Browsing: Classical

Over the past two years, despite pandemic and heavy forest fire ­activity, Natalia Polchenko and her Vernon Proms festival team have ­continued to present live music. “I hope that this year we will not encounter any disasters,” says Polchenko, who moved the ­festival to an earlier date this summer to avoid the fire season. Stronger After The Storm The festival is proud to commission new music; this year, they will ­première a work by Imant Raminsh, a  noted Canadian composer who happens to live in Vernon. “The piece, O Language Where Language Ends, is a song cycle about arts and…

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Les Violons du Roy can once again spread their wings as they please after more than 1½ months of a lockdown reinstatement and a few small-scale concerts at Bourgie Hall. Nicolas Altstaedt will be the guest artist in the Un violoncelle par-delà des frontières concert series on May 6 and 7. On May 26 and 28, Les Violons du Roy will join forces with I Musici de Montréal, under the baton of Jean-François Rivest. This concert will bring back collaborations with orchestras and musicians. Before these concerts take place, former conductor Bernard Labadie, whose triumphant return has long been expected,…

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Leon Fleisher Live Vol. 1. Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Boston Symphony/Pierre Monteux, July 20, 1958). Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 (Boston Symphony/Pierre Monteux, Aug 11, 1962). Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 (Musica Aeterna Orchestra/Frederic Waldman, Nov 23, 1964). Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 25 (Berlin Philharmonic/George Szell, Aug 3, 1957). DOREMI DHR-8158/9 (2 CDs) Leon Fleisher Live Vol. 2 Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 (Concertgebouw Orchestra/Pierre Monteux, May 14, 1962). Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 (Los Angeles Philharmonic/Bruno Walter, June 12, 1949.) DOREMI DHR-8160. These new releases constitute an absolute treasure trove of live performances by the late American pianist…

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Luc Beauséjour : Mozart Luc Beauséjour, fortepiano. Analekta, 2021 Primarily active on the Montreal scene as a harpsichordist, Luc Beauséjour plays other keyboard instruments as well. In 2016, he issued a set of all baroque pieces performed on a modern grand piano. This time around, he has chosen the fortepiano to interpret a number of well-known Mozart sonatas, among them the equally beloved Fantasy in D minor. All works performed on this album have stood the test of time by virtue of the youtfhul prodigy’s creative genius. Because of that, the repertoire is a winning proposition, enhanced as it is by…

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Mystic Giorgia Fumanti, soprano Velenosi entertainment VEGA2CD-2942 Release: Aug. 20 Giorgia Fumanti has established herself as one of the top female classical crossover singers in the world, having performed in five continents and in some of the most prestigious and iconic venues. Fumanti’s 12th album, Mystic, is a follow-up to her No. 1 best-selling album Amour and her No. 3 best-selling album Aimons-Nous on Canada’s ADISQ charts. (Her albums have also appeared on Billboard’s Crossover Chart.) This collection includes classical hits by Ravel (Bolero), Verdi (“Va, Pensiero”), Puccini (“Nessun Dorma”), Orff  (“O Fortuna”) Albinoni (Adagio), Piazzolla (Libertango), Gino Vannelli, Michel…

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The Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ), a pillar in the Canadian contemporary music scène,  will celebrate its 55th year with Merveilleuses utopies and Célébration! on Dec. 14 and 15 in Salle Pierre-Mercure. Turning toward both the past and the future, the SMCQ will pay tribute to the musical legacy of the artists who marked the history of the organization while inviting the public to discover some of the new faces of contemporary creation. In Merveilleuses utopies, presented in a diptych format, the Orchestre philharmonique des musiciens de Montréal (OPMEM) will perform some daring pieces for large ensemble by…

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Giorgia Fumanti released her 12th album, Mystic, on Aug. 22. It was recorded ­during the pandemic, during which her father died. The music reflects her loss. “It was a big shock when the pandemic began,” she says. “My parents live in Italy, and I followed it from there to its arrival in Quebec. The beginning of 2020 had me ­worried, and then it was Quebec’s turn. It was a major break in my career, with no ­concerts or travelling.” However, as soon as she could, the singer returned to the studio to create Mystic. “The album is a gift. Music…

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They have not been led by their conductor, Jonathan Cohen, since the start of the pandemic. Thus the spirit of a reunion will prevail on Sept. 22, when Les Violons du Roy present their first concert of the season at the Palais Montcalm. There will be a reunion also with the French soprano Sandrine Piau, who sang for the first time with this Quebec City chamber orchestra in 2003. “She was to give a gala concert with us in April 2020,” explains Les Violons artistic director Laurent Patenaude. “This will be our first guest from abroad since the…

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Well established today in the cultural landscape of Montreal, Bourgie Hall was not always a setting for concerts and music making. Since its inauguration in September 2011, recitals, chamber music, vocal music or world music concerts, jazz evenings and even crossover events – many in connection with the collections and exhibitions of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – have taken place in the former Erskine and American United Church. Through its evolution and transformations, this place bears invaluable witness to the fate of the various anglophone Protestant communities that were established in downtown Montreal, in the district known as…

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Rafael Payare will be in masterpiece mode for his inaugural season at the helm of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. The Venezuelan conductor’s indoor opening act on Sept. 14 comprises Shostakovich’s Fifth, arguably the most popular of all post-Mahlerian symphonies; Ravel’s La Valse, a venerable OSM showpiece; and Pierre Mercure’s Kaléidoscope, a Canadian favourite since its premiere by the OSM in 1948. The closing concerts in May and June feature Beethoven’s Ninth. “I would not say anything against this,” the 41-year-old said Monday when it was put to him that a playlist including Brahms, Bruckner, Debussy and Sibelius reflects a…

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