6 years ago

Volume 14 - Issue 9 - June 2009

apt given the

apt given the inspiration for the songs, themajority of which are fuelled by heartbreakand emotionally raw. The inventive musiciansmake the most of the spare arrangements,coaxing expressive sounds out oftheir instruments to bring appropriate moodto the material, such as Andrew Barr’s malletdrumming on The Lonely Spider or JoeGrass’s resonator guitar work on What Kindof Heart. The other major difference is thatall the lyrics are in English, which is a bitof a shame since Lhasa writes beautifully inSpanish and French, growing up as she did inMexico before settling in Montreal. But thesongs don’t lose anything with the absence ofa romance language. Lhasa still taps into herdeeply poetic side, as in Where Do You Gowith “Where do you go / when your tides arelow / in the summer dress / of your drunkenness.”Cathy RichesOLD WINE IN NEW BOTTLES– Fine old recordings re-releasedBy Bruce SurteesTDK has issued a reasonably priced DVDpackage of Mozart operas recorded live atthe Salzburg Festival, all with The ViennaPhilharmonic, featuringdistinguishedsoloists of the time(DVWW-GOLDBOX5,6 DVDs). These wereall recorded by theORF and licensed bythem and issued withthe official SalzburgerFestspiele Dokumentelogo.We begin with Die Zauberflõte from 21August 1982 conducted by James Levine withan all-star cast including Martti Talvela, PeterSchreier, Walter Berry, Edita Gruberova,Ileana Cotrubas, Edda Moser, Ann Murray,and Horst Hiestermann. From the very firstbars of the Overture, there can be no doubtthat this will be a towering performance...which it is. The sets,costumes, and stagedirection are byJean-Pierre Ponnellewho did not load thestage with Zeffirelliopulence but createdstriking and originalsets that were aheadof their time withcostumes to match.Mozart is well servedand there no questionas to the choice ofsingers who, even in the spoken dialogue arenaturally convincing.Cosí fan Tutti, Mozart’s delightful comicmasterpiece is conducted here by RicardoMuti who maintains the giocoso spiritthroughout. The pseudo-tragic moments arealso depicted musicallyto good effect. This1983 production has, asusual in Salzburg, aninternational cast withMargaret Marshall(Fiordiligi), Ann Murray(Dorabella), JamesMorris (Guglielmo),Francisco Araiza (Ferrando),Kathleen Battle(Despina), Sesto Bruscantini(Don Alfonso), and Gerhard Paul (alandlord). These seasoned and experiencedMozart singers who are veterans of the Festivalfor many years assume their roles withconfidence. The staging of this opera is verycritical in maintaining the comic aura buthere it is rather two dimensional and surprisinglyunimaginative. The acting is sometimesstatic, lacking vibrant direction in comparisonwith other productions. It is, however, usefuland enlightening for listeners who have notseen this opera live. In spite these small reservationsI am pleased to see this performancereleased.The production of LaClemenza di Tito fromAugust 2003 movesMozart’s last operainto the 21st Century.And it works to perfection.La Clemenzawas completed in 1791shortly before Mozart’sdeath and history haseclipsed the eventwith the stories of thecommissioning of the unfinished Requiem.The opera was written for the coronation ofLudwig II of Bavaria and has always beencontroversial, deemed unperformable bymany. I don’t believe this opera is mentioned,even in passing, in the movie Amadeus thatso painstakingly dwells on Mozart’s last year.All misgivings have been removed since thisspectacular staging in 2003 here presentedin wide screen and surround sound. The castwill be familiar: Michael Schade brings Titoto life; Vesselina Kasarova, Sesto; DorotheaRöschmann, Vitellia; Elina Garanča, Annio;Barbara Bonney, Servilia; and Luca Pisaroni,Publio. None of these singers is less thanastonishing and all are beyond criticism. CanadianMichael Schade needs no introductionand those of us who saw Le Cenerentola livefrom the Met recently will well rememberElina Garanča, here cast in a most unusualrole. Nikolaus Harnoncourt keeps a steadypulse and succeeds in turning in a performancethat, together with every aspect of thisproduction, makes La Clemenza di Tito themost captivating of the three in this package.The first Mahler I owned on record, in factthe first Mahler I ever heard was Das Liedvon der Erde. That was the still exemplaryperformance recorded live by EMI on May1936 with Bruno Walter conducting TheVienna Philharmonic with Kerstin Thorborgand Charles Kullman. When it was first issuedon 14 78rpm sides it was considered arisky propositionbut thisperformanceremains as a lastingmonumentto Bruno Walterat his most inspired.RecentlyI came across aCD in my collectionconductedby Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau with the StuttgartRadio Symphony Orchestra (ORFEOC494001B). The performance is the mostmeaningful and expressive I have heard.The music breathes. It discloses Fischer-Dieskau’s deep understanding of what theverses really mean. Both soloists, Yvi Janickeand Christian Elsner (who studied withFischer-Dieskau), although not best in class,are in accord with the conductor. Beautifullyrecorded, with every nuance audible, I wastaken aback when, many moments after thelast notes fell away, there was applause. Thiswas a live performance! It took place on 22June 1996 at the Schubertiade in Feldkirch,Austria. Mahler lovers owe it to themselvesto hear this unique performance. It’s a must.Several important David Oistrakh editionswere released over the last few months tocelebrate the 100th Anniversary of his birth,mostly reissues of his studio recordings.A few were offering never-released-beforeperformances and particularly notable of thisgroup is the new DOREMI, the 13th in theirongoing series of Oistrakh Rarities (DHR-7950). This is the complete recital fromJanuary 1959 given in Paris with his longtime accompanistVladimir Yampolsky.Oistrakhwas clearly at thetop of his powersand this repertoirecannot beimagined in betterperformances,musically ortechnically. TheyAMORONew & UsedCDs Vinyl Records DVCLASSICAL OPERAplayed the Franck Violin Sonata, Ravel’s Tzigane,the glowing sonata in G minor by Tartini,and the Schumann Fantasia in C major,op.131. Collectors will know that Oistrakhnever recorded the Schumann commercially,so that this is a real treasure. They will alsoknow the significance of a bonus track on thisCD. Oistrakh rarely performed any of Bach’sfamous six unaccompanied sonatas and partitas,and recorded only the first, BWV1001.At the end of a Gala with the Los AngelesPhilharmonic in 1965 he played the Andantefrom the second sonata BWV1003. A genuinerarity. Good sound.44 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM JUNE 1 - JULY 7, 2009

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12and gourmet cuisine with leadingartists in traditional folk, earlymusic, dance and improvisation.Chris Norman (flute), FrancisColpron (recorder), Lisa Besnoziuk(baroque flute), DavidGreenberg (Cape Breton andbaroque violin), Edmund Brownless(voice, shape note singing),Marie Bouchard (harpsichord),Robert Dick (flute & composition),Conal O Grada (Irishflute), Jerry O’Sullivan (pipes,whistle), Rod Garnett (ethnicflutes), Pierre Chartrand (socialand step dance), Marlys Norman(ballet, classical dance), RodCameron (flute maker).902-634-9994www.boxwood.orgBrott Music Festival 2009June 13 to August 20Hamilton, Burlington, AncasterThe 2009 Brott Music Festivalpresents classical, jazz, pops andeducational concerts throughoutgreater Hamilton and Burlington.The Festival was foundedby conductor Boris Brott andfeatures the National AcademyOrchestra of Canada, Canada’sonly professional training orchestra,as its orchestra in residence.2009 artists include Jan Lisiecki,Corey Cerovsek, the GryphonTrio, Wonny Song, Michele Bogdonowicz,Leslie Fagan, BrianJackson, Sinead Sugrue, EdgarErnesto Ramirez, John MacMaster,Valerie Tryon, CatherineManoukian. Hear the difference.Listen live.905.525.7664 888.475.9377www.brottmusic.comBurlington’s Sound of MusicFestivalJun 18-21Burlington, ONBurlington’s Sound of Music Festivalis a FREE four-day summermusical extravaganza that appealsto every generation. Severalstages along Burlington’s beautifulwaterfront and downtownpresent a variety of entertainmentfor all music lovers. The Festivalfeatures several music genres includingrock, jazz, folk, pop, bigband, country, blues, Latin, andchildren’s music, plus the DowntownStreetfest with street-sideperformers and outdoor patios!From new and emerging artiststo Canadian icons and fan favourites,the Festival offers a musicalline-up second to none.905-333-6364www.soundofmusic.on.caCanadian Guitar FestivalJul 31 - Aug 3Kingston, ONThe Canadian Guitar Festival isa live music event that celebratessome of the world’s most renownedplayers and composersfor the guitar. Set on a privatecampground on LoughboroughLake near Kingston, the 3 dayevent presents evening performances,afternoon workshops,and all the amenities of a fullyserviced park that promises somethingfor the whole family. Anew 9600 sq ft facility offersshelter from both sun and rain.Please bring your own lawnchairs.613-544-CAMPwww.canadianguitarfestival.comCollingwood Music FestivalJun 20 – Oct 24Collingwood, ONCollingwood Music Festivalpresents its 10th anniversary withthe Elmer Iseler Singers (June20), Quartetto Gelato (July 11),Newman & Leonardelli (flute &harp, July 17), Guy Few (July18), Franke, Gerhardt & Popow(baritone, soprano & piano trio,July 30), Toronto Consort (July31), Joe Lagan Jazz Quintet (August7), Nathaniel Dett Chorale(August 8) and Nagata Shachu JUNE 1 - JULY 7, 2009 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM 45

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