4 years ago

Volume 24 Issue 6 - March 2019

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Something Old, Something New! The Ide(a)s of March are Upon Us! Rob Harris's Rear View Mirror looks forward to a tonal revival; Tafelmusik expands their chronological envelope in two directions, Esprit makes wave after wave; Pax Christi's new oratorio by Barbara Croall catches the attention of our choral and new music columnists; and summer music education is our special focus, right when warm days are once again possible to imagine. All this and more in our March 2019 edition, available in flipthrough here, and on the stands starting Thursday Feb 28.

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continued from page 14 In sum, the above entries and more should prove to be a gift to Ludwig’s admirers and others to whom the repertoire might appeal. Her mezzo voice illuminates the words, serious to the whimsical. Charming where called for. Eight years ago Doremi issued Volume One of Tatiana Nikolayeva that includes Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op.87. Her version was the composer’s very favourite… He had written them for her. Nikolayeva was an incredible musician and among her most admired specialties were her performances of Bach. She excelled in all classical styles, but for her Bach she is considered “a priestess,” similar to Rosalyn Tureck, with the exception that Tureck was devoted to Bach exclusively. Nikolayeva’s repertoire included all his compositions for the keyboard and many other Bach works which she transcribed for the piano. Volume 2 (DHR- 8056-8, 3CDs includes all 12 concertos, BWV1052 though BWV1065, for one, two, three and four keyboards heard in live concerts from December 11,13 and 14, 1975. She is accompanied by the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra conducted by Saulius Sondeckis, an elite group with whom she often performed. These concertos were written for harpsichord, however the piano maintains the spirit and style admirably as is also clearly demonstrated by such authorities as Rosalyn Tureck and Glenn Gould. No doubt Bach himself, given the opportunity, would have embraced the use of piano, for as we know Bach transcribed many of his works for diverse instruments. Most of these piano concertos existed before as concertos for violin and were transcribed by Bach himself. Furthermore, Bach’s concerto for four keyboards is actually his transcription of a four-violin concerto by Vivaldi. Bach is played throughout with profound authority and hearing these treasured performances from long ago is such a pleasure. The crisp and faultless sound comes from Melodiya originals, not airchecks. There is a significant bonus. From the recital in Tokyo on April 22, 1988 are the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV565; the Partita No.2, BWV826; the Ricercar from The Musical Offering, BWV1079 and the Contrapunctus 1 and 9 from The Art of The Fugue, BWV1080. Different repertoire, same empathy. The WholeNote Listening Room • Read the review • Click to listen • Click to buy Scan the code or visit to hear what we're listening to this month! Beecroft pondering her next move while working and smoking! — a different era, indeed “From 1955 until early in 1960, Norma Beecroft and Harry Somers were involved in a romantic relationship. In the fall of 1959, Norma went to Rome to study composition with Goffredo Petrassi. While there, she also studied flute with Severino Gazzelloni, the renowned flutist for whom many composers such as Berio wrote important new works for flute. During the last months of 1959 and early 1960, Somers and Beecroft exchanged nearly 200 letters, providing considerable information about their evolving relationship, what music they were writing, various compositional concerns, and the people they were meeting (in Toronto and in Rome). As well, Norma Beecroft’s letters describe her struggle to gain the confidence to study composition but also to finally reject a permanent ‘domestic’ relationship with Harry Somers, in other words, to devote herself entirely to composition. Thus the letters give us a fairly detailed portrait of that period in Canadian composition (of concert music): their compositional concerns, problems of financial support, thoughts about the state of the arts in Canada, and so on. “In the concert being presented at McGill University on March 22, I have chosen significant excerpts from these letters and these will be read by two people, interspersed with music by each of the composers, chiefly, the String Quartet No.3 (1959) by Somers, dedicated to Norma Beecroft, and the film Saguenay, for which Somers wrote the music in early 1960 (and described in detail in the letters) and the Amplified String Quartet with Tape by Beecroft, written in the 1990s.” Norma Beecroft will take part in both these Montreal events. Returning briefly to the topic of the history of electronic music, I’m happy to announce that on March 8, a 1977 vintage recording by the Canadian Electronic Ensemble (CEE) will be released on the Artoffact record label. The CEE is a performing ensemble that I helped to establish in the early 1970s, and which continues to function even now, nearly 50 years later. This vintage re-release is a remastered version of the debut album by the CEE, originally released on an LP on the Music Gallery Editions label. By coincidence, the music contained on the album was all composed and performed at roughly the same period of time as Beecroft was travelling the world recording her interviews. The CEE’s founding quartet of David Grimes, the late Larry Lake, David Jaeger (aka me) and James Montgomery are the performers, together with a guest appearance by the late pianist Karen Kieser. The album is available as both a CD and in digital formats on Bandcamp: David Jaeger is a composer, producer and broadcaster based in Toronto. © JOHN REEVES 92 | March 2019 92 March 2019

THIS EVENT IS FREE TO SUBSCRIBERS! Friday April 5, 2019 7:00pm | Trinity St. Paul’s Centre | 427 Bloor St W New Wave Reprise Keynote Dialogue of the Wind and Sea: Composers Talking to Composers An address by renowned Canadian composer and educator, John Rea Programme: (All World Premieres!) Eugene Astapov Emblem** Quinn Jacobs Music About Music** Bekah Simms Foreverdark** Christina Volpini as within, so without** Alison Yun-Fei Jiang Temporal* Guest Artist Amahl Arulanandam, cello * World Premiere commissioned by Esprit Orchestra ** World Premiere commissioned by Esprit Orchestra with generous support from the Ontario Arts Council ESPRIT ORCHESTRA Season Sponsor Concert Sponsor Buy Your Tickets Now! Single Tickets 416 815 7887 Alex Pauk, Founding Music Director & Conductor

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