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Volume 28 Issue 3 | December 2022 - January 2023

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  • Thewholenotecom
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  • January
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Creative Collisions offer land-use hope for community and arts space; "Take Dec 10 for Example" -- Orchestral Explosion; Landmark novel finds music theatre form; Behind the scenes at Salute to Vienna; Collaborative serendipity on the joint-concert front; Amnesia and the alternative: QSYO's take on "Comfort and Joy". A bumber crop of record reviews (and not a Holiday compilation among them)! All this and more...

its frequent folk music

its frequent folk music references, however, made it acceptable to the authorities. It’s another deeply felt reading of a very strong work. There’s another CD of the Telemann: Fantasias for Solo Violin, this time by the outstanding Alina Ibragimova (Hyperion CDA68384 hyperion-records.co.uk/a. asp?a=A1677). The 12 short works, described here as amply justifying the high repute in which Telemann was held, are deceptively easylooking on the printed page, but don’t be fooled. The 1968 Bärenreiter edition stated that they were intended “for the amateur or the instrumental student” but also noted that “the double-stopping and chordal work can naturally only be tackled by a competent player.” Well, there’s an Understatement of the Year winner for you. The 12 Fantasias, in 11 different keys, display a variety of different moods, never deeply emotional but never facile or shallow either; even the shortest sections – some only a few bars in length – display taste and craft. Always in complete technical control, Ibragimova simply dances through them, seemingly enjoying every minute to the fullest. L’Aurore is the first solo album by German violinist Carolin Widmann for the ECM New Series label ECM 2709 ecmrecords.com/ catalogue/1647418055). Hildegard von Bingen’s Spiritus sanctus vivificans opens the CD and also reappears later in a slightly different take. George Enescu’s brilliant Fantaisie concertante from 1932, which should surely be better known, is followed by the Three Miniatures from 2002 by George Benjamin (b.1960) and a really striking performance of Ysaÿe’s Sonata No.5 in G Major Op.27. A contemplative performance of Bach’s Partita No.2 in D Minor BWV1004 ends an excellent disc. Nothing is rushed, and Widmann is never too strict rhythmically, the intelligent use of slight stresses and stretched phrasing injecting life into every movement. Violinist Emmanuele Baldini and violist Claudio Cruz are the performers on Mozart and Pleyel Duos for Violin and Viola (Azul Music AMDA1781 azulmusic.com.br). The two Mozart pieces, both of three movements, are the Duos for Violin & Viola in G Major K423 and in B-flat Major K424. The work by Pleyel, a student of Haydn and a direct contemporary of Mozart (he was born a year later but outlived Mozart by 40 years) is his Three Grand Duets for Violin and Viola Op.69 Nos.1-3. The first two duets have two movements and the third three. There’s nothing earth-shattering here, just some beautifully competent music given stylish and sympathetic performances by two excellent players. Driftwood is the second album released by the Calgary-based guitarist Ben Lahring, with six of the 11 tracks his own compositions (Alliance Entertainment 198004147064 benlahring.com). Liona Boyd’s really nice Lullaby for My Love opens the disc, with short pieces by William Beauvais, Seymour Bernstein, Graeme Koehne and a Miguel Llobet arrangement of a traditional Catalan melody balancing the original Lahring compositions – the three-movement Firstborn of the Dead, Over the Pacific, Fair Winds and Following Seas and the title track. There’s clean playing with lovely tone and colour in an attractive and fairly low-key program that doesn’t vary much in style, sound or mood. Finally, two updates on previously-reviewed Beethoven series: My May review of the digital release of the first volume of the complete music for cello and piano by the Montreal-based duo of cellist Yegor Dyachkov and pianist Jean Saulnier noted that a 3CD physical set was to be released in October, and it’s here: Beethoven Intégrale des Sonates et variations pour violoncelle et piano (ATMA Classique ACD2 2431 atmaclassique.com/en). I previously described the playing as “intelligent and beautifully nuanced, promising great things for the works still to be released,” and the complete set more than fulfills that promise. Outstanding playing and a superb recorded sound quality make this set hard to equal, let alone surpass. The Dover Quartet completes its set of Beethoven Complete String Quartets with Volume 3 The Late Quartets (Cedille CDR 90000 215 cedillerecords.org). This final 3CD issue features the String Quartets No.12 in E-flat Major Op.127, No.13 in B-flat Major Op.130, No.14 in C-sharp Minor Op.131, No.15 in A Minor Op.132, No.16 in F Major Op.135 and the Grosse Fugue in B-flat Major Op.133. My previous reviews noted performances of conviction and depth, and the standard has clearly been upheld to the end of an outstanding addition to the quartet’s discography. 50 | December 2022 - January 2023 thewholenote.com

VOCAL Bach – Bass Cantatas BWV56; 82; 158 Peter Kooy; La Chapelle Royale; Philippe Herreweghe Harmonia Mundi HMM931365 (store. harmoniamundi.com) ! 2023 is the 300th anniversary of Bach’s move to Leipzig and the beginning of his astonishingly creative 27-year tenure at the Thomaskirche. This reissue of the 1991 recording of solo bass cantatas is a reminder of the depth of devotion Bach had to the exegesis of Biblical text through music. The three cantatas included are the masterpiece Ich habe genug (BWV 82, written in 1727 for the Feast of the Purification of Mary), the lesser-known Ich will den Kreuztab gerne tragen (BWV 56, written in 1726) and the Easter cantata Der Friede sei mit dir (BWV 158, possibly written as late as 1735), which survives in fragmentary form. The Dutch bass Peter Kooy has had a distinguished career and is mostly known as a brilliant interpreter of the works of Bach, primarily with La Chapelle Royale and Bach Collegium Japan. He teaches at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. This recording features Kooy at the height of his powers, paying utmost attention to text and negotiating the vocal lines of Bach with superb artistry. The voice is front and centre at times, but often retreats to weave in and about the instrumental lines to create gorgeously transparent textures and colours in intimate partnership with the ensemble. It’s lovely to hear Monica Hugget’s soaring obbligato violin lines and Herreweghe’s choir makes brief and effective appearances in Cantatas 56 and 158. Larry Beckwith Concert note: British Baritone Roderick Williams is featured in Bach’s “Ich habe genug” Cantata for Bass Solo BWV82 as part of the Power Corp. of Canada Vocal Concerts series featuring the Bach Collegium Japan under Masaaki Suzuki’s direction on February 5 (3pm) at Koerner Hall, TELUS Centre, 273 Bloor St. W. Maestrino Mozart – Airs d’opera d’un jeune genie Marie-Eva Munger; Les Boreades de Montreal ATMA ACD2 2815 (atmaclassique.com/en) ! Canadian soprano Marie-Eve Munger presents Maestrino Mozart, a program dedicated exclusively to the arias of a young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Accompanied by the equally accomplished ensemble Les Boréades de Montréal and conductor Philippe Bourque, the album includes rarely heard works composed by Mozart between the ages of 12 and 16 years old. Munger, already known as a skilled and musical Mozart interpreter, continues to impress, especially in the three arias from Mitridate and in Lucio Silla’s In Un Istante Oh Come – Parto m’affretto. Throughout Maestrino Mozart, Munger’s voice is warm, her technique is flawless and the coloratura light and agile. Her attentive musicological research is shown in the intelligent and careful consideration with which she brings Mozart’s various characters and stories to life. Munger’s accomplishments reach beyond the music presented; Maestrino Mozart shows that Mozart’s early arias, often considered immature and discarded, are in fact rich works encompassing many of the beloved musical elements Mozart develops further in his later works. Maestrino Mozart should not only please Mozart enthusiasts, it is worthy of both discovery and further performances. Sophie Bisson Arias Jonathan Tetelman; Orquestra Filarmónica de Gran Canaria; Karel Mark Chichon Deutsche Grammophon 486 2927 (deutschegrammophon.com/en/catalogue/ products/arias-jonathan-tetelman-12721) ! Remember in 1990 the famous Three Tenors concert from Rome? An historic occasion that suddenly turned the world’s attention towards opera, especially the tenor voice, the star of just about every opera. Since then there were countless open air concerts with audiences in the thousands cheering wildly in many countries. I just watched one from Sweden, the star being Jonathan Tetelman a rising new tenor. He sang that wonderful love duet from Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera with joy and passionate abandon, a beautifully shaded voice with tenderness and power in all registers. Tetelman is an American of Chilean origin. Interestingly he was a disc jockey in New York before he found his voice and now, after rigorous training, is a dedicated versatile artist in great demand. This is his debut album – on DG no less! – and we look forward to many more. The scene is exotic. A gorgeous space-age auditorium with fabulous acousticsin the Canary Islands with a well-respected figure in the operatic world, British conductor Karel Mark Chrichon, as music director. The 16 arias are well selected to show a cross section of the many sided versatility of Tetelman from gentle lyricism (the flower aria from Bizet’s Carmen) to powerful dramatic outbursts (Puorquoi me reveiller from Massenet’s Werther) of the Italian and French repertoire. What we're listening to this month: thewholenote.com/listening No Choice but Love: Songs of the LGBTQ+ Community Eric Ferring A beautiful collection of LGBTQIA+ stories, featuring revelatory performances of songs by Poulenc and Britten, as well as leading voices of today. Immensity of Departure Duo Departure Duo releases their debut recording, Immensity Of, including works by Katherine Balch, John Aylward, Emily Praetorius, and György Kurtág. SCHUBERT: The Wanderer Mathieu Gaudet The seventh volume in Mathieu Gaudet’s wonderful collection of the great Austrian composer Franz Schubert. Trumpet Concertos Paul Merkelo Featuring Canadian-Ukrainian trumpet soloist Paul Merkelo performing virtuosic concertos by Arutiunian & Weinberg, plus a new arrangement of Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 1. thewholenote.com December 2022 - January 2023 | 51

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