7 years ago

Volume 8 Issue 8 - May 2003

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1865, contained slightly

1865, contained slightly over a hundred songs. At the time, many regarded it as exhausting the field. But Barbeau, setting out in 1916 on back roads with a recording machine and a supply of wax cylinders strapped to his bicycle, collected more than 5,000 examples; the frail originals now repose in the Museum of Civilisation in Hull. Barbeau's first published selection, in 1925, depicted a jolly, pious community often nostalgic for life in the Mother Country; but he later planned more comprehensive coverage in four volumes: he issued the first in 1962, and associates assembled nos. 2 and 3 after his death in 1969; the projected no. 4 was never realised. These sources cover a wider variety of themes, with unlaundered lyrics. The twenty-seven songs on the disc offer a well-chosen group, dealing with religious miracles and kids' games but also love (courtship, jealousy, adultery - neither Gagnon nor the fledgling Barbeau would have admitted a song called "La Jaquette," "The nightshirt"), and murder, presented with multiple verses, twangy tone, precise rhythm and ornarnents, almost impenetrable accents, and, instead of "harmony," an engaging array of instrumental backgrounds, from fiddle, whistle, and harmonica to the occasional bombarde bass or tambourine tap to something called a "shruti petee" (trans., "farted reeddrone"). Where more commercial performers shy away from giving all stanzas of a longish song, these roll rapidly through ten, fifteen, even nineteen. In the cumulative "Berceuse du loup," (the fire won't bum the stick, the stick won't beat the dog, &c), where most would make a tongue-twisting accellerando, Lisan Hubert keeps the same up-front tone and steady tempo throughout. In several "en laisse" songs, where stanza 2 starts with the last phrase of stanza 1, &c., the word-repetitions become as infectious as the beat. In "La parricide," a girl convicted of murder is propositioned by the hangman: Beaudry's delivery, with discreet dulcimer background, focuses on the story, his only "personal" comment being to repeat the last phrase. For comparison, a twenty-eighth song is added, re-mastered from one of the original cylinder takes, its ambient hiss intact. Altogether, a strongly recommended addition to the "Canadian folk music" discography. John Beckwith Beethoven: The Nine Symphonies. Simon Rattle; Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus; soloists EMI 72435 5744524 (5 discs, with hardbound book enclosed in a presentation case) It was not Simon Rattle's idea to make new recordings of The Nine but it was the Vienna Philharmonic's wish to have a Rattle/VPO cycle of the most often recorded oeuvre in the catalogues. To that end, between April 29 and May 17 of last year EMI recorded live performances in the Vienna's Grosser Musikvereinssaal. These are not the first recordings using the recent Urtext edition prepared by Jonathan Del Mar but the best played, the most dynamic and certainly the most sensitive. Over the past weeks I have listened to, not just heard, each symphony many times and each time new felicities, meaningful accents, small and large differences in the tempo of familiar passages reveal Beethoven anew. The lines of each group are heard in natural balance without any spotlighting, a tribute to Rattle, the orchestra and a triumph for Beethoven. There can be no mistaking the acoustic of the Musikverein, where EM! has been making recordings since before most of us were born. This set is their crowning achievement. Unfortunately evaluating these from FM will miss the dynamics of these extraordinary performances. Once again I am overwhelmed by Beethoven. How did he do it? Where did it all come from? Certainly his musical genius has, as yet, not been equaled. This set is neither about new editions nor about Rattle or the VPO. This is about Beethoven. It is for Beethoven that, all things considered, this would be the desert island version. Bruce Surtees Yamaha carbon fibre bows combine traditional craftsmanship with modem technology. They offer the same superb response, balance, playability and tone that you expect from pemambuco, without the cost and fragility. Their exceptional durability means that they are better suited to withstand aggressive playing, extreme climates and rough treatment. No matter where you take them, Yamaha's carbon fibre bows will deliver the performance that you desire. The pemambuco of carbon fibre bows. 8YAMAHA YAMAHA CANADA MUSIC LTD., 135 MILNER AVENUE, TORONTO, ON MlS 3Rl OR VISIT: .. . rll?IW. liitiNOptntfllWl!fll!ll itl!!lliif~i ... CREATING KANDO TOGETHER 54 May 1 - Jun e 7 2003

eat music. Great orchestra. Great hal I Add meaning to your life. HONDA MAY MASTERWORKS SERIES.200 3 Classical Fireworks Nicholas McGegan, conductor Nora Shulman, flute Rameau: Suite from Nai's Haydn: Symphony No. 59, "Fire" J.S. Bach: Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067 Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks Thurs. May 8 at 2 & 8 pm Sat. May 10 at 7 pm Sun. May 11 at 3 pm Cat George Weston Recital Hall) For tickets to the George Weston Recital Hall, call 416.870.8000 or visit TSO subscribers cal I 416.598.3375 May 10 sponsored by: Bos Advertising Agency Verdi's Requiem Sir Andrew Davis, conductor Measha Briiggergosman, soprano Jill Grove, mezzo-soprano Massimo Giordano, tenor Andrea Silvestrelli, bass The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Wed. May 14 at 8 pm Thurs. May 15 at 8 pm May 14 sponsored by: McCarthy Tetrault Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg Marin Alsop, conductor Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini Barber: Violin Concerto Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances Wed. May 21 at 8 pm, Thurs. May 22 at 8 pm Concerts sponsored by: RAYMOND JAMES Raymond James Ltd. FREE Ticket Offer! Get a free ticket to Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg with each subscription series purchased in the TSO's 2003/2004 season.* For a complete listing of all subscription series, visit our website. To subscribe and receive this special offer call 416.598.3375 and quote code "NSS". Offer available for phone orders only. *Complimentary t ickets in centre balcony only. Seating based on availability. Offer ends Fri. May 16 at 5 pm or available while quantities last. Not valid in combination with any other offer or promotion. Call 416.593.4828 or visit for tickets and full concert listings. Service charges apply to al I phone orders. Groups call 416.597.0965. Concerts at Roy Thomson Hall unless otherwise indicated. 11> THE GLOBE AND MAIL Season Media Sponsor May 15 sponsored by: STIKEMAN ELLIOTT

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