Browsing: Strings

This is Alban Berg as you’ve never heard him before. The English conductor Sir Andrew Davis has spent lockdown time orchestrating two works that Berg never intended for orchestra. The piano sonata of 1907-08 was Berg’s first published work, written under the admonitory thumb of his teacher Arnold Schoenberg who was in the throes of embracing atonality. The Passacaglia of 1913 is another Berg stepping stone towards maturity. In Davis’s orchestration, the sonata score sounds like a missing suite from his second opera, Lulu, while the Passacaglia is steeped in its predecessor, Wozzeck. If I’d heard it in a blind…

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Montreal, August 25, 2022– The Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM) announces the opening of applications for its upcoming violin edition, taking place from April 22 to May 4, 2023. Young violinists from around the world, born between January 1, 1993, and December 31, 2006, are invited to apply before November 15, 2022 on the CMIM website at concoursmontreal.ca/en/violin-2023. Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, and the required repertoire are also available. Following the preliminary international screening on video, 24 violinists will be invited to participate in the first round in front of the public in Montreal and live online across…

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Vienna 1840: Romantic Viennese Music Pascal Valois, guitar Analekta, 2022 Johann Kaspar Mertz, for whom no exploration of Viennese Romantic music would be complete without his compositions, dominates the album Vienna 1840: Romantic Viennese Music. Guitarist Pascal Valois tackles Mertz’s Barden-Klänge, Op. 13 in a series of five highly expressive and technically demanding tempo rubato works. Valois’s virtuosic talent is on full display in the latter half of Tarentelle: Più Allegro, and in the entirety of Fingals-Hohle: Maestoso—the transitions between chord-playing and fingerpicking are made imperceptible through careful arpeggiation, and his ostinato is never dull. In line with the Romantic…

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Elle Angèle Dubeau, solo violin; Valérie Milot and Antoine Mallette-Chénier, harp; Lydia Etok and Nina Segalowitz, throat singing; La Pietà Analekta, 2022 Angèle Dubeau, solo violinist and conductor for the string ensemble La Pietà, has decided to use the ensemble’s 25th anniversary album, Elle, to showcase a variety of contemporary female composers. The result? A thrilling experience where the listeners never gets too comfortable with one style. Just as they come to understand the cool and brooding nature of Rebecca Dale’s Winter, for example, they’re surprised by the fiery Inuit throat singing of Katia Makdissi-Warren’s Mémoire. The album is filled with…

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Glass: Complete String Quartets – String Quartets Nos. 1-4 (Vol. 1) Olga Ranzenhofer and Antoine Bareil, violin; Frédéric Lambert, alto; Pierre-Alain Bouvrette, cello ATMA Classique, 2022 This four-work album is an excellent start to Quatuor Molinari’s series on the string ensemble compositions of Philip Glass. Mishima, originally composed as the soundtrack for a film by the same name, is the most well-known of the works on the album, and the only one that tells a story. Quatuor Molinari’s violinists effortlessly transition between different melodies in Award Montage, which makes the listener feel like a storyteller is interweaving several narratives. After…

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Journey Through Night: Canadian Music for String Quartet Alex Toskov, Laurence Schaufele and Tanya Charles Iveniuk, violin; Samuel Bisson, cello Akashic Entertainment Recordings, 2021 The Odin Quartet’s conductor and cellist, Samuel Bisson, has an affinity for atmospheric chamber music: his work as a film-score composer has brought him onboard such projects as Yan Ma’s Up We Soar (2020) and Kacey Kox’s Finding Manny (2020). But Journey Through Night poses a different challenge for him—with no visuals to complement, Bisson must generate ambience through music alone, while also showcasing contemporary Canadian composers in an accessible way. Though this is only the…

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Beethoven: Violin Sonatas Nos. 4, 9 & 10 Andrew Wan, violin; Charles Richard-Hamelin, piano Analekta, 2021 What more can be said about Beethoven’s music that hasn’t already been heard a thousand times? According to violinist Andrew Wan and pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin, quite a lot. This album is the third and final entry in the pair’s series of Beethoven violin sonatas, which began in 2018. Much like its predecessors, this album demonstrates the pair’s distinguishable technical prowess regarding the interweaving of string and piano melodies. The Allegro molto movement of Sonata No. 4 is by far the best example of this,…

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Music of the City and the Stars Andrew Paul MacDonald, electric guitar; Quatuor Saguenay Centrediscs, 2022 Canadian composer Andrew Paul MacDonald has attempted something unprecedented in the two original compositions featured on the album Music of the City and the Stars: a fusion of electric guitar and a string ensemble. There is a noticeable difference between the two instruments, but this is exactly why the album’s overarching theme works so well. The first concerto is Lyra, a seven-movement work that recounts the history of the lyre in Greek mythology. The work begins with Apollo’s conception of the instrument, follows Orpheus…

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Dr. Peter Simon, Michael and Sonja Koerner President & CEO of The Royal Conservatory of Music, Mervon Mehta, Executive Director of Performing Arts, and James Anagnoson, Dean of The Glenn Gould School, revealed today the details of the 14th concert season since the opening of Koerner Hall in 2009. Two Gala Concerts  Jan Lisiecki with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in October “Rhapsody and the Blues” with Jens Lindemann, Jon Kimura Parker, and the Yamaha All Star Big Band in February Special event to Commemorate Truth and Reconciliation Day  featuring Tomson Highway, Rebecca Cuddy, Sarain Fox, and more Jazz series pays homage…

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San Francisco, California (June 6, 2022) — The first prize of the 37th Irving M. Klein International String Competition, carrying a purse of $13,000, including performance contracts with the Peninsula and Santa Cruz Symphonies, Gualala Arts Chamber Music Series, and Music in the Vineyards has been awarded to 20-year-old cellist GAEUN KIM.  It is given in honor of Oliver Herbert, by Paul Wayne Osborne. She was also awarded the Pablo Casals Prize for best performance of Bach.  In addition to a live audience at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, thousands worldwide watched seven semifinalists via livestream on the Violin…

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