Browsing: Canadian Music

At the 21st Opus prize gala on Feb. 4, the Conseil québécois de la musique (CQM) awarded the Opus Hommage to Lorraine Vaillancourt for her significant contribution to contemporary music. Moved by this tribute in her honour, Vaillancourt admits that she rarely takes pause to reflect on her past. She lives from day to day, but with an eye to the future. It must be this anchorage in the present that has allowed her to dedicate her professional life to the music of her time. Unwavering Originally from Arvida, Saguenay, Vaillancourt chose the path of music at the age of…

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To conclude its 78th season, the McGill Chamber Orchestra presents a gala in the company of tenor Marc Hervieux, its spokesperson for 2017-2018. This huge party on June 6 will have the Rialto resonating with the sound of the singer’s voice, which will be accompanied by his band as well as a string quintet comprising MCO players. The colourful setting of the famous Montreal theater will add a glamorous touch to this musical night. MCO artistic director Boris Brott has only praise for his collaborator: “To have Marc Hervieux as a spokesperson has been almost miraculous for us. We worked…

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La Muse choir under the direction of Ioana German, will present its Viva Verdi concert in both Montreal and Ottawa. Supported by sopranos Chantal Dionne, Marina Negruta and Anca Maria Grigoriu; mezzo-soprano Antonela Barnat; tenor Jaime Sandoval; bass Dan Popescu and an orchestra, the choir will perform some of Verdi’s greatest choruses, including excerpts from the Requiem, Il Trovatore, La Traviata and Nabucco. This large-scale concert promises a burst of Verdian joy. Barnat has been a regular singer at the Bucharest State Opera since her debut as Rosina in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in 2006. She made her debut…

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“I wasn’t expecting a career,” Kiran Ahluwalia says from New York via telephone. “I just wanted to take one year out of my life and follow my passion.” “I was scared of the future that came with climbing the corporate ladder,” she says. A trip to her native India to study music proved to her that she wanted to pursue this passion even further. One year wasn’t enough. This Indian-Canadian singer-songwriter-composer moved to Canada with her family when she was 10. Having started her formal musical training at 5, she continued her studies. They have been a driving force in…

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Subduction Julie Thériault, Audiogramme 19075801072 Inspired by geology, the pianist, composer and arranger Julie Thériault last November launched her second album, Subduction. This term refers to the slow and inexorable movement of two overlapping tectonic plates. Seemingly benign, these underground movements can have dramatic effects at the surface. The metaphor is quite appropriate to describe Thériault’s music: the 11 pieces unfold and follow each other slowly and steadily, gradually increasing in dramatic intensity before reaching the cataclysmic paroxysm of the last track, Magma. Thériault’s delicate and serious articulation introduces the main melodies as accompanying instruments appear, thickening the sound as…

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1747 : C.P.E. Bach Infusion Baroque, Sonates en trio Wq.145 à 148 et Wq. 150, Leaf Music, 63 min 48 s In 1747, J.S. Bach traveled to Berlin to visit his son Carl Philipp Emanuel. There he composed The Musical Offering, at the heart of which is a trio sonata. This may have inspired C.P.E. In the same year, he reworked several trio sonatas he had written at 17 in collaboration with his father. He offered a modern version, halfway between baroque aesthetics and the new galant style. The Montreal ensemble Infusion Baroque made a wise choice by selecting this seductive repertoire, still…

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Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 1 Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 3. Forsyth: Piano Concerto. Jane Coop, piano. Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra/Mario Bernardi. Skylark Music Sky1703. Total Time: 67:01. Born in New Brunswick and raised in Calgary, Jane Coop studied with Anton Kuerti in Toronto and went on to teach at the University of British Columbia from 1980 to 2012. In an era of limited recording, Coop has done the next best thing in re-issuing recordings from the 1980s, originally produced by the now defunct CBC Records. Her collaborations with the late Mario Bernardi (1930-2013) invariably produced excellent results. Short at 16 minutes,…

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Inspired by Canada Notre Pays Music by Seitz, Léveillée, Joni Mitchell, etc. Amici Chamber Ensemble. Mireille Asselin, soprano; Joaquin Valdepeñas, clarinet; David Hetherington, cello and Serouj Kradjian, piano. Marquis 774718148520. Total time: 62:00. The Amici Chamber Ensemble recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. It is amazing that the group (clarinetist Joaquin Valdepeñas, cellist David Hetherington and pianist Serouj Kradjian, who has succeeded the retired Patricia Parr) has endured for so long considering that apart from trios by Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, there is little important repertoire for this configuration of instruments. Amici gets around this problem by performing duos (for clarinet…

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Lucia di Lammermoor 4.5 Stars Opera McGill. Donizetti, Lucia di Lammermoor. Brittany Rae, Marcel d’Entremont, Bryan De Parsia, Jean-Philippe Mc Clish, Amelia Lubrano, Sébastien Comtois, Patrick McGill, Saraha Dufresne. McGill Symphony Orchestra, Stephen Hargreaves, conductor. Direction by Patrick Hansen. Monument National, Jan. 28. Performance 9/10 What you missed: Bumper crop at Opera McGill. Soprano Brittany Rae of Calgary, the third of three Lucias, combined pure tone, brilliant highs, natural acting and a fetching way with a phrase. Mad scenes are not always so believable. Good projection by tenor Marcel d’Entremont as Edgardo. Sturdy Enrico from baritone Bryan De Parsia, a…

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The year 2017 will be remembered as a great one for Yannick Nézet-Séguin and his Orchestre Métropolitain — even in 2018. Their seven-concert whirlwind tour of Europe, starting in the Dortmund Konzerthaus on Nov. 26 and ending in the Paris Philharmonie on Dec. 3, has been nominated for a Grand Prix by the Conseil des arts de Montréal. The winner will be announced in March. As I noted in a dispatch from Paris, the tour was a success on every level: “Audiences were charmed by the newcomers. Playing standards were high. Above all, the tour was an apotheosis for an…

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