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Volume 9 Issue 5 - February 2004

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DISC OPERA AND VOCAL

DISC OPERA AND VOCAL MUSIC: i;~J :h tH 111 ·.•,'. (}n~~~~ ;,,, tt~ l !' ....· \H fl. . fHIW 1·1 :. { I . ffj!; V.·•,;i ~ : ,..,~ ,. , .~ "l 1

today is known primarily for I Pagliacci. Alagna is a lyrical singer, more ardent than theatrical. But even though he spurns the traditional sliding, sobbing, and flattening the pitch for pathos that these emotionally exposed works often invite, he is-always dramatically convincing. Even with some roughness at the bottom of his range, he provides movingly beautiful renditions of these wonderfully sentimental works. Pamela Margles Concert Notes: The Canadian Opera Company continues its run of Turandot on as noted in the review above. Opera Ontario presents Le Portrait de Manon, Massenet's sequel to Manon, at Hamilton Place on January 31, February 5 and 7. Renee Fleming appears in concert at Roy Thomson Hall with Richard Bado, piano, on Sunday, April 4 at 2:00. le miroir de mon amour Leslie Fagan, soprano; Brian Finley, piano Independent (www.lesliefagan.com) What do you do if you possess a good voice, trained musicality and a desire to perform and record serious music? Unfortunately, there is no Canadian Idol system for classical singers, and not su_rprisingly, record companies are not tripping over themselves offering contracts to young classical musicians. Enter Leslie Fagan. A protege of Lois Marshall, possessing a strong, sharply defined voice with'some pleasant vibrato, Ms. Fagan took matters in her own hands, producing and financing her. debut CD. She lists the great Romanian soprano Ileana Cotrubas as her influence and it is easy to see why, especially in her fearless attack on notes. Ms. Fagan has what it takes to be an all-round diva. She happens to be a beautiful' woman with a lot of stage presence. Does she have the unerring skill of a great record producer? On that scale, she scores somewhat lower. Though. selections from Rach- Aided by lyrical guitarist Craig maninoff, Debussy, Faure, Tchaik- Ogden, Daniels keep things admiovsky and Hahn are beautifully sung rably simple, resisting the fussy and heartfelt, she might better have arrangements and complicated orconcentrated on the music where chestrations that marred Andreas her voice sounds nothing short of Scholl's foray into folksong. Only astonishing. I am talking about the in Schubert's Ave Maria; where the songs by Richard Strauss, of which guitar oversimplifies Schubert's we only get only 3 and are left harmonies, is there any loss. But wanting more! In this cruel world in Shenandoah Ogden contributes of soundbites and first impressions, . wonderful effects with the varied Staendchen should hAve been track textures of the guitar. · number 1, as that cut alqne is Pamela Margles enough to make you buy this album. I look forward to hearing more Concert Notes: David Daniels of Leslie Fagan's voice, especially in a repertoire that does her comson Hall with pianist Martin Katz performs in recital at Roy Thomplete justice. As for Canadian Idol, on Sunday February 22 at 2.00. He let's just say she is in a class of sings with Les Violins du Roy in her own. Bach's St. John Passion at Massey Robert Tomas Hall on Saturday April 3 at 8.00. ' A Quiet Thing David Daniels Virgin CDC 7243 5 45601 2 5 Here is American · countertenor David Daniels without ornate embellishments or outsized dramatic effects. He is one of the most ex­ Citing singers on stage today, as his performance with the Canadian Opera Company in Handel's Xerxes a few years back attests. But in his booklet notes, he talks about his determination to break out of the current countertenor mould and expand his repertoire. This leads him into bel canto, and a beautiful presentation of three lovely songs by Bellini. Beautiful Dreamer by Stephen Foster works magnificently and suggests the appeal of a disc devoted to this early American master. Even though Daniels has full-bodied sound, with a thrilling vibrato and lots of shading, the Broadway songs, including the title song, A Quiet Thing by John Kander, are quite understated, more from Daniels' desire for intimacy than from any problem with the voice type. But they repay repeated listenings. Fortunately, he does not abandon the countertenor repertoire, and is exquisite in three of the most beautiful songs ever written, Dowland's Come again and Flow my tears, and Purcell's Music for a while. EARLY MUSIC AND PERIOD PERFORMANCE Rameau - Dardanus/Le Temple de la Gloire Tafelmusik; Jeanne Lamon CBC Records SMCD 5229 Baroque Delights Tafelmusik; Jeanne Lamon Analekta AN 2 9760 A glance through the group's lengthy "discography" on the occasion of Tafelmusik's 25th anniversary reveals that they have stayed away from -French repertoire for the most part, favouring rather the Italian concerto grosso, music of Bach and Handel, and some of the symphonies, oratorios and concertos of Haydn and Beethoven. Thus the Rameau CD - which reunites Lamon and the band with producer Neil Crory and CBC Records - is long-awaited by followers who have e[ljoyed Tafel- Ill Ill Ill Ill Ill IB !ll~lmm. --- -·1 ·-g-~ - fl !ll if!ll fll!I 11111 ill !! NAXOS 11111 11 111 !!Ill Jilli Ill!! NEW RELEASES BOLLING Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio Roselli Quartet KHACHATl'RIA:" KHACHATURIAN Violin Concerto Mihaela Martin, violin i'ENDEHECKI '"" ~"-·wh ~_..., ,.,..,.. . .,.,, =~·>:~'°'"~"" • '< « ·:' i~·i:'l

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