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Volume 8 Issue 6 - March 2003

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concert for the

concert for the enterprising W omen's Musical Club,. as well as Pavans by his predecessors Mico and Jenkins, is welcome. But was there not still room for the remaining ninth Fantazia in A minor, which would have completed the set? Pamela Margles Concert Note: The Women's Musical Club of Toronto presents the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet on Thursday, March 20, at 1 : 30 in Walter Hall, University of Toronto. Love Lorraine Desmarais; Frederic Alarie; Camil Belisle Les Disques Scherzo SCH-CD 1511 each of which pretty much contradicts the other. American and French romanticism, both classical and jazz, are definitely present. Desmarais has played mainstream, fusion, and free. The latter two sho,w up in her naughty interpretation of Cole Porter's I Love You. Though Desmarais can play any way she pleases, her preference is a nimble romanticism. Catch her performance in TO this month: /?hit Ehrensaft Concert note: Lorraine Desmarais is the invited guest pianist with bassist Michel Donato for the "Guido Basso with Strings" concert on March 21 at Glenn Gould Studio. After an M.A. in classical piano performance, Lorraine ' Desmarais went to New York in 1983 for private studies with Kenny Barron. She won the Yamaha Competition at the 1984 Festival de Jazz de Montreal and then opened ears south bf the border by winriing the Great American Piano Jazz Competition in 1986, the first non-American and first woman to do so. The culmination was an Oscar. Peterson Prize for best Moussorgsky: Pictures at an Canadian jazz musician at the 2002 Exhibition (orch. Ravel); Prelude FJM. Equally impressive is her ex- to Kb.ovanshchina (orch. Schostaemplary work in taking jazz to the kovich); Night on Bare Mountain grassroots, via. events like her solo (arr. Rimsky-Korsakov); lecture-concert tour, "The Evolution Gopak (orch. Lyadov) of Jazz Piano: From Ragtime to No Weiner Philharmoniker; Valery Time." Gergiev Love, her seventh CD, features the · Philips 468 526 2 PH long-standing trio of Desmarais, top There is no lack of fine recordings MontrealbassistAlarie,andBelisle's. of Moussorgsky's Pictures at an punctuated, musical drumming. Exhibition, but this thrilling interpre­ Five of the nine tracks are · tation by Russian Valery Gergiev, Desmarais's original compositions, surely one of the world's busiest three are standards and the final cut conductors, manages to stand out. is an improvisation based on Bach and Ravel orchestrated Moussorgsky's Gounod! Critics' reflections on her original piano score with exemplary music are a Rorschach test: I've skill and imagination: Avoiding the read observations that her music is obvious, he would find the most inspired by Gil Evans or Keith Jarrett exquisite solutions, such as unusual or McCoy Tyner or Chick Corea, combinations of instruments to,create new sounds. Each movement debut with the Montreal Symphony goes by very quickly. Gergiev Orchestra. After admission to the captures every new mood and char- Curtis Institute of Music when she acter, but still masterfully conveys was fourteen, this Montreal wunderthe over-all structure, tied together kind began graduate work at Juilliard by the recurring Promenade. while still a teenager. Chung's inter" Moussorgsky based this piece on national reputation rightly soared an exhibition of artworks by his friend when her 2001 recording of Ligeti 's Viktor Hartmann, whose early death daunting piano music (Dynamic CDS is mourned in Cum Mortuis in Lingua 358) received accolades from BBC Mortua, where he restates the Music Magazine, Repertoire and opening Promenade as a dirge. Their Fono Forum. She is now approachshared inspiration was Russian folk- ing the end of her second decade as lore and history. Moussorgsky owned a professional concert performer. some of Hartmann's pictures, four This wonderful new CD pairs some of which have-oeen reproduced in the of Scriabin's earliest romantic piano CD booklet, but many have been lost. music with his last revolutionary The Vienna Philharmonic whips compositions in 1915, the year of his through the intricacies of Limoges untimely death at the age of with both precision and poetry. The 43. Chung's mastery of his idiosynsoloists, like the plaintive saxophone cratic, complex take on Romanticism in Vecchio Castello and the evoca- gives us the starting point for the tive tuba in Bydlo, outdo each other entirely original, unorthodox musical in colourful characterizations. Ger- language that Scriabin created from giev animates Ravel's wonderful 1910 onwards. - orchestral effects like the glissandi George Perle d¥picts Scriabin as in Gnomus, or the splendid decre- the first composer "... to exploit scendo at the end of Catacombs, serial procedures systematically as which ends with the tam-tam rever- a means of compensating for the loss berating ominously. of traditional tonal functions." But The sound is clear and well this was only part of the landscape balanced, benefiting from the of Scriabin's advanced but highly immediacy ofa live recording. The accessible music. 'His 1915 solo. complementary pieces are well pieces ' were bellwethers for a chosen. More Moussorgsky means Russian avant-garde that :rivaled all the more reason to enjoy this disc . . Western Europe's in creativity, but Pamela Margles which wer.e to be literally erased by Concert Note: Gergiev and tfie Kiroy Orchestra perform at Roy Thomson Hall on Monday, March 24, when their program will include Moussorgsky'~ Exhibition. Pictures at an Alexander Scriabin: Piano Works Lucille Chung Dynamic CDS 4~6 (Distribution Pelleas) At the ripe old age often years, piano prodigy Lucille Chung made her Stalin. Chung's intellectual grasp of Scriabin's formal structures, her instincts for his intense tonal colors, and the virtuosity necessary to tackle his complexity lead us right into the poetry of Scriabin's music. Phil Ehrensaft Concert Note: Lucille Chung performs Brahms Piano Concerto' No. 1 with the Korean-Canadian Symphony Orchestra at the Toronto Centre for the Arts on March 29.

NEW RELEASES Chants sacres et profanes Tafehnusik Chamber Choir CBC Records MVCD 1155 Poulenc. Secondly, for the accompanied pieces, Stephen Ralls plays a 1901, Model "B" Bechstein piano, with an action and sound similar to one that would have been used by Gabriel Faure: Most of the selections on this recording are sacred works, with a mystical quality typical of the French Catholic focus on meditative prayer and contemplation on the suffertng of Christ. Tafelmusik's clarity and precision of tone demonstrate their skillful art in these often angular and dissonant a capella pieces, but one can't help !:mt feel a certain lack of passion and angst in the interpreta­ This recording marks a bold depar- tion that some of thinepertoire cries ture from the baroque and early out for, especially Poulenc's Qu

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