11 months ago

Volume 27 Issue 8 | July 1 - September 20, 2022

  • Text
  • Thewholenotecom
  • Composer
  • Arts
  • Album
  • Stratford
  • August
  • Festival
  • Jazz
  • September
  • Musical
  • Toronto
Final print issue of Volume 27 (259th, count 'em!). You'll see us in print again mid-September. Inside: A seat at one table at April's "Mayors Lunch" TAF Awards; RCM's 6th edition "Celebration Series" of piano music -- more than ODWGs; Classical and beyond at two festivals; two lakeshore venues reborn; our summer "Green Pages" festival directory; record reviews, listening room and more. On stands Tuesday July 5 2022.

set culminates with Harl

set culminates with Harl McDonald’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra. This is especially good, played with the Philadelphia Orchestra and conducted by the composer (1944). Included in this little box from Marston, is a 46-page booklet and appreciation of the duo. There are lots of photographs of the artists at various stages of their career. Marston, well known for issuing such valuable performances, does us a service and deserves our thanks for undertaking this venture. Marston is very highly regarded in the business of reissues and has certainly excelled in this one. I cannot overstate the satisfaction and pleasure of hearing these performances so famous and popular in their day. Truly, this is the art of duo piano playing. If you search YouTube, you can find Ward Marston’s channel, called Past Forward, where he introduces the release of this new box set and plays Luboshutz’s marvellous transcription of Mozart’s overture from Le Nozze di Figaro. While listening we are treated to photos from the booklet, and even a few that appear not to have been included. Romanian pianist Clara Haskil (1895-1960) was a close friend and admirer of Herbert Von Karajan; sadly they never formally recorded together despite their deep mutual admiration. However, there is a recording of live performances from Salzburg made during a 1956 tour in celebration of Mozart’s bicentenary, Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20, Symphony No. 39 & Nine Variations on a Minuet by Duport (ICA Classics The collaboration of the two in this live concert is quite a unique experience. Karajan conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra and lucky for us, one of the compositions on which they collaborated was the Mozart Piano Concerto No.20 in D Minor K466. What do we hear in this recording? Do we hear Karajan or do we hear Haskil? The fact is, we hear both of them and they are, together, far greater than the sum. The Philharmonia Orchestra under Karajan’s direction play with incomparable precision as was his style at the time. The orchestra was very familiar with his conducting and were certainly up to the mark. As a bonus, there is solo recording of the Nine Variations on a Minuet by Duport K573, also a live performance, taken from a recital in Besançon in September of that same year. For many, this little gem will be worth the price of the whole album, mono only, but in rather good sound. Anyone looking for an incredible biography might want to pick up Jerome Spycket’s Clara Haskil (Lausanne, 1975). Haskil’s story begins in Bucharest in 1895 and ends in Brussels in 1960. In between there is every element imaginable of a compelling and powerful life story. As for Mozart’s Symphony No.39 which provides the heart of this CD, we have a great example of Karajan’s obsession with precision, highlighting the excellence of the orchestra. OTHER FINE VINTAGES Live at Room at the Top Pepper Adams; Tommy Banks Trio Reel to Real Recordings RTR CD-008 ( ! Undoubtedly the best – if not the only – exceptional jazz session featuring a member of the Canadian Senate, this set includes pianist Tommy Banks, who was in the Upper House from 2000-2011. While this date took place in 1972, Banks (1936-2018) exhibits the supportive and organizational skills that made him one of Alberta’s most accomplished musicians for years. Of course the adaptive skills of Banks, bassist Bobby Cairns and drummer Tom Doran were stretched to the maximum on backing baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams (1930-1986), then a sometime visitor to Edmonton’s clubs, arguably the U.S.’s pre-eminent hard bopper on his instrument. Making the most of the trio’s rhythmic and improvisational talents, Adams elevates this program of two originals and five jazz-songbook standards to ferocious extended interactions. During Oleo, for instance, his unbroken line of earthy and empathetic variations is an object lesson in how to make the familiar exclusive. Banks’ speedy bop timing with blues underscoring keeps the piece moving. Here and elsewhere, excitement is torqued by thumping bass and crashing drum breaks, with both trading fours with the soloists. Sticking to mid-range tones, Adams uses squeaks and glissandi to advance his parts with the brightness of a higher-pitched instrument. The few times he emphasizes the baritone’s glottal rasp are during stop-time sequences. The resulting excitement gets added oomph when Banks’ solo slyly interjects song quotes. Judging from their protracted applause the audience was impressed by the music. You can be too. Ken Waxman What we're listening to this month: New to the Listening Room 40 Philip Glass: complete String Quartets – Vol. 1 Quatuor Molinari 41 Im Wald Benedetto Boccuzzi 42 Bach and Bartók Karl Stobbe 45 Brian Field - Choral and Orchestral Works Brian Field 46 Carlo Monza: Opera in Musica Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante 46 Fantasias Mélisande McNabney 48 Slavic Heart Anna Petrova 48 Fables Philip Chiu 50 Richard Strauss Arvo Part I Musici de Montréal 50 Port of Call: Buenos Aires Louise Besette 50 Transfiguration Stéphane Tétreault, Valérie Milot 53 Across Time Frederic Hand 53 Nebraska Impromptu Marti Epstein 55 Venez donc chez moi Laura Anglade & Sam Kirmayer 56 Avery Raquel Avery Raquel 56 Chronotope George Crotty Trio 59 Confluence Mina Gajić & Zachary Carrettin 59 Ottoman Spendours Lamia Yared 59 Home Les Arrivants Previously reviewed in Vol. 27 no. 7 43 Beethoven Cello Sonatas Vol. 1 Yegor Dyachkov, cello Jean Saulnier, piano 51 The Art of Chopin Alan Hobbins Previously reviewed in Vol. 27 no. 6 56 Mulberry Street Symphony Anders Koppel Read the reviews here, then visit 62 | July 1 - September 20, 2022

Music from Two Continents: Live at Jazz Jamboree ’84 Cecil Taylor Fundacja Słuchaj 16/2021 ( ! The cataclysmic pianist and composer Cecil Taylor frequently worked with large bands, his activities with student ensembles and workshop groups shaping generations of improvising musicians. His 1968 recording with the Jazz Composers Orchestra was a key event in large-scale free jazz, while his 1988 Berlin orchestra fed his own development as well as European free improvisation; however, there may have never been a band quite as apt as the compact, shifting Orchestra from Two Continents with which he performed in Europe in 1984. This performance from Warsaw presents an 11-member version, assembling many of the most distinguished members of the international free jazz community of the era. Like many of Taylor’s works, this hour-long piece had a ritualistic character, incorporating chanting and shouting. Here, movements with cries, hollers and snippets of song, hinting at mysteries and suggesting primordial rites, alternate with longer instrumental passages of motivically organized improvisation. These segments touch on Taylor’s deep roots. With the reeds loosely assembling around a blues-drenched riff, a passage gradually matches the loose, swarming intensity of a Charles Mingus band; a keening balladic segment spontaneously expands to the harmonic richness of Duke Ellington’s orchestra. As with Mingus and Ellington bands, this orchestra thrives on singular instrumental voices, including the improbably sweet tone of alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons; the brooding, blues-drenched roar of tenor saxophonist Frank Wright; the dense, forceful sound of bassist William Parker; and the brassy splendour of trumpeters Tomasz Stańko and Enrico Rava. Stuart Broomer Unreleased 1974-2016 Tony Oxley DISCUS MUSIC 129 CD ( ! These previously unreleased tracks by veteran British drummer Tony Oxley contain sounds that not only expand improvised music history, but also reveal early adaptations of today’s electroacoustic interactions. Newly edited and mastered, the tracks from 1974 and 1981 find Oxley using percussion crashes and sweeps to cinch the rhythm at the same time as his processed pings, cackles and buzzes add a contrasting dimension to the other instrumentalists’ work. Considering that those challenged extensions include the output of other master improvisers such as trombonist Paul Rutherford’s lowing snarls, trumpeter Dave Holdsworth’s portamento flutters and pianist Howard Riley’s rambles and sweeps, is it surprising that a two-part ensemble piece ends with a literal waving fanfare? More dazzling though is Frame from a few years later with a different band. Here the electronics’ irregular jiggling timbres and equivalent live drum processing easily make common cause with the spectacular spiccato jumps and sprawling glissandi from violinist Phil Wachsmann. Dominant, while accompanied by Larry Stabbins’ rugged sax smears and Riley’s pounding piano rumbles, the fiddledrums intersection projects commanding irregular textures at supersonic speeds, but not without revealing an ever-widening spectrum of sonic colours. Remastered with full-spectrum, 21st-century sound, these heirlooms of an earlier era easily justify their unearthing and prominent display. Ken Waxman Featuring music by Villa-Lobos, Jobim, Nascimento, Bandolim, Parra, Lobo and Cartola New Album • July 8 July 1 - September 20, 2022 | 63

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)