8 years ago

Volume 20 Issue 1 - September 2014

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own and other

own and other orchestras, there is a wealthof superb performances in the vaults thatare about to surface and re-surface in twoomnibus CD packages. The first is availablenow, Ferenc Fricsay The Complete RecordingsVolume 1: Orchestral Works (479 2891 45CDs,mono and stereo). Recorded mostly in theJesus-Christus-Kirche in Berlin, with eitherthe Berlin Philharmonic or the RIAS and itssuccessor, these performances represent thehighest level of musicmaking.I recall my excitement in 1958 overacquiring the Beethoven Ninth in stereo! Itwas by Ferenc Fricsay conducting the BerlinPhilharmonic with soloists Irmgard Seefried,Maureen Forrester, Ernst Haefliger andDietrich Fischer-Dieskau. It was on two DeccaLPs and was outstanding in every respect. As Iwrite this I am listening to that very performanceon disc nine of this collection and itreally does stand the test of time. This is adifferent Beethoven from, say, the Klempereror Furtwangler Beethoven. The textures aretranslucent without any suggestion of inevitability,particularly the slow movement whichis open and at times radiant. In total thereare five discs of Beethoven in the box andlots of brilliant performances of Bartók andKodály. There are four discs of Tchaikovsky,five of Mozart. Soloists include Géza Anda,Tibor Varga, Monique Haas, Annie Fischer,Wolfgang Schneiderhan, Pierre Fournier,Nicanor Zabaleta, János Starker, JoannaMartzy, Erica Morini, Clara Haskil, YehudiMenuhin and many others. Clearly there isno space to detail the extensive popular andesoteric repertoire but the detailed tracklisting of the contents is at to the soundtrack of 2001, ASpace Odyssey, Also Sprach Zarathustra isRichard Strauss’ most familiar work … well,at least the opening pages. Producer anddirector Stanley Kubrick carefully chose themusic and selected the Herbert von Karajan-Vienna Philharmonic recording on Decca ashis must-have. The request was unequivocallydeclined but after much negotiating,Decca agreed on condition that the performanceremain anonymous and never identified.A soundtrack album was issued, substitutinga Böhm recording. The secret was safe. Yearslater all was revealed and we wonder if Deccaor Karajan was calling the shots.That performance and the other RichardStrauss recordings made by John Culshawin the Sofiensaal in 1959 are contained in asumptuous package of all Karajan’s analogrecordings of Richard Strauss for Decca andDG with the Berlin and ViennaPhilharmonic Orchestras.Karajan Strauss(4792686) is alimited edition,LP-sized package,about an inch thick,containing elevenCDs, a Blu-ray audiodisc and an informativeart book. None ofthese recordings is new to the catalogue. Allthe usual suspects are here including thelive 1960 Der Rosenkavalier from Salzburg(including libretto), plus two historic recordingswith the Concertgebouw Orchestra from1943, The Dance of the Seven Veils and DonJuan, set beside the 1970s recordings fromBerlin. The astounding new 24/96 processingof all these analog originals is an unexpectedrevelation of just how much more informationthere was to hear. The Blu-ray disccontains the same repertoire as on six ofthe 11 CDs.Oscar Shumsky (1917-2000) was one of themost cultivated andexquisite violinists ofhis time, revered byhis fellow musicians.He enjoyed a busycareer, from the childprodigy engaged bythe likes of Stokowskiand Reiner settlinginto the role of concertmaster of New Yorkorchestras and a much-loved and soughtafterchamber musician. He played regularlywith Glenn Gould, William Primrose,Bernard Greenhouse, Leonard Rose and EarlWild and vocalists Maureen Forrester, LoisMarshall and James Melton. He was alsoa conductor and teacher. Canadians maywell remember hearing performances inStratford where he was co-director (1961-64) or director (1965-67) of music. I recalla Mozart concerto there “conducted fromthe keyboard” by Jose Iturbi in which theorchestra depended entirely on concertmasterShumsky for their cues. He remaineda regular contributor to Toronto’s musical lifein addition to his role as teacher.As sometimes happens, a major talentoften is underutilized by the recordcompanies in concerto recordings. In his lateryears however, Shumsky was taken over byan influential British concert managementand became a busy soloist in recordings withleading orchestras.A new Doremi set (DHR-8031-3 , 3 CDs)is a treasure house of mostly previouslyunreleased highlights of four decades ofShumsky’s great artistry in various musicalstyles, in concert with the above artists,playing composers from Bach, Mozart andBeethoven to Hindemith. Complete details Ahluwalia continued from page 10how to take a foreign music with non-English lyrics,such as Urdu and Hindi, and to present it to theCanadian public. She also taught me how to marketand present diverse kinds of music – what we nowcall world music – and how to apply some of theselessons to my own musical outlook.” In the late 1990sher MBA got her into the NYC door of the world musicspecialist label Putumayo Records. There she honedher understanding of the genre’s audience, productionand marketing. When Ahluwalia returned toToronto in 2000 she was ready to make a fatefulmove – to produce her first commercial CD, Kashish Attraction,released in 2001.With the imminent release of Ahluwalia’s latest album Sanata:Stillness, her discography will now be six albums deep. Sanata isfurther proof that the potential Ken Hunt heard in 2005 is being realizedin unexpected ways. The music is a synthesis of Ahluwalia’ssignature masala of her unique take on ghazal and Punjabi folk song.At times a backbone of her classical Hindustani musical training isdiscernable. On this studio outing she doesn’t use the Saharan bluesstar groups Tinariwen and Terakaft, as in her award-winning 2011 CDAam Zameen: Common Ground. Yet their deep African desert grooveand electric guitar sound and riffs still echo through the supple, slinkyRizwan-Muazzam Qawwaliguitar work of RezAbbasi, Ahluwalia’s lifepartner, arranger andproducer. It’s all woventogether with jazzandsometimes rockinfusedarrangements.Toronto audienceswill be able to witnessthe concert launchof Sanata: Stillnessat Koerner Hall October 3. A sign of increasing partnerships amongworld music presenters, perhaps, it’s part of the 13th annual SmallWorld Music Festival. It’s also presented by the Royal Conservatory inpartnership with the Aga Khan Museum. On this occasion Ahluwaliaand her band are in fitting company: they split the bill with Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali, a large group headed by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’snephews and leading heirs to his considerable legacy. I see KiranAhluwalia’s willingness to share the concert with a hardcore qawwaligroup as yet another demonstration of her admirable dedication tocrossing – and sharing across – musical borders.Andrew Timar is a Toronto musician and music writer. He can becontacted at | September 1, 2014 – October 7, 2014

2014/2015 Concert SeriesCANADA’S DARING NEWMUSIC SERIES RETURNS!“Max Richter has givenThe Four Seasons anavant-garde update.”–The GuardianTHE SEASONSSeptember 30 at 8:00 pmKoerner HallDaniel HopeviolinFOR VOCAL LOVERSVESPERSNovember 25 | Trinity-St. Paul’s CentreShannon Mercer, soprano + Choir 21THE WHISPER OPERAFebruary 26 –March 1 | The Theatre CentreCanadian PremiereTony Arnold, soprano + InternationalContemporary Ensemble (NYC)SONG FOR ATHENEApril 16 | Trinity-St. Paul’s CentreBlackToronto Children’s Chorus + Choir 21CELEBRATEPAN AMWITH US!ENCUENTROSMay 24 | Koerner HallPresented inpartnership with theRoyal Conservatoryof Music’s 21CMusic FestivalSerouj Kradjian,piano + GrishaGoryachev & FabioZanon, guitarNEW DIRECTIONS IN MUSICCMYKSubscribe and save 20% • Tickets on sale now • Call 416-408-0208 or visit soundstreams.caPantonean Ontario government agencyun organisme du gouvernement de l’Ontario

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