2 years ago

Volume 25 Issue 7 - April 2020

  • Text
  • Violin
  • Musical
  • Performing
  • Concerto
  • Jazz
  • Theatre
  • Symphony
  • Arts
  • Toronto
  • April
After some doubt that we would be allowed to go to press, in respect to wide-ranging Ontario business closures relating to COVID-19, The WholeNote magazine for April 2020 is now on press, and print distribution – modified to respect community-wide closures and the need for appropriate distancing – starts Monday March 30. Meanwhile the full magazine is right here, digitally, so if you value us PLEASE SHARE THIS LINK AS WIDELY AS YOU CAN. It's the safest way for us to reach the widest possible audience at this time!

The 1960s was the era

The 1960s was the era during which many prodigiously talented USSR instrumental virtuosi were at last permitted by their government to concertize in the West. None elicited more universal excitement than Sviatoslav Richter who possessed a seemingly limitless technique, equally at home in Beethoven and the German Romantic composers, the French Impressionists and, of course, contemporary Russian composers. He is now recognized as one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. He made his American debut in Chicago on October 15, 1960, gave a series of concerts in New York that season and appeared as soloist with the New York Philharmonic. To hand is an 11CD set Sviatoslav Richter plays Rakhmaninov & Prokofiev (Profil PH19052 Many of these recordings pre-date his American debut. There are two versions of the Rachmaninov First Piano Concerto: the version from March 9, 1949 is conducted by Oleg Azarov followed by a performance from February 18, 1955 under Kurt Sanderling. The second concerto also has two performances: live under Agarkov on May 19, 1948 and with Sanderling on February 6, 1959. He also plays eight of the Etudes-Tableaux from Opp.33 and 39. The “bonus” on this disc is two songs sung by soprano Nina Dorliac, Richter’s lifelong partner. Rounding out the Rachmaninov entries are some preludes. Richter had put together a suite of 12 preludes heard live, also another of six preludes. There are so many works of Prokofiev on the seven remaining discs! The First Piano Concerto with Kondrashin and the Moscow Youth Symphony Orchestra in 1952, followed by two performances of the Fifth: with Kondrashin and the Moscow Philharmonic on April 24, 1961; and a real gem, a previously unreleased concert recording with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy in Leningrad from June 14, 1958. Another interesting entry is the recording of the world premiere performance of Prokofiev’s Symphony-Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in E Minor, Op.125. The dedicatee, Mstislav Rostropovich, is the soloist, and the conductor is Sviatoslav Richter. There are seven piano sonata performances, 11 Vision Fugitives, Op.22; piano transcriptions from the ballet Cinderella; the second and third cello sonatas, two performances of the Suggestion diabolique No.4, Op.4, and eight songs sung by Nina Dorliac. Paul Tortelier was a French cellist born Paris in 1914. He won First Prize in cello at the Paris Conservatoire at 16. He became principal cellist of the Boston Symphony in 1935 returning to France in 1939. He settled in Israel in 1955, travelling to Europe for concerts. He recorded major concerted works for EMI and was also a member of the Casals Festival in Prades with Casals, Stern, Istomin, Menuhin and the rest. He died in 1990. A three-CD set Paul Tortelier – The RIAS Recordings (Audite 21.455 is devoted to cello sonatas recorded by the Radio in the American Sector in 1949, 1962 and 1964 and are released here for the first time. These are superlative performances that from the first bar of the Beethoven Sonata No.5 leave no doubt that these musicians love what they are doing. The accompanist, or rather partner, is Lothar Broddack with whom he collaborates in the Mendelssohn No.2; Fauré No.2 and Papillon; Paganini Introduction and Variations on Dal tuo stellate soglio from Moses in Egypt; and Casella’s Sonata No.2. Pianist Klaus Billing replaces Broddack for Brahms Sonata No.1, Schumann’s Fantasiestücke Op.73 and Tortelier’s own Trois p’tits tours. He needs no accompanist for the Kódaly Sonata Op.8. These are immaculate recordings of wonderful performances. The WholeNote Listening Room Socially distanced? Click to listen... Click to buy... Click to share! At, you can do more than just read the review. Artists may supply tracks, videos and links to "enhance" any of the recordings we review in The WholeNote. These are available any time in our Listening Room, which readers can access using the link above, or by finding it under the "Recordings" tab on our website. Browse titles from recent issues, or use the link provided to search through all the Enhanced Reviews from now to when we first began. There are literally hundreds of recordings for you to choose from. Happy listening! 68 | April 2020

REAR VIEW MIRROR The End of the CBC ... Again? The case for culture in plague-saturated times ROBERT HARRIS At the end of February, Tony Burman, former head of CBC News, in his column in The Toronto Star, more or less approvingly quoted the conclusions of two Canadian media professors, Chris Waddell and David Taras, from their recent book, The End of the CBC?. Waddell and Taras, surveying the devastating wreckage of mainstream Canadian journalism, and noting the CBC’s inability to be all things to all people, added the two together and declared that “The CBC needs to shed much of its old skin and become solely a news and current affairs organization, dedicated to producing high-quality, dependable, and fair news and analysis.” So in their view, more Peter Mansbridge and Ian Hanomansing, less or no drama, comedy, music, arts, or any other cultural programming. It’s a provocative thesis, but far from a new one. When I was a manager at the CBC, in both the Radio Music and Radio Variety departments, we were constantly being called upon to defend our “frivolous” cultural spending when news bureaus were being forced to close around the world, and news resources were being cut back at home. Democracy demands an informed public, we were lectured – harangued actually. The needs of News must prevail. And nobody’s interested in your damn classical music, anyway, they added. It’s just there for elitists. Reading through The End of the CBC? was like an immediate flashback to my professional past. The same attitudes are all there. What was wrong with those arguments then is what’s wrong with them now. It’s not that Waddell, Taras and Burman are incorrect in their analysis of the current chaotic state of information in the world. We live at a time where truth and lies are becoming fatally indistinguishable, destroying the very possibility of establishing SOUND MIND Saturday, May 9, 2020 @ 7:30pm Grace Church on-the-Hill, 300 Lonsdale Road Explore relationships between music and mental health as composers Allan Bevan, Jake Runestad, Hussein Janmohamed, Anna Pidgorna, Kai Leung and others grapple with psychological trauma, intergenerational pain, the temptations of despair, and each individual’s quest for their ideal of a sound mind. Robert Cooper, Artistic Director Evan Buliung and Catherine McNally, Narrators Tickets -. For information call 416-530-4428 or visit VERN & ELFRIEDA HEINRICHS SANDRA PARSONS ROBERT SHERRIN PETER SIDGWICK April 2020

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)