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6 years ago

Volume 9 Issue 4 - December 2003

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  • Toronto
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es through the scenes

es through the scenes but he is certainly shocked into reality in the all out Orgy of the Brigands. Taken down live over. two performances earlier this year~ this vital performance confirms'Davis as the master of the Berlioz repertoire. This is the way I want to hear Harold in Italy. Bruce Surtees outstanding technique from the soloist. Listening to Da Costa's record, one can think of no better candidate for the work. Michelle Assay Eshglzpour Dances from the Heart of Europe• I Musici de Montreal; Yuli Turovsky Chandos CHAN 10094 · ............... ww .. _. .. , .... • • .. ............... '.ji!iT#i~.:;• DANCES Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Ysaye: Sonata No.3 for violin solo nt0ri1: nft HtiRT Of. !U·~l!E Symphony Nova Scotia; Two of Joseph Haydn's late symphonies, the No. 103 and No. 104 are ., ..,1~;;.~ .««

·comedy is broad, but the commentary on the human condition i's painfully profound. No concept-driven stage director or star singer can undermine the preeminence of the orchestra and its conductor in this opera, and on its most recent recording/ the ·Berlin Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado propel things alon'g with breathless momentum. Their · expressive precision play up Verdi's amazing orchestral effects, no~ably when the whole orchestra joins in on Falstaff's 'the trill invades the world', atier he is dumped in' the river. Baritone Bryn Terfel's outsized theatrical personality can be too unsubtle for some roles, but he is splendid here as the buffoonish but canny Falstaff. Thomas Hampson, generally a more refined and thoughtful baritone than Terfel, makes a dramatically nuanced Ford. One of the highlights of this recording is the luminous and witty Alice Ford of Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka. Soprano Dorothea Roschmann is a 'sweetly lyrical Nannetta, well matched by tenor Daniil Shtoda, while mezzo Larissa Diadkova as Quickly is wonderfully versatile. All the voices in this truly international cast are well contrasted, creating vivid clarity in the breathtakingly intricate ensembles. The generous booklet is a pleasure, with great notes by Abbado and Andrew Porter, libretto with translations, and, too rare today, biographies of the performers. · Pamela Marg/es of Lieder lovers, Hahn nevertheless becomes a quickly acquired taste af­ ' ter just a single hearing. These French songs wiil be a delightful discovery for many. Hahn's career bridged the 19 and ZOth centuries, was rooted in.the style of Saint Saens and never took up the innovations of Debussy. He displayed an innate ability to capture poetic sadness and tenderness to such an extent that Marcel Proust praised his · songs as the finest since Schumann for their truth, humanity and absolute beauty. Quebec baritone Marc Boucher takes to this medium instinctively. His voice is light-weight yet tonally rich. Whether singing one of Hahn's baroqu.e parodies or more contemporary songs his interpretive match to the text is magical with a warm, lyricism balanced through his range. Boucher holds an impressive list of opera roles to his credit and his work · with oratorio and song repertoire makes him a well-rounded performer. · The unusually titled Montreal record label of XX/ has issued Boucher's first recording dedicated to the melodies of Reynaldo Hahn and plans 2 others of French song by Faure and Massenet. Alex Baran Ideate: Songs of Paolo Tosti Ben Heppner, tenor Members of the London Symphony Orchestra DGG 471557-2 / C

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