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Volume 9 Issue 5 - February 2004

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  • February
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musik's live

musik's live performances not only of.Rameau, but Lully and Marais, as well. In the end it's a problematic disc to assess. The choice of repertoire is appealing: Dardanus is one of Rameau's most thrilling scores, full of passion, intellect and grace. It contains a great deal of instrumental music, used for ballets, preludes and entr'actes. However, in bringing this music together as a suite some of the context has unfortunately been lost. We are presented with "charming" music, one cut 'after another, that all seems somewhat devoid of meaning. Every- thing feels a little rushed and - dare 1 say - a little too perfect. It doesn't linger at the moments of pathos, or really make a meal out of those wrenching French ornaments, or take care to try different phrasing in the repeats of sections, In short, it's a gloriously recorded disc, the sound is gorgeous, and the playing is clean and precise, if somewhat lacking in velvet and bordeaux. Special mention must be made, however, of the exquisite flute playing of Christopher Krueger and Alison Melville; and Melville's free-spirited piccolo delights at its every appearance. Archipelago (Corelli; Hotteterre; Bach et al) Alison Melville and Friends Verdandi Music CD 0312 A quote contained in the notes of this recording: "The bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, · it sings because it has a song'1 is very appropriate. For Alison Melville, like the bird, the graceful simplicity of musicality is second nature. She so delicately ornaments her phrases, they appear as natural as breath itself. This collection of 18th-century pieces from England, France, Italy and Germany, scored for alto recorder or transverse flute with continuo, provides a sense of lightness and playfulness seldom experienced in these cold winter months. It was· recorded last summer at Humbercrest United Church and employ.s Mary Cyr o~ bass ~io~, In contrast, the compilation re- . and three diffe~en.t harpsichordists: lease from Analekta is full ofvig- Michael Jarvis on the C?relh, orous, engaged, meaningful play- Stanley and Telemann pieces; ing and gives solo turns to some of Charlotte Nediger on the Bach and the orchestra's unsung heroes. Hotteterre. and B.orys rv;iedjcky on Chief among these is oboist John the charmm~ B?1smortier Son~te, Abberger who's playing of the 2nd Op. 91/1 which mcludes some hveand 3rd movements of Marcello's ly dances. Add Derek Conrad on oboe concerto is remarkable; the horn for a brilliant finish to the CD: terrific Tafel trumpets make an ap- Telemann's Concerto a 3 with some pearance in an excerpt from crafty interplay -between the re- Bach's 3rd Orchestral Suite, and corder and horn. · the elegant playing of violinist Ge- Alison Melville states in the notes nevieve Gilardeau gets briefly that she chose these pieces simpiy showcased as she teams up with because she enjoys them, and that Lamon in the outer movements of enjoyment is most evident in the the familiar A Minor double concerto by Vivaldi. There's a healthy dose of. vocal music on the disc, with some of Canada's finest sing- playing. Dianne Wells Editor's Note: Alison Melville iners - Brett Polegato, Karina Gau- form,smethatatthe.presenttimethe vin, Marie-Nicole Lemieux to CD is only available on-line, from name three - featured in excerpts www.cdbaby.com or from Alison by Bach (Coffee Cantata), Handel herself: melvillealison@hotmail. (arias from Alcina and Agrippina), com. You can also find her in per­ Viv.aldi a11d Scarlatti. It's a de- son at the Church of S.aint George lightful recording with that full, rich the Martyr on February 14 as Ba­ Tafelmusik sound we know and love. roque Music Beside the Grange Larry Beckwith presents "Valentine's D11y at Vauxhall Gardens - an 18th century celebration of Love's many guises" . Concert Note: Tafelmusik presents "On the River Thames: An English Concert" with guest director Richard Egarr February 12-15 at the Trinity/St. Paul's Centre. Vivaldi Nigel Kennedy; Berliner Philharmoniker EMI 7243 5 57666 0 1 Vivaldi - The Four Seasons Concerto Italiano; Rinaldo Ale11sandrini OPUSlll/Naive OP 30363 Is Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons the most recorded work of all time? It is certainly the most programmatic. Vivaldi supplied an elaborate sonnet for ea,;:h movement, and in the score detailed the sounds of trickling springs, thunder, winds, rain, a cuckoo, turtledove, goldfinch, barking dogs, flies, wasps, dozing drunkards, a crying shepherd boy, and even teeth chattering from the cold. ment. Some idea of Alessandrini's deep and ongoing commitment to Vivaldi, especially his pioneering explorations of Vivaldi's .Turin manuscripts, can be gleaned from the enticing bonus sampler CD which accompanies his new recording of the Four Seasons. For colourful, spirited musicmaking this is not to be missed - one of those rare record.ings that .reveals new things in a familiar work. While the array of inventive effects from the period instrument Concerto Italiano is amazing, with elastic tempi, expansive embellishments and expressive dissonances, they let the poetry drive the whole enterprise. Pamela Marg/es Murray Perahia Plays Bach Murray Perahia Sony Classical SK.87326 Nigel Kennedy brings virtuosic eian to his new recording. His abil- Here is another disc where the perity to toss off double stops and scale farmer's name precedes that of the . passages with sublime fluidity is composer, thus revealing the high thrilling. But while he effectively impact and control of the pianist plays up the contrasts in .dynamics over the music itself. Murray and tempo with great theatricality, Perahia belongs to that category of what's missing here is the sensi- artist who stay themselves no mattivity to the poetry that makes the ter whose music they perform, and flourishes meaningful and moving. mostly act.:as a filter leaving their Admittedly there is a certain fris- trace all the way through. son from hearing the complex Be this as it may, many reviewpassagework played with so much ers have been surprised by ~er ­ finesse, by both Kennedy and the ahia's Fifth Brandenburg Concerphenomenal strings of the Berlin to. Here he chooses piano over Philharmonic. But, overall, it's too harpsichord and disregards 20 fast, and at times relentlessly aggres- years of discussions and issues consi ve. In fact the most enjoyable . cerning period and historically passages are those like the Largo ·informed performance. Relying on from Winter, where he relaxes his Musicianship, Perahia lifts the ban gorgeous' natural tone and allows his from the music that was once a immense melodic gift to shine. pleasure for all pianists. The unprecedented sales of His first intention, however, was Kennedy's sensational 1989 ver- to put together a disc revealing difsion with the English Chamber ferent aspects of Bach's concerto Orchestr{I inspire his enthusiastic writing. The album opens up with liner note writer to anoint him "the a less familiar concerto for flute, world's most successful interpret- violin and piano, Bach's own arer of Vivaldi's work". But Renato rangement from previous trio sona­ Alessandrini, the harpsichordist on tas. For this "musical recycling" .Fabio Biondi's groundbreaking Perahia is joined by Jaime Martin first recording with the period in- at the flute and violinist Kenneth strument ·group Europa Galante, Sillito. He then shows a dazzling perwhich appeared two years later, formance of the sololtalian Concerproves that sales figures shouldn't to, motoring his way through the be confused with artistic achieve- work with his impeccable skills and 54 WWW, THEWHOLENOTE.COM fEBRUARY l 2004 - MARCH 7 2004

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