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Volume 7 Issue 4 - December 2001/January 2002

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  • Toronto
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concerti, includes

concerti, includes selections from the first Jaz.z. , observes the elements of music - tone, pitch, Suite and Ballet Suites Nos. 1 and 2. My only consonance, colour - where they fall under quibble with the recording, in .the p.reli~inary her mi?r?scope. . . . mix provided for purposes of this review; 1s that . S~s1s 1s the rulmg aesthetic here. Smith, a while the obbligato trumpet soars above the d1sc1ple of Morton Feldman, draws her orchestra in the Piano Concerto No: 1, the piano inspiration from the broad canvasses and flat, is occasionally lost in mix. bold li~es of ~bstract. a~t._ Forget ~ny The Overcoat will air nationally. at 8:00 p.m. preconceived notions of direction or musical on both Radio Canada's Beau Dimanche on De- narrative. Instead, Smith juxtaposes the very ~ember 23 2001 and on CBC's Opening Night building blocks of music. InAmong the Tarnished on January' 10, 2002. · Stars, Eve Egoyan' s piano lifts .curtains of chords David Olds while the other members of The Burdocks (cello, clarinet, and violin) move impassively through NEW RELEASES Memory Forms - Linda Cat1in ~mith Various artists Artifact ART 024 The most remarkable thing about Memory Form$, Linda Catlin Smith's new. calling card on the Artifact label, is the composer's uncom- · promising musical vision. u'miting herself to a minimum of m3:~~ri3:1_8, ~rnith obsessively isolates and . an aimless melody. Like a Rothko painting, planes intersect and move on, heedless of one , another. What could be an arid musical experience is, in fact, rich - sometimes breathtakingly so. Smith's orchestration produces - both within works and between neighboring pieces - a startling range of colours and textures that makes for highly charged listening. Even Smith's poetic titles heighten the sensual experience: velvet percussion bombs twist the surface of Knotted Silk, while random notes dangle in between like thread. Moi Qui Tremblais is shaken by a low, dark foreboding. Linda Catlin Smith works like a miniaturist on a massive canvas. What appears, at first, to be a bleak, meditative landscape becomes, with repeated listeriings, engr()ssing in its momentary details. The close listener will gradually be absorbed into her austere world. Brian McMillan Jonathan Harvey Trio Fibonacci ATMA ACD 2254 Jonathan Harvey is an enigma, the strange conjunction of the religious (beginning as a chorister at St. Michael's College, Tenbury), and . the hyper-structured (later studying integral serialism with Milton Babbitt). After returning from Princeton, Harvey began his Piano Trio, seeking mysticism and musical structure of greater depth, outside of his subjective experience. The first movement (Song) is a perpetual piano line over which reserved,. lyrical string fragments sing out. After a statuesque openiQg, the second movement (System) contrasts its predecessor with the brief, neutral gestures expected from a composer steeped in American serialism. Rite gracefully balances the preceding movements, cultivating greater independence of the instrume'nts, and calling upon the trio,'s considerable virtuosity. A recording of Advaya (meaning "not two") for cello, electronic keyboard and electronics, can't be expected to live up to the spatial richness of a live performance, yet Fibonacci cellist Gabriel Prynn's sensitive playing and awareness We buy your classical LP collection · · (like Beethoven, Mozart, Steckhausen) we travel anywhere for good collection 314 CHURCHILL AVE. NORTH YORK, ONTARIO M2R 1E7 CANADA Fax No: (1) 416-224-2964 Phone No: (1) 416-224-1956 www.interlog.com/-mikro MIKROKOSMOS 56 Wholenote DECEMBER 1, 2001 - JANUARY 31, 2002

of the electronic part prop;i.gates perfectly timed entries, responses, and intersections. Tombeau de Messiaen is an offering (for piano and electronics) to the late French composer, Olivier Messiaen. Shadows abound, from hints of Messiaen's harmony and gestural sphere, to those of his spectralist successors, Grisey and Murai!. Pianist Andre Ristic handles the material .with the requisite elegance and (infrequent) force. Flight-Elegy, is a fittingly tranquil and soaring conclusion to the CD, which as a whole resolves a number of issues in Harvey's music. Whereas elsewhere his keen, though conventional sense of timbre is constricted by his approach to structure, these pieces succeed, with finesse. In their performance, Montreal-based Trio Fibonacci reveal a depth and facility belying their mere 3 years together. Paul Steenhuisen Jenkins - Fantasias Les· Voix Humaines ATMA ACD2 2205 John Jenkins, though hardly a household name these days, was by all accounts one of 17th-century England's most esteemed musicians - :'tho' a little man, yet he had a great soule," as one of his contemporaries put it. This recording, featuring Les Voix Humaines and two guests, pays skilled and delightful homage to Jenkins and the brilliance of his ·music for viols and keyboard, particularly the fantasias for which he is best known today. The Five Bells begins the disc, and sets the tone for the remainder, with energetic yet thoughtful playing, and great flexibility of expression. Sevenfantasias, two suites, and an Air with divisions make up the balance of the program. The faptasias are my particular favourites for their subtle shifts in spirit and harmony. - The entire program succ.eeds because of its great variety in instrumental colour - some pieces are for three viols alone, some include either a harpsichord or an organ. The Suite in d/D for two bass viols makes an adroit contrast to the other Suite which is performed on treble, lyra and bass viols with harpsichord. Susie Napper and Margaret Little have already proven many times that their musical teamwork produces great results; here in collaboration with gambist Jay Bemfeld and keyboard player Eric Milnes, they have done it again. The pleasure they take in this music is palpable, and much appreciated. The sound is excellent, as is usually the case with Johanne Goyette at the controls. Alison Melville ... dans le silence de la nuit ... Gilles Gobeil empreintes DIGIT ALes IMED 0155 The four works on this CD are each strongly compelling and imm~culately produced. The production standards of recording and mixing are very high and put to effective compositional use, which is essential in any electroacoustic work. There is also a carefully conceived unity of materials and gestures that give the works a strong structural foundation. Over that solid technical basis, Gobeil sets out to create a drama of suspended tension. and release using long building climaxes, quick jump cut edits, and eerie drones and lingering. silences. However, these benchmarks of his dramatic language are used so frequently from piece tcf piece that their desired impact is unjustly compromised by predictability. Gobeil' s unity of style and materials is so complete and unvaried that even the three diverse litera'ry points of inspiration used for the works (Marcel Proust, H.G. Wells, and Jules"Veme) fail to D ECEMBER 1, 2001 - JANUARY 31, 2002 Whol e note 5 7

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