8 years ago

Volume 7 Issue 9 - June 2002

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • Festival
  • Jazz
  • Theatre
  • Choral
  • Choir
  • Orchestra
  • Arts
  • Symphony
  • August

. This exquisite disc is

. This exquisite disc is not just for those who love renaissance polyphony. Complimented by Van Nevel 's impassioned and erudite liner notes, it makes an ideal introduction to renaissance music for those yet to be captivated. ' Pamela Margles Concert Note: Conductor Paul Van Nevel brings the Huelgas Ensemble to the Toronto International Choral Festival on Tuesday, June 11 at 8:00, when they perform at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. . . Ralph Vaughan Williams· Mass in G mipor The Elora Festival Singers; Noel Edison 'Naxos 8.554826 DISCOVERIES Concert Note: Noel Edison conducts the Elora Festival Singers and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in a program o_f"Schubert, Martinu and Bruckner on June 18 at the Cathedral of the Transfiguration in Markham as part of the Toronto International Choral Festival. J.S. Bach - Motets Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, I vars Taurins, conductor Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra CBC Records MVCD 1136 Through the six of Bach's surviving motets, we ·are able to experience a broad range of sty Jes, from the traditional German chorale, to the relatively modern Italian concerto·form. These There's a variety of choral works on this issue, pieces also present such a varied representati_on both a cappella and accompanied by organ: a of the composer's almost mystical ability to mass, 5 motets, imbue the text with such strong emotive power ananthemanda that it cuts straight to the heart of the listene.r. hymn setting. And what a range of emotions - from the most Upon seeing the devastating suffering ·imaginable to the most disc I thought exuberant joy, to the most deep and reverent the Mass in G gratitude. Asaresult,Bach'smotetsareagreat minor was the challenge to sing with the required sensitivitymain fare and an ever-changing landscape from declamation the motets sim- to the lightness of dance-like rhythms to fugal ply chosen as passages that demand a vocal agility not always L_ ___ ~ ______, complementary easy to coordinate in a choir. Distinguished works to increase the playing time of the disc. conductor Philippe Herreweghe has written that As it turns out, they are the real gems here with these motets are "fearsomely difficult to perform". VW truly in his element, bringing his experience I vars Taurins and the Tafelmusik Chamber with folk songs to the fore. These are very inviting Choir certainly stand up to the test in this CD works, uncomplicated, direct yet dignified. recorded at Humbercrest United Church in Written as an uncommissioned labour oflove, Toronto. With a mixture oflightness, clarity and the Mass in G minor was inspired by the revival intensity, and superb vocal technique they of Catholic polyphony in England initiated by manage to convey the varied moods that Bach Richard Terry. The choir's sensitive reading so skillfully achieved in his compositions. And, conveys a tremendous Sense of spirituality. The as always, the. members of the Tafelmusik dynamics range widely and impressively but are Baroque Orchestra provide the most sensitive never bombastic or theatrical. accompaniment, with strings and winds often With the exception of the Mass, which is in · accompanying vpcal lines ... Latin, all the works are sung in English with the Dianne Wells (excerpted words clearly decipherable thanks to the group's from October 2001 DISCoveries) fine diction. Excellent intonation is evident throughout and noticeable is the expert blendi_ng Concert Note: Tafelmusik Chamber Choir of voices thanks to Noel Edison who manages and Orchestra perform Bach's Motets on June to make solos prominent but not at the expense 20 at the George Weston Recital Hall as part of the other parts. of the Toronto International Choral Festival. Naxos has captured the group's natural sound in churches in Toronto and Elora without the · overpowering reverberation sometimes associated with such venues. As attested to in this recording, the Elora Festival Singers is definitely a choral group to be reckoned with. Antonio Casciano Toutakoosticks Stephane Huchard Blue Note Stephane Huchard, drums; Remy Vignola, acoustic bass; Pierre de Bethmann, piano; Stephane Guillaume, sax/flute/clarinet; Nicolas Folmer, trumpet/flugelhorn. This is a brand new re- . lease featuring a group from France perhaps unfamiliar to most readers, but well worth investigating. Led by drummer Huchard the band is very together with tight ensemble work and lots of excitement in the solo department. The albµm has, not surprisingly, already been released and well reviewed in France, where H uchard is one of the current crop of "name" drummers. Bebop influences - fusion overtones, some extremely musical drumming from leader Huchard and very strong soloists make up the ingredients. Right from the start with the moody, atmospheric feel of ?.arbi Street, the music grabs attention and sustains it throughout the CD. At times the band sounds like an extension of the classic Horace Silver school of jazz with its classic two·horns and rhythm section format. ·Stand out tracks? The aforementioned Zarbi Street and Mrs. Cartoon. This latter is something of a tour de force for the leader and Stephane Guillaume on flute who plays a blistering solo followed by pianist Pierre de Bethmann lulling1the listener briefly into a mood change before picking up the challenge and the tempo, taking the album to a flying finish. This is a hot band, well rehearsed and full of challengin,g listening Jim Galloway Concert Note:' You can check the band out on June 21st 5:00 p.m. at Natharz ~hillips Square where they celebrate the annual French celebration, Fete de la Musique, as part of Toronto Downtown Jazz. The CD will be there too! Not for Nothing (2001); Prime Directive (1999); Points of View (1998) Dave Holland Quintet ECM 1758; ECM 1698; ECM 1663 The Jazz Journalists Association voted the Dave Holland Quintet as the best small ensemble _in jazz, and Holland the best acoustic bassist, for the year 2001. Those were also the choices on my 46 June 1 - July 7 2002

allot. The Downbeat Critics Poll concurred in naming the Quintet the best ensemble in jazz, and Holland the best bassist for the third year in a row. We will have the privilege and excitement of hearing them at this year's Downtown Jazz Festival. Formed in 1997, with Robin Eubanks on trombone, Steve.Nelson on vibraphone and marimba, Billy Kilson on drums, and Steve Wilson on alto and soprano saxes, the group's composition has stayed constant except for the brilliant young Chris Potter on soprano, alto and tenor saxes replacing Wilson. Holland's quintet is on the road all the time, performing in clubs and concert halls on every continent, and getting tighter and tighter in the process: The three CDs under review form a set that documents the process and the impressive DISCOVERIES results. Points of View, the earliest disc, is wonderful, and the next two even more so. · The driving force, literally, is Holland's highly rhythmic mastery of the whole spectrum of contemporary jazz styles: from big band to bop to free jazz and "free funk and m-base," which involve tonally free improvisation over funky beats. At the age of 56, he's quite literally done it all. Holland's philosophy is "use everything." Eubanks and Potter are similarly versatile. They are b.alanced by Nelson's mainstream bop comping on the vibes. Kilson is so endlessly innovative and individualistic that his drumming style should just be called 'Kilson." I'd call their playing "stretched bop." They like playing swinging, accessible mu·sic that incorporates innovations from the "out" side of the jazz divide. My favourite moments are when the trombonist and saxophonist improvise against each other within a swirling rhythmic and tonal framework created by the three others. The jazz excitement meter is right at the end of the dial. Phil Ehrensaft NEWAND RECENT RELEASES Liszt: Works for Piano and Orchestra, Vol. 3 Louis Lortie Residentie Orchestra The Hague; George Pehlivanian Chandos CHAN 9918

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