Press

Strauss: Ein Heldenleben & Mahler: Rückert-Lieder

Strauss: Ein Heldenleben; Mahler: Rückert-Lieder Review by James Manheim

The Strauss and Mahler works on this 2024 release are both relatively often recorded, and listeners may have been surprised to see the album show up on classical best-seller lists in the spring of that year. There is the consideration that Rafael Payare and his abundant Afro are landing on many lists of acts to watch, and he shows signs of jelling with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal in the Richard Strauss autobiographical tone poem Ein Heldenleben. Hear the superb solo work from violinist Andrew Wan in the third movement, representing Strauss' wife, Pauline de Ahna, but the big news here, and what is probably drawing buyers, is the other work on the album, Mahler's Rückert-Lieder, which receive a revelatory performance from soprano Sonya Yoncheva. It is a distinctly different flavor from the usual Wagnerian sound, adding operatic emotionalism to Um Mitternacht and the gorgeous finale, Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen. Yoncheva was an inspired choice, whether by Payare or someone else, and the album is worth time and money for her alone. The PentaTone label adds nicely transparent sound from the Maison Symphonique de Montréal to the mix.

 

Gramophone MagazineApril 2024

An enthusiastic podium presence, Payare gets results that are by no means ‘flash’. He takes nearly 47 minutes to negotiate a score which Carlos Kleiber and the composer himself get through in under 40. The argument flows nicely if not always with galvanic force.

Sunday Times

Richard Strauss’s critics – baiting 1898 tone poem Ein Heldenleben, so exquisite one minute, so overwrought the next, receives a middling performance by the Montreal Orchestra under Payare. There is an epic sweep to their playing in Des Helden Weltflucht und Vollendung and the orchestra leader Andrew Wan is superb in the passages for solo violin. But their account lacks a certain effervesance, although the recording balance is spot on. The Bulgarian operatic soprano Yoncheva’s reading of Mahler’s Ruckert-Lieder is a similarly mixed bag – haunting in Um Mitternacht and Ich bin der Welt abhanden Gekommen, perhaps a little too light in tone elsewhere. Much to enjoy though.
FLÛTE PASSION : CLAUDE BOLLING, VOL. 1

Critique | Première de l’album Flûte passion : Claude Bolling-Suite pour flûte et trio piano jazz de Nadia Labrie

 0

PAR  LE MUSIQUE CLASSIQUE

C’est à la Cinquième salle de la Place des Arts que Nadia Labrie lançait son projet Flûte passion : Claude Bolling-Suite pour flûte et trio piano jazz.

La présentation de la soirée fut prise en charge par Jeannot Painchaud, fondateur du cirque et des productions Eloize, qui exprimait toute sa fierté d’avoir collaboré au projet, à cette soirée de lancement, et surtout d’être l’heureux époux de la talentueuse interprète. Avec cet album, Nadia Labrie en est à sa première gravure sur l’étiquette Atma Classique. 

 

Elle compte sept albums qui précèdent ce tout récent Bolling, tous parus sous l’étiquette Analekta, dont les trois plus récents, aussi sous l’intitulé de Flûte Passion dont, Flûte PassionSchubert (2018), Flûte Passion: Bach (2020), et Flûte Passion: Mozart (2021). Labrie cumule de nombreuses nominations et plusieurs prix, dont une 2e place aux finales nationales du Concours de Musique du Canada (1995), le Félix album Instrumental au Gala de l’ADISQ pour Similia Nota del Sol (2004), et deux distinctions dignes de mention : Médaille Gouverneur Général du Canada (1998) et Relève Citoyenne − Lieutenant Gouverneur Général Québec (2005).

 

Flûte passion : Claude Bolling-Suite pour flûte et trio piano jazz

Sur l’album Labrie s’entoure d’un trio d’excellents musiciens: Jonathan Turgeon au piano, Dominic Girard à la contrebasse et Bernard Riche à la batterie. Lors de cette soirée de lancement, ces deux derniers étaient à leurs partitions, Turgeon était remplacé par John Roney. Chaque pièce a été interprétée dans l’ordre de l’album  − qui est exactement le même que l’album de Rampal, Claude Bolling, composé en 1973, enregistré et imprimé sur vinyle en 1975.

La suite dans sa forme de microsillon : face A: Baroque and Blue – 5:18 (5:51) Sentimentale – 7:45 (8:41) Javanaise – 5:15 (5:09). face B : Fugace – 3:50 (3:50) Irlandaise – 2:59 (3:25) Versatile – 5:07 (5:47) Véloce – 3:40 (4:01). Les temps entre parenthèse sont ceux des arrangements de Nadia Labrie. De l’album vinyle au CD de Bolling, les temps diffèrent aussi de quelques secondes.  

Nadia Labrie

Nadia Labrie

On peut voir par les temps, très fidèles aux partitions, que Labrie y a mis toute son expérience, son talent ainsi que sa touche personnelle sans toutefois enlever de l’originalité aux travaux initiaux. Quels travaux elle a accomplis et ce n’est pas terminé. Elle nous parle non seulement de l’enregistrement et de cette représentation en concert de La Suite #1, qui est déjà un évènement en soi, mais aussi de la progression de son projet « Hommage à Claude Bolling », qui comptera 3 albums pour la fin de 2025.

Elle le fait en nous offrant en rappel une Espiègle parfaitement exécutée, première pièce de La Suite #2 sorti en 1987. Quel sera le troisième ? Picnic Suite for Flute, Guitar and Jazz Piano Trio: III ? Et qui se mesurera aux partitions de Claude Bolling au piano et à celles d’Alexandre Lagoya à la guitare ? Ce qui est certain c’est que Labrie n’a pas chômé depuis la sortie de Flûte Passion: Mozart (2021) et qu’elle n’est pas prête de le faire. C’est une artiste qui nous réserve encore bien d’autres passions à suivre. 

 

Nadia Labrie

* Rappelons que Bolling – Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio s’est positionné disque platine, États-Unis et Canada, au Billboard des 40 albums les plus vendus pendant 530 semaines de 1976 à 1986. À cette époque, nombreuses publicités et même des bulletins de nouvelles à Télé Métropole étaient accompagnés des thèmes de cette Suite # 1

* La parution d’été 2018 de La Scena Musicalemettait en vedette, sous la plume de Justin Bernard, cette interprète canadienne de premier plan.  

 

Nadia Labrie: Finding the Beauty

 0

BY  ON CANADIAN MUSICMONTREALWINDS

April / May 2024

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

French-Canadian flute player Nadia Labrie is famous for her classical recordings of works by Schubert, Bach, and Mozart. Her latest project, Flûte passion: Claude Bolling – Suite pour flûte et trio piano jazz, celebrates the work of French composer Claude Bolling, who died in 2020 at the age of 90. Labrie says Bolling’s music has expanded her artistry; she is saluting him with a concert at Place des Arts on May 2.

The Quebec-based artist has performed as a soloist with a variety of orchestras including Orchestre symphonique de Québec and Orchestre symphonique de l’Estuaire. Her classical Flûte passion series (2018-2021) was created through a series of difficult circumstances—the final album was finished during the coronavirus pandemic. “I needed a light in my life,” she recalls. “You just hear the name ‘Mozart’ and you smile.” However, the music of Bolling is different. “I think I just wanted to explore something new,” she says.

Her introduction to Bolling’s work came through the uncle of Labrie’s husband, a fan of his famous “Baroque And Blue.” The piece is the first in the seven-movement Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio No. 1, Bolling’s 1973 composition fusing classical and jazz and written for piano, drums, upright bass, and flute. Acclaimed French flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal recorded the work in 1975 (earning him a Grammy nomination), as well as Bolling’s followup, Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio No. 2, in 1986.

For Labrie, Rampal’s recordings were a stepping stone. “When I was listening, I thought: ‘Oh my goodness, he’s so good!’ It’s absolutely perfect phrasing and done with a lot of character and feeling,” she notes, “but at a certain point I began to hear how I wanted to play it myself.”

The process of learning Bolling’s work provided a strong contrast to Labrie’s classical background. “I’ve practised (classical repertoire) all my life, so it was already in my fingers, but with Bolling it was like: ‘What can I do with this?’ I knew I wanted it to have my own sensibility.”

Her individualistic approach was supported by fellow musicians involved with the project—Jonathan Turgeon on piano, Dominic Girard on double bass, and Bernard Riche on drums—who performed Bolling’s work with Labrie in a series of live dates last year. They join her at Place des Arts in May. “At the beginning I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it,” she says, “but I just went for it—and playing this music is so much fun!”

 

 

Truth in Our Time featuring Philip Glass - Symphony No. 13

ruth in Our Time: Philip Glass - Symphony No. 13 Review by James Manheim

The title of this live release by Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra is an ambitious one, and online listeners may wonder about the thread connecting the very diverse works on the program. However, physical album buyers will get the scoop. The album's motivations are dual. One is pretty vague; the album seeks to embody the value of truth in an age of disinformation. The second is quite specific; the release pays tribute to the late Canadian broadcast journalist Peter Jennings. The items on the program work for one of these, if not both. The National Arts Centre commissioned the Symphony No. 13 from Philip Glass, who professed an admiration for Jennings, and it is a compact, punchy example of Glass' late style. Under the "truth" rubric comes the Symphony No. 9 in E flat major, Op. 70, of Shostakovich, and the revised version of the Violin Concerto of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, both dating from the end of World War II and obviously having nothing to do with Jennings but embodying the idea of composers' following their own inner dictates (speaking their "truths," as contemporary parlance has it). Both works receive strong performances; the light, neoclassic quality of the Shostakovich, which ticked Stalin off considerably, is caught nicely by conductor Alexander Shelley, and violinist James Ehnes contributes appropriate sentiment in the Korngold concerto. There is also a camera-themed overture by Canadian composer Nicole Lyzée and a nifty bilingual spoken-word item by the singer-songwriter YAO. Certainly of interest not only to Canadian listeners but to those from the south who fondly remember Peter Jennings.

 

 

Critique Ottawa citizen

https://ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/local-arts/truth-in-our-time-nac-orchestra-shares-values-music-on-vibrant-new-recording

 

Globe and mail interview

NAC Orchestra’s Alexander Shelley discusses new album and tribute to Canadian journalist Peter Jennings

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/music/article-nac-orchestras-alexander-shelley-discusses-new-album-and-tribute-to-a/

 

Ludwing Van

INTERVIEW | Alexander Shelley Talks About Truth in Our Time — NACO’s Latest Release

Chamber Works by Robert Müller-Hartmann

Chamber Works by Robert Müller-Hartmann Review by James Manheim

This release by the ARC Ensemble appeared in the Chandos label's Music in Exile series in 2023. This isn't exactly appropriate, for all the music here by the German Jewish composer Robert Müller-Hartmann was composed before 1938 when the composer fled Germany for England. Although he had had a good deal of success in Germany during the Weimar Republic and even stuck it out for a while there teaching in Jewish schools, he was never treated well in England (although Ralph Vaughan Williams appreciated his talent) and was even interned for a time. The excellent notes by ARC Ensemble artistic director Simon Wynberg tell the whole sorry tale, but the key point here is that he was totally forgotten, and all the works here are world premieres. They are well worth rediscovery. The opening Violin Sonata, Op. 5, is an early work from 1923 dedicated to Artur Schnabel. Hear the melodic lilt in the first movement, suggesting Viennese popular music, although Müller-Hartmann was from Hamburg. Perhaps the strongest work is the spare, four-movement Sonata for two violins, Op. 32, which one might easily take for Hindemith if asked to guess. The String Quartet No. 2, Op. 38, is an emotionally rich, rather intense work. Nothing at all is dull or academic here, and the varied forces all benefit from obviously well-prepared performances by members of the ARC Ensemble. Clear sound from Toronto's Koerner Hall is another plus on a recording by a composer who survived the horrors of the age.

Reviews

“…No avant-garde adventurer, Müller-Hartmann looked back to Viennese late-Romanticism for inspiration… Particularly charming is Müller-Hartmann’s Sonata, Op.32 for two violins, four genial, sprightly dance-like movements…”

Michael Schulman – thewholenote.com – 11 February 2024

“…This collection provides us with a portrait of a highly professional and competent composer. The music is superbly well written and adapted to the forces required. There are many passages of considerable expressivity and moments of pathos… The performances on this disc are beyond reproach…”

William Hedley – Musicwebinternational.com – 31 January 2024

“…These first recordings are no less well prepared, scrupulously engineered and sympathetically played than previous volumes in the series…”

Peter Quantrill – Gramophone magazine – January 2024

Performance ****      Recording ****

“… the strongest and most absorbing music comes in the melodically appealing Sonata for Two Violins and particularly in the emotionally probing Second String Quartet. As always, the ARC Ensemble’s committed performances make the best possible case for re-evaluating this neglected composer.”

Erik Levi – BBC Music magazine – January 2024

“…The ARC Ensemble seem to get to the heart of these pieces and present them in sympathetic performances in a good acoustic… An interesting rediscovery reflective of traditional elements in inter-war Germany …”

Jonathan Woolf – Musicweb-international.com – 20 November 2023

SIGNATURE: PHILIP GLASS
  • OPTIONSUlysse Long-Hun-Nam

    "Cette sélection est plus qu’un hommage ; elle est le fruit d’un cheminement dans un monde sonore et un univers visuel qui s’étirent dans une sorte de bulle et de continuum sans fin."

  • OPTIONS

    "Cette sélection est plus qu’un hommage ; elle est le fruit d’un cheminement dans un monde sonore et un univers visuel qui s’étirent dans une sorte de bulle et de continuum sans fin. Signature est le 48e album d’Angèle Dubeau… et assurément pas le dernier des derniers."

  • MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

    "For Glass or Dubeau aficionados, this is a must-buy, and for the Glass waverers out there, this might be the disc that dispels doubts." " The performances are quite excellent, as I've come to expect from this source, and the soud is very good."

  • GRAMOPHONE

    "Signature' is about as impressive an overview as one might hope to find of this influential American composer, thanks to the imprint of Dubeau's own unique musical signature on proceedings."

  • BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

    "Dubeau's personally curated playlist is performed with her usual flair and artistic integrity, every note adorned with obvious love for the music."

  • TEXTURA.ORG

    "Glass is in exceptionally good hands with Dubeau ... With Signature Philip Glass, Dubeau and her colleagues have produced a recording that's perhaps as diverse and eclectic as any Glass compendium could possibly be."

  • RES MUSICA Jean Luc Clairet

    "Vedette du disque, le violon d’Angèle Dubeau porte haut la mélancolie d’un artiste qui, depuis un bon demi-siècle, a su capter les affects de ses contemporains."

  • APPLE MUSIC

    "Sumptuous and arresting arrangements exploring Philip Glass' universe."

  • AllMusic

    Signature Philip Glass Review by James Manheim

    With the continuing popularity of Philip Glass' music, various performers have arranged it for new combinations. He hasn't been notably dismayed by this, and indeed, one might draw a comparison with Arvo Pärt, whose works, to some extent, come into their own as they are performed in different versions. This release by veteran violinist Angèle Dubeau and her ensemble La Pietà is unique thus far. Dubeau reduces some larger items, like an excerpt from the Koyaanisqatsi film score, to chamber ensemble dimensions while performing some of Glass' relatively sparse output of chamber music unaltered. This results in some interesting insights, for example, that the chamber music, although for the most part relatively recent, mostly sticks closer to the minimalist core of Glass' style than the larger pieces, which open that style up to harmonic motion on a bigger scale. Dubeau thus shines a novel lens on Glass' music as a whole. The performances are arresting, with the edge of tension that makes a strong Glass performance, and the Analekta label wisely departs from its frequent choice of Montreal churches for the Multimedia Room at McGill University, an ideal space. Even those with large Glass collections will want to add this unusual release.

Clara, Robert, Johannes: Romance and Counterpoint
  • THE WHOLE NOTE

    "Thrilling performances of the fourth symphonies of Schumann and Brahms. Particularly impressive is the sweeping and warm string sound and uniformly free and elegant playing from the winds and brass."

  • GRAMOPHONE

    "Goodyear has a real feeling for Clara’s music, as his reading of the late Romance in B minor, written just after Robert’s death in 1856, affirms. Yosuke Kawasaki and Angela Hewitt are on point in the Romances, Op 22, but it is the succession of fugues and preludes and fugues that offer another view of Clara’s musicality ..."

  • BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

    "... a wonderful deep-dive into the heady world of this German-Romantic trio of artists, a place of romance, obsession, love both requited and unrequited – and, yes, as per the title, counterpoint. If there are plenty of recordings of both symphonies to choose from, these performances are a worthwhile listen. Shelley fires up playing of vigorous energy and spirit ..."

  • LE DEVOIR

    "Après une 3e Symphonie de Schumann exceptionnelle, l’ultime volume de cette intégrale des symphonies de Schumann et de Brahms brille par une version lapidaire et intraitable de la Quatrième de Brahms ..."

CLARA, ROBERT, JOHANNES: ATMOSPHERE AND MASTERY

SCHERZO

"A una encendida versión del trío de Clara se unen sus brillantes preludios y fugas en versión de Stewart Shelley. Gabriela Montero, además de interpretar su encendida lectura del concierto de Clara, despliega sus inevitables improvisaciones."

Mahler : Symphonie no 5 en do dièse mineur

April 18, 2023

“Mahler Symphony No. 5” is BBC Music Magazine’s Orchestral Choice of the Month

“Rafael Payare clearly sees this teeming, almost over-rich score as a vibrant, purposeful whole.”  Mahler Symphony No. 5, performed by Rafael...

 

May 10, 2023

Pentatone Takes 4 of the Top 10 Releases in RITMO’s May 2023 Issue

We are happy to announce that four Pentatone releases have been included in RITMO’s Top 10 albums this month and all albums received extraordinary 5-star...

 

May 16, 2023

Mahler 5 is Gramophone’s Editor’s Choice of the Month

“Rafael Payare and his Montreal Symphony players offer a reading of Mahler’s Fifth of intensity and rich orchestral exploration, a real marker in...

SCHUMANN: THE THREE VIOLIN SONATAS
  • CLASSICAJean Michel Molkhou

    "Andrew Wan et Charles Richard-Hamelin, duo canadien déjà signataire chez le même éditeur d’une intégrale des sonates de Beethoven, démontrent cohésion, inspiration et dynamisme."

  • DIAPASONPatrick Szersnovicz

    "Un style châtié, avec un vrai sens des détails, des nuances comme de la grande ligne."

  • GRAMOPHONE

    "They clearly work well together as a duo, in responsive and well-coordinated readings of all three works. The playfulness they locate in the finale of the enigmatic Third Sonata is worthy of note, and elsewhere they don’t underplay the many facets of this music, ranging from the unease of the First Sonata’s opening movement to the miraculous stasis of the Second’s chorale variations."

  • LE DEVOIR

    "Ce Schumann opère un recadrage sonore bienvenu par rapport aux Beethoven avec un son plus « chambriste », un peu plus sec et direct. Le disque bénéficie de l’ajout de la Sonate WoO 27 par rapport aux deux sonates traditionnelles."

  • CBC

    "They bring urgency to the sonatas' outer movements, a sepia tone to the fragile music box of the D minor sonata's third movement, and magically suspend time in the third sonata's impossibly beautiful intermezzo."

  • BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

    "Wan brings to the table a poetic litheness, precision, silvery purity and tonal clarity, inflecting Schumann’s limpid phrases with a gentle ease, complementing Richard-Hamelin’s velvet-gloved sonority and glowing cantabile to perfection."

  • MUSIKANSICH.DEGeorg Henkel

    "Mit der Klassizität Beethovens in den Fingern gelingt es ihnen, die experimentellen hochromantischen Werke Schumanns eindrücklich zu Gehör zu bringen. Schumanns Musik blickt auf Beethoven zurück und verflüssigt zugleich die formale Strenge der älteren Generation zugunsten einer freischweifenden Fantasie, die mitunter fast collagenhaft wirkt."

PACHELBEL : LES FUGUES MAGNIFICAT ! MAGNIFICAT FUGUES - SPACE TIME CONTINUO

CBC

"Space Time Continuo performs with the abandon of folk musicians sitting around your living room, and the fun is infectious."

1 2 3 4 5 >> Last