8 years ago

Volume 7 Issue 4 - December 2001/January 2002

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yield the potential

yield the potential variants in style, materials and form. On a concert program including works by other composers, Gobeil's music can stand beyond the rest and lead the listener on a hair-raising journey. But heard one after another in succession the impact is marginal. Therefore, I recommend listening to this CD in small concentrated doses separated by time and experience. Darren Copeland Suites, Sonatas, Airs and Dances [music by J.S. and C.P.E. Bach] Joseph Petric, concert accordion Analekta FL 2 3133 The stereotype of the accordion sound that lingers in many people's minds is that of the overly sweet beating of intentionally mistuned double reeds. There is none of that to be found in these sophisticated interpretations from a master of the instrument. Certain compromises have of necessity been made in these transcriptions from the string to the wind idiom, most often involving a reduction in the density of the music. This is particularly evident in the two works by J.S. ' Bach. In the Sarabande of the Third English Suite, for example, the explicit pedal tones on the note 'G' are omitted, lending a certain hollowness to the texture. While it is true that on the clavichord, harpsichord or piano these held notes would gradually become inaudible as well, their-overtones would continue to lend a resonance to the upper voices. On the accordion, however, sustaining these tones would simply obscure the.texture. A quite striking aspect of Petric's interpretation of these Suites is his use of the "bebung", a clavichord technique equivalent to the vibrato of string instruments. The effect, reminiscent of an unexpected intrusion by a harmonica, is a bit startling at first. The Second and Sixth of C.P.E. Bach's Prussian Sonatas that complement this recital entail few such compromises. The younger Bach's rich palette of rhythmic ideas and delightfully capricious melodic profiles prove considerably more idiomatic to the accordion, and to Petric's characteristically fluid phrasing, than his father's more abstract vision. Chris Paul Harman Various Artists Centrediscs CMCCD7201 Chris Paul Harman's music has long been col- tal. colours and textures. That music was a gift lected by those who tape radio broadcasts. This of great joy and playfulness for this composer is CD fills a gap for many of us, with four pieces abundantly and palpably clear. that span the composer's output from 1992 to The thoughtful programming of this CD is ex- 2000. cellent. The first track, Skyling (1980) for small Globus Hystericus (1992) is wonderfully instrumental ensemble, sets a compelling tone played by Christina Petrowska-Quilico. This was with its threads of colour and rhythm playfully the imposed piece at the 1993 CBC National · interwoven over a pulsating inner core. Competition for Young Performers, and the Columbus (1988) makes a dramatic contrast, piano is richer sounding in this recording than in with its ominous introductory 'dance macabre', those 1993 broadcasts. a subtle scent of boogie-woogie and some Theme and Variations, a 1993 commission for mellifluous post-modern hocket for bass clarinet the Pierrot Ensemble, and Procession Burleske, and string bass. Completing the disc are the a 1998 commission for the SMCQ, are pieces mischievous and witty two"movementAnimated for ensembles as large as eleven players. They Shorts, and four-movement In Paradisum with are performed here with spirited conviction by its electricity-charged first movement and Continuum, conducted by Rose Thomson. humorous homage to Kurt Weill in the third. · Midnight with the Stars and You was a 1999 Thank you, Michael J. Baker, for the music; commission by Steven Clarke and Mark Sabat, and thank you, Artifact, for this glittering meand this piano and violin duo are the musicians mento. I will enjoy this disc many times, and I on the CD. You couldn't ask for a better inter- hope many others do too. pretation. Alison Melville The recording, by the legendary team of David Jaeger and "Stretch" Quinney, was done in the superb acoustic of Toronto's Church of St. Martin in-the-Fields. Radio Documentaries by Glenn Gould Pablo Casals & Leopold Stokowski Despite a few minor flaws (an edit point in CBC Records PSCD2025-2 (2 CD) the final piece that is less than transparent; the extensive annotations by the composer should narrower columns as the tiny type, in both official languages, is di,fficult to read; and the black print on the outside jacket fades into the dark violet background image, where other overlays in bright hues would better suit the design), this portrait of 2001 Jules Leger Prize winner Chris Paul Harman is one to treasure. John S. Gray In Paradisum - The Music of Michael J. 'Baker . Classical music lovers have a long anticipated Toronto Dance Theatre ensemble; Arraymusic Michael J. Baker, conductor Artifact Music ART 026 With the death of Michael J. Baker in September 2000, Canadian music lost one of its most cheerful voices, and the dance world lost a remarkable musical collaborator. This CD offers a variety of Michael's instrumental compositions, originally presented with- dance, in a program of four works expertly performed by musicians from Toronto Dance Theatre and Arraymusic, and recorded at different times during the composer's career. This CD made mai;iy pleasurable impressions upon me, the two most striking being Michael's great ease with the physical sensuality of sound, and his great sense of adventure with instrumengift waiting for them with the release of remastered versions of Glenn Gould's · documentaries on Leopold Stokowski and Pablo Casals. Under Gould's silent guidance Stokowski and a cast of Casals supporters reflect on the philosophical convictions of these two monumental figures. Among Stokowski's insights that I thought were particularly striking was the exacting sense of his place in the universe around him, his summaries of what made Ives and Shostakovich _truly original musical creators, and his participation in pioneering sound recording research. Gould's poetic compositional sense allows Stokowski's reflections to run like a solo voice through a self-referential orchestral tapestry. With a natural ease there is a sonatalike shape to the documentary that works successfully as both music and biographical documentary. Th~ approach to Casals' life is different in that it contains a carefully coordinated ensemble of viewpoints expressed from friends and supporters that give not only insight on Casals' views of music but document some of the prevailing attitudes of classical musicians of the Twentieth Century. Such discussion could not avoid the topic of Twentieth Century music of which Casals was not very fond. For him it 58 Wholenote DECEMBER ·1, 2001 - JANUARY 31, 2002

TREAT YOURSELF TO A COOL YULE!!!! THE TIMMINS YOUTH SINGERS THE TIMMINS CONCERT SINGERS Rosanne Simunovic, Founder-Conductor www.christmascd.ta · Timmins Youth Singers Patricia O'Callaghan & Kevin Closs Live performances from 1984 - 2000 professionally re­ . mastered and featuring the Timmins Youth Singers & Timmins Concert Singers with special perfonnances by: Cats Stars Greg Bond & Larry Herbert Cabaret Star Patricia O'Callaghan . Phantom Of The Opera Stars Gregory Cross & Paul Massei, Stratford Festival Star Henry Ingram A Cappella Pop Sensations the Essentials The Timmins Concert Singers The Timmins Symphony Orchestral Ensemble Featuring seasonal music arranged and co~ducted by Canadian conductor,,Howard Cable DECEMBER 1, 2001 - JANUARY 31, 2002 Wholenote 59

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