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Volume 9 Issue 5 - February 2004

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technique. combined with superb sensitivity throughout the second movement cantileria. For th0 se who only know Perah ia as an exponent of the Romantic repertoire. here is a welcome_ chance to observe another side 0t this superb artist. Michelle Assay Eshghpour ~aroque Transcriptions ,. Paul Merkelo, Luc BeauseJour Analekta AN 2 9812 l.::~~ _________ ,}J~:1J!m1" .J · As someone who makes a living making harpsichords sound good. I need to declare my bias towards keyboards up front. That being said,_ an entire CD of transcriptions !Ike these might get old fairly quickly, but that is counteracted here by Paul Merkelo 's trumpet playing, certainly some of the most heaut-iful that J have ever heard - a marvel nf sensitivity and restraint in· ihis context. The difficulty cqmes in the balance of the trumpet with the continua. The harpsichord in the Handel Sonata in G is clearly no match for the trumpet. Couldn't the mas_tering engineer have cheated a httle and given us more sound'7 In the case of the Bach choral preludes, the voices need to be heard more or. less equally, yet it sounds more like the organ is accompanying the trumpet rather than a real partnership with the polyphonic_ textures. Why so timid 9 Use the full registration of this wonderful organ - the trumpet can handle it! Handel's famous Largo is played on the organ only - which I thought odd as I expected to hear the trumpe t in this one. Nicely p_layed_ though, with excellent choice ot registration on the organ - the nazard stop is wonderful. Luc Beausejour is also delightful in th_e Purcell Hornpipe for solo harpsichord . The Albinoni Adagio - actually a modern work cobbled together by Remo Giazotto in 1945 fr_om a few measures of Albin9ni and a figured bass line - is a great vehicle for the trumpet, very dramatic,, but not in my opinion a "Baroque Transcription". rr- ·-·----- 11 Overall a nice try, gorgeous at times and awkward at others, but you've got to be a trumpet fan for this one. Den put CLASSICAL AND ROMANTIC ERA Mendelssohn - Complete Works for Cello and Piano Elizabeth Dolin; Bernadene Blaha · Analekta FL 2 3166 Felix Mendelssohn is perhaps best known for liis orchestral music, concerti, and oratorios, but ?is chamber music output contains many delights. The compl_ete works for cello and piano on this recording include two sonatas, a set of variations, a short Assai Tranqwllo and one beautiful example of his trademark Song Without Words. The first sonata (Op.45) and the variations (Op.17) are dedicated to Mendelssohn's brother Paul, a gifted cellist, and display the composer's ability to combine Baroque and Classical formal structures with a slightly more Romantic harmonic language, developed in the style of late Beethoven. The second sonata (Op.58) elaborates in more depth 00 themes both lyrical and lively, while the Song Without Words is the perfect elegiac accompaniment to contemplating frost-covered windows in the late afternoon sun. Elizabeth Dolin and BerJ!adene Blaha perform all this music with the style, fluidity, and unity of purpose that comes of a long collaboration. Dolin's tonal palette ranges from an o6eratic tenor in the recitative-like Adagio of the second sonata, to a warm, slightly pebbled texture which serves well in the more vigorous sections. Blaha us~s many subtle dynamic and rhythmic nuances to shape and propel this disarmingly unpretentious music. Both players are secure in the demanding vivaGe figurations of the Op.58 finale, and the pizzicato/ pianissimo opening of the Allegretto movement is particularly lovely. They have achieved a convincing ------·--- "w"'w"" w:rHEWHOLENOTE.COM balance of grace and transparency which suits this repertoire perfectly. Colin Savage Great Violinists - Milstein Mendelssohn, Bruch and 'Tchaikovsky Concertos Nathan Milstein Naxos Historical 8.110977 Given the popularity and recorded exposure of Jascha Heit:etz and Yehudi Menuhin, one might believe that in the l 930's, and for decades late::r,. Nathan Milstein was an 'also ran'. Not so, for Milstein was one of the very great ones whose impeccable technique, eloquent sound and intuitive m~~~cianship were equal to but different from Heifetz. Also, apart from solo recitals Heifetz recorded with orchestra's and _conductors in the RCA/HMV stable, while Milstein was heard with ensembles under Columbia's roof. After the early 1950s, freed from exclusivity with Columbia, he recorded for Capitol and later for DG. The Mendelssohn concerto presen'ted here was made in 1945 in New York with the Philharmonic­ Symphony conducted by Bruno ~alter. This was to become the first Lp, ML4001, issued by Columbia, who more recently re-issued it as a non-commercial promo CD, SSK 5770, reproducing the original 'tombstone' cover. The Naxos transfer is clear and dynamic with no sonic obstacles. This is Walter's only major Mendelssohn work on record. The Bruch conce(to, recorded in 1942 with Sir John Barbirolli conducting t~e Philharmonic-Sy~ph? ­ ny is another showcase fo'. Milstem in his prime and for Barb1rolh, too. If you wish to compare ~eifetz and Milstein, try the Tchaikovsky. as recorded in 1940 with Fredenck Stock ~nd his Chicago Symphony. You may well prefer the impeccable Milstein whose affec.tionate phrasing and projectio~ is quite different from the dazzlmg virtuosity of Heifetz in his handful of performances. Bruce Surtees Great Pianists - ·Levitzki Volume2 Mischa Levitzky Naxos Historical 8.110769 Today his name is known_ o.nly to archivists and collectors of p1amsts recorded between the two world wars, but Mischa Levitzki was a familiar name in the 1920s and 30s. His ~ecordings did not make it to Philips Great Pianists of the 20th Century, but then neither did a number of other greats. Bo~n in 1898 in Krementchug, he studied with Dohnanyi in Berlin from 1911to1915 where he won the Mendelssohn Prize. He made his first public appearance in 1906 in Antwerp but his career began in 1912, with recitals in Antwerp_ and Brussels and then tours of Germany, Austria, Hungary an_d the Scandinavian countries. His .American debut was in 1916 and he toured Australia and New Zealand in 1921 and again in 193 I. He was heard in the Orient in 1925 but waited until 1927 to make his London debut. The 10 works ,on this disc by Liszt, Schumann, Moszkowski and Levitzki himself, all reveal a brilliant, dynamic, exciting and sensitive pianist. Sample the sixth Hungarian Rhapsody if you can, and the Liszt concerto. Produced in 1929 with the LSO conducted by HMV's house conductor, Sir Landon Ronald, it was very deservedly for many years the preferred recording. . Alas, technology passed Levllzki by, but thankfully Naxos has, so far, returned about half of his 53 78rpm sides recorded by HMV to the catalogues, in a projected complete Levitzki edition. ... And Serenity Glenn Gould Sony Classical SK 90538 Bruce Surtees For most of his rather short life, Glenn yould kept "shoot\ng higher", becoming bette~ than himself, incomparable to his contemporaries and even predecessors. In fact he never thought of himself primarily as a pianist, and w~s _committed equally to many different F EBRUARYl 2004 - MARCH 7 2004

aspects of the arts through "a grad- recorded with the Swedish Chamual lifelong construction of a state ber Orchestra under the direction of woi1der and serenity". of Katarina Andreasson in 'August Gould's quotation is the inspira- 2002. adds to this legacy. tion behind this wonderful callee- · In 1778, having left Salzburg to tionreleasedbySony,revealingthe seek his fortune elsewhere, pianist's search for serenity. The Mozart was commissioned to com­ CD contains some of the most af- pose three "little. easy, short" flute fecting statements made by Glenn concertos (plus a couple of string Gould during his recordings of the quartets which are not on this CD). 60's and 70's. The works here are Qallois' woody sweet lyric tone, diverse in style and epoch ranging mostly vibrato-less, is beautifully from J':S. Bach ' s English Suire to appropriate for this music. His Scriabin's Deux mvrceaux. The playing is full of nuance, lyric_ism. collection presented here, especial- and sensi1ivity and the Rondeau: ly the romantic pages by Brahms. Allegro movement of the Concer­ Mendelssohn and Strauss, reveals to No. 2 is a wonderful example of Gould's mastery in balancing the this. All the performances flow efmusic between the edges of 'em&- fortlessly arid Gallois and harpist tional intensity without ever cross- Fabrice Pierre, have some evident ing over into ch ~ap sentimentality. fun creating their own cadenzas. Gould is best known for his im- Mozart's melodies have a great pecc,able manipulation of Bach's familiarity and the attentive listenvertical lines . Similarly, in his er is rewarded by the visit of a interpretation of Romantic music musical "old friend." he outlines the mechanics of the Frank Nakashima piece better than anyone else, highlighting those hidden counterpoints most pianists gloss over. Alexander Scriabin's Deu.x Morceau.x each MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY last only a couple of minutes, but require deep understanding of the composer's idea of the cosmos and Mathieu - Chamber Music unification of the arts. Bein'g close Claude! Quartet; Rejean Coallier to Scriabin in his own conception Centrediscs CMCCD 9803 of art and lifetime musical evolution, Glenn Gould inserts profound thoughts in each note of the two miniatures. realizing the composer' s ideal in his unique aesthetics. !yticlzelle Assay Eslzglzpour Mozart - Flute and Flute & Harp Concertos Patrick Gallois; Fabarice Pierre; Swedish Chamber Orchestra Naxos 8.557011 Having already recorded the complete flute concerts of C.P.E. Bach for the Naxos label, as well as several award-winning discs for Deutsche Grammophon, Patrick Gallois has already made a significant contribution to the recorded music archive of the flute repertoire. His performance of Mozart's Flute Concertos K.313 and 314, and the Flute and Harp Concerto K.299, Canadians are becoming more and more aware of the extent of the country's musical history. Colas et Colinette tickled audiences a .century and a half before Anne of Green Gables; the choral music of Antoine Dessane predates that of Healey Willan by almost a hundred years; Clarence Lucas composed his orchestral works more than sixty years earlier than Clermont · Pepin; and in Rodolphe Mathieu we have a real musical avant-gardist working i'n the decade John Weinzweig was born. F Ell RUARY 1 2003 - M ARCH 7 2b04 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM

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