7 years ago

Volume 8 Issue 1 - September 2002

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  • Toronto
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The best known is

The best known is Lachrimae Pavan by Dowland (on the charts for a full ce11tury), as set by Sweelinck. Crequillon's Languissans, je deplore · mes jours (arr. Merulo) is ano'ther hurtin' song, whereas Lass us' Bonjour mon coeur, set by exiled Peter Philips, is a well ~known love song. " ... my gentle little dove, my sparrow, my turtledove! Hail, my .sweet rebel". Some selections are theme and variation, seime are dance suite pieq:s, some are just arrangements, but all are varied and wonderful. We get a great deal of "noodlin~" (long, fancy threads of ornaments and jazzy playing around the notes of the themes), particularly in the Merulo pieces: Rachelle Taylor, performing on an 18th century Italian-style harpsichord by Yves Beaupre, does a fine job of holding these long and complex· lines together, and the music floats. There are tantalizing suspensions and subtle hesitations, . keeping a feeling of improvisation in the interpretation. \!AHLER Mahler - Symphony No.10 (reconstructed by Joe Wheeler) Polish Nat'! RSO; Robert Olson · NaX;OS 8.554811 Since 1965 when Columbia issued Ormandy's recording of Deryck Cooke's first performing versi~n DISCOVERIES some have wondered,, or questioned, how well Cooke had second guessed Mahler's final thoughts. Subsequently there have been four CDs of Cooke's third version, one recording each of two Retno Mazzelli versions, a Clinton Carpenter yersion (with a second imminent from Delos in their Mahler · cycle with Andrew Litton) and a Wheeler version from Robert Olson conducting Boulder's Mahlerfest Orchestra (which I've yet to hear). I haven't 1been convinced by any of the existing recordings, charitably hearing little more than ersatz Mahler. I seem to have been almost alone in being unmoved by the Concertgebouw's Cboke version in Thomson Hall last year. Could the audience have been applauding only the excellent performance? Nah! Curiously, Joseph Wheeler was working on his version while fellow Londoner Cooke was working on his, each unaware of the other. The need for time consuming scholarship and the people involved with Olson in the preparation of the Wheeler score Den Ciul used for this new recording are outlined in the comprehensive liner notes. Wheeler's orchestration, allocation of instruments, tempi, and hence the emotions, are often' significantly different from the other interpretations, particularly in the unsettling fifth movement. There can never be a definitive version but this one is very close. Ultimately, quite believable. All things considered, including Mahler's evolving perspectives, it is very possible that ' ' this score clbsely coincides with what Mahler wm,Ild have written. Bruce Surtees Arbiter Artifact Attacca Bridge CRI Donemus Metier Mode Montaigne .. NM Classics New Albion · New World Tall Poppies Gavin' Bryars - Three String Q'uartets The Lyric Quartet Black Box BBM1079 KevinVolans - Hunting': Gathering The Duke Quartet · Black Box BBM1069 · What are we to make of these brave postmodernists, England's Gavin Bryars and South Africa's Kevin Volans? To be stfre, they are fighting the Good Fight - tearing down the dogmas and strictures that left the ultra-modernist Boulezes and Stockhausens painted into a corner, writing nasty, alienated works the. world has little use for. The stri'ng quartets of these two composers 'reveal that they have much in common. Both write in a pleasant, euphonious style - although they clearly reserve the right to write "wrong notes" when they want to. And both favour simple, understated textures, together with a subtle, gradual approach to such things as texture, dynamics and phrasing. Much the same can be said of Bryars - although the English composer's sound palette seems a little , bland when placed next to Volans' African exoticisms. When he's being unabashedly lyrical - especially in his String Quartet No. 2 - Bryars succeeds admirably. But the extended tremolos, arpeggios and scalar passages that pervade all three of his quartets often lose their way and become static. · A,s for the two performing ensembles, both the' Duke Quartet (playing the Volans) and the Lyric Quartet (playing the Bryars) offer technically impressive .performances that show a thorough understanding of this 'music. They and the Blac.k Box label, which released these well-produced discs, deserve congratulations. Colin Eatock WORTH REPEATING Smoke Rings (23 original mono recordings 1930-1943) Glen (;ray and the Casa Loma Orchestra ASV Living Era CD AJA 5382 Pretty well everybody knows about Toronto's "castle", CasaLoma, but less ·familiar is the un.successful attempt to convert it into a luxury hotel/night club. A band named the "Orange Blossoms" was booked in­ ,to the Casa Loma Hotel on Labour ' Day 1927, but the club never· opened. The orchestra decided to What they don't always favour, · form a CO'operative group and however, is a clear sense of musical rename themselves the Casa Loma direction, In some ofVolans' works Orchestra in memorial. Regarded - such as his String Quartet No. 2, or the livelier movements of his as one of the first "swing" bands, String Quartet No. l, "White Man as early as 1929 (even though the term "swing" wasn't in general use Sleeps" - this approach can have an until 1935) they began playihg the engaging effect, rather like a carmixture of hot jazz and swee.t trip to nowhere in particular through ballads that would dominate the a delightfully changing landscape. But in others, such as his distended music industry in the late thirties. String Quartet No. 6,it can lead to Alto saxophonist Glen "Spike" Gray eventually fronted the band. an inert music that manages to be In 1933 and l 934, the group perboring and annoying at the same. formed on the "Camel .Caravan"' time. 50 September l - October 7 2002

DISCOVERIES making them the first swing band she is not same league as Xenakis, to be featured on a radio pro- Ligeti, Berio, Boulez, Stockhausen, gramme. Their theme song Smoke Kagel, or even Dusapin, in whose Rings, which opens this CD, was a company she is found here. Why not /natural for the show! Sofia Gubaidulina or Kaija Saariaho? Casa Loma Stomp has long been It is also curious to me that one of my favourite recordings. It Leandre' s tape composition is a true 'tour de force' and for hpmmage a j... and Jonathan precision playing-perhaps only the Harvey's Bhakti for orchestra and Jimmie Lunceford saxophone · tape· are the only. examples of section could top this one. Among electroacoustic music included. other up-tempo numbers, you might Where, for instance, are Pierre just find it hard to keep your feet Henry, the Group de recherches still as you listen to No Name Jive, musicales and the computer plus Black Jau, Blue Jau and White explorations of the IR CAM school; Jav.. The band's ballad strengths to mention some French are showcased in Blue Moon, When · achievements alone? I Grow Too Old To Dream and These reservations aside, from ' Heaven Can Wait. Some of the one century to_ the next. is a very leading vocalists of the day satisfying package. While most recorded with the Casa Loma tracks are selections from larger Orchestra and the contributions of works, the excerpts are thoughtfully Louis Armstrong, Mildred Bailey, done and carefully arranged to Connee Bos}Vell, Hoagy Car- provide more than three and a half michael, Lee Wiley et al add greatly hours of interesting, and at times to the enjoyment of this set of enlightening, listening. Drawing on superior recordings. An immensely the archives of Edel Records we hear popular band, with great musician- admirable, sometimes stunning, ship that helped pave the way for performances by such conductors as the swing era. Neumann (Mahler), Munch Jim Galloway (Debussy and Dutilleux), Masur (Shostakovich), Herbig (Schoenberg), Kegel (Webern and Berg), Boulez (Varese) and de Leeuw (Messiaen). From Montaigne's own catalogue we hear the Arditti · Quartet (who have recorded 38 discs for this label), the Ensemble Intercoµtemporain, the Schoenberg Ensemble and Montreal's Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. All in all this set provides not only an admirable introduction to the music of the 20"' century, but also to an enterprising label which has D'un siecle a l'autre (from one dozens .of contemporary titles in its century to the next) catalogue that are otherwise Various artists unavailable. Well worth the modest Montaigne naive MO 782096 (3 investment. CDs) David Olds With this collection of reissued recordings the Montaigne "naive" label sets out to paint a portrait of the 20"' century through music. It is a Euro centric vision of the century, The Best of The Rosenberg Trio Polydor 2 CDs 589-332-2 and more particularly a F,rench one, In the world of Gypsy Jazz, many a , which may explain the absence of· child prodigy has followed in the American minimalism. There are footsteps of Django Reinhardt: works by Charles Ives and Elliott Boulou Ferre, Bireli Lagrene, Fapy Carter, but where is John Cage? Lafertin and Stochelo Rosenbergare And where are the women? Everi a all bear witness to his amazing cursory survey of Canadian music influence, and there are surely of the past hundred years would more to come. Most of these include at least half a dozen women guitarists subsequently moved away composers. It's hard to imagine that from Hot Club music and tried their in the entire 20'h century there was hands at other styles, but not so The only one WO!llan worthy of note to Rosenberg Trio. Here are the this label, and more surprisingly, , Gypsy Kings of swing! that one is Joelle Leandre. Frarikly, Stochelo Rosenberg was born in career was spent playing in churches and gypsy camps all over Europe, becoming very famous but only within the gypsYcommunity. Their first CD, Seresta, was the breakthrough and they were soon .asked to play at jazz festivals all over the wor!O. This double CD package with material from 6 albums is a very good cross section of their music, with compositions by Reinhardt, a Gypsy camp in 1968 and when he Cole Porter, Sonny Roilins, George was about 10 years ·old started to Gershwin, Fats Waller and even play the guitar together with his Impression by John Coltrane. cousin Nous'che who is now Stephane Grappelli, who invited considered one of the best rhythm- them to play with him at Carnegie players in the world. Rounding out Hall to celebrate his 85th birthday, the trio is Nous''che's brother showsupon4numbers. Theplaying Nannie. The early part of their is nothing short of amazing·and it is P R E S E N T S Theatre o Early Musi directed by Daniel Tayl IN ITS FIRST RECORDIN DEVOTED TO THE CANTAT OF J.S. BACH . .. intense emotional impact ... Taylor shows astonishing control and ease. His pure and clear tone is here pet1ectly suit the instrumentalists are in total communion. - REPERTOIRE September 1 - October 7 2002

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