7 years ago

Volume 8 Issue 4 - December 2002/January 2003

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. the genre. They

. the genre. They combine the wit and simple charm of music of the mid to late l 8 1 h century, with a spontai;ieously virtuoj>ic spirit. This new CD of Haydn concertos from Pacific Baroque Orchestra, on original instruments, features the talents ofviqlinist Marc Destrube, the founder of the orchestra. His bold and daring solo playing recommends this disc. In the three con,certos, all written in the early 1760s, the solo violin ; weaves in and out of the string orchestra ·texture, at times joi'ning the stream, then playing elaborate variations on the thematic material. As ~on Rabin points out in the informative liner notes, there are definite connections between these pieces .and Haydn's early sinfonia concer.tante symphonies ("Le Midi" and "Le Matin"). The solo performa,nces on the disc are poised ~nd polished. My one • criticism is of a certain lack of attention to detail in the orchestral playing. The wonder of the music of Haydn i·s. in the details and, to my ear, the trills, turns and other curly-cues are played . in a lackluster fashion, robbing the music of its sheen. in. the end, though, Destrube's playing carries 'the day and makes a strong argument for a more frequent inclusion of these pieces on concert programs - less Bruch, more Haydn! What Goes Around Dave Holland Big Band ECM 1777 Larry Beckwith more about using the totality of my experience as a player. Something Sam Rivers said a long time ago has stayed with me: 'Don't leave anything out, use it all.' Th1H's. become almost a mantra for me over the years as I've tried to find a way to build a vehiclejwhich lets me utilize the full spectrum which includes the tradition, . which includes playing the blues, which includes improvising freely .. I love all that music, and there's been a desire to reconcile all those areas, to rriake them relevant, hopefully, in a contemporary context, as one music." I can't put it any better than that. Jim Galloway in the pianissimo passages .. However, it is her performance of the Liszt Sonata that makes this disc so outstanding. It is worthy of repeated listenings. David Frost's production in the Weston Recital Hall in North York is warm ;md generally pleasing. The colorful booklet has Alan Gilmor's well-researched notes, which compete for our attention with several photos, both of Cole (in two different outfits and hairdo's) and the piano itself as fashion 'object. Highly recommended. WORTH RE PEA Tl NG Naida Cole Reflections Ravel, Bartok and Liszt .The Last Concert Decca 2894724642 · Rosemary Clooney with the For many years now my most Honolulu Symphony Pops cherished recording of the Liszt B. · Concord CCD 2166-2 minor Sonata has been a scratchy The story behind this CD is . old vinyl LP on an obscure fascinating enough that I jumped at European label featuring the crusty the chance to review it. Rosemary pianist Francis Barpberger. And Clooney's pc;rformance on suddenly;hereisNaidaCole'snew Novembe; 16, 2001. with the Dave Holland has managed to disc on Decca. Such a spectacular · Honolulu Pops was r\!corded as a maintain a creative fire throughout 'pianist! , . . demo to get a recording contract a career full of highlights. This Cole seems to .have made the for the orchestra. As · fate would , latest offering is, you might say, switch from Deutche Grammophon have it, it was her last concert the Dave Holland Quintet plus to Decca wi~hout missing a beat, appearance. It's fortunate that it eight. The regular~ are there - and with her second Decca release, was recorded . well enough for Chris Potter, Robin Eubanks, Steve tackles mighty repertoire with commerc\al release, since it would Nelson and ' Billy Kilson, and appaterit ease. Ravel's Miroirs is be a shame not to hear Rosemary Holland has expanded this to a 13 the perfect opening to the Clooney for one last time. piece unit playing h'is own programme. All five pieces are compositions and arrangements. If given sensitive treatments, without you are at all interested in undue emphasis on the popular contemporary big band music, this warhorse Alborda del gracioso. CD is well worth repeated The eight pieces from Bartok's listening. Npt essentially melodic Op. 20 Improvisations (on Hunthemes, but rather layers of shapes garian peasant songs) contrast and colours, some great soloists nicely with the Ravel. Cole's and all wonderfully held in place playing is beyond reproach, but I by Holland and ·drummer Billy hear some harshness from the CF3 Kilson. Yamaha that she professes to Dave was quoted a few years prefer. The sensitive microphone ago as foliows: "One of the things placement also picks up the souµd that's happening to me as I get of the dampers lifting from the ,older is that I'm thinking more and · strings, which is quite distracting The CD, as with most of her Concord recording over the past decade features material from what is now usually referred to as ."The Great American Songbook". In other words, standards from l Broadway shows and movies over . the period from about the twenties to the sixties. The sound ofClooney's voice is · warm and comforting, and her pitch is still accurate and unwavering. The !Jacking of the Honolulu Pops and the Copa Cat Pack band is lush withoµt being overwhelming. My only caveat: the total time of John Gray · the recording is just under fortyfive minutes, including the four and a half minute instrumental. overture. I'm sure though that fans of Rosemary Clooney will not be disappointed by the brevity, since the music is so enjoyable .. Merlin Williams The lndispensabfo: 1972-2002 Stringband NICK 10 (Independent, 2 CDs) From Gary Cristall's introductory essay . "There's some played harder, and there's some played smarter, but nobody played like IDhe :tlusir . a!qamher 2' 7 Danforth Ave. (416) 406-1641 Newand Used Classical and Jazz CDs " ·Ya· t; Sheet Music, S~rings, Reeds {j .. Giftsand ) ~ Gift Cerlificates ~J • i Used Books L\U 62

you" you'd likely remember only a few things: that Stringband's principal songwriter Bob Bassin most often met his muse under the ' influence of LSD; that he and his singing partnet Marie-Lynn Hammond never. really liked each other. very much; and most , surprisingly, that the band's singing members were not talented enough · to attract and keep a real "musician" in the fiddle-player slot. (Well, if you were reading the essay's.title, then you'd remember one more thing: Brnisin's gift for the mysteriously resonant lyric.) And yet, there's something completely clear about what Canadian culture . meant to Stringband, and vice versa: Consider jus,t the metaphorical implications of the group's two founding "nations," an Anglophone guy from Toronto, who's held the balance of power for thirty years, and a smart, funny, cultured, bilingual woman who sings passionately and beautifully. l;d say thatthe,album lives up to its name; and that's no mean feat. There's such a bles'sed, ·great variety, right from the first track of the first CD, which features Stan · Rogers' inimitable voice as a surprise guest (in Tugboats). Not that everything is dedicated to sentimental memories, as the lyric "Singin' 'bout the old times, livin' in the new" (from Daddy was a Ballplayer) suggests. Tell your local library to buy this, so that normal Canadians can stumble across their own history, and have a hot time listening while doing so. I , Alan Gasser Opera Explained I Classics Explained Naxos These two series set out to· explain classical music and opera to the layman and do a splendid job of it. Written by Th.omas Smillie and narrated by David Timson, the "Opera Explained" series devotes a CD each to operas such as The Barb~r of Sevill~, Carmen, La A sophisticated blend' df freshly interpreted traditional favourites and rare new Canadian gems, all presented with the quintet's unique style and dazzling musicianship. Available at larger retail outlets. Distributed by SRI. Mail-orders by Touchbass:, 1-800 - 298- 6824. CDs and sheet music available at CDs also available at 1 LEs GRANDS AIRS DE Non CHRISTMAS' GREATEST SONGS

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