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Volume 16 Issue 6 - March 2011

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hold Dietrich

hold Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as torch-bearerfor the genre will recognize some of hisperformance and so they should… Goernewas one of his students.—Alex BaranLettere AmoroseMagdalena Kozenà; Private Musicke;Pierre PitzlDeutsche Grammophon 477 8764 MagdalenaKozenà is one ofthose increasinglyrare artists, whoare not afraid oftheir own instrument.Many singersvery quicklythemselves, where their voice sounds at itsbest – be it bel canto, romantic repertoire,modern music or music of the Baroque. Theymake sure there is no chance to trip up, nodanger… but also no passion. Having heardKozenà recently at the stage of the METas a romantic and withdrawn Mélisande, Ihad to adjust my ears to this recording. Ina splendid collection of the early 17th centuryItalian songs, Kozenà just opens hermouth and lets the sound emerge, fearlessly.her voice sounds rich, gorgeous, exciting.Kozenà herself makes a few groan-inducingeasy to sing these songs, as they are technicallyundemanding. Well, many quite accomplishedartists would not be so lucky withthis repertoire.Private Musicke adds to the charm of thisdisc with their quirky, joyful playing. Oneis somewhat reminded of Custer LaRue andthe Baltimore Consort, but Kozenà is simplya superior vocalist. In nothing but a goosebumpinducing tour de force, she takes usMerula, Marini, Caccini and Strozzi as if itwere her daily vocal exercise. If you knowyou to buy this disc. If, for whatever reason,you have not discovered her yet, you owe itto yourself to explore it!—Robert TomasFête GalanteKarina Gauvin; Marc-Andre HamelinATMA ACD2 2642 Though a reissueof a recital given in1999 in the MontrealRadio-Canadastudio, this recordingis well wortha second run. Theoriginal received the2000 Opus awardfor Best Vocal Recording and was selectedof the Year. Fêtes galantes, or garden parties,refers to a collection of poems byPaul Verlaine inspiring some of the bestmagical, with a depth of tone and timbreMandoline and Clair de Lune are a lovelystarting point for the ever-evolving repertoire.Gauvin navigates expertly through thedizzying atmospheric nuances of Debussy,she and pianist Marc-André Hamelin everintertwining in a mesmerizing dance of tonalMetamorphosisin Deux poèmes de Louis Aragon and Troispoèmes de Louise Lalanne which includesome lively and tongue-twisting lyrics. InSaluste du Bartas she managesa perfect blend of regal bearing and humanfolk music by Ravel and Vuillermoz, thegarden is made complete through the inclusionof the pastorale.—Dianne WellsSchoenberg – GurreliederDeborah Voigt; Mihoko Fujimura; StigAndersen; Herwig Pecoraro; Michael Volle;Bavarian RSO & Choirs; Maris JansonsBR KLASSIK 900110 The logistics ofmounting a perform-Gurrelieder aredaunting and quitepossible for mostorchestras or theirboards or theirvenues. The work is scoredforalargerlarger,much larger than large, orchestra includ-four harps, an immense array of percussioninstruments including three sets of timpaniand other species of drums, iron chains andjust about everything that must be shakenor struck. The complement of choruses(better: the exultation of choruses) requiresthree four-part male choirs, an eight-partSprechstimme to tie it all off.CDs, SACDs or any audio-only mediumcannot convey the enormity of the work andat times the lieder-like settings reminiscentistsdo not merely sing their parts, they livethem! Heldentenor Stig Andersen is a powerfuland sympathetic Waldemar. DeborahVoigt, in superb voice, is perfectly cast asTove while mezzo Mihoko Fujimura is theWood Dove who brings the news of thedeath of Tove... a powerful and moving performance.Herwig Pecoraro is Klaus-Narr,the jester and Michael Volle is the peasantand the speaker, the Sprechstimme, whoannounces the end of the tragic story and theglory of a new day concluding with the mostglorious sunrise in all music. All this is heldtogether by Mariss Jansons who is beyondcriticism, who conducts with great authorityand a complete understanding of the work.It would have been a disappointment ifthis, Gurrelieder’s only performance onDVD, were less than the most exciting, passionate,glorious performance imaginable. In-this production is unlikely to be equalled, letalone surpassed. Full texts enclosed, howeverno subtitles.—Bruce SurteesBridge Across the SeasVilma Indra Vitols; Dzintra ErlihaDuplium (www.vilmavitols.com) The joyous spiritof music-makingshows no boundsas mezzo-sopranoVilma Indra Vitolsand pianist DzintraErliha soar anddazzle in this collectioncommemoratingthe 90th anniversary aryofthelateLatvianCanadian composer Talivaldis Kenins.Vitols is a familiar voice on the Torontomusic scene, especially for her work withurbanvessel in SLIP and Voice-Box. She hasincredible clarity of diction that only herdiverse vocal colour can outshine. LatvianErliha is brilliant especially when theprogrammatic nature of the works requireher to draw on strength of technique andsubtle musicianship to create the appropriatebackdrop of mood to the vocal lines.There is a little of bit everything inthe contemporary Canadian and Latvianworks performed. The songs by Erik Ross,John Hawkins and Imant Raminsh areis a tour de force in programmatic musicwhile his settings of Latvian folk songscunning. The real star however is TalivaldisKenins himself. His settings of two Latvianfolksongs are colourful yet deeply rooted intraditional song. Melodies for Amanda (1984)Lots of characteristic Kenins wit is apparentin the performance of these light-hearted andloving works.“Bridge Across the Seas” is a gloriousrelease. What a wonderful tribute!—Tiina KiikImagining Incense – The ChoralMusic of R. Murray Schafer Vol.3Vancouver Chamber Choir; Jon WashburnGrouse 106(www.vancouverchamberchoir.com) This excellent recording features62 thewholenote.comMarch 1 - April 7, 2011

several major a cappellachoral worksby Schafer, all writtenover the past 20years. These includeMagic Songs (1990),Three Hymns (fromFall into Light from2004), Imagining Incense (2001) and ThreeSongs from the Enchanted Forest (1996).Musically, each piece, in its own way, dem-blend sophisticated vocal techniques withan eternal sense of the voice as an essentialvehicle of expression; an expression thatgives more meaning than mere words canconvey. There is a deep spirituality to eachof these pieces, but it is a spirituality unencumberedby dogma or liturgy. These areworks that attempt to explore what is holyin nature, in human existence, and in socialand cultural ceremonies.The Magic Songs and the shorter RainChant (a piece on a theme drawn from AndWolf Shall Inherit the Moon) are ingeniousoriginal chants and the choral effects thatSchafer creates in these pieces are mesmerizingand form a kind bridge between thehuman voice and nature in a creative way.Imagining Incense, with its description of theeffects of different woods used for incense,and the hymns from Fall into Light, withtheir Gnostic and Hermetic texts, attempt toconnect the listener with ancient ritual anddevotion. All of the music on this disc con-command of musical language. Vancouver Chamber Choir is in top form.Their committed and energetic performancesof these important pieces are a great gift.—Larry BeckwithEARLY & PERIOD PERFORMANCEGeminiani – Pièces de clavecinHank Knoxearly-music.com EMCCD-7772 FrancescoGeminiani arrivedin London in 1714;by 1739 he hadpublished the harpsichordmusic fromwhich Hank Knoxmakes his selectionfor this CD.Geminiani probably developed his individualstyle in Paris, learning from Rameau andothers. Hank Knox introduces us to a preludebearing the hallmarks of this individuality.From his commentary it is clear thatGeminiani never rested until he had addedall the complex scoring he considered necessary.His gayment and vivement movementsare demanding but reward the listener andplayer with lively and entertaining motifs.This is Hank Knox at his most inspired. tendrement movementsare appropriately named with their pleadingquality, although the movement markedgracieusement et tendrement is both moretaxing on the player and far livelier than itstwo near-namesakes. And then for the moretraditional lover of the harpsichord there aretwo minuets, the second lasting almost tenminutes – an early music eternity! This isbaroque harpsichord at its most conventionaland most complex. Finally, an amoureusementCharles Avison so admired his master: heplaced him alongside Handel (often semi-between Purcell and Elgar) and Corelli whoenjoyed cult-like status in London.This is an enjoyable CD; Hank Knox mayharpsichord music to a larger audience.—Michael SchwartzPandolfi – The Violin Sonatas of 1660Mark Fewer; Myron Lutzke;Kenneth SlowikFriends of Music FoM 36-802(www.markfewer.com) Though littleis known aboutthe 17th centuryItalian violinist andcomposer GiovanniMealli, his two marvellouscollectionsof sonatas for soloviolin and continuo place him squarely inthe good company of Dario Castello, BiagioMarini, Tarquinio Merula and others of whatwriters. Unlike the Classical multi-movementform, instrumental sonatas of the early tomid-17th century are usually in one extendedmovement, full of changes of mood, tempo,articulation and musical ideas. As such, theyare dramatic and full of possibility for animaginative performer. In his excellent linernotes accompanying this recording, harpsichordistKenneth Slowik comments on howoperatic these pieces are; that they could inessence be seen as instrumental “scenas”full of passion and pathos.We should be tremendously grateful tothe Friends of Music at the Smithsonian forsupporting this recording and making it pos-violinists and is possessed with a profoundplayer as comfortable in such a wide varietyof musical styles as Fewer is. He tucks intothese sonatas with wild abandon, thoughnever loses sight of the good taste and stylisticknow-how needed to approach this “early”music. His range of virtuosic and tenderplaying makes this disc of twelve sonatasan absolute pleasure to listen to from begin-and cellist Myron Lutzke, though I did feelat times that the continuo colour could havebeen enhanced by the presence of a theorbo.—Larry BeckwithCLASSICAL & BEYONDLiszt – New Discoveries Vol.3Leslie HowardHyperion CDA67810 imagine that therecould be any musicby Liszt that remainsunpublishedand possibly evenundiscovered.Somehow ourmodern age quietly passionate scholars to continue searchingfor new works whose suspected existence isowed to fragmentary sketches in notebooks,allusions in letters, etc. Performers too canbe such champions as is Leslie Howard, currentlymaking a series of recordings of theentire Liszt repertoire including unpublishedand newly discovered works.Howard has recorded many of thesein a few cases has had to complete endingsforty-eight works contained in this 2 CD setare quite short but intriguing nonetheless.Some will be familiar but many will be newto Liszt-philes. Listeners may recognize themore elaborate Alleluia S183/1. While Lisztseems to have discounted the early Mag-ale-likesimplicity with echoes of J.S. Bachthroughout.The set also includes two versions of aRomance from 1842-3, an arrangement ofSchlummerliedCarl Lachmund and numerous other piecesMarch 1 - April 7, 2011 thewholenote.com 63

Volume 26 (2020- )

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