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Volume 28 Issue 6 | Summer 2023

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Fast start to the summer and it just keeps going: Luminato walks with Little Amal; the Historical Organ Society comes to town; composer Carmen Braden is keeping busy; Phil Nimmons turns 100; TSM's metamorphosis; and check out live links in ads, listings and our easy surfing directory of summer festivals. See you August 30 for Volume 29 no.1

perspective and expands

perspective and expands our understanding of the history of Western music from the classical to the modern era. Kudos to Cahill for convincing performances of the music of all these diverse styles and composers, for giving them voice and for opening our eyes and ears. Some half a century ago I spent many hours at my kitchen table trying to figure out a song from Bruce Cockburn’s eponymous first album, the inaugural release on Bernie Finkelstein’s True North Records label. That song, Thoughts on a Rainy Afternoon, has recently come back into my repertoire thanks to guitarist Brian Katz who attended one of my backyard music gatherings last fall. It’s taken a while to get my chops back for Cockburn’s intricate chord progressions and finger patterns, but it’s been worth the effort. So imagine the pleasure I felt to find Cockburn’s O Sun O Moon (True North Records TND811, in my inbox last month. Over the years Cockburn’s music has gone through changes from that pristine acoustic first offering through many sides of pop music and hard-edged songs, but he has always maintained his moral compass, celebrating life and protesting abuse and ignorance. On his latest album the opening track On a Roll is reminiscent of some of his rockier outings, but the overall feel of the disc is gentle and, as always, thoughtful and thought-provoking. Predominantly acoustic, Cockburn plays guitar, resonator guitar and dulcimer and is joined by a handful of A-list musicians including guitarist Colin Linden, who also produced the recording, with vocal support from Shawn Colvin, Susan Aglukark, Allison Russell and Ann and Regina McCrary. Highlights include the mournful yet anthemic Colin Went Down to the Water, When the Spirit Walks In the Room with violinist Jenny Scheinman and Janice Powers on B3 organ, the cryptic King of the Bolero – who is it plays like that? – and the instrumental Haiku. Cockburn’s voice has weathered somewhat over time, but he uses the gruffness to good effect, and he has not lost any of his musical charm or character. “O Sun by day o moon by night | Light my way so I get this right | And if that sun and moon don’t shine | Heaven guide these feet of mine – to Glory…” That first True North Record was produced by Eugene Martynec, as were many of the label’s subsequent offerings including, in that same inaugural year, the haunting track December Angel on Long Lost Relatives by Syrinx, a seminal Toronto electronic ensemble featuring the synthesizers of John Mills-Cockell. Martynec is still an active part of the Toronto music scene, albeit after spending some years abroad, and his current project is the free improvising collective Gilliam | Martynec | McBirnie in which he’s in charge of electroacoustics, with pianist Bill Gilliam and flutist Bill McBirnie. Their latest release, Outside the Maze (, consists of ten diverse tracks, no two of which sound the same. While the piano and flutes (C and alto) are pretty much distinguishable throughout, Martynec’s contributions vary from atmospheric to percussive. At times it is hard to imagine the convincing sounds are not being created on physical drums and cymbals; at others it’s hard to imagine what their origins are. It’s also hard to imagine that these cohesive “compositions” are being created spontaneously in real time without premeditation or formal structure. The results are entrancing. A final quick note about Toronto’s Latin diva Eliana Cuevas’ latest release Seré Libre (Alma Records ACD472323 The Venezuelan-Canadian singer is accompanied by the Angel Falls Orchestra – named for the world’s highest waterfall located in Canaima National Park, Venezuela – conducted by the album’s producer Jeremy Ledbetter. Cuevas says “I created this 27-piece orchestra, as it was the one missing piece to realize my dream of fusing the incredibly rich traditions of Venezuelan folk rhythms and classical music.” The album explores loss – the deaths of Cuevas’ father and grandfather – and her mission to continue the centuries old folk music traditions they taught her. The title song, which translates as “I shall be free,” is a nine-minute epic journey which Cuevas says she always dedicates to her troubled homeland, but “it can be interpreted as being about finding freedom from whatever is holding you back.” With Cuevas’ gorgeous voice and the lush orchestrations played by an orchestra that includes many of Toronto’s finest pit musicians, this is truly a glorious album. There will also be a theatrical film release of the project which will be available online by the time you read this. We invite submissions. CDs, DVDs and comments should be sent to: DISCoveries, WholeNote Media Inc., The Centre for Social Innovation, 503 – 720 Bathurst St. Toronto ON M5S 2R4. David Olds, DISCoveries Editor CHARLES HAMANN CANADIAN SCENES Canadian Scenes: New Works for Oboe and Piano is a wide-ranging collection of Canadian vignettes expressed through each composer’s unique lens. Frédéric Lambert & Ali Kian Yazdanfar The works for viola and double bass in Iridescence let us see and hear from a different vantage point: two string instruments, often found in the shadows and yet filled with prismatic possibility and potential. Listen: Listen: 54 | Summer 2023

STRINGS ATTACHED TERRY ROBBINS The French guitarist Raphaël Feuillâtre cites his desire to share his love for Baroque music as the reason he chose Visages Baroques, a recital of transcriptions of works mostly written for solo harpsichord, as his debut album on the Deutsche Grammophon label (00028948640737 visages-baroques-raphael-feuillatre-12899). The two major works are Bach’s Concerto No.1 in D Major BWV972, itself a transcription of a Vivaldi violin concerto, and the Partita No.1 in D Major BWV825. Bach’s Prelude in C Major and Gavotte en Rondeau bookend a recital which also includes works by the French composers Antoine Forqueray, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Joseph-Nicolas- Pancrace Royer and Jacques Duphly, the latter’s brilliant Médée a real highlight. Feuillâtre plays with complete technical command, crystal-clear definition and effortlessly clean movement, the tone, colour and phrasing being all that you would expect from the 2018 winner of the Guitar Foundation of America International Concert Artist Competition. Alejandro Marías (Viola da Gamba) and Jordan Fumadó (harpsichord) are in superb form on 3 + 1 Bach Viola da Gamba Sonatas on the Eudora label (EUD-SACD-2302 The three original works here – the Sonata in G Major BWV1027, the Sonata in D Major BWV1028 and the Sonata in G Minor BWV1029 – were not conceived as a What we're listening to this month: set, and no contemporary manuscript contains all three. Composition dates are uncertain, and the sonatas may be reworkings of previous scores; BWV1027 definitely is, and is also the only one of the three extant in Bach’s manuscript, the other two existing in 1753 copies by Christian Friedrich Penzel. Completing the recital is the Sonata in G Minor BWV1030b, a post- 1770 transcription of Bach’s Sonata for Flute and Harpsichord BWV1030 by Johann Friedrich Hering, its demanding solo part bringing an outstanding recital to a close. Violinist Rachel Podger is joined by Kristian Bezuidenhout on harpsichord and fortepiano in an outstanding recital of C.P.E. Bach Sonatas for Keyboard & Violin (Channel Classics CCSSA41523 SACD cpe-bach-sonatas-keyboard-violin). The duo sonata’s form and style were open and changeable during the composer’s lifetime, and his own imaginative and inventive works for violin and keyboard cover a 50-year period from the 1730s to the 1780s. The two sonatas with harpsichord are the Sonata in G Minor H.542.5, the earliest work here and possibly a collaboration with his father Johann Sebastian, and the Sonata in D Major WQ.71, a 1746 reworking of a 1731 original. The works with fortepiano are the Sonatas in B Minor WQ.76 and in C Minor WQ.78, two of a set of four from 1763, and the Arioso con variazioni per il cembalo e violino in A Major WQ.79, a 1780 reworking of an earlier solo keyboard work. There’s brilliant playing from both performers on a superb disc. The Danish duo of violinist Christine Bernsted and pianist Ramez Mhaanna present an absolutely fascinating recital on Lera Auerbach 24 Preludes for Violin and Piano (Naxos 8.574464 products/catalogue/NX%204464). The Russian Auerbach, long resident in New York, wrote the work in 1999. One of three sets of 24 Preludes from that year – the others are for piano solo and cello and piano – it’s a cycle of compact works that follows the key scheme of Chopin’s 24 Preludes: major keys in a circle of fifths, each followed by its relative minor. Auerbach calls “looking at something familiar, yet from an unexpected perspective” vital to understanding them. There’s a wide range of moods, dynamics and colours here – from calm and mysterious to intense, strident and passionate – that exploits the full registers of the instruments, all of it superbly portrayed by the duo in a wonderfully resonant recording. The WholeNote Listening Room Hear tracks from any of the recordings displayed in this section: Plus Watch Videos Click to Buy Montreux 1988 Eye Music Recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 1988, this multi-track recording of Eye Music at their peak was mixed and released in January 2023. Nuages Duo Cavatine "Nuages" is French for "clouds" - a fitting title for this collection of atmospheric pieces for cello and piano, which stimulates imagination and deep reflection. Seré Libre Eliana Cuevas This new album from acclaimed Venezuelan-Canadian artist Eliana Cuevas fuses the incredibly rich traditions of Venezuelan folk, Afro rhythms and classical music Summer 2023 | 55

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