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Volume 16 Issue 9 - June 2011

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The Steinway used in the

The Steinway used in the recordingheavy playing its tuning holds rock steady Strauss’ Burleske is also a demanding work,but it comes across as light, airy and slightly—Alex BaranSongs Without WordsJulius DrakeATMA ACD2 2616Julius Drake is asought-after Englishpianist who devotesmost of his careerto accompanyingsingers, typicallyintelligent art songrecitalists of the piano roots while still saluting the song idea,by crafting a tender program of short lyricalcharacter pieces, many of them familiar to Mendelssohn, two of whose Songs WithoutWords are included, a Venetian gondola songand the Duettoby two Album for the Young selections, andone from Scenes from Childhooda Brahms Intermezzo, a Schubert MomentMusical, a Grieg Lyric Piece, and Debussy’sClair de LuneMore recent selections are a lullaby byPoulenc, four of Bartók’s Mikrokosmos pieces,Britten’s Holiday Diary Johanne Goyette, Drake’s songful renderings- make a nice gift to any music lover who—Peter Kristian Mosecontinue at www.thewholenote.com withRachmaninov’s Second Symphony conductedRite of SpringStrings AttachedTERRY ROBBINSVMark Fewer, never onefor simply sticking to the standardrepertoire, has combined with pianistJohn Novacek on an absolutely stunningSonatas for Violinand Piano composer George Antheil (AzicaACD–71263) which grabs youby the ears right from the startscene, where he was befriendedby the poet Ezra Pound and themovement aural onslaught,parodying and distorting a wholerange of well-known melodiesand styles over a percussive calls for a huge range of unorthodox effects,fascination with machines and mechanicalhaving second thoughts about his avant-than to the percussive Stravinsky of theit has never been performedand Novacek are both simplynotes by Mauro Piccinini areoutstanding, contributing enormouslyto a fuller understanding of the music’sSchool of Music, the sound quality matches Janine JansenBeau Soir, her newItamar Golan – and hermusical artistry and sensitivity (Decca 4782256)the backbone of a programme of Frenchpieces, including Debussy’s Beau soirand Clair de lune, Messiaen’s Thème etVariations, Fauré’s Après un rêve and LiliBoulanger’s Nocturnewho wrote a concerto for Jansen in 2008,the common nocturnal theme in some of theselected works, and suggested structuringthrough to morning, writing his pieces toJansen clearly has an innate understandingof the French sound, with its subtlety anddelicacy, and offers interpretations that arefull of nuance, shimmering warmth anddispense with the cheesy booklet photos: sheThe Debussyand Ravel ViolinSonatas, along withthe Franck, arealso featured on aBritish violinistJennifer Pike(Chandos CHAN 10667), 67) who has beenattracting a good deal of attention in Englandhere, less subtle and more straightforwardcompetent and workmanlike without being inMartin Roscoe European garneringa lot of attentionis the Norwegianviolinist Vilde Frang,Grieg and StraussViolin Sonatas withpianist Michail Lifits(EMI Classics 9 47639 2), together with thein 2010, is understandably at home with thealmost easy-sounding performance makesit feel possibly a bit less visceral and morewww.thewholenote.com52 thewholenote.comJune 1 – July 7, 2011

Chamber Music for HarpValérie Milot; Antoine Bareil; FrançoisVallières; Raphäel Dubé; Jocelyne RoyAnalekta AN 2 9985MODERN & CONTEMPORARYGifted young artistValérie Milot heretwentieth-centuryworks with vigourin Quebec and atJuilliard, Milot openswith Germaineturingtelling moments in this occasionally reading of the march-like opening movement,changing moods for the sultry habaneraMilot’s accomplished technique fully realizesRavel’s piano SonatineSalzedo’s transcription, as reworked by violistFrançois Vallières who joins Milot and-His impeccable voice-leading and harmonic- Wild Bird (1997)received its title from violinist dedicatee among other birdcalls characterize theleading violin, the harp playing a supporting Philippe Hersant’s chant-based ChoralEvocative harp sonorities undergirdpassionate cello outcries, resolving in a—Roger KnoxMusic of Stefan Wolpe Vol. 6David HolzmanBridge Records Bridge 9344(www.BridgeRecords.com) (1902–1972) is stillone of the underappreciatedgreatcomposers of thehas all the complex- Pianist David Holzman is a persuasiveand range from epigrammatic to large-scalesense, rigorous intellect, lightness and wit allFour Studies on Basic Rowswork for only the most intrepid pianists, exploringparticular intervallic relations whileThe fourth of these, Passacaglia is a masterlyconstruction of tempestuous drama andityto bring clarity to the dense counterpointdifferent interpretation from Peter Serkin’slabel, Holzman brings an earthiness to thisToccata in Three PartsThe disc also features many aphoristicPastoraleinterest in Jewish folk music is representedby the dance-like Palestinian NotebookOne very enjoyable feature of both ofliner notes, with a personable and sometimesThe concluding miniature Lively. Why not?—Stephen ClarkeLand of Living Skies –Canadian Woodwind TriosMembers of Estria Woodwind QuintetCentrediscs CMCCD 16811 an intriguing discfeaturing Étiennede Médicis, oboeand Michel Bettez,bassoon – all mem- recent works by Quebec composers show thegroup’s commitment to commissioning newDenis Gougeon’s poetic Le Chant dePaulinesolo clarinet section onward the composerdisplays an assured voice, maintaining anactive line that carries through the breakswork’s dedicatee, handles everything con-playing oboe d’amore in the ensuing duet,Ensemble and intonation are impeccable and Sudbury-based Robert Lemay’s atonalFragmentssuch arresting effects as microtonal pitchLand of Living Skies II, and the use of chantand chorale in Marc O’Reilly’s Le poissonrougeclassicalSerenata Estria to the reed trio’srepertoire, his mastery of free counterpoint—Roger KnoxJAZZ & IMPROVISED33Alex PangmanJustin Time JTR 8569–2(www.justin-time.com)Toronto teemswith jazz vocalists,but few, if any,are as faithful tothe genre’s earlyReminiscent of youthful recordings of Fitzgerald and O’Day,smooth-voiced Pangman has carved out herniche by charming listeners the old-fash-the seldom-sung I Found a New Baby, this, bum’sbest cuts include a cheerful homageHummin’ to Myself),a timeless Jack Teagarden specialty (AHundred Years from Today) and a pair ofThanks and I SurrenderDear, the latter a poignant duet with Rontion,delivered ever so earnestly, that makesher an ideal candidate to rescue these titlessuccess of this recording owes plenty toPianist Peter Hill swings mightily as always,as does Drew Jurecka, who skilfully doublessensational throughout are clarinettist RossJune 1 – July 7, 2011 thewholenote.com 53

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