Browsing: Classical Music

OTTAWA – After an absence of more than a year, the Ottawa Chamberfest is back. Sure, it’s slimmed down from past seasons, when it called itself “the world’s biggest chamber music festival.” But with Ontario now in Phase 3 of its COVID reopening plan, Chamberfest is able to deliver a hybrid format of limited-attendance indoor concerts, outdoor performances for larger audiences and livestreams you can watch from the safety and comfort of your couch. This year also marks the debut of a new management team. Artistic director Carissa Klopoushak was formally appointed in March after acting as interim for more…

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Joel Quarrington, the Juno-award-winning double bassist who is widely recognized as one of finest players in the world, is retiring as principal double bass of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Quarrington played his final NACO concert on July 10 and has said he is not returning for the 2021-22 season. “I had been thinking about stopping being in any orchestra for a couple of years now,” the 66-year-old Quarrington wrote from the Orford Music Academy, where he has taught for many years. “This past June seemed like a good time to retire because the last work I would have played…

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At the heart of traditional music in Quebec, alongside the violin, is the accordion, which has special roots in the Montmagny region. “At the beginning of the 20th century, almost all families in Montmagny had an accordionist in their ranks,” explains Kathéry Couillard, general director of the Carrefour mondial de l’accordéon. “The concentration of accordionists and the transmission of their musical heritage over several generations explain the deep roots of this tradition in regional culture. Yet despite the existence of this heritage and the presence of accordion players and makers in Montmagny, there was never an event showcasing the instrument…

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The title character in Auber’s opera La Muette de Portici (The Mute Woman of Portici) has nothing to sing? The role usually goes to a dancer, a mime, or an actress. One of them was Harriet Smithson, Berlioz’ future wife. Premiered in Paris in 1828, La Muette de Portici (also known as Masaniello) is the earliest French grand opera. It allegedly played a role in the Belgian Revolution of 1830. The title character in Strauss’s opera Die Schwigsame Frau (Te Silent Woman) really does sing? The meaning behind the title is that a suitor is looking for a woman to marry who…

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Albertine, en cinq temps tells the story of a woman who finds herself alone with her memories after a turbulent life. Confined to a retirement home room at age 70 following an overdose, we discover her in the midst of a conversation with her own ghosts: Albertine at 30, 40, 50 and 60 years old as well as her sister Madeleine, who died several years earlier. The operatic version of Michel Tremblay’s play, set to music by Catherine Major, will be performed by six Canadian singers who actively participated in the creative process, which was the work of an all-female…

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Emily Doolittle: composer; Jennifer King: piano. – Leaf Music, LM2015 From the upcoming album O Mistress Moon: Canadian Edition, Gleise 581c takes listeners to new heights, having us imagine ourselves looking at the planet from space, watching it turn, and projecting our wonder, imagination, and hopes onto it. Gleise 581c is a lively minimalistic work, full of sparkling atmospheric piano patterns that contrast with a dark and spacious otherworldly middle section. This work is eloquent in hopefulness and effective in its sparseness. This release is part of an advertising supplement and does not engage this magazine to any opinions that may be…

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Matthew Larkin, organ. ATMA ACD22857 ATMA Classique is pleased to present the label debut of Canadian organist Matthew Larkin. Recorded on the Casavant Opus 550 organ at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Toronto, this two-disc recital showcases the remarkable breadth and beauty of one of North America’s most famous organs. This release is part of an advertising supplement and does not engage this magazine to any opinions that may be expressed in the content of this review. To advertise in this section, contact: [email protected]

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David Jacques, guitar. ATMA ACD22821 ATMA Classique is pleased to present the label debut of Canadian organist Matthew Larkin. Recorded on the Casavant Opus 550 organ at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Toronto, this two-disc recital showcases the remarkable breadth and beauty of one of North America’s most famous organs. This release is part of an advertising supplement and does not engage this magazine to any opinions that may be expressed in the content of this review. To advertise in this section, contact: [email protected]

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Derek Charke, composer and flute; Eugene Cormier, guitar (Leaf Music, LM234) Bathymetric Terrains muses on the ecology of oceans and tidal bays. This visual album included a full-length video version of the album that combines elements of the live video projections used in on-stage performances with newly acquired footage of the duo playing their instruments on or near the ocean floor in Nova Scotia. Combining acoustic, vocal and electroacoustic elements, Bathymetric Terrains is an exciting journey beneath the ocean to discover new landscapes and sounds. This release is part of an advertising supplement and does not engage this magazine to any opinions…

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Grej in collaboration with Maureen Batt (Leaf Music, LM243) Created from letters and journals written on a journey through grief, the inspiration for this work came from our dear friend and its message is universal. This album represents a journey through grief but is, above all, a love story.  The music was composed by Grej (Gregory Harrison) in collaboration with Maureen Batt. The concept is a marriage between classical and electronic genres that utilizes voice, piano, harmonium, synthesizer, and field recordings. This release is part of an advertising supplement and does not engage this magazine to any opinions that may be expressed…

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