8 years ago

Volume 14 - Issue 2 - October 2008

United Nations of

United Nations of singers andproduction team members whocould draw upon resources thatwere lavish even for this centralshowplace of French opera. Justone example: Nathan Gunn asPrince Andrei, and Olga Gouriakovaas Natasha, the young coupleand uncouple who are thecore romantic interest of theopera. They are so impressiveand moving that their performancewill likely be our mind'seye Andrei/Natasha for a longtime to come.The audio tracks offer theusual current options of stereo ortwo surround sound formats (myadvice is to stick to the uncompressedstereo sound). Theimagequality is impeccable but the real visual standouts are the sceneryand the camera work. For example: the abstract, luridly coloredbackdrop to the great war scene is a massive painting, a genuinework of art. Example two: filming the sizable team of dancers in theNew Year's ball scene from above, roughly at a 45 degree cameraangle. The sumptuous results would make Busby Berkeley take notice.The stage director, Francesca Zambella, was mentored by thelegendary Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, and then proceeded to her own outstandingwork on both sides of the Atlantic. That includes directingRussian operas in Moscow. The TDK/Naxos disk is worth purchasingjust for the documentary footage on the way that the director, setdesigner, choreographer, costume designer worked with the conductorand choral director to pull the whole enterprise together.The~~Opeui~ANN COOPER GAY, ARTISTIC DIRECTORPROUDLY PRESENTS~ ......!.,-It is not by accident, however,that I mentioned the stage directoretc. before the conductor.The documentary is ratherskimpy on the time allotted to theconductor Gary Bertini and theeminent musicologist ClaudeSamuel. Zambella is forthrightabout cutting out some of themusical war material that sheconsiders "boring." Later on,she talks about Prokofiev's wartimepatriotism making her ratheruncomfortable, and how thatwas reflected in the final scene.To a degree that is not commontoday, conductors and stagedirectors have seen fit to cut out= ~ ~---~-----'-·_ sections of Prokofiev's monumentalwork. That includes, asof late, Gergiev himself. There are five manuscript versions of Warand Peace, plus ample debate about politically forced injections. TheCOC, in conjunction with this season's production, is organizing aconference at the University of Toronto on the whole topic.The Zambella/Bertini cuts are not intended so much to save timeas to alter the dramatic intent of the opera. Comparing the intactKirov and the cut OpD versions, the latter is only fourteen minutesshorter. But these are fourteen crucial minutes .First, the OpD version cuts the 5-minute overture that framesProkofiev's unique musical blend of classical and modernist lines,lyric genius, tocatta lines driving motor rhythms, and grotesqueries.The nine lost war minutes are precisely those where Prokofiev laysbare the passions and horrors of battle, and, via a Napoleonic metaphor,the deep popular resistance to the Nazi advance . Hitler hadcounted on the brutalities of the Soviet regime to negate the popularwill to resist his armies' march. Instead, the masses stood, fought,and died for Mother Russia. That's a central part of Prokofiev'snarrative, and some of the most powerful music in this great opera ..It 's also a central part of the actual narrative of World War II.War and Peace opens at the Canadian Opera Company on OctoberJO. It is also the topic of an all day symposium, Monster Opera:Prokofiev's War and Peace, October 18 at University of Toronto 'sWalter Hall. See Announcements, page 47 for details.SCORE: ERROL GAYLIBRETTO: MICHAEL PATRICK ALBANONov 28 AT 7:30ENWAVE THEATRE ATNov 29 AT 2:00 & 7:30 HARBOURFRONT CENTRENov 30 AT 2:00 & 7:30 Box OFFICE 416-973-4000Violins, violas, cellos, and bowsComplete line of strings and accessoriesExpert repairs and rehairsCanada's largest stock of string musicFast mail order serviceThe Canadian Children's Opera Company is once again presentingA Dickens of a Christmas in a show that is fast becoming a holidaytradition. The fully-staged production will include all 200 choristersfrom the Canadian Children's Opera Company. Featuring Mark Pedrottias Scrooge and Ryan Harper in the dual roles of Cratch it and Marley.• 122 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM O CTOBER 1 - NOVEMBER 7 2008

Bandstand and Podiumsby Jack MacQuarrieWHEN SPEAKING with members of bands and orchestras, I've alwaysliked to ask how a person selected their instrument of choice. For thosewho choose piano, it's often very predictable - the instrument wasalready in the house. At some stage, either the individual (or their parents)made the decision to use it, more because the family piano wasthere in the living room than because of some burning desire to masterit. But not too many people bring a piano to band practice, so I don'thav~ to listen to that st.ory very often, and in the case of the more portablemstruments the rationale for the choice of one's instrument can bemuch more fascinatingly obscure.A favourite question for me to ask is did you choose the tuba or didthe tuba choose you? (For the word tuba, insert the irlstrurnent ofchoice.) In an overwhelming number of cases, when that question isasked, the response is that the instrument chose them. A few exampleswill illustrate this point. When my son first showed some interest inmusic, he seemed to have a leaning towards the trumpet. However, atthe beginning of his music instruction at school, he arrived home with aclarinet. When he learned that he would have to carry his instrument toand from school, he wanted the lightest weight possible. At selectiontime the flutes had all been taken, so the clarinet was the next lightest.In another instance, when I asked that question of a very dedicatedprofessional bassoonist, the reason for the selection could not have beenmore different. In that person's first year of school music she had beengiven an oboe which she enjoyed. However, in her next year she wasgoing to have to sit beside a boy whom she could not stand. So aswitch was essential. Already familiar with the vagaries of dealing witha double reed, the bassoon was, more or less, a natural choice - onewhich ultimately led to a professional career.What then does prompt a young beginning musician to select thetuba? Is it the commanding size of the instrument? the feeling ofpower, knowing that you are the solid foundation and anchor ofyour ensemble? It certainly isn't a case of somehow getting stuckwith the instrument. I've met too many dedicated tuba lovers tobelieve that. Whatever the reason, when a young person gets hookedon the tuba, it frequently becomes a serious love affair. Earlier thisyear, in the May BandStand column, we wrote of the accomplishmentsof a young University of Toronto tuba player who was thewinner of the Hannaford Youth Band's Annual Young Artists SoloCompetition. Thatyoung student, whobegan his communitymusic experiencewith the UxbridgeCommunity ConcertBand a few yearsago, was EricProbst. This summerI had the pleasure ofmeeting and playingalongside anotherJack MacQuarrie alongside Caitlin Jodoindedicated young tuba devotee in that same community band. CaitlinJodoin, who just entered grade nine this September, has already beenselected to play tuba in both her school's junior and senior bands. Duringone rehearsal I asked her if she was taking private lessons. Herteacher is a young lady named Courtney Lambert whom I met someyears ago when she was a grade ten student hooked on the tuba, muchto the bewilderment of some family members. Now back in Torontowith a master's degree in music, Courtney is coaching the next genera-\'cOSmo>'7 musicFine quality instruments & accessories to suit any budget- Woodwinds, Brass, Strings & PercussionExpert Instrument Repairs in one of North America'slargest and best-equipped facilitiesComprehensive Band & Orchestra Rental Programwith over 9,000 instruments in inventoryYork Region's Largest Music Schoolserving over I ,200 studentsSALES • RENTALS • REPAIRS • LESSONS • PRINT MUSICTHE TRILLIUMBRASS QUINTETExciting and eclectic brass musicsince 1998Season highlights include:Gananoque • University of Guelph • Walkerton •LindsayFor more information about this dynamic ensemble,please visit:www. trillium brass.cornCourtney L ambert • Cathy Stone • C hristine PassmoreBrendan C assin • Scott H a rrisonBrass - Woodwind -String Instruments - GuitarBuy direct from the DistributorAUTHORIZED DEALER FOR:Armstrong, Artley, Besson, Buffet,Conn, Getzen, Holton, Jupiter,Keilworth, King, Noblet,Selmer, Vito, YanagisawaMUSIC BOOKSBEST SELECTIONOF POPULAR&EDUCATIONAL MUSICPiano - Guitar - Instrumental905-477-11412650 John Street, Unit 15Oust North of Steeles)www.harknettmusic.comO CTOBER 1 - N OVEMBER 7 2008 WWW, THEWHO LENOTE.COM 23

Copied successfully!

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)