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Volume 16 Issue 5 - February 2011

  • Text
  • February
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Symphony
  • Orchestra
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  • Trio
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TMBLUE PAGES

TMBLUE PAGES UpdateWelcome New Members!As our readers know, we publish ourannual Blue Pages directory of WholeNotemember concert presenters in a supplementto our October issue, a directory whichremains online year round. But it’s (almost)never too late to join. Below is a shortPRESENTER PROFILES 2010/2011THEBLUEPAGESe.The talent is here.e.updated onlinenTHEWHOLENOTE.COMWish OperaWish Opera is a young company with a mature vision. Byincorporating elements of contemporary fashion and design, thecompany presents opera that is vibrant, current, and relevant in thepresent day, while maintaining the integrity and intentions of theissues which stimulate and challenge today’s audiences, and lead tocontemplative introspection.Wish Opera performs at the John Bassett Theatre in the MTCC.info@wishopera.cawww.wishopera.caTo see the full version, and profiles of over 175 other presenters,go to our website (www.thewholenote.com) click on “Directories,”then “Blue Pages.” For more information on the Blue Pages andthe benefits of WholeNote membership, please contact members@thewholenote.com or 416-323-2232 x26.2011CANARY ALERT 2011!canary@thewholenote.com www.thewholenote.comBook ShelfPublicity, press kits& image consultingfor performers416.544.1803www.lizpr.comPAMELA MARGLESLeonard Bernstein At Work: His Final Years, 1984 – 1990photographs by Steve J. ShermanAmadeus Press192 pages, photos; .99 USLeonard Bernstein was a trail-blazingconductor, a superb pianist, a composer ofboth Broadway hits and classical masterworks,a communicative writer, and aninnovative educator. As his assistant CraigUrqhart says in this splendid book, “Helife and work have been well-documented.But Steve Sherman’s ability to captureBernstein’s remarkable charisma, both on and off stage, makes this1990 especially powerful.Bernstein was strikingly photogenic. The toll that his years ofintense living took on him is evident here, especially in the casualshots. But the photos of him conducting reveal the spontaneity, intelligence,joyfulness, wit and intensity that made his performances sothrilling. They show how Bernstein became a conduit for the music,not interested in having an orchestra sound like itself,” he is quoted wide-angle two-page shot of Bernstein conducting the ChicagoSymphony at Carnegie Hall in 1988, almost every member of theorchestra is watching the conductor intently. There’s a poignantwith his arm around the other’s shoulder. There’s an amusing photo thbirthday gala at Carnegie Hall in 1988 wearing a purple featherboa and sunglasses. The most dramatic photo here is of Bernsteinconducting the Vienna Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall in 1988, armsreaching out to the camera. daughter Jamie which makes clear just what his energetic commitmentto whatever he was doing cost him. Comments from a numberof associates of Bernstein, culled from interviews done over theyears by the photographer’s father, writer and broadcaster RobertSherman, complement this beautifully produced and well-pricedvolume.The New York Philharmonic: From Bernstein to Maazelby John CanarinaAmadeus Press495 pages, photos; .99 US Canarina relates how someone at a public forum in 1991 suggested58 thewholenote.comFebruary 1 - March 7, 2011

that the orchestra shouldinstall a giant mirror atthe rear of the stage soaudiences could watchthe conductor’s facialtra’smusic director atwouldn’t like to replaceBeethoven. He should be in your mind, notme.” Masur’s attitude is similar to that of anotherof the orchestra’s long-time conductors,consistently attracted principal conductorswho, like Masur and Bernstein, are moreconcerned with letting the composers’ voicesbe heard than stamping their own personalitieson the orchestra. This has allowed thedistinctive sound of the orchestra – whichCanarina characterizes by its openness andimmediacy – to develop under a successionof conductors.Canarina, who was an assistant conductorwith the orchestra under LeonardBernstein, starts his history with Bernstein,who took over from Dmitri Mitropoulos“personality boy.” At 39 he was consideredtoo young to lead a major orchestra, thoughtoday that doesn’t sound so young, with29-year-old Gustavo Dudamel leading theCanadian Yannick Nézet-Séguin leadingboth the Philadelphia Orchestra and thechoice of Pierre Boulez sparked even morecontroversy, though it turned out to be justas visionary.The conductors are quite properlyCanarina’s main focus. But he certainlygives the orchestra players their due. Hequotes his own interviews with orchestramembers and highlights the work of legendaryprincipal players like cellist Lornecame to the orchestra from the TorontoSymphony), clarinettist Stanley Drucker, andcurrent concertmaster Glenn Dicterow.Canarina also pursues his particularinterest in how the orchestra has beentreated by the press throughout the years,which leads to numerous quotations frompast reviews. But far more interesting arethe quotes from performers, composers andconductors, and especially his own insightfulcomments, which enhance this lively portraitof a great orchestra.A Biographical Guide to theGreat Jazz and Pop Singersby Will FriedwaldPantheon829 pages; .00This hefty volumecertainly lives up to itstitle, with detailed biographiesof more thanthree hundred of thetwentieth century’s bestjazz and popular singers.But it offers muchcontains some of themost astute, witty and stylish ylishcriticalwritingon singers since Whitney Balliett wrote for who isn’t a jazz singer, Will Friedwald , ajazz critic for the Wall Street Journal, hasbased his choices on those who sing thestandards of the so-called Great AmericanSongbook. Though most of the singers hehe does cover a number of contemporaryand Michael Bublé.Friedwald comes up with some surprising– and interesting – historical connections.he suggests, “and apply a little more vibratoto it, you end up with something that soundssuspiciously like Elvis.” For him, even anobscure singer like Rose Murphy is not just“one of the most distinctive, not to mentiondelightful, performers in popular music,”Fitzgerald.One of the many things that sets thisencyclopedia apart is the generous lengthof the entries, long enough to do justiceto what these singers accomplished, anddetailed enough to include discussions oftheir recordings. He sheds fresh light onwell-documented singers like Frank Sinatra(the subject of one of Friedwald’s previousbooks), Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams,Alberta Hunter, Anita O’Day, and MelTormé. But he also re-evaluates lesser-knownsingers like Al Hibbler, Ernestine Anderson,Mose Allison, and Helen Humes. He admitsto failing to be moved by Cleo Laine, yetstill manages an appreciative portrait. Andsome of his most interesting comments areabout those who are well-known, but not somuch as singers, like Dean Martin, DorisDay, Fred Astaire, and Jimmy Durante.Though there is a detailed list ofSo unless you read this book from cover toArmstrong which are found in Friedwald’sfrustrating because Friedwalds’s writing isinterested in.Address inquiries to bookshelf@thewholenote.com.WeinzweigEssays onHis Life and MusicJohn Beckwith andBrian Cherney, editors olour and 25 b/w illustrationsIncludes audio CD of extracts (some in their firstpublic release), ranging from a 1937 student workto a 1994 song cycle.Wilfrid Laurier University Presstoll-free 1-800-565-9523 | www.wlupress.wlu.cafacebook.com/wlupress | twitter.com/wlupress“John Weinzweig was a life force, a great Canadian, a wonderfulmusician and an exceptional composer.… This magnificentcollection of essays and memoirs has been fastidiously editedby John Beckwith and Brian Cherney.… Compelling throughout,this is one of the most absorbing books on a composerthat I have read in a long time.”– Bramwell Tovey“A thorough and affectionate account of John Weinzweig, hislife and music, with detailed analyses of individual works.…This book says much about the development of the musicscene in Toronto and how influential John was and how tirelesslyhe worked to move the ‘old boys’ into the twentiethcentury. A marvellous tribute to someone who has a uniqueplace in Canadian music history.” – Mary Lou FallisFebruary 1 - March 7, 2011 thewholenote.com 59

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