This new release from Centrediscs sion in rondo form and flows quite proffers samples of the abundant har- nicely into the late Norman vest of Canadian music accordionist Symonds' masterful El Duo, which Joseph Petric has cultivated over the delivers the energy Arcuri pro~ises course of his·career. Since his first but never quite delivers. Symqnd's commission in 1977 (from yours artful colloquy draws superb ensemcruly), he has enhanced the interna~ ble playing from both Petric and tional accordion repertoire with over master marimbist Bob Becker. a hundred new works. My only C
a member of a counterculture. Walter Boudreau is a freak. Not because of his careful rejection of superficial composerly posturing. Not because of those damned red shoes, the sunglasses and shortpanted chicken legs on the cover, and not because of the title logo that looks as though it could have been lifted from a roadside Steak House. It's because in this eclectic, spirited collection of compositions spanning the period between 1978 and 1991, he so skillfully and shamelessly revels in his convoluted cultural lineage. His studied reconciliation of Eu ropean musical precedents, the sig- rary art music rhetoric, and the confrontation of weighty religious symbolism in a distant, agnostic context make for complicated and frictional subject-matter, yet Boudreau approaches them with commitment and sincerity. The results are difficult, sometimes beguiling, and simultaneously vivid, animated, and engaging. The "problem" is that identifying these topics and their successful involvement in his work prominently weaves the composer into the fabric ofpost-1960's Quebec musical life. As a result, the four pieces on this recording resonate with many of the influences and issues of the time and place, making Boudreau not freakish, eccentric, or irregular at all, but considerably aware, museful, and reflective, Paul Steenhuisen Alexina Louie - Music for a Thousand Autumns Various artists Centrediscs CMCCD 7902 This disc is an excellent cross-secnificant timbral influence and some- tion of chamber works by Alexina times meandering nature of l 970's , Louie. Composed over the last two Progressive Rock in a contempo- decades, the four pieces on this disc open a wide window on this Toronto composer's mysterious and evocative world - at times delicate and subtle, at others harsh and brutal. At her best, Louie works a kind of magic, The piano quintet Music from Night's Edge is a beautiful piece, filled with a kind of fleeting lyricism, lush textures and even a touch of whimsy. Music for A Thousand Autumns for twelve players is also a fascinating composition - all trilling woodwinds, slithering strings and jangling percussion. But at times Louie's preoccupation with orchestration seems to get the better of her. In Demon Gate has an annoying way of co-existing alongside some her richest music: the beginning of her string quartet Denouement is dynamic and engaging, but by its end it has grown rather sparse, Two of these compositions, Music from Night's Edge and Denouement, feature the Accordes String quartet (in the first work they are joined by pianist Lydia Wong). Here, playing is balanced and sensitive, although the performers might have "dug in" a bit more at times. The members of Toronto's Esprit Orchestra, performing the other two pieces, are not so shy. Under the direction of Louie's husband, Alex Pauk, they offer bold, dramatic interpretations. Bravo to Centrediscs for this well produced, well programmed recording! Colin Eatock The Modern Cello: Nocturnal Dances of Don Juan Quixote I Musici de Montreal Yuli Turovsky, cello/director Chandos CHAN 9973 (also for twelve players) there's lots of colour, but beyond that, the mu- This, the fortieth release from celsical ideas are thin. This tendency list Yuri Turovsky's excellent string
Don't mi~s ,fois , powerhouJe barit
Illustration by Emmanuel Lopez www.
COVER STORY " Dare to forget" Pierr