CD Review | Elle (Analekta, 2022)

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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 these lovely contrasts between subtlety and emotional intensity that allow Dubeau to show off her tonal adaptability. These contrasts also emphasize the uniqueness of each composer.

Not to mention the exceptional performance from La Pietà! The rich, deep sounds of the cellos and contrabassoon guide the six violins; pianist Amélie Fortin infuses the works with a softness that makes the album more approachable; and the harpists, gentle but strong in their performances, compliment La Pièta so well that it’s a shame Dubeau only includes them in two works (Eos and Libera Me). The ensemble’s magical musical chemistry in this album is not an accident, but the culmination of their decades of practice.

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

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