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Volume 8 Issue 10 - July/August 2003

  • Text
  • Festival
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • August
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Concerts
  • Arts
  • Quartet
  • Bach

Geoff Keezer (sorry, the

Geoff Keezer (sorry, the label calls him Geoffrey) is certainly among · the best-prepared younger jazz pianists around (he's in his early 30s), and why he hasn't leaped to the top of the pile of active players is beyond me. He has everything needed for success, including a sense of jazz history which has led him to a wonderful new support of Heritage Canada, sets out to redress the deplorable lack of compact disc recordings of Canadian concert repertoire and the series is projected to include 30 of our most illustrious creators. The most recent crop of discs, three of the five originally scheduled for Mayrelease,includestributestoGilles Tremblay, John Beckwith and Talivaldis Kenins. To follow later this season are portraits of Barbara Pent­ land and Norma Beecroft. Also to follow, one hopes, is another CBC companion set in the "Ovation" series, relea~e. ''Sublime-Honoring The Music of Hank Jones" finds Keezerinthepotentcompanyof4 keyboaid colleagues paying tribute to master pianist Jones' oftoverlooked compositional abilities. Of the ten tracks, eight are duets with Keezer sharing tJ:e stage with Kenny Barron, Chick. Co~ea, . providing an additional disc's worth Benny Green and Mulgrew Miller of the more "listener-friendly" music for two. ~unes each. . . of each of the composers. Geo ft has qune a bit of expen- The discs in hand explore the·varied ence playing piano duets (a little- careers of three important pedagogues knownjazztraditionthatgoes 'way who have all made outstanding back'), and is ·very comfortable contributions to music, and to the here; not taking a back seat to understanding of music, in Canada. anyone. Each. ~f his partners As in the previous volumes, each bnhgs out a d1tte:ent aspec~ of composer is represented by an hour­ Keezef s. talent: thmgs get a ht~le long documentary and an additional disc spacey with Corea; fingers fly with of concert repertoire, drawn mostly Green; joyfully intense with from the archives of the CBC. Barron; and relaxed and jaunty I note a couple of important with Miller, ~ith whom Keezer developments in the current offerings: has the most history. the participants in the documentaries You have noticed that I've not are all identified in more extensive liner mentioned any tune titles: that's notes as are the musical selections because, unless you're the world's used 'and more effort has been made greatest Hank Jones fan, you likely to i~clude previously unreleased won't know ·any of them. That'll material in the accompanying discs. change when you listen to this Notable cases in point are Gilles Tremlovely record, over and over. blay's choral workL 'espace du coeur Ted O'Reilly and his first venture into the string quartet genre, Croissant, and Beckwith' s Synthetic Trios, an abstract CANADIAN COMPOSER PORTRAITS! work for soprano, clarinet and piano, Gilles Trembly and Stacey, a recent song cycle Centredsics CMCCD 9003 composed in memory of the late Lois John Beckwith Marshall on texts by Margaret Centrediscs CMCCD 9103 Laurence. Unfortunately Talivaldis Kenins, Talivaldis Kenins Canada's greatest symphonist, is not Centrediscs CMCCD 9403 given the same honour. Many would It has been exactly one year since be surprised to learn that Canada can we noted in this column the release boast of a composer who has written of the first 5 volumes in the Canadian eight full-scale symphonies. The most Composer Portraits series. recent dates from 1986, on commis­ This ambitious project, undertaken sion from the Latvian Festival and the by the Canadian Music Centre in Ontario Arts Council. With the partnership with the CBC and the resources of Roy Thomson Hall at his disposal for the performance, Kenins of the work, we are only allowed to decided to take full advantage of the hear the closing minutes of this opportunity and wrote Canada's first "ultimate" statement. Thankfully we "Organ Symphony". Given the fact are granted the entirety of his Sy111- that the recording credit goes to the phony No.4, in many people's opin­ Latvian Festival rather than the CBC, ion his finest creation, along with it is easy to assume that this majestic several significant chamber works. work has not yet been heard on the While the 'discs devoted to the airwaves in this country. More's the music of each of the composers are shame then that we are only treated in some way the raison d'etre of the to a snippet of it in the midst of the series, upon repeated listenings I am documentary. And with the recent more and more convinced that the re-opening of the newly renovated true importance of this initiative lies RTH I would point out that Toronto in the "portraits" themselves: the ex­ (and the TSO) missed a marvelous cellent documentaries prepared by opportunity to remount this producerEitanComfield. ltisthanks remarkable work. A similar case in to his dedication and devotion that point is the composer's self-pro- the immense contributions ofour mu-' claimed final (large) work, a forty- . sical "pioneers" now have the pos-· minute nonet entitled l 'Ultima Sin- sibility of being passed on to future fonia (1993). While we are given generations. Kenin's opinion of the importance David Olds www.artifactmusic.com hear soundbites I order online NEW RELEASE ART-02a Gathered Evidence gathered evidence " infinitely charming" Toronto Star The Music of Peter Hatch featuring the Penderecki String Quartet, the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, Cynthia Heibert ALSO AVAILABLE FROM PETER HATCH ART-011 Mildred's Thoughts "a total delight, highly recommended" Sunday Herald ART-023 PHH!K electronica by Hannan and 44 www.thewholenote.com July 1 - Sept 7 2003

t-,_---~------·~-~--~------,~---~~---~- ! t ~ I ! tickets: 1 800 567 1600 :!ft Ben Heppner, tenor, 50th Anniversary Salute to Glenn Gould, Ullrich Bohme, organist, St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, Oslo String Quartet, Norway, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Mary Lou Fallis, Soprano, After-theatre cabaret: Stars of the Stratford Festival Salute Broadway, James Westman, baritone, Christopher Dawes, organ, Ian Parker, piano, Cape Breton Symphony, Ballybogs, Robert Gleadow, bass, Peter Tiefenbach as J.S. Bach, Young People's Programming, Summer Music Organ Academy 0 Please send me a FREE copy of your New Brochure! ______ Postal Code: ____ _ Fax this form to: 905-415-7538 Visit our website at: www.city.markham.on.ca Drop this off at our Box Office: 171 Town Centre Boulevard, Markham, Ontario L3R SGS Box Office hours: Monday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check website for concert details. Programming subject to change. www.stratfordsummermusic.ca

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