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Volume 16 Issue 6 - March 2011

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  • Toronto
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Old Wine, New Bottles |

Old Wine, New Bottles | Fine Old Recordings Re-ReleasedBRUCE SURTEESOver the years live performances fromSalzburg’s Grosses Festspielhaus havedribbled in from EMI, DG, ORFEO,and others depending on the artists involved.We can still buy several recordings of completeoperas from the 1930s conducted byToscanini and Bruno Walter. Some yearsafter WW2, Salzburg became the destinationof choice for event-going jet setters. And agood thing too, because the most prestigiousconductors, instrumentalists, singersand orchestras also wished to be seen andheard there. And the house orchestra wasthe Vienna Philharmonic. It doesn’t get betterthan that. Now DG has issued a 25 CDset, 50 YEARS GROSSES FESTSPIELHAUS(DG 4779111)containing notableperformances from1960 thru 2009,18 originatingfrom ORF mastersand 7 fromDG and Decca.eras:Rosenkavalier(Karajan 1960);Idomeneo (Fricsay1961); From theHouse of the Dead(Abbado 1992);La Traviata (Rizzi2005); EugeneOnegin (Barenboim2007). The next 10 CDs contain 8 concerts:Mozart 40 & 41 (Bohm 1966); Schubert3rd/Heldenleben (Mehta 1967); Mahler 8(Bernstein 1975); Haydn – The Seven LastWords (Muti 1982) and many others ofequal merit. This is a rewarding collectionand a welcome addition to the budget packagesnow available from all of the majors.Here are committed performances from allconcerned in a wide range of works boundtogether only by the venue.Margarita Höhenrieder came to ourattention playing the Beethoven First PianoConcerto with Fabio Luisi and the DresdenStaatskapelle on a Euroarts DVD (2057718).have a pianist who displays in her demeanourand playing unalloyed joie de vivre. Amust–have DVD for Beethoven lovers. Anew CD from Solo Musica (SM147) containsthe Chopin Third Sonata Opus 58, recordedin 2010, and a well deserved reissue ofHöhenrieder’s extraordinary 1986 traversalof the Liszt Sonata in B minor. Her playinglessarticulation in performances that maintainhigh electricity and momentum. Herpalette of textures and nuances in both workswas respected by producer and engineer whorecorded her performances faithfully. TheLiszt sonata is not played as if it were thehundred metre dash, instead Höhenrieder revealsboth the poetry and power of Liszt theRomantic; serene, contemplative episodescontrasting with dynamic passages of greatpower and authority. A unique interpretation,I believe, and certainly memorable.The late Charles Mackerras belonged tothe handful of conductors who became internationallyknown as the leading exponentsin classical music in the late 20 th century.Although there are recordings of Mahler’sFirst, Fifth and Sixth Symphonies and DasKnaben WunderhornFourth,recorded in concert with the PhilharmoniaOrchestra on 16 February 2006 (SignumSIGCD219).Mackerras dustsoff the score andgets straight to thepoint with brisktempos and an ingenuous,optimisticoutlook. The secondmovement is lightheartedlyeerie. Thethird movementis extraordinarilybeautiful, oneof Mahler’s mostexpansive adagios,which could be thebest on record... itcertainly is for theexquisite balancesand impact and timbre of the bass drum.The childlike, innocent view of heaven, sungby Sarah Fox, closes Mahler’s joyful opus.Signum Records is a privately owned companyfounded in 1997 and now also issuesnew live recordings of the PhilharmoniaOrchestra. Respected engineer Tony Faulkneris responsible for the exemplary recording.In a recital given at the EdinburghInternational Festival on August 28, 1960Isaac Stern and Dame Myra Hess performedtogether for the last time. They playedBrahms’ Second Violin Sonata, op.100;Schubert’s First D384; Howard Ferguson’sSecond, op.10; and Beethoven’s Tenth,op.96. Dame Myra (1890-1965) was oneof England’s best known pianists and wasfamous around the world. I have the feelingpast. Certainly most collectors will be takingnote of Testament’s new CD (SBT.1458) ofthis recital in order to hear the incomparableIsaac Stern, heard here when his artistrywas truly second to none. In addition to histhorough understanding of Brahms, Schubertand Beethoven, his individual expressivityand the noble dignity of his playing is unmistakablyIsaac Stern at his best. This dischas found its way to my player many timesover the last weeks. I like it a lot. 70 thewholenote.comMarch 1 - April 7, 2011

What’s Onat the TSOHear it before it goesto Carnegie Hall!Vaughan Williams Symphony 4March 23 & 24 at 8:00pmPeter Oundjian, conductorKaren Gomyo, violinBritten: Four Sea Interludes from Peter GrimesBruch: Violin Concerto No. 1John Estacio: FrenergyVaughan Williams: Symphony No. 4Short Ride in a Fast MachineMarch 2 at 8:00pmPeter Oundjian, conductor & host | Dame Evelyn Glennie, percussionJohn Adams: Short Ride in a Fast MachineVincent Ho: The Shaman: Percussion ConcertoJohn Adams: HarmonielehreElectronica Meets OrchestraMarch 5 at 7:30pmPeter Oundjian, conductor & host | John Adams, conductorMason Bates, electronicaGary Kulesha: TorqueMason Bates: Liquid Interface (Canadian Première)John Adams: City Noir (TSO Co-Commission/Canadian Première)R. Murray Schafer World PremièreMarch 10 at 8:00pmPeter Oundjian, conductor & host | eighth blackbird, chamber ensembleJohn Adams: Tromba LontanaJennifer Higdon: On a Wire (TSO Co-Commission & Canadian Première)R. Murray Schafer: Symphony No. 1 in C Minor (TSO Commission & World Première)ThibaudetPlays LisztMarch 30 & 31 at 8:00pmStéphane Denève, conductorJean-Yves Thibaudet, pianoDukas: La Péri, poème danséGuillaume Connesson:The Shining One (Canadian Première)Liszt: TotentanzSchmitt: La tragédie de SaloméTIPPET-RICHARDSONCONCERT SEASONConductors’ Podium SponsorSpecial Festival Grant416.593.4828 tso.caCONCERTS AT ROY THOMSON HALL

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