Browsing: Canadian Music

By now you’ve probably heard the story of André Mathieu (1929–68). A child prodigy hailed as Canada’s Mozart, Mathieu lived a tragic life and died in obscurity. It was not until the twenty-first century that many were able to experience his music, due in no small part to the tireless work of Québécois pianist-composer Alain Lefèvre. Now, in time for the 75th anniversary of the work, Lefèvre is releasing a new recording of the Piano Concerto No. 3, known commonly as the “Concerto de Québec.” The Concerto de Québec — which Lefèvre recorded himself in 2003 with Yoav Talmi and…

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Zosha di Castri, Jocelyn Murlock, Nicole Lizée, John Estacio, Erin Wall, soprano; Martha Henry, narrator; Monique Mojica, actor; NAC orchestra; Alexander Shelley Analekta AN 2 8870, 73 min 25 s. This recording is the “soundtrack” for the multi-media work Life Reflected, which had its premiere at the National Arts Centre May 19, 2016. It was a highly ambitious and worthwhile project that brought together four newly-commissioned pieces by Canadian composers – three of them women – under the overall direction of the NAC’s conductor Alexander Shelley and creative producer and director Donna Feore. Each of the pieces was based on…

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Jean-Philippe Sylvestre, piano; Orchestre Métropolitain; Alain Trudel, conductor ATMA Classique ACD22763, 54 min 32 s. Quebec child prodigy André Mathieu is paired with Russian giant of the piano repertoire Rachmaninov in this live recording made during the 2017 Festival Classica. There have always been comparisons between the two composers, but with the scattering of blues harmonies amid the late-Romantic language in the Concerto de Québec, you can hear the relationship between Mathieu and Gershwin as well. Mathieu had a great amount of raw talent, but was unable to refine his style; this much is made clear by the juxtaposition on…

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Airat Ichmouratov is a triple talent of an uncommon sort. A composer, conductor, and klezmer clarinettist, he has earned critical acclaim in each domain. Resident conductor of Les Violons du Roy, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, and Orchestre Métropolitain, Ichmouratov made his debut with the Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theatre in 2011. He is a founding member of the klezmer group Kleztory, which has won numerous awards, both domestic and international. In 2008, Ichmouratov received the “Best Concert of the Year” Prix Opus for conducting Les Violons du Roy in a concert entitled “Russian Impressions” – a concert that…

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Danish National Radio Choir, Elmer Iseler Singers, Swedish Radio Choir, Toronto Children’s Chorus, Esprit Orchestra/Alex Pauk, Toronto Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Davis. Centrediscs CMCCD 23517, 77 min. Composer Harry Freedman (1922–2005) played English horn in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) for nearly 25 years. This new CD brings together five of his major orchestral works covering a period between 1960 and 2003. For listeners too young to have known Harry Freedman when he was alive, this album offers an excellent opportunity to become acquainted with his legacy. The oldest piece in this collection is Images composed in 1960. On the whole, this…

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“One day, as I was playing a very simple tune, (…) my teacher wanted to make me feel the fluctuation of tempos, so he began playing the drums behind my back. To my surprise, I naturally followed the rhythm. I played and was being played. Just then, a group of musicians arrived (…) and played a constellation of contrapuntal rhythms. It was one of the most intense musical experiences of my life. I became almost weightless, lifted by so much beauty and also by the human communication that’s beyond speech. Being a musician among other musicians.” — Gilles Tremblay, travel…

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-A free, all-ages opera for the community, weekends in September-  TORONTO, ON: Canada’s leading contemporary opera company, Tapestry Opera, in conjunction with the Toronto Arts Council and the Todmorden Mills Heritage Site, is pleased to announce the world premiere of Bandits in the Valley. Set in 1860s Toronto, Bandits in the Valley tells the story of a local bandit group, aided by a troupe of travelling Gilbert & Sullivan players, who attempt to steal a mysterious object from a wealthy citizen’s home in the Don Valley. Six performers will make their way through the site singing and playing a variety…

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In the June 2017 issue of La Scena Musicale, we reported on a collaboration between Odawa composer Barbara Croall and the Highlands Opera Studio (read here). The project, entitled Wiikondiwin (meaning feasting or feast) was commissioned by general director Valerie Kuinka in partnership with the Atelier Lyrique de L’Opera de Montreal. It was set to be premiered on August 19 at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavillion in Haliburton, Ontario. Unfortunately, Barbara Croall withdrew Wiikondiwin on July 10, citing “ongoing and increasingly critical family health issues,” which have restricted her ability to complete the opera on time. “After receiving this…

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MONTRÉAL, July 31, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ – The date had already been set for a while by the official programming of the 375th anniversary of the city of Montréal and GSI Musique. On August 19th at 9pm at the foot of the Mount Royal, music lovers will be able to witness, for the first time ever, three of the city’s major orchestras putting their talent together: The McGill Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Métropolitain and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal being the featured guests of the evening. This popular gathering is under the direction of Monique Giroux and the musical arrangements have been made by Simon Leclerc who will also conduct the more than 400 musicians, artists and choir…

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Montreal, 29 July 2017—It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of composer, pianist, and pedagogue Gilles Tremblay this past Thursday at the age of 85. Read the SMCQ’s tribute to Mr. Tremblay here (french). This cover article is from La Scena Musicale – Vol. 15, No. 2 October 2009 The 2009-2010 music season will by highlighted by an exciting tribute to composer Gilles Tremblay. More than 60 concerts featuring the composer’s works will be performed in Montreal, Quebec City, and Drummondville, as well as outside Quebec. In November, Chant Libres presents the world premiere of his fairytale opera, L’eau…

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