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Volume 9 Issue 4 - December 2003

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for me, Herreweghe's

for me, Herreweghe's double-CD is English Chamber Orchestra; a revelation. Jeffrey Tate Frank Nakashima Philips 4753772 JS Bach: The English Suites I (BWV 806-811) Angela Hewitt, piano Hyperion CDA 6745112 La Spagna Our first international bestseller that through its 'Super Sound' status in the 'Abolute Sound'· started an era of award-winning BIS recordings. Handel: Gloria The World Premiere and still No. 2 recording of the new work by Handel starring BIS 's Grand Lady of Olde Singing: Emma Kirkby. ----- D1stnbuted in Canada by s.~ I. 638 The Kingsway Peterborough I Onlano K9J 7C8 Phone 705-748-5422 Fax 705-748-5628 Email 1nfo@sncanada com www sricanada com Bach's English Suites are thought to have been written at Weimar between 1708 and l 7'17, predating both the French Suites and the Partitas, and tJiey number amongst Bach's most celebrated and popular keyboard works. Ottawa-born pianist Angela Hewitt, in some ways a successor to Glenn Gould in carrying the Bachan-the-piano torch, has recorded. almost alt of Bach's important keyboard repertoire for Hyperion, and her playing of the English Suites on these discs refle_cts the integrity, musicality and technical ma·stery for which she is celebrated. Her focus is clearly upon the musical delineation of each movement and the structure of each suite as a whole, and she plays with great fluidity and elegance. · From the tender simplicity of Suite V's 'sarabande,' to the virile flashiness found in the bourees, gigues and the prelude of Suite II, Hewitt's playing is thoughtful and well-contolted throughout. I could quibble a bit about her tempos, and certain aspects of rhythmic practice, but these are small complaints. The booklet notes, provided by the performer, are detailed and helpful. Alison Melville CLASSICAL AND ROMANTIC ERA Mozart: Orchestral and Chamber Music National Arts Centre Orchestra Pinchas Zuckerman, conductor and solo violin CBC Records SMCD 5230-2 Classical 96.3 FM presents A Little Smart Music for Kids (Mozart excerpts) Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; Sir Neville Marriner Two new CDs of the music of Mozart serve different purposes, but achieve the same goal, namely fi lling the air with fine renderings of some of the most dramatic and poignant music ever written. The National Arts Centre has greatly benefited from the musical leadership of Pinchas Zuckerman since his appointment as the conductorof NACO in 1998. He's led tours, spearhead~d education programs and brought a real flair to the orchestra's playing, both live and on record. This new two-CD set features welt known orchestral and· chamber music by Mozart in exciting performances from Zuckerman 's charges. The familiar D Major divertimento (K 136) breezily opens the program, making way for Zuckerman 's muscular reading of the 5th Violin Concerto (K 219). Surely, this is a piece he's played hundreds of times before, but it sounds fresh and vital, if somewhat flat-footed in plac" es. The orchestra makes_a splendid impression in the Symphony No. 29 (K 201), and my only qualm is that Zuckerman seems to have slightly too firm a grip on the tempi and phrasing, not letting the orchestra really "sing" in places. The chamber music disc consists of the G Minor String Quintet (K 516) and the Clarinet Quintet (K 581), two of Mozart's later gems. Both are giv~n high quality performances, with the clarineti-st Kimball Sykes (NACO principal) deserving special mention for his sensitive, polished playing. Classical 96's disc is a curiously packaged fundraiser for The Canadian Feed the Children foundation. The liner notes urge parents to 64 WWW. THEWHO~ENOTE.COM D ECEMBE R 1 2003 - FEB RU ARY 7 2004'

enrich their children's education by having them listen to classical music, especially that of Mozart, who was an exceptional child himself, don't you know. Listening to the CD took me back to the days of my youth, when I would lie awake listening to some of these same recordings (Neville Marriner, especially) on "Classics till Dawn", hosted by the inimitable De B. Holly on CFRB. Like a "Mozart channel" on an intlight broadcast, we get a generous helping of Mozart's finest music, from the Figaro overture to horn, piano and clarinet concerto movements, piano sonata excerpts and the first movement of the G Minor symphony (K 550). There's something about the drive and desire to make our kids smarter that is disturbing and it's upsetting that marketers use Mozart to that end. That said, I'm all for making this miraculous music available to as wide a segment of society as possible. This recording does exactly that, at a budget price while raising mm1ey for a worthy cause at the same time. · Larry Beckwith several of his pieces. The Duo for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 15 is a beautiful work, made even more so by Campbell and Sylvestre's sensitive performance. The work on this CD that stands out the most for me is Schumann's Three Romances, Op. 94. This is a very frequently recorded piece; I've got versions of it performed on clarinet, oboe, saxophone and even tuba! The performance here by James Somerville and Stephan Sylvestre has an energy and.dynamic range that I've not heard in other recordings. This is a thoroughly enjoyable recording, and it's liable to stay ora my CD turntable for quite some time. Merlin Williams Berlioz - Harold in Italy; Ballet Music from Les Troyens. Tabea Zimmermann, viola The London Symphony Orchestra; Sir Colin Davis LSO Live LS00040 Cad Reinecke and Friends; Chamber Music of the Romantic t:ra James Campbell, clarinet; James Sommerville, horn; Rena Sharon, piano; Stephan Sylvestre, piano Marquis Classics 7 74718130921 Carl Reinecke is one of those unfortunately overlooked composers from the Romantic Era. It's too bad that the composers who are best remembered are the ones who either wrote for orchestra or just wrote reams of music for everything. The Trio in B flat for clarinet, horn and piano, Op. 274 is an excellent way to introduce yourself to.the music of Reinecke. The four movement work shows the influences of his friends Brahms, Schumann and Mendelssohn: With the kind of luck Norbert Burgmuller had, it's surprising that any of his music survives today. Burgmuller only lived until age 26, yet his music attracted the attention of Mendelssohn, who performed DECEMBER 1 2003 - FEBRUARY 7 2004 Harold in Italy, based on the wanderings of Byron's "Childe Harold," was commissioned by Paganini to be a showpiece for his prodigious technique but he initially dismissed the finished work as insufficiently flamboyant. True to Byron's Harold, an undercurrent of melancholy and unresolved yearning flavours Berlioz's viola concerto. This is Colin Davis's third recording of Harold, the first was with Yehudi Menuhin in 1962 and later with Nabuko Imai in 1972. Thirty years on Davis has new insights .. '. rhythms have been trimmed and tempos usually sound faster and more animated with everything moving along at a comfortable clip. The gentle gradations of quieter dynamics are nothing short of poetic. Davis now has the splendid Tabea Zimmermann blend into the orchestra more, rather than always in the starring rule. The three minute orchestral introduction in the first movement sets the stage for Harold (the viola) to venture onto the scene where Zimmermann plays with unequalled delicacy reflecting exactly the searching innocence of the original Harold. The middle two movements maintain that sense as he pass- WWW. THEWHOLENOTE. COM

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