Browsing: Baroque and Early

Hard to know whether to give this confection one star or five. The dominant voice is the mandolin of Chris Thile, an instrument probably unknown to J S Bach who never wrote for it, but used often in modern transcriptions of his works. It sits more comfortably in a Bach score than, say, a tenor sax, but that does not make it remotely authentic. The other instruments at play here are a cello and double bass. What hits the ear from the off are clever, virtuosic trio adaptations of anything from a solo keyboard fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier to…

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On Saturday, the reputable Boston Symphony Orchestra played at the Maison Symphonique. The last time the orchestra visited Montreal was in 1984, more than 30 years ago. Boston Symphony Orchestra: Interview with the conductor, the young 38-year-old Andris Nelsons. [La Presse]  Boston Symphony Orchestra: Concert review by [La Presse] Some tough criticism of the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Maison Symphonique. [Le Devoir] CANADA : The OSM has unveiled a new video on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OSMconcerts/status/838396186407145472 Review of the all-Schubert concert by pianist András Schiff on Friday at the Maison Symphonique. [Le Devoir] The exposition Carnets naturalistes by Denise Blackburn runs until April…

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Saturday at the Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours long-time collaborators Daniel Taylor and Suzie LeBlanc lit up the night with a dazzling display of virtuosity in a selection of Handel’s greatest arias and duos. Joined by twelve members of the Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil under the baton of Marc David, Taylor and LeBlanc gave a reminder of the enduring allure of these works. To open the evening, David led the OSDL in the Overture and Act III Sinfonia (“Arrival of the Queen of Sheba”) from Solomon. Playing on modern instruments with Dorothéa Ventura on harpsichord, the group had a lively sound and as…

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The Ladies’ Morning Musical Club advertises a venerable history with its very name. On Feb. 5 in Pollack Hall the organization paid tribute to its 125th anniversary by asking Stewart Goodyear to recreate Glenn Gould’s Montreal debut recital of 1952. Gould is the quintessentially inimitable pianist, yet Goodyear in Orlando Gibbons’ Pavan and Galliard for the Earl of Salisbury demonstrated straightway a certain affinity with his fellow Torontonian by making the left and right hands seem so indepedent. Perhaps his eagerness to use the full sound of the Steinway was a individual trait. Oddly, Bach’s Partita No. 5 flew by…

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MONTREAL As part of the 8th edition of the biennial Montréal/Nouvelles musiques Festival (MNM), Walter Boudreau will lead La symphonie du millénaire II. In 2000, the performance of the first Symphonie du millénaire, brought together more than 70’000 people. [Le Devoir] Review on the concert of OSTR, highlighting Bach’s works. [La Presse] André Sauvé will join the OSM for a special concert on July 21 and 22. [La Presse] INTERNATIONNAL Le beau Danube is 150-year-olds. Back on one of the greatest successes from Strauss. [La Presse] [Radio-Canada] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t38fIJgvWEM The first recording of Bartók’s piano quartet in C minor (1898) was found and published. [Scena…

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PERFORMANCE REVIEW AND TEXT ANALYSIS: MasterVoices’ new English-language version of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion, translated by Michael Slattery (at Carnegie Hall, February 9, 2017, 7 p.m.). New York City had sustained a twelve-hours’ accumulation of snow. By 7 p.m. on February 9, post-storm sub-freezing temperatures had turned midtown Manhattan’s grid into a treacherous terrain of jagged curbside alpine ranges bounding streets and sidewalks alike of glassy ice. Traffic and transit were hobbled, commerce and commuting statistically decimated. Thus it might seem sheer masochism, or penance, to hazard the elements and venture forth for something so non-essential as choral music.…

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CANADA OSM Pop Serie : Half Moon Run, Bruno Pelletier and Véronique DiCaire will perform with the OSM. [More infos – Radio-Canada] City of Gatineau finance the construction of artists’ co-op. [More infos – LaPresse] Three concerts in Granby for the Valentine’s Day. [More infos – LaPresse] « L’Amossois Charles Trudel, claviériste du Ben Racine Band [remporte le 1er prix] à Memphis lors de l’International Blues Challenge. » [More infos Radio-Canada] « The 2017 [Hindemith] prize, worth 20,000 Euros, goes to the Montreal-born composer Samy Moussa. Based in Paris and Berlin, Moussa, 32, was among the last proteges of Pierre Boulez.» [More infos Slippedisc]…

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PROFILE: Interview with Ted Sperling, artistic director of MasterVoices (formerly the Collegiate Chorale); PREVIEW: MasterVoices’ new presentation of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion – Carnegie Hall, February 9, 2017. He’s soft-spoken, genial, elegantly self-possessed. It’s difficult to imagine him indulging in tirades, or hurling withering invective. He’s a nice guy. He’s also brilliant, prodigiously talented, professionally indefatigable, and apparently liked by everyone. Ted Sperling is, in short, a bit of a blessed paradox: probably the most mannerly guest at any dinner party, he is also one of today’s most accomplished, versatile – and, yes, passionate – practitioners of a craft…

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Where in North America can you see 17th- and 18th-century French comic opera featuring an all French-Canadian cast? The unlikely answer is Washington, DC. The city’s company Opera Lafayette (OL) has been performing ­obscure French Baroque opera for 17 years. This is all due to its founder, conductor Ryan Brown, a humble violinist trained at Oberlin and Juilliard with Dorothy DeLay, who has gradually built a company worthy of envy. On February 19, Opera Lafayette will revive Pierre Gaveaux’s Lenore ou l’amour conjugal (1798), a work which inspired Beethoven to write ­Fidelio. It’s part of a Brown’s plan to present…

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Amid the seasonal rock fall of weird-shaped box sets and unopenable recorded turkeys, one project stands out as indispensable in both musical and moral dimensions. In 1965, a little-known harpsichordist began recording the Bach keyboard works for a niche French label. By the time she finished ten years later, Zuzana Ruzickova and Erato had received every French record award, wresting harpsichord Bach away from deadhand American academics back to a middle-European vivacity. Ruzickova, resisting celebrity, Communism and the temptations of the music world, taught the next three generations of leading harpsichordists from her home in Prague. A survivor of four…

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