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Volume 16 Issue 6 - March 2011

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Editor’s CornerDAVID

Editor’s CornerDAVID OLDSMattHaimovitz’slatest releaseMatteo (OxingaleOX2018) celebrates300 years of Italiancello, his own cellothat is, a MatteoGoffriller built in1710. I have often realized that there is moreof a common sensibility between so calledearly music and contemporary music thanwith the stylistic periods which fell betweenthe two. Haimovitz seems to share thisopinion. The disc intersperses some of theearliest pieces written for solo cello – six ofthe seven Ricercare composed by DomenicoGabrielli in 1689 – rooted in the music ofour time. I was quitesurprised when the Ricercare 7, beganand what I heard wasthe opening phrase ofSolo Cello Suite No. 2. It turns outwhole notes D, A and F, may, according tothe liner notes, be heard as accompanimentto “an imagined melody” and in this casesuite and subsequently improvised on thatbefore joining Gabrielli in the fourth bar.Sequenza XIV (2002) takeson the disc. Dedicated to Rohan de Saram,it draws extensively on the Kandyan drum-heritage. The most recent work is a 2010leagueBrian Cherney whose Capriccio referencesmany great solo cello works in a truecelebration of the instrument with signaturenods (in nomenclature) to Bach, Haimovitzand Goffriller along the way. Works byLuigi Dallapiccola, Salvatore Sciarrino andClaudio Ambrosini complete the disc. Theplaying is heartfelt and convincing, withglorious sound throughout.The latest releasefrom contemporarytrio Toca Loca– Gregory Oh(Toronto) and SimonDocking (Halifax),pianos; AiyunHuang (Montreal),percussion – entitledShed (www.henceforthrecords.com) com) includesworks from Canada, Japan, Switzerlandand the USA all composed since 2002. Dai“Complex and exhilaratinggems... as youcan hear for yourself”Half-Remembered City for pianofour-hands was written for a husband andwife piano duo and conceived as a depictionof intimacy in the way that the pianists haveto manoeuvre and intertwine at the keyboardto realize the score, sometimes caressingadjoining notes and at others seeminglylocked in territorial combat. At times comicin live performance, I am pleased to reportit played to be enthralled. All the worksMa’Mounia for percussion solo and quintetkind of a signature tune for Huang who wonthe Geneva International Music Competitionin 2002 where it was the required work.Bring Them Homecontinues thatengagement in a setof variations on a17th century Irishanti-war song Siuil ARun “that speaks ofthe past but turns our eyes to the present.”Adventuremusic: Love Her Madly for twotemple bowls and tape. It opens with drivingclassic Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues butover 15 minutes develops into a disturbingportrait of climate change as we hear thesounds of processed voice and temple bowlsjuxtaposed with disintegrating polar icesheets. “Shed” will be launched with aperformance at the Open Ears Festival inKitchener-Waterloo on April 30.On March 17 atGlenn Gould StudioChristina PetrowskaQuilico releasesMusic of AnnSoutham – GlassHouses Revisited(CentrediscsCMCCD 16511),etudes” the pianist was working on withthe composer at the time of her death lastto Ann elsewhere in these pages.) Originallycomposed in 1981, the title Glass Housesrefers to minimalist composer Philip Glass,the best known proponent of this style atthe time, and to choreographer ChristopherHouse with whom Southam worked extensively.The mostly ebullient, busily joyfulpieces were revised in 2009 for PetrowskaQuilico and further edited by her with thein 2010. The disc features nine “favourite”selections from the set of 15, arrangedwith four lively pieces on either side of thesolitary “broody and moody” track, GlassHouses No.13. Overall they are a weavingand embroidering of various melodic motifslife-sustaining, requiring time and patience.”One can only imagine the patience anddiligence required of Petrowska Quilico tomaster these complex and exhilarating gems,and master them she has, as you can hear foryourself on March 17. Christina PetrowskaQuilico, dancer Terrill Maguire, percussionistBeverley Johnston and pianist Eve Egoyanare among the artists who will participate ina memorial celebration of the life and musicof Ann Southam being planned for April 21.CelebratedVancouver pianistJane Coop willmake a rare Torontoappearance atMooredale Concertson March 20 performingworksby Beethoven andScriabin. We somehow overlooked her mostrecent CD – A Century of Piano Classics(www.skylark-music.com) – when it wasopportunity to bring it to your attention. Thedisc includes an early Beethoven sonata fromBallade No.4 (1842) and fourlate works by Brahms from 1893. The centuryin question was an important one in thehistory of the piano, seeing it expand from athanks in great part to the vision and virtuosicdemands of the composers mentionedabove and others such as Schumann andLiszt. Coop excels at this repertoire as thiswelcome disc attests. Recorded at the ChanCentre for the Performing Arts at UBC, thesound is clear and resonant.We welcome your feedback and invite submissions.CDs and comments should be sentto: The WholeNote, 503 – 720 Bathurst St.Toronto ON M5S 2R4. We also encourageyou to visit our website, www.thewholenote.comincluding direct links to performers, composersand record labels, “buy buttons” foron-line shopping and additional, expandedand archival reviews. —David OldsDISCoveries Editordiscoveries@thewholenote.com60 thewholenote.comMarch 1 - April 7, 2011

VOCALOrpheus in England – Dowland & PurcellEmma Kirkby & Jakob LindbergBIS CD-1725Orpheus isfamed in classicalmythology forhis music whichcharmed andsoothed all thosewho heard: be theygods, demons, humans,animals, elements,vegetation or even rocks and stones.The two English composers featured on thisrecording shared this ability. Recognized as“the English Orpheus” by his patron, JohnDowland was sought in the European courtsestsongs for voice and lute. Performing thismusic with all its bittersweet tenderness requiresa purity of tone from the singer combinedwith a deft and light touch from thelutenist. And whose sensibilities are betterto deliver this more expertly than EmmaKirkby and Jacob Lindberg handling thegamut from bright pastoral delights like Bya fountain where I lay to the melancholicdespair of In darkness let me dwell? Interspersedare solo lute offerings such as TheEarl of Essex, his galliard and Lacrimae.While the second Orpheus Britannicusfeatured here generally made use of lar-transcriptions for solo lute, such as the Echodance of the furies from Dido & Aeneasand Lillibuleroadd superb dramatic content to From SilentShades as well as her brilliant emotive vocalebbs and swells in Music for a while. The listeneris indeed transported to a time of grace—Dianne WellsThree Baroque TenorsIan Bostridge; The English Concert;Bernard LabadieEMI Classics 6 26864 2Castrati weresome of earlythey eventuallyfound their supremacychallenged bythe rise of the tenor,often showcasedby composers suchas Handel. This CD features Ian Bostridgeinterpreting music for three star tenorsBorosini and Annabile Po Fabri. The piecesWhere congeal’d the northernstreamsLa tiranna e avversasortewith its lyrics to drive home the determinationof Tamese to rule.Ian Bostridge chooses two consecutivepieces to show how Gasparini and Handeleach depict the torment of the defeatedBajazet. Gasparini exploits the tenor registerto full effect; Handel is more contemplative-Rise, Glory, rise, where even loud drumsinterpretation. D’un barbaroscortesedemonstrating just how much energy couldbe generated by a leading baroque tenor. Itshould not, however, be thought that thiscollection is only about classical dignitarieslaying down commands for mere subjects.Solomon depicts plaintivescenes of love drawn from the Song ofSolomon. In short, every known emotion—Michael SchwartzSchubert – Nacht und TraumeMatthias Goerne; Alexander SchmalczHarmonia Mundi HMC 902063 a recording captureyour attention in itsopening measuresand hold it effortlesslyfor an hour.These SchubertLieder sung bybaritone MatthiasGoerne with pianist Alexander Schmalcz doso because the performers know the seductivepower of Romantic lyricism and how touse it.While death is the subject of most ofthese poems, Schubert has written melodiclines that are anything but relentlessly bleakportrayals of this spectre. There are a coupleof wonderfully grim items on the programto be sure, but most are surprisingly lovelyintentions. erallylight for the mid and upper registers,which is exactly how these Lieder should besung. His lower range opens a powerhousewhere we hear his opera stage voice severaltimes as in Totengräberweise, D. 869 andespecially in Totengräbers Heimweh, D. 842.Goerne and Schmalcz, moreover, presentan artistic collaboration that raises the pianoto a status of lyrical partnership. Schmalczis a wonderfully sensitive accompanist. Heknows when Schubert hands off a melodicline by sending the voice in an unexpecteddirection. Through some masterful touch ofthe keyboard he somehow produces a nearcreates a wonderful aural effect.True fans of Schubert lieder who stillMarch 1 - April 7, 2011 thewholenote.com 61

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