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Volume 12 - Issue 6 - March 2007

  • Text
  • Theatre
  • Jazz
  • Toronto
  • Arts
  • April
  • Musical
  • Symphony
  • Orchestra
  • Choral
  • Violin

That Toscanini's last

That Toscanini's last two concerts with theNBC Symphony were recorded in stereo forNBC's internal use was known. The final concert,an all Wagner, affair has been available,in stereo, for some time from Music and Arts(CD-3008). Available now is the penultimateconcert, given the week before on March 21 ,1954 in Carnegie Hall , containing the Overtureto The Barber of Seville and Tchaikovsky's SixthSymphony.- - ----------0 L D WINE IN NEW BOTTLESFINE OLD RECORDINGS RE-RELEASED by Bruce SurteesThere are two competingversions, one on the Italianlabel IDIS and the otherfrom Music and Arts(CD-1194) . I say 'versions'because they sounddifferent from each oth- '·-···er. The IDIS (6500/01, 2CDs) has the Wagner from the final concertplus a second disc with only the Tchaikovsky.The Music and Arts has both the Rossini overtureand the Tchaikovsky symphony. The IDISTchaikovsky is mastered to emphasize the higherfrequencies resulting in a certain loss of theunderpinnings of the orchestra while the M&Abalancing maintains the higher frequencies intheir correct perspective. The clincher is in theclosing pages of the symphony where the IBISdisc is severely disfigured by a continuing static-likesound above the music. Di sastrous, becausethis movement under Toscanini's batonis uniquely heartfelt and dolorous, an acceptanceof the inevitable, lending real irony to thefact that was to be hisswan song as it wasTchaikovsky's.Also from Music andArts is a most surprisingBeethoven Eighth andNinth by the ConcertgebouwOrchestra conducted by Otto Klemperer(CD-1191, 2 CDs). Surprising, becausethe virile, alert tempi and coherence of this inspiredlive Ninth from 17 May 1956 contrastsnoticeably with his celebrated EMI/Philharmoniarecording made in 1957. When the EMI versionwas issued on LP it was hailed as ruggedbut as the years roll by this version sounds increasinglylaboured and heavy-footed. The Amsterdamsoloists are Gre Brouwenstijn, AnnieHermes, Ernst Haetliger, and Hans Wilbrink .The faultless mono sound is wide range and extremelydetailed, as it is for the Eighth fromthe same evening. These are two enjoyable andsignificant discs, especially so for Klempererfans who will recognize and appreciate theworth of hearing this conductor in concert atthat time. As a little bonus, Gre Brouwenstijnjoins conductor and orchestrain 1951 for Ah Perfido.On the lighter side, RCA recentlyissued a deluxe threeCD package "If You Got toAsk, You Ain't Got It", featuringFats Waller's inimitableplaying and singing from1926 through to 1943, the yearof his unexpected death at age 39 (RCA 82876-81125-2). There never was another like Thomas'Fats' Waller who authored most of hisspecialty items including, of course, Ain't Misbehavin', Honeysuckle Rose, Honey Hush ,Somebody Stole my Gal, (I'll be glad whenyou 're dead) You Rascal You, The Joint isJumpin ', and so may other popular tunes thatwere easily recognized through the years. Untilrecently, that is, when performances andtunes such as these fall between the cracks onthe airwaves. Perhaps they will find a new homeon digital radio which will need something differentto fill the countless channels promised.Until then you could enjoy the 66 tracks in thiscollection. In the box with the CDs is a carefullyprepared 100 page book with glossy photos,essays and biography. Meticulous transfersfrom the original 78s have produced freshsoundingtracks that take the listener right backinto the original sessions.11. R r.Ui-llJjM U S I K @TOI< ~ 0 PU s ~l ARTELes TroyensOA0900DLouis ArmstrongJazz IconsDVWW-JILAALSO INCLUDED:Keith Jarrett - The Art of Improvisation 2054118Giulio Cesare : Handel - Christie OA 09500II Turco in Italia - Rossini - Bartoli 100369Ella Fitzgerald - Jazz Icons- DVWW - JIEFAndres Segovia - in Portrait - OA CN0931 D... AndLady MacbethOA0965DCOUPONGlenn GouldHereafterDVD 90M20SibeliusC. NupenAO 5 CNDThis coupon entitles the buyer to anadditional I 0% off the purchase of theselected DVD titles mentioned in this ad.Sale and Coupon offer end March 31, 2007One coupon per purchaseCoupon good for the Toronto store only. COUPONWWW. TH EWHOLEN OH.COM

DISCS OF THE MONTHHans Krasa - Brundibar,An Opera for ChildrenMusic of Remembrance; Gerard SchwarzNaxos 8.570119,.,_~ l t iS . \Hans Krasa's children'sopera Brundibdr is theheart-wrenching tale of ayoung girl and her brotherwho must overcomethe bullying influence ofthe evil organ-grinderBrundibar in order toearn enough money to purchase milk for theirill , widowed mother. Performed 55 times atthe Terezin concentration camp by the childinmates, this new release is the world premiererecording of a brilliant and very current Englishlanguage adaptation of the text by TonyKushner. Performed by the artists of SeattlebasedMusic of Remembrance, under the directionof Gerard Schwarz, this is an excellentproduction with fabulous sound quality, cleardiction, impeccable vocal and instrumental balanceand flawless pacing.Music for children is difficult to create regardlessof the nature of the plot, but Krasa's melodiesand settings are simultaneously simple andmulti-faceted, making this gut-wrenching workof the triumph of good over evil just as relevanttoday as when it was first performed.Krasa's Overture for Small Orchestra utilizesa similar orchestration as Brundibdr - it stylisticallyencompasses various elements of Romantic,atonal and folk music in its short fiveminuteduration of varying moods and tempos.Rounding out the disc is American composerLori Laitman' s soulful setting of six poems byTerezin's child prisoners murdered in the Holocaustentitled I Never Saw Another Butterfly.The performances by soprano Maureen McKayand clarinettist Laura DeLuca bring to life awell-written work by the acclaimed art songcomposer. Overall, this is an outstanding memorialrecording.Tiina KiikThe Essential SibeliusVarious ArtistsBIS-CD-1697-1700If you are not yet fullyaware that 2007 is the50th Anniversary ofthe death of Johan(Jean) Sibelius, don'tfret. You will be remindedmany timesover by year's end.The first collection to arrive, "The Essential Sibelius", is, very appropriately, from BIS, theSwedish label that has been documenting supremeperformances of the master's works fora quarter of a century. BIS's El Supremo, Robertvon Bahr's mission is to issue definitive recordingsof every note Sibelius wrote, a projectwhich it seems will take many more years."The Essential Sibelius", 15 CDs for the price offour, contains just about everything that the averagemusic-lover/collector would even know about.The seven symphonies and Kullervo, the astoundingviolin concerto and the two serenades and sixhumoresques for the same forces , the tone poemsand incidental music, the string quartets, andthe piano trio and quintet. Also included are thepiano sonatas and sonatinas, other pieces for solopiano, plus works for piano and violin. Sibeliusthe song writer is heard in a host of attractive,often enchanting little miniatures, typically lastingbut a few minutes including the original Finlandia,the Finlandia Hymn, Opus 26.Each of these performances could very well be afirst choice among the competition and remain,except for a few new items heard here for thefirst time, in the active BIS catalogue in their originalcouplings. Heard are The Lahti SymphonyOrchestra under Osmo Vanska, Neeme Jarvi andthe Gothenburg Symphony, and violinists LeonadisKavakos and Dong-Suk Kang. Singers includeAnne Sofie von Otter, Jorma Hynninen, andMonica Groop, and various choral ensembles.The scores used are the composer's final editionsand do not include any of the original versionsalso able from BIS employing the aboveartists. The recordings are superlative, as areall BIS recordings, and the dynamics are, asusual, true to life. It would not be possible tooverstate the excellence of this collection.Bruce SurteesFort York National Historic Site· AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCE SERIESSaturday, April 14, 2007 • 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.Don't miss this recreated 18th-century salon recital bySoprano Antonella Cavallaro accompanied by harpsichord.Licensed event with complimentary hors d'oeuvres.Pre-registered event: . per person. 416-392-6907E-mail: fortyork@toronto.caFort York National Historical Site - 100 Garrison Road(off Fleet St. between Bathurst St. & Strachan Ave.) FREE PARKINGPresented by:no TO'IWfJID Cu1turewww.toronto.ca/museums·;·~. ' Friends of Fort York-~.!., and Garrison CommonWilliam O'Meara and Gordon D. MansellArtistic Di rectorsFor Detailed Information and Tickets, visit or callwww.organixconcerts.ca n 416-241-9785s6132027May 2006M T w T F1 2 3 461 8 m 10 1114 15 ml 17 1821 22 g] 24 2528 29 m 31 DJunesII1219~Saturday, May 5, 7:30 p.m.William Wright - organDeer Park United Church129 St. Clair Avenue W., (west of Yonge St.,near Avenue Rd.)Monday, May 7, 8:00 p.m.Simon GledhillCasa LomaOne Austin Terrace (north of Dupontsubway station)Wednesday, May 9, 6:00-6:30 p.m.Michael Barth - trumpetAndrei Streliaev - organSt. Andrew's Lutheran Latvian Church383 Jarvis St. (corner of Carlton & Jarvis,3 blocks east of Yonge)Wednesday, May 16, 6:00-6:30 p.m.Thomas Filches - organSt. Andrew's Lutheran Latvian Church383 Jarvis St. (corner of Carlton & Jarvis,3 blocks east of Yonge)Wednesday, May 23, 6:00-6:30 p.m.,Robert Hall - piano, William D'Meara - organ,John Ford - narratorSt. Andrew's Lutheran Latvian Church383 Jarvis St. (corner of Carlton & Jarvis,3 blocks east of Yonge)Saturday, May 26, 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.,Show and TellDeer Park United Church129 St. Clair Ave. W., (west of Yonge St.,near Avenue Rd.)Friday, June 1, 7:30 p.m.Finale Concert - Choir & OrganRachel Laurin - organThe Senior Choir of St. Michael's Choir SchoolJerzy Cicho.cki - conductorSt. James' CathedralCorner of King & Church Streets(3 blocks east of Yonge St.)toront oa rtsc ou nci 1M ARCH 1 - APRIL 7 2007WWW. 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