Browsing: Chamber Music

Mozart: Concertos (Indé Sens) The only thing that saved this release from being flung unopened into the bin was the quartet’s name and the fact that this is the first fruit of a new label. The Varian Fry Quartet, made up of young Berlin Philharmonic players, is named after an American who saved the lives of at least 2,000 Nazi refugees in the south of France, a largely unsung hero. The label is a bold French venture. But an hour of harp music with string quartet? Come on, there will be plenty of time for that in the afterlife. So…

Share:

We’ve just learned of the sad news that Quartetto Gelato accordionist Alexander Sevastian passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack in his sleep on Friday, February 16, 2018 in Ajijic, Mexico, a few hours before he was due to give a concert with the Quartetto Gelato. Enclosed is the obituary written by the Quartetto Gelato’s agent Alison McTavish. Alexander Sevastian (1976-2018) Alexander Sevastian, 41-year-old Toronto-based accordionist, died suddenly on Friday, February 16, 2018, while on tour in Mexico. He was on tour with Quartetto Gelato, with whom he had been a member since 2002. Sevastian was a renowned artist (accordion, piano,…

Share:

Deux (Alpha-Classics) I can’t remember when I last heard a violin-piano recital that was as ingenious and exhilarating as this. On the sleeve, the Franco-Hungarian programme looks a bit odd – the Poulenc sonata written for Ginette Neveu in 1943, a Dohnanyi setting of a waltz from Delibes’ Coppélia, the full-on Bartok sonata of 1922 and Ravel’s Tzigane to close. What do these pieces have in common? Check this: On April 8, 1922, Bela Bartok gave a recital in Paris with his compatriot Jelly d’Aranyi. Ravel was the page turner for Bartok and Poulenc for d’Aranyi. In the audience were…

Share:

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…

Share:

Tales of Two Cities: The Leipzig-Damascus Coffee House Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra/Jeanne Lamon. Trio Arabica. Alon Nashman and Maryem Tollar, narrators. Conceived by Alison Mackay. Tafelmusik Media TMK 1035 DVD & CD. Total Time: 97:15 (DVD); 70:00 (CD). A founding member of Tafelmusik, Alison Mackay has also developed such multi-disciplinary projects as The Four Seasons: A Cycle of the Sun, The Galileo Project, House of Dreams. The latest, Tales of Two Cities, draws together music, history and culture from Europe and the Muslim world, drawing attention to what we have shared for centuries. Leipzig and Damascus have long been important as…

Share:

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…

Share:

With a long tradition of educational initiatives, the McGill Chamber Orchestra (MCO) stands out on the Montreal scene season after season. Founded in 1939 by composer and conductor Alexander Brott, the MCO over the years has established many collaborations to bring music to a younger audience while offering a special place to emerging musicians and composers. “Education is the root of art,” according to MSO artistic director and conductor Boris Brott. For example, the MCO regularly collaborates with the Jeunesses Musicales du Canada (JMC), Opera McGill the Atelier lyrique of the Opéra de Montréal, the Opera Cares Foundation and the…

Share:

Alexa Raine-Wright, Sallynee Amawat, Andrea Stewart and Rona Nadler are rising stars of baroque music. In 2013, the ensemble founded Infusion Baroque because of their common passion for fine-tuning early music. In February 2017, the group launched their first album featuring sonatas by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. The 2017-18 season cements their innovative qualities beyond musical performances. Infusion Baroque’s uniqueness lies not only in artistic sensitivity but also in a fondness for musical and historical research. The players present baroque music to new audiences, combining other artistic media with chamber music. This modernization breathes new life into the historical context…

Share:

It just got a whole load tougher out there for young cellists. The first release batch of the New Year contains no fewer than four cello-piano recitals, all of them estimable. In a shrinking media environment, none will get the full-length attention they deserve. The best I can do here is short Schrift. A performance of the Brahms cello sonatas by Jean-Guihen Qeueyras and Alexandre Tharaud (Erato **) is rather too Aimez-vous Brahms for my liking. The French accent is extremely pronounced. The Swiss cellist Lionel Cottet, principal with Bavarian Radio SO, has what appears to be a debut album…

Share:

Shostakovich, Auerbach: Piano Trios Delta Piano Trio As the last releases of the year drop through the door, this is an instant ear grabber. Debate has raged for three decades as to whether Dmitri Shostakovich was a limp Soviet puppet or a secret resistant. The first view was advanced by US musicologists, who would not be satisfied until they had a signed document saying ‘I hate Stalin.’ Russian friends and fans of the composer heard his dissidence expressed in the music. Thankfully, the dispute is being resolved by a new generation of musicians who come fresh to the music. The…

Share:
1 2 3 4 19