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3 years ago

Volume 8 Issue 7 - April 2003

  • Text
  • April
  • Toronto
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  • Glenn
  • Gould

Editor's Note: Heather

Editor's Note: Heather Schmidt's Cello Concerto is one of the five JUNO nominees in the category "Best Classical Composition". J. S. Bach: Cantatas 131, 152, 161 Suzie LeBlanc; Daniel Taylor; Jan Kobow; Stephen Varcoe Theatre of Early Music ATMA ACD2 2279 These "early cantatas," written before he moved to Leipzig, already display strong evidence of Johann Sebastian Bach's compositional genius. In the "non-stop" Cantata 131 Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, Herr, zu dir, the Theatre of Early Music's one-to-apart approach (used throughout) reveals the intricate counterpoint through a crystalline, detailed and nuanced performance. Even with the intensity of the energetic final chorus (perhaps like a conference call in your car during rush hour?), the DISCS OF THE MONTH: OUR JUNO ROUNDUP, continued from page 60 musical information does not go unnoticed. In fact, the clarity is almost startling. Try listening to this with headphones! Cantata 152 Tritt auf die Glaubens~ bahn differs from the other cantatas in that this one has no choruses, uses only two voices (soprano and bass), and is accompanied by only a few instruments. Washington McClain provides an exquisite oboe d'amore obbligato to Stephen Varcoe's richly expressive singing which is frequently challenged by the music's low range. Countertenor Daniel Taylor and tenor Jan Kobow are the featured soloists in Cantata 161 Komm, du silsse Todesstunde. Their singing is both sensitive and refined. One rarely hears this music sung as beautifully as this. The music-making throughout this recording sparkles and tingles. Highly recommended. Frank T. Nakashima Editor's Note: This recording is nominated for a JUNO in the category "Classical Album of the Year, Vocal or Choral Performance". ~ Liszt: Paganini Studies & Schubert Transcriptions Marc-Andre Hamelin Hyperion CDA 67370 Once again, Marc-Andre Hamelin has demonstrated complete mastery over some of the most fiendish piano music ever written: the Six Grandes Etudes de Paganini of 1851, and a rarely heard set of three Schubert marches arranged by Liszt in 1846. Hamelin throws himself into the Paganini arrangements with panache and style, unabashedly treating these etudes as the showpieces that they are. No. 1 (Tremolo) boils and roils with energy like a living creature. No. 2 (Octave) is, by contrast, all poise and elegance. The famous No. 3 (La Campanella) is an astounding display, building relentlessly to its thundering conclusion. No. 4 (Arpeggio) is all effervescence, and Hamelin artfully exploits the narrative qualities of No. 5 (La Chasse). Finally, with No. 6 (Theme and Variations) we return to the "Campanella" theme for a dazzling exploration of wildly contrasting textures. The Montreal-born pianist makes it all sound easy, while at the same time giving the impression there is nothing he cannot do. The Schubert march transcriptions are remarkable works - but I find the contrasts between Liszt's brilliant pianism and Schubert's more intimate music somewhat problematic. I can't help thinking that Liszt made the Viennese saloniste into something he was not. For Hamelin, this is a practical as well as a philsophical problem - is he to approach these arrangements as works by Liszt or Schubert? His solution seems to be to offer us a mixture of the two: Schubertian simplicity and sentimentality combined with Liszt's drama and power. The results are perhaps more interesting than satisfying. Colin Eatock Editor's Note: This disc is nominated for a JUNO in the category "Classical Album of the Year, Solo or Chamber Ensemble" . Concert Note: Marc-Andre Hamelin is featured in the OnStage series at Glenn Gould Studio on April 8.

CHORAL CONCERT Spanning centuries of choral tradition. The best in choral music performed by leading Canadian and i nternationa I ly-renowned choirs. SUNDAY MORNING AT • e CBC cifi1 radi~ AM cbc.ca/ chora I concert

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