8 years ago

Volume 12 - Issue 4 - December 2006

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hD/SCoveries EDITOR'S

hD/SCoveries EDITOR'S CORNERcontinued from page 7I would not have known, were it not for theextensive program notes in the OrchestreNational Bordeaux Aquitaine recording ofRavel's Daphnis et Chloe (8.570075) withthe Bordeaux Opera Chorus under LaurentPetitgirard's direction, that Ravel 's symphoniechoreographique portrays "The LesbianPastorals of Daphnis and Chloe" as told by thesecond century Greco-Roman author Longus.WholeNote MarketPlaceGifts of Music: CD/DVD12 CD SETIGlickmusic&interviewsavailable nowin music storesor call.... WM! 416.699.4949! h e John Laing SingersChristmas CDMerrily Sing Weimerrilysing@sympatico.ca905-628-5238 I 1-877-628-5238r"8GIVING THE GIFT OF MUSIC! ~~ ltSel'"'""'°m KWS's Th e • ··•MAYTllF -· ·_·· •Nutcracker.SOUN ns or 1 HE-iOnly . This SFt\SON RING IN ~special fundraising YOU R 11 EART Tl IE ~ -~ 'i-CD comes in w1 10 1 r YrAR T _,a 'holiday card' Tll ROUGll 1...1/!,.printed case and ;;-: ·makes the perfect · ' ,, :: ,seasonal gift. i · 11 u ~\'.lt.4fil"Look at the World" a new coSince my introductionto the work some 4decades ago on anEverest LP (budget reissue)featuring ErnstAnsermet conductingl' Orchestre de laSuisse Romande it hasbeen enough for me toR \ I I· I''.1 Iknow that this luscious work is the epitome ofImpressionist ballet, without worrying too muchabout the narrative line. It's one of thoseworks, like Debussy's La Mer, which I wouldput on my turntable at bedtime in my formativeyears and never did make it to the end beforefalling asleep. Fortunately my record pl ayerwould tum itself off at the end of the side. Thisnew recording would even work forinsomniacs - the CD technology has eliminatedthe necessity of turning over the record in themiddle thi s wondrous hour-long masterwork.But the most welcome visitor from my past thismonth has nothing to do with Naxos.Benjamin Britten's Phantasy Quartet,Op.2 for oboe and strings performed by AlexKlein and members of the Vermeer Quartet(

DIS~DISCS REVIEWED -~VOCALOpera's Ten Deadly SinsVarious ArtistsDecca 4.42848e+006In addition to three CDs featuringsome of the best repertoire fromUniversal Music's catalogue (DeutscheGrammophon, Philips and Decca),the fourth CD in this compilationis a 43-minute lecture from Toronto'swell-known historian of opera,Iain Scott. This is a delight forthose who have enjoyed his pre-operalectures for Opera in Concert,his contribution as a panellist on theCBC' s Saturday afternoon operaquiz, and his course offerings andopera tours.From his wealth of knowledgefrom years offact-gathe1ing and listmakingfor al I things operatic, Scotthas chosen scenes and arias thathighlight the extreme emotions thattranslate into sins as defined by PopeGregory in the 6th century and popularizedby Dante in the 14th century.Scott has expanded the usualseven (Pride, Envy, Anger, Sloth,Greed, Gluttony and Lust) to ten byadding Murder, Suicide and Slander.In the ample booklet accompanyingthe set, Scott takes each aria, andprovides the context that identifiesit with one of the ten sins. He alsodescribes how these are portrayedmusically as well as dramatically.For example, the extreme range andintervals used during demonstrationof wrath, or the dynamics of the lovetriangle expressed through trio singing,or lust through the duet.While Pope Gregory ranked theseven deadly sins in order of severity,Scott categorizes which sins aremost operatic, in other words, thatmost lend themselves to high drama.So, for an excursion into theextremes of human frailty or theguilty pleasures of 'sin', this compilationoffers some of the best performancesavailable.Dianne WellsD EC EMBER 1 2006 - FEB RU AR Y 7 2007Vivaldi - GriseldaLemieux; Cangemi; Kermes;Jaroussky; Ferrari; Davies;Ensemble Matheus: Jean­Christophe SpinosiNaive OP 30419The father of an old friend of mineonce described Vivaldi's compositionsas " music you can brush yourteeth to". I have since actually triedto brush my teeth to it, and he wasabsolutely right. Vivaldi was theKing of Simplistic Divisions. Thereare always steady eighth notes beingground out in one part or anotherwhile I scratch at my enamel.When I read the description ofthe quintessentially complex baroqueplot of Griselda, I thought therecould be no way that Vivaldi composedthis with the makers of Aquafresh.The scenario is Jong andtwisted and the characters play sordidgames with one another. Somehow,however, Vivaldi managed tofind a way to work in some sponsorshipfrom Colgate-Palmolive.Spinosi directs Ensemble Matheusin this raw and almost livesoundingrecording of the opera, andthe result is one of visceral agility.The ensemble works well togetherand the soloists are well suited totheir roles. There are a few iffymoments with the uniquely difficultto-tunewind instruments, but it generallyworks quite well. The twocounter-tenors (Philippe Jarousskyand Iestyn Davies) have very disparatesounds which complementeach other very nicely. All of thesoloists sit at a tenor or higher register,leaving the ear a little shockedat the lack of bass. Marie-NicoleLemieux as Griselda has the mostmuscular voice of the bunch.I relished this perfo1mance ofGriselda immensely, although (clockingin at over two and a half hours)I do wish I had used Sensodyne duringthose eighth-note passages.Gabrielle McLaughlinBRYN·u El?FEL" ' ,. ~·-·"'........ .....,....... ,,..i •Mozart - Tutto MozartBryn Terfel;Scottish Chamber Orchestra;Sir Charles MackerrasDeutsche Grammophon4775886Mozart - AriasMagdalena Ko•ena; Orchestraof the Age of Enlightenment;Simon RattleArchiv Produktion 4775799Even if it seems like we've hadenough Mozart this year to last usuntil his 500th anniversary, two newdiscs of Mozart arias give us reasonto celebrate.Magdalena Ko•ena is one of today'smost sought-after and versatilesingers. Her years singing withearly music groups means that shehas a simple and elegant approachto Mozart, and also that she is ableto ornament quite tastefully. But hervoice is feminine and alluring, andone which perfectly suits Mozart'soften desperate females - herWWW. THEWHOlENOTE.COMCherubino is almost too beautiful tosound believable as a boy. She issomewhere between the usual categoriesof soprano and mezzo,which means that she can, for example,sing an aria from all three ofthe female parts in Cosi fan Tulle.And although Dorabella is the roleshe normally performs, Fiordiligi's"Per pi eta" is a highlight.Also perfectlysuiting her voice is the concertaria "Ch ' io mi scordi di te?" inwhich a magical interplay isachieved between voice, orchestraand fortepiano, beautifully played byJos van Immerseel. Ko•ena is herepartnered with her real-life partner,Sir Simon Rattle, who conducts theOrchestra of theAge of Enlightenmentwith distinction.BrynTerfel is singing more Wotansand Scarpias than Figaros thesedays. But thankfully he has nevergiven up his Mozart roles as hemoved into heavier repertoire. Onthis new all-Mozart disc his charismaticbass-baritone sounds as goodas ever. It is remarkable how lightand flexible he can keep his voice.Terfel has already made completerecordings of many Mozart roles, soit's good to hear some roles he's neverperformed, as well as some unusualselections, even if "Diggi, daggi, schurry, mu1Ty" from Bastienund Bastienne is more of a noveltyitem than anything else. Variety isalso achieved by the presence ofMiah Persson and Christine Rice,who join Terfel in a number of duetsand a buoyant reading of theterzettino from Cosifan Tutte. Terfelis known not only for his richvoice but also his lively personality,and his ability to create individualcharacters is a great part of the successof this disc. He moves fromLeporello to Don Giovanni and fromFigaro to the Count without missinga beat. Terfel has often successfullycollaborated with Sir Charles Mackerras,here leading the Scottish ChamberOrchestra, who is always expertin Mozart.Seth EstrinBrian Ferneyhough -ShadowtimeNicolas Hodges, piano, speaker;Mats Scheidegger, guitar;Neue Vocalsolisten; NieuwEnsemble; Jurjen HempelNMC D123Poul Ruders ·Kafka's TrialJohnny van Hal; Gisela Stille;Marianne R!lrholm;Chorus and Orchestra, RoyalDanish Opera;Thomas S!lndergardDacapo 8.226042-43" .. . Knock knock who's there? don'task don't tell who knows ... the answercomes in the form of a question."And so it goes, the freewheeling,angst-laden, but very funnymonologue which forms the pivotalscene in British composer BrianFerneyhough' s brilliant new op-73

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