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6 years ago

Volume 8 Issue 4 - December 2002/January 2003

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • December
  • Jazz
  • January
  • Theatre
  • Symphony
  • February
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  • Musical
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Boheme, Madama

Boheme, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Rigoletto, and La Traviata. Histories of the compositions, socio-cultural .milieu, synopses, and musical elements are explained in interesting detail and related to musical highlights from the works In a highly accessible manner. The instrumental series, "Cla~sics Explained" is written and narrated by Jeremy Siepmann, and includes Bach's Brandenburg Concertos· Nos.4 & 5, Beethoven's Symphony No.6 "Pastoral". and Brahms' Piano Concerto No.2.· For D,vorak's ,Symphony No.9 "From the New World",. a blow-by-blow account is given of the structure and musical devices of each movement along with the related musical e?tracts. At the end of each analysis, the movement is · then presented uninterrupted in its entirety. Along with. the recording is a substantial booklet with historical background, composer biography and analysis followed by a layman's detailed guide to the symphony, how to listen, basic forrris of music and a glossary of terms. In short, quite the musical education for a modest price! Dianne Wells INDIE LIST Fiddl~song Anne Lederman Falcon Productions FPOOS (www.AnneLederman.com) Well, this is a pretty Canadian disc ... it opens with a full-throated Celtic keen accompanied by a throbbing fiddle drone. But wait, that's not a bodhran! Vocalist, pianist and fiddle-player Anne Lederman, who has spent time working in South Africa, has assembled some fine African musicians such as Njacko Backo and Kwazi Dunjo along with more predictable collaborators for a CD that celebrates traditional Canadian fiddle influences - especially those from Metis and Franco- · Manitoban territory - but also explores fusion with African rhythms and forms. The most fully elaborated example of this experimentation is the four-parr African Suite, which opens with a Master. Drummer's caH and plays with fiddle riffs and African percussion, all worked out around the Ghanaian Otofo rhythm. But fans of straight-up traditional fiddle will also find lots to enjoy in this lively and varied collectfon. Sarah B. Hood excellent final · track is the only contemporary song; a recent Yiddish poem provides" lyrics about a jazz saxophonist blowing away in a New York subway station. I'd love to hear a future· Tova CD centred on new songs as good as· this one. · Philip Ehrensaft Visions Timothy Minthorn Toreador TRCD021-2 In this, his apt follow-up to 1999's Tidal Storm, jazz pianist Tiinothy Mirithorn launches into the strident Tova Live at The Top 0' The Blue Generat(on, beginning a series Senator of seven self-penned · works that are Theresa Tova scattered across the track list. Tova E;ntertainment (available Interspersed are three 1· azz from www .theresatova.com interpolations of well-known af.ld Indiepool, 888-884-6343) works: Bach's c major PreludJ Classy", j0azzy, and deliciously BWV846, Cole Porter's What is sensuous cabaret/Broadway singing This Thing Called Love~ and · are terms that first come to mind Rodgers & Hart's My Funny when listening to Theresa Tova's Valentlne. . second CD. I was fortunate to Minthorn's Visions, secondofthe attend the final recording session set, is a dreamy ten-minute long G­ and thoroughly enjoyed reliving the minor tone .poem in the spirit of experience, She was backed by a Richie Beirach and/or seventiesjazz quartet including Alex Dean era Keith Jarrett, a very effective and Steve ·Wallace, two of essay in the genre. Mean Solar · Toronto's master improvisers. Tova Days is outstanding with its placid interleaves her two·musical worlds statement in simple harmonic· of Broadway and the current language, and..:pensive space renai~sance of Yiddish culture, between phrases. , with some beautifully voiced The works were recorded here· French lyrics thrown into the in Toronto in a small studio using a . ·mix. You'll hear why Tova holds modest six-foot grand piano. - her own during forays into New Through most of this CD the pianist York's Darwinian music world. · was· careful not to overstep the Nine of the twelve tracks are limitatiO!lS of the instrument. The· classics from the interwar goiden exception to this, Perpetual Motion age of musical theatre and, with an Machine, reaches for 'the top of the entirely apt turn, three are belted dynamic range, with lowest-octave out in Yid.dish. Much of growls, just begging for a chance Br6adway's· great music was to be played on a big ftine-footer. created by Jewish songsmiths Minthorn himself was the taking their talents upt'Dwn into producer, which paid off. The mainstream America. The jazzy overall sounq is open and inviting. arrangements are. also apt: jazz The clever tri:fold insert is musicians leapt and still leap oil the printed in just 3 colours. The harmonic possibilities of'Broadway· c;omposer gives just a single classics; jazz was a natural magnet paragraph with clues to the origins to Jewish musicians like Benny of the recording, and each piece Goodman who grew up with merits only a line or two, in place improvised Klezmer music; and of the expected in-depth notations. Duke Ellington transmuted Yiddish Buy it for.the music. music into "oriental foxtrots." An John Grey Dance of the Blessed Spirits Daniel Rubinoff & Christopher Dawes Carnival Records CCR-033 This is not the first time that classical saxophone and pipe org~n have Qeen paired up, and the combination of tone 'colours has already been proven to work well. The thing that makes Rubipoff & . Dawes' CD special is the choice of material. Instead of a program based on short, light classical and baroque pieces, or saxophone concerti with the orchestral parts transcribed for organ, Dance of the Blessed Spirits presents a wide yariety of music, from Baroque to contemporary Canadian. The opening track, Bozza.'s Chanson ii Bercer is one of the loveliest melodies I've ever heard · on lhe saxophone. Several other tracks, including Faun~'s Pavane and Schubert's Serenade serve as be! canto features for Rubinoff's alto saxopbone. The highpoint of this disc for me, however, is Canadian c·omposer . John Burge' s The Blues of a Chagall Window. The piece is quite intense, due to a harmonic palette featuring a liberal use of dissonance and an extremely wide dynamic range. I'd be surprised if this piece does not become part of the standard tlassical saxophone repertoire within a . few years. The order of the programming on this CD deserves special praise. The disc builds in intensity and complexity up to the Burge piece, and then the tension is finally released by the Sonata No. l for Saxophone and Organ by Quebec composer Denis Bedard. The last movement, Humoresque is a delightfully vaudevillian romp. Merlin Williams Lifetime Steve Koven Trio SKTCD4-0 Here's a mixed bag of ballads, blues and baja from a trio of local musicians. No strangers to the musical scene, this is their 4th CD 64 www.thewholenote.com December 1 2002 - February 7 2003

CANADIAN CO POSERS. centrediscs special edition PORTRAITS find it online at www.musiccentre.ca This series documents the last fifty years of Canadian composition. CD sets combine full-length . . ' documentaries on the composers' lives and music with an anthology of their most important wo(ks. Availab.le at seleGt record stores across Canada. or through the Canadian Music Centre Distribution Service. 20 St. Joseph Street. Toronto, ON, M4Y 2J9 N ~ Cl "' u ::::; u CENTRED!Scs " CE N. T R E, D l SQ U E S •' www.centrediscs.ca N 0 "' Cl . . u ::::; u for more information 416-961-6601 · www;thewholenote.com 65

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