Browsing: La Scena Online

La Scena Online is the digital magazine of La Scene Musicale.
Contents: News, Concert reviews, CD reviews, Interviews, Obituaries, etc
Editor: Wah Keung Chan
Assistant Editor: Andreanne Venne
ISSN: 1206-9973

SIBELIUS: Symphonies 1-7/Tapiola/Orchestral FragmentsOslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Klaus MäkeläDecca Classics, 2022 Finland is a small country but it has long been known for producing way more than its share of world-class conductors. Few have risen as fast as 26-year-old Klaus Mäkelä. He is in his second season as music director of the Orchestre de Paris and third season as music director of the Oslo Philharmonic, and just a few months ago he was chosen to be the next conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. Because of his current commitments, he doesn’t take over in Amsterdam until 2027; in the meantime,…

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De mille feux – “To shine with a thousand lights”Andara Quartet: Marie-Claire Vaillancourt and Jeanne Côté, violins; Vincent Delorme, viola; Dominique Beauséjour-Ostiguy, celloLeaf Music (2022) The Andara Quartet’s latest offering, De mille feux, bubbles with the sheer joy of harmonious, passionate music-making. Based at the Université de Montréal, its reputation extends internationally to the delight of sold-out audiences. The members—Marie-Claire Vaillancourt (violin), Jeanne Cote (violin), Vincent Delorme (viola) and Dominique Beauséjour-Ostiguy (cello)—were guided since their formation by the great cellist Denis Brott (at the Conservatoire de Montréal). Their warmth, musicality and focused playing imparts a warm, distinctive sound. The full…

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EclipseHilary HahnDeutsche Grammophon, 2022 Hilary Hahn’s overarching mission is to make classical music appealing to younger audiences, and Eclipse is yet another marker of success. The album opens with the three parts of Dvořák’s sweeping Violin Concerto in A Minor, a grand and dynamic work that sets an appropriately positive tone for Hahn’s return after a pandemic-induced hiatus. Her violin performance, accompanied by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, is passionate and honest. The listener can feel Hahn’s uncertainty melt away as she becomes reaccustomed to the stage, an experience that is all too familiar to young members of the public reincorporating…

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Taking FiveCatherine Little, cello; Gregory Myra, pianoLabel: independent (services provided by Leaf Music, 2022) Cellist and educator Catherine Little has released Taking Five, a CD which was recorded at St. Andrew’s Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia (a province which is becoming a centre of first-rate music-making in Canada) and distributed by Naxos in  CD format with streaming and download rights. Little’s expert playing is elegant and well supported by a fine collaborative pianist, Gregory Myra. Technically proficient, both performers are in sync throughout their selection, which pleasingly displays their common conceptual approach. Little learned from good teachers (including noted doyenne of cello,…

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Space Time Continuo – Pachelbel : Les fugues MagnificatAmanda Keesmaat, cello, 5-string cello, director; Elinor Frey, cello, piccolo cello; Andrea Stewart, cello; Camille Paquette-Roy, cello; Sylvain Bergeron, archlute; Luc Beauséjour, organAnalekta, 2022 The new CD by the Space Time Continuo ensemble mainly features works by Pachelbel, in particular the Magnificat Fugues. One of the most interesting features of this CD is the sound, brought to life by the exchanges and dialogues between the various types of cellos. In this way, the polyphonic fabric is always sharp. In addition, the bright articulation never allows boredom to settle. A case in point is…

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From AfarVíkingur ÓlafssonDeutsche Grammophon, 2022 From Afar, which chronicles the musical life story of Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson, features 22 compositions played twice across two discs. On Disc 1, the pianist capitalizes on the sensitivity of his recording device and the silence that permeates the works to call attention the grand piano’s powerful reverb. This instrumental quality has a calming effect throughout the album, but especially in the third work, Bach’s Sonata for Solo Violin No. 3. Ólafsson then uses that reverb to briefly put the listener on edge in György Kurtág’s Harmonica, and he toys with these contrasting tonal…

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Ottawa’s Parkdale United Church Orchestra, led by new music director and conductor John Kraus, knocked it out of the park on Nov. 19 with their most ambitious concert since the start of the pandemic. What you missed? Under the theme of A Night at the Movies, the orchestra immediately commanded the audience’s attention with the bellowing timpani from Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra, popularized by its use in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. After a fantastic rendition of Salute to the Cinema, arranged by Carl Strommen, the program featured dynamic suites that transported listeners into the cinematic worlds of…

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Beethoven/Liszt: *** Mozart/Alkan: **** Franz Liszt did more to spread music appreciation than the entire education apparatus of his time. Hearing a piece he admired, Liszt would make a piano transcription. He got most applause for new Italian arias by Bellini and Donizetti but Liszt always had missionary zeal so he introduced complete symphonies by Beethoven to small towns where no professional orchestra ever played. His score of Beethoven’s Eroica is at once inspiring and bemusing, a faithful representation of Beethoven’s themes without the subtleties of texture. Not many pianists bring it off without the listener feeling short-changed. Paul Wee,…

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Laval, November 14, 2022 – The wife and children of Gilbert Patenaude regret to announce his death on November 13, 2022 at the Cité de la santé de Laval. Born in Montreal in the Rosemont district, he grew up in Outremont where he learned music as a soprano with the Clerics of Saint-Viateur, then piano and organ at the Vincent-d’Indy School. He then pursued most of his musical training at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec in Montreal. On the recommendation of Raymond Daveluy, he became the first lay musical director of the Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal, a position that…

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The American composer, living in Italy until his death last year, was prompted by the 1973 overthrown of Chilean president Salvador Allende to compose 36 variations on the fallen regime’s populist campaign song, El pueblo unido jamas sera vencido. Despite lasting almost an hour and containing episodes of atonal fury, the piece was quickly and frequently recorded, first in 1976 by its dedicatee Ursula Oppens and latterly by the German pianist Igor Levit. In all, there are a dozen recordings. None has captured my attention so compellingly as this new release, by the 2013 Van Cliburn winner, the Ukrainian pianist…

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