6 years ago

Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017

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  • March
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On our cover: Owen Pallett's musical palette on display at New Creations. Spring brings thoughts of summer music education! (It's never too late.). For Marc-Andre Hamelin the score is king. Ella at 100 has the tributes happening. All; this and more.

CBC Radio Two: The

CBC Radio Two: The Living Legacy continued from page 10 Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), convinced CARAS that the category was needed to more completely represent the spectrum of music in Canada. Deborah MacCallum, hired by Harold Redekopp as manager of CBC Records in 1985, and Norman Miller of CBS Records Canada were the primary voices pushing for the creation of this new category. MacCallum told me that Daisy Falle, president of CARAS, wanted assurance that the category was sustainable. MacCallum needed only to point out the collaboration between Two New Hours and Centrediscs as evidence that the production of contemporary Canadian repertoire had increased and that this had strengthened the storehouse of recordings in this category. Interestingly enough, the very first JUNO for Classical Composition, awarded in 1987, went to the late Malcolm Forsyth, for his orchestral work, Atayoskewin, on CBC Records. Centrediscs recordings continued to garner nominations in the new classical composition category, year after year. It wasn’t until 1991 that the CMC’s label would actually win a JUNO when Schafer Five, the Orford String Quartet performing five string quartets by Murray Schafer won not one, but two JUNOS: Best Canadian Classical Composition for Schafer’s String Quartet No. 5, and also Best Canadian Chamber Music recording for the set of five Schafer quartets. It was a rewarding way to finally break into the winners’ circle! And in fact, in this case, the recording was independently produced by the CMC, as the collaborative arrangement with CBC Radio Music had by then expired. Nonetheless, it was the same team, but working outside the CBC, of David “Stretch” Quinney and me who delivered the finished master to the CMC. Another of my independent productions for Centrediscs won the Best Classical Composition JUNO in 2011, and this time it was another Schafer work, his Duo for Violin and Piano, in a recording with Duo Concertante, the husband and wife team of Nancy Dahn, violin, and Timothy Steeves, piano. The recording was produced at Glenn Gould Studio with engineer Dennis Patterson. In fact it was Schafer’s fourth JUNO in the Best Classical Composition category and his fifth overall. Schafer has won the most JUNOS to date in the classical composition category. Centrediscs’ most recent JUNO came in 2012, when Patterson and I recorded the St. Lawrence String Quartet during their 20th anniversary tour. To celebrate the anniversary, the St. Lawrence commissioned five Canadian composers from different regions of Canada to create five new quartets which constituted their 2012 touring program. The live recording, made at the University of Toronto for broadcast on CBC Radio 2’s Sunday afternoon network classical music program, In Concert, was leased by Centrediscs from the CBC and mastered for CD release. Of the five newly commissioned string quartets, it was Nova Scotia composer Derek Charke’s Sepia Fragments that won the Best Classical Composition JUNO. In a curious coincidence harkening back to 1987, when CBC’s Deborah MacCallum and CBS’ Norman Miller championed the addition of the Best Classical Composition category, another classical category was also added that year: that of Best Classical Recording, Vocal or Choral. These two additions 30 years ago made it possible for Dark Star Requiem, by composer Andrew Staniland and poet Jill Battson to earn nominations in both those categories in 2017. Commissioned by the Luminato Festival and Tapestry New Opera, it premiered at the Luminato festival in 2010 at Koerner Hall, Toronto. Recording Engineer Steve Sweeney and I recorded Dark Star Requiem for broadcast on CBC Radio 2’s The Signal. The CMC subsequently leased the master from CBC Radio Archives for release on Centrediscs. Composer Staniland explains the piece as follows: “Jill and I had the very best of circumstances to develop this work: take four incredible (above) Christos Hatzis (right) Andrew Staniland singers (Neema Bickersteth, Krisztina Szabó, Peter McGillivray, Marcus Nance), Canada’s foremost chamber ensemble, The Gryphon Trio, the legendary Elmer Iseler Singers, and percussionists Ryan Scott and Mark Duggan. Add a lengthy and meticulous development process spearheaded by Tapestry New Opera, and a premiere that would open Luminato, a world-class international festival. Such a constellation of circumstances is quite special. I am thrilled to be able to share this remarkable live recording through this release on Centrediscs. “Dark Star Requiem is in every way my most ambitious artistic endeavour to date. It is at once intended to be challenging and joyous, complex and beautiful. A sequence of 19 poems charting a short history of HIV/AIDS unfolds over the course of 14 movements. The poems vary stylistically from linked haikus, to ghazals, to praise poems and back to free verse. The musical movements are unified through a haunting melody and driving rhythm derived from the numbers attributed to HIV-1 and HIV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses: and In musical terms these numbers are interpreted in both melody and rhythm. “It is difficult, from an artistic point of view, to approach a subject as multifaceted as AIDS with its myriad attendant themes including disinformation, illness, death, infection, sexual and social taboos, colonialism, fear and guilt – and still maintain a message of hope. My and Jill’s hope is that after listening to Dark Star Requiem you will leave inspired to contribute to the fight against AIDS in your own way. AIDS, despite outliving its own media fatigue, has killed over 25 million people. Forty million people worldwide live with the disease today.” David Jaeger is a composer, producer and broadcaster based in Toronto. BO HUANG GREG LOCKE 86 | March 1, 2017 - April 7, 2017

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