelloAnner Bylsma; TafelmusikBaroque Orchestra;Jeanne LamonATMA ACD2 2126Vivaldi • Sinfonias and ConcertiVenice Baroque Orchestra;Andrea MarconArchiv Produktion 474 5092The shortest distance between twopoints is a straight line; however thedistances separating Leonardo Leoand Antonio Vivaldi are not so simple.They were both Italian, nearcontemporaries(Leo died threeyears after Vivaldi) and prolificallycreated solo and orchestral concerti,oratorios and operas. They bothwere well ensconced in their respectivemilieus and remained for mostof their lives in their chosen cities:Vivaldi in Venice, Leo in Naples.The recordings in hand highlightwhat's best in the music of bothcomposers: the groundbreaking forits time approach to string instruments,the careful layering of thesound.Anner Bylsma is a master cellistas magnificent in solo or chambe;performance as he is with Concertgebouwor here, with Tafelmusik.The playing of the little-knownrepertoire is incandescent and nuanced.Bylsma, Tafelmusik andAtma did us a great favour bringingthese works to our attention. TheVivaldi disc, on the other hand, travelsthe well-trodden path, but VeniceBaroque Orchestra under AndreaMarcon sets a new standard forperiod performance.What truly sets these two discsapart in the end is the distance betweenLeo and Vivaldi. Not a temporalor physical distance, but ratherthe distance of magnitude. TheVi.valdi recording holds, tightlycoiled, the magic of the "Red Priest"as Antonio was called in Venice. TheLeo recording tries, and at timessucceeds, to match the intensity,the sheer passion inherent to music,the timeless resonance of thecompositions. Jn the end, the distanceproved too great - that betweenthe musical genius and thefootnote of musical history.Robert TomasConcert Notes: The Tafelmusikand Arion Baroque Orchestras joinforces for the final performance of"Jeanne's 25th Anniversary Celebration"in works for two orchestrasby Vivaldi, Handel, Rameau andJ.C. Bach on October I. "Tafelnewsik"features Tafelmusik's HotNew Talents Julia Wedman, AisslinnNosky, Cristina Zacharias, violins,and Dominic Teresi, bassoon, inconcerts October 19-22.CLASSICAL ANDBEYONDO CTO BER 1 - NOVEMBER 7 2006

IViozartMozart - Music forFlute & OrchestraRobert Aitken; National ArtsCentre Orchestra;Franco ManninoEloquence EQCBC6892In this reissue of CBC Records'1987 release flutist, Robert Aitkenputs his artful phrasing, sparklingarticulation, fluidity and finesse inthe service of the music, avoidingany imposition of his own personality,allowing Mozart to be heard.Mannino's NAC Orchestra supportswith a sonority both robust and refined.The recording quality soundsartless, with little if any apparentpost-recording enhancement. Atfirst I wanted the flute to have morepresence, but by the second listeningappreciated hearing the balanceof soloist and orchestra much as itwould be in concert.Not only is Robert Aitken a flutevirtuoso, he is also a composerwhose works, mostly chamber andorchestral music, have been performedall over the world. About15% of the music on this CD is byAitken - by which I mean he composedsix of the seven cadenzas.While these mini-compositions attimes display Aitken 's virtuosicwizardry, they are also artisticallysearching, moving effortlessly fromMozart's thematic material intomelodically and harmonically astonishingterritory. In his cadenzato the Andante in C Major, for example,the sudden modulation intoC minor reminds us of Mozart'sbrief but frequent forays into minorkeys in the development section,sombre undertones in this ostensiblysunny piece of music.Thi s CD is a must for both theserious flute student and the Mozartconnoisseur.Allan PulkerLiszt - Works for Piano andOrchestraLouis Lortie; Residentie Orchestra,The Hague;George PehlivanianChandos CHAN 10371(3) XLiszt - Symphonic Poems Vol.2BBC Philharmonic;Gianandrea NosedaChandos CHAN 10375O CTOBER 1 - N OVEMBER 7 2006Back to Ad IndexFranz Liszt has been considered thegreatest pianist of all times, a magicianof the keyboard, an embodimentof Romanticism and, understandably,a composer for the pianopar excellence. But apart from thishe was also a brilliant symphonistand orchestrator and if you think thisis a win-win situation, it is. For hisneglect in concert halls of the Westwe can thank the British critics whodid their best to pooh-pooh his workover the last I 00 years citing badtaste and overt emotionalism. It istherefore doubly welcome of Chandosto issue Liszt's complete oeuvrefor piano and orchestra as wellas his complete symphonic works.Liszt revolutionized the concertoform by telescoping the usual 3movements into one with a non-stopcontinuous flow of ideas and recurringkey themes. Technically verydifficult, the Concerto in E flat is aprime example, a tremendously exciting,rhapsodic, episodic and brilliantlyeffective 'showpiece'. Bycontrast the second, the A majorconcerto, is more lyrical and contemplativebut perhaps even morediverse and imaginative than thefirst. Unlike Chopin's, Liszt's orchestrais innovative and thoroughlyintegrated with the solo piano.The rarely heard Fantasy onBeethoven 's Ruin of Athens is absolutelydelightful with its mixture ofTurki sh themes played with delicacy,humour and dash. The HungarianFantasy is again a bravurapianistic display, still very popularin Liszt's native land. Lortie ismagnificent throughout, an imaginative,versatile and flawless virtuosowith powerful attacks andlight, sensitive touch when required.Distinguished young conductorGeorge Pehlivanian proveshimself a worthy contributor to thesuccess of the set.As a symphonist, Liszt singlehandedlyinvented the 'symphonicpoem' and with Berlioz created anew form, the 'program symphony' .Faust Symphony is probably themost forward looking of this genreIWWW .THEWHOLENOTE.COMand with its cyclical theme and leitmotivshe influenced Wagner, Saint­Saens, Franck, Sibelius and R.Strauss. It's also the first piece ofmusic where atonality appears.It's often said that in music it ismuch easier to express evil thanvirtue. Faust Symphony is certainlymore memorable in its outermovements (Faust and Mephisto)than the rather forgettable middlemovement (Gretchen). Nosedadrives his orchestra well in the turbulentand restless first moveme ntand the opening, atonal statementis particularly sensitive. Similarly,the 3rd movement is idiomatic withits distorted, sneering, invertedthemes and the final apotheosis istruly effective. The crisp, modern,not overly emotional and wellthought out performance featuresthe usual fine Chandos sound.Janos GardonyiConcert Notes: The music ofLiszt is featured in several concertsat the Great Romantics Festival inHamilton on October 6 and 7, andat the Kitchener-Waterloo ChamberMusic Society on October 13.Brahms - Piano Concerto No. 2Marc-Andre Hamelin; DallasSymphony; Andrew LittonHyperion SACDA67550As soon as I heard the majestic hornand piano motif marking the openingof Brah ms Piano Concerto #2, Isensed this was going to be a wonderfulrecording. But then, maybeI'm biased, for I've always been aHi!Fibig fan of Marc-Andre Hamelin. Tome he is such a consummate musician,his superhuman virtuosity temperedby a deeply rooted intelligence- a seemingly rare combinationamong pianists today. Over theyears, this Montreal-born artist nowbased in Munich has devoted considerableenergy to the works oflesser known composers such asMedtner, Alkan, and Godowsky. Yetin this latest recording, an SACOfrom Hyperion featuring the DallasSymphony conducted by AndrewLitton, Hamelin has gone moremainstream - and not surprisinglyhas once again struck gold. Brahmsmade the initial sketches for the concertoduring a trip he made to Italyin 1878, and completed it there duringa second sojourn three years later.The 19th century critic EduardHans lick once referred to the pieceas "a symphony with piano obbligato"owing to the less virtuosic pianopart compared to that in the firstconcerto of 20 years earlier. To mymind, this is an unfair judgement, forthe technical demands are just asgreat despite the concerto's moreintimate nature. Not surprisingly,Hamelin makes it all sound easy. Hisperformance is strongly self-as-Experience the thrill of a live performancein your own home.I-,0Exposure 2010S IntegratedAmplifier & CD Player(:..~11 C , .. [-'._. ·- '' I S l ( ''Neat Motive 2 SpeakersCall Lockridge Hi-Fi today for details.Q) 16th Ave~~:a NI T

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
Volume 21 Issue 3 - November 2015
Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)