8 years ago

Volume 8 Issue 6 - March 2003

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Tango Song and Dance

Tango Song and Dance Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin Andre Previn or Lambert Orl

years. And it would be less than candid of me not to mention that I also serve as program editor for Toronto's New Music Concerts, which is presenting this month a 90th birthday tribute to this man who was so influential in the development of our musical heritage. The Centrediscs Portrait series is a long overdue sequel to the "blue box" series of discontinued vinyl pressings previously available on the Radio Canada International label and the existence of this new incarnation in the CD format is in large part due to the efforts ofWeinzweig himself: This set includes seven extended fragmentary dialogues of his 1976 brass quintet, Pieces of Five. The performances are of a consistently high qualicy, particularly those of the Orford Quartet in his Quartet No. 3 and Judy Loman' s powerful account of the masterful Conceno for Harp. As with the other Portraits in this series, a separate disc is devoted to a CBC sound documentary about the composer. Though the CBC has done wonders in re-mastering these recordings, the monaural sound of the Violin Concerto and the very close pick-up of the Orford Quartet remain painfully shrill. These works deserve new recordings, and it is a pity that the CBC does nothave the resources to commission them. Daniel Foley Concert Note: New Music Concerts celebrates John Weinzweig's 90th birthday with Pioneers! 0 Pioneers! on March 23 at Glenn Gould Studio. instrumental works that demonstrate . Osvaldo Go~jov: Yiddishbbuk the evolution ofWeinzweig's rheto- St. Lawrence String Quartet . ric from the romantic lyricism of the EMI CD 72435 57356-2 Violin Concerto of 1954 to the This' album, on which the St. Lawrence String Quartet is joined by the 'Ying Quartet, Todd Palmer (clarinets), Tara Helen O'Connor (flute) and. Mark Dresser (double bass), has received two separate nominations for the Grammy Awards in the United States and is up for 'a Juno in Canada. Although we have not heard every nominated .recording, there is little doubt that any album that scores higher in the respective categories would be wondrous indeed. Last Rowui, scored for double string quartet and double bass, is an intense and potent work that shows the influence of the bandoneon music of Golijov's compatriot, the late Astor Piazzolla. It is one of those rare pieces that immediately draw the listener in and keeps hold so as not to miss a note-an important composition that should enjoy a long life. lullaby and Doina are sad little nostalgic morsels which sound familiar even on first hearing. The spirit is early mid-20th century Jewish, but is it exuberant or prophetic? The answer may be in the pizzicato chord that closes the piece. Yiddishbbuk itself is a collection of three pieces, dedicated respectively to three children interned in the Terezin concentration camp, author Isaac Bashevis Singer and composer Leonard Bernstein. Finally, The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac The Blind for string quartet and clarinet. Isaac, the French cabalist who flourished in the twelfth and thirteenth century, adopted the theory of reincarnation (metempsychosis) and could tell ifa man's soul was old or new. Whether or not Golijov successfully called forth the old soul of the eccentric Isaac doesn't really matter, because the five-part suite is an easy listen no matter what the inspiration. Bruce Swtees

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