5 years ago

Volume 20 Issue 3 - November 2014

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  • November
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multiple hybridity, a

multiple hybridity, a foundational featureof which is her free improv performancestrategy. Paradoxically however, this CD’sfirst song is a cover of the Pixies’ “Caribou”(1987) sung in a “standard” (that is nonthroatsinging) voice by Tagaq and masterfullyarranged with the addition of synth, hornand string parts by Zubot. Comparing it to theoriginal Pixies’ recording, I prefer this album’sextended version, still rocking in sections yetmusically convincing us without strumminga single guitar chord.The pop-oriented “Caribou” is an exceptionalcase here, however. Other songs likeRabbit propose an almost cinematic soundscape.Atop field recordings of northernsoundscapes by Michael Red, and Zubot’ssignificant contributions, Tagaq’s vocalisetransforms itself effortlessly from human toanimal sounds and back.The music on the innovative Animism,though sonically and emotionally rooted inthe arctic, is nevertheless poised to moveaudiences no matter where they live.Andrew TimarOld Wine, New Bottles | Fine Old Recordings Re-ReleasedThe Originals (DeutscheGrammophon 4793449),50 CDs in the now familiarcompact cube, is an exceptionalcollection of outstandingperformances from the secondhalf of the 20th century that aresignificant in three aspects: repertoire,performance and sound.The composers range from Bachto Orff performed by artists whowere acknowledged mastersof the works chosen for inclusionin this edition beginningwith Bach – the Oistrakhs’ ViolinConcertos and Pierre Fournier’sCello Suites; Beethoven with theFifth and Seventh Symphonies byCarlos Kleiber; the Sixth fromBöhm and Karajan’s 1963 Ninth.Wilhelm Kempff plays the fourthand fifth concertos (BPO/Leitner)and four sonatas.Throughout the 50 discs, thereality of the remastered soundis a revelation and at times startling.For example, the patricianperformance of the Mahler First withRafael Kubelik, taken from hiscomplete edition, is a reminderof this conductor’s always intuitivereadings of whatever heconducted, heard here in freshlyminted, realistic sound. Carl Orff’sremarkable Carmina Buranareceived its definitive recording inOctober 1967 conducted by EugenJochum under Orff’s personal supervisionwith an all-star cast including GundulaJanowitz, Gerhard Stolze and DietrichFischer-Dieskau. That recording, heard ondisc 33 of this set, is a model of remastering,sounding a tad cleaner than the originalOriginals single CD.Karl Böhm’s entries include his celebratedversions of Magic Flute, Tristan andIsolde and the late Mozart symphonies. Thisset is a well-considered collection of close to100 works of symphonic music, concertos,chamber music, instrumental solos and vocalmusic of interest to music lovers and audiophilesalike. Check out full contents on theDG site and listen to samples from every trackin the set at SURTEESAsk the average music lover ifthey like Rachmaninov and theusual answer is a knowing yes.They mention the Rhapsody on aTheme of Paganini and the SecondPiano Concerto and perhaps thePrelude in C-Sharp Minor. Thenthey are obliged to repeat the usualdemeaning put-down about thefour piano concertos being merelyone concerto orchestrated fourtimes. What a surprise then thatDecca could devise a 32 CD setof Rachmaninov: The CompleteWorks (4786765) performedby top-notch orchestras andconductors, chamber groups,choruses, soloists et al., recorded overthe years when the performerswere in their prime.Disc one, track one is,rather appropriately, the aforementionedprelude played byVladimir Ashkenazy followed bythe complete Op.23 and Op. 32Preludes. Ashkenazy is featuredmany times in the collection bothas pianist and conductor. Some ofthe works he plays are the fourpiano concertos and the PaganiniVariations all conducted byAndré Previn; the First and ThirdSymphonies, the SymphonicDances, the “Youth” Symphonyand The Bells, all with theConcertgebouw Orchestra. Thesymphonic poems, Prince Rostislav and TheRock and Five Etudes-Tableaux (orchestratedby Respighi), the Scherzo in D minor, andVocalise are all with the Sydney SymphonyOrchestra. On disc 32 Ashkenazy very franklydiscusses Rachmaninov and his music.There are many other artists, of course,Mikhail Pletnev, Sviatoslav Richter, ZoltánKocsis, Jorge Bolet, Alexis Weissenberg,Martha Argerich, Nelson Freire, Byron Janis,the Beaux Arts Trio, Olga Borodina, NeemeJärvi and many others. Here is the chanceto get to hear the entire published works byRachmaninov including all the operas andnot to be missed, the complete songs sung byElizabeth Söderström. Complete contents andexcerpts can be found at years after her prematuredeath at the age of 54, Hungarian violinistJohanna Martzy is still an icon amongviolin aficionados and record collectors. Inaddition to a spectacular concert career,working as soloist with luminaries such asBernstein, Szell, Cluytens, Fricsay, Kletzkiand Sawallisch, Martzy was featured as arecording artist of two of the world’s leadingcompanies, Deutsche Grammophon andEMI. In addition to these recordings, documentsof her live performances are muchsought after. DOREMI has issued a thirdvolume of mostly unreleased live performancesand radio broadcasts (DHR-8034/5, 2CDs). Gems include a 1959 radio recital fromJohannesburg, preserved in pristine soundof works from Vivaldi to Bartók. A pleasantrevelation in these tracks is her empatheticpartner, the South African pianist, AdolphHallis (virtuoso pupil of Theodor Leschetizky).Here is real music making! Also heard aretwo stylish viewpoints of Mozart’s third violinconcerto (both 1961) and an impassionedBartók’s First Rhapsody with George Szell(Cleveland 1960). The set ends with the finestperformance I know of Suk’s Four Piecesfor Violin and Piano, Op.17. In this sparklingperformance from 1969 she is partneredby the fine Hungarian pianist, István Hajdu(Arthur Grumiaux’s accompanist).Similar to the repertoire presented involumes one and two, DOREMI’s MarthaArgerich Volume 3 (DHR-8030) includesher live performances when around age 20.Argerich shot to world fame when she wonthe 1965 Chopin Competition in Warsaw.She has maintained her status to this dayand listening to her early performances, hermagic was already in evidence. Over her longcareer, she came to prefer presenting musicwith others, playing in chamber groupsand as soloist with orchestra. This CD openswith a vivacious rendition of Beethoven’sPiano Sonata No.7 Op.10, No.3 in whichthe Largo is uniquely introspective and, asthey say, worth the price of the disc. Thenan elegant Schumann Kinderszenen and ananimated Toccata Op.7 and Liszt’s HungarianRhapsody No.6. Finally, a brilliant performanceof Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concertoaccompanied by Carl Melles conducting theCologne Radio Symphony Orchestra. Thesound throughout the disc is first-rate.84 | November 1 - December 7, 2014

SEASON PRESENTING SPONSORBEETHOVEN & NIELSEN CONCERTSCelebrating the 150 th anniversaryof Carl Nielsen’s birthTHOMASDAUSGAARDJAN LISIECKIBeethoven &The InextinguishableWED, NOVEMBER 12 AT 8pmTHU, NOVEMBER 13 AT 2pmThomas Dausgaard, conductorJan Lisiecki, pianoMozart: Overture to The Marriageof Figaro, K. 492Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4Nielsen: Symphony No. 4“The Inextinguishable”Intermission Chats in the Lobby on Nov 12 & 13Beethoven &The Four TemperamentsSAT, NOVEMBER 15 AT 7:30pmThomas Dausgaard, conductorJan Lisiecki, pianoBeethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3Nielsen: Symphony No. 2“The Four Temperaments”Post-concert Party in the LobbyBeethoven & NielsenTHU, NOVEMBER 20 AT 8pmSAT, NOVEMBER 22 AT 8pmThomas Dausgaard, conductorJan Lisiecki, pianoMozart: Overture to Don Giovanni, K. 527Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5“Emperor”Nielsen: Symphony No. 56:45pm Free Pre-concert Performanceby The TSO Chamber Soloists on Nov 20,visit TSO.CA/ChamberSoloists for detailsIntermission Chats in the Lobby on Nov 20 & 22TICKETS FROM | ROY THOMSON HALL | 416.593.4828 | TSO.CAOFFICIAL AIRLINE

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