Archive pour June, 2011

New musical terms (2/2)

29 June 2011

And here are the latest and most up-to-date definitions of some traditional musical terms:

ANTIPHONAL: Referring to the prohibition of cell phones in the concert hall.

BAR LINE: What musicians form after the concert.

BASSO CONTINUO: When musicians are still fishing long after the legal season has ended.

BEN SOSTENUTO: First cousin of the second trombonist.

CADENZA: Something that happens when you forget what the composer wrote.

ESPRESSIVO: Used to indicate permission to take a coffee break.

MAESTRO: A person who, standing in front of the orchestra and/or chorus, is able to follow them precisely.

RUBATO: A cross between a rhubarb and a tomato.

STRINGENDO: An unpleasant effect produced by the violin section when it doesn’t use vibrato.

New musical terms (1/2)

27 June 2011

Summer is finally here, time to relax, sip a glass of ice tea in the garden and laugh a little. You thought you knew your musical vocabulary, right? Well, I’m not so sure… Some of those definitions are certainly worth pondering about.

ALLREGRETTO : When you’re 16 measures into the piece and realise you took too fast a tempo.

APPOLOGGIATURA: A composition that you regret playing.

CORAL SYMPHONY: A large, multi-movement work from Beethoven’s Caribbean Period.

DILL PICCOLINI: An exceedingly small wind instrument that plays only sour notes.

FERMANTRA: A note held over and over and over and over and. . .

FRUGALHORN: A sensible and inexpensive brass instrument.

PLACEBO DOMINGO: A faux tenor.

THE RIGHT OF STRINGS: Manifesto of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Violists.

TROUBLE CLEF: Any clef one can’t read: e.g., alto clef for pianists.

VESUVIOSO: An indication to build up to a fiery conclusion.

VIBRATTO: Child prodigy son of the concertmaster.

O Kébec

24 June 2011

Several songwriters were approched but only one, Raôul Duguay, dared to rise to the challenge and wrote a national anthem for Quebec. This star of the wild 1970s considers it “the most important work of his life”. Critics were far from being unanimous about this new attempt to show patriotic colours. While some claimed the work was superfluous, others have stood up to defend it. Duguay wrote three versions of the work: one short (for everyone to sing), one longer and one instrumental.

So, do you like it? Happy St. Jean Baptiste to all!

Opus Quebec

23 June 2011

A little more than 10 years ago, violonist Angèle Dubeau and pianist Louise-Andrée Baril launched Opus Québec, an album devoted to Québécois composers, with work by Claude Champagne, André Prévost, Jacques Hétu, François Dompierre and others.

“This recording is dedicated to our own Quebec composers. These composers have always been a part of my musical universe. Together with my friend, Louise-Andrée Baril, I have chosen to offer you works composed for my instrument. Above all, however, these are works that I love, and that was the only criterion that guided me in my choice of pieces for this recording, of which I am very proud,” said Angèle Dubeau.

To listen…

Montreal jazz

22 June 2011

Because Montreal remains an essential element of the Québécois diaspora, with its North-American feel and its European flair, why not include in this week of celebration a jazz rendition of Je reviendrai à Montréal by Robert Charlebois. Among the artists performing are pianist Marianne Trudel and accordionist Francis Covan.

In a similar mood, I must recommand Montreal Variations, one of my favourite concept albums.

Celebrating St. Jean Baptiste in music

20 June 2011

Tomorrow night, at the Bastille, Québécois artists will give a big show to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Délégation du Québec à Paris. St. Jean Baptiste is almost around the corner, as well so this week, why not enjoy a little incursion in the repertoire from Quebec?

If by now most know his “Concerto de Québec” and even his Fourth Concerto, our “Canadian Mozart” André Mathieu has written many significant works just waiting to be heard and loved. One such work is his Quintet for strings and piano, his last masterwork, completed on May 12, 1953. “Many people think they are receiving a gift when they get the chance to listen to a piece of music. What they don’t realize is that the composer, by offering his work to the public, is merely issuing them a temporary passport to a magnificent realm where he is king. Music is a paradise where the flowers are always in bloom,” wrote Mathieu in Le progrès on March 10, 1954.

To listen to Alain Lefèvre and Alcan Quartet’s rendition of the work…

In the words of the composer

17 June 2011

As a composer, conductor, and creative thinker, Adams’s position in today’s music world is unique. In this informative video, he talks about being an American composer, about the choices he had to make, the composers he cherishes and the challenges of his work.

To listen to his Road Movies

Philip Glass’ music to be performed at a festival

15 June 2011

Philip Glass was the guest of honour onstage in the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last Saturday night, to talk about the upcoming The Days and Nights Festival, to run from August 19 to September 4 in Carmel Valley, California.

“If you told somebody in 1972 that we’d be here listening to your Fifth String Quartet, a lot of people wouldn’t believe it,” stated right at the start Richard Guérin associate director of Glass’s record label, Orange Mountain Music.

“They still wouldn’t believe it,” Mr. Glass replied, not missing a beat.

His Ninth Symphony will be premiered in Carnegie Hall in January, just in time for his 75th birthday. He is not afraid though of the jinxs associated with that number, since his Tenth Symphony is already finished.

The New York Times reports…

You can access Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà’s performance of his Quartet No. 3 “Mishima”, here…

And the Prix d’Europe goes to Charles Richard-Hamelin

13 June 2011

Last night, as part of the gala concert of the 100th Prix d’Europe, we heard the winners of the TD Bank Prizes ($5 000) in the four categories of the competition: voice, winds and percussion, piano and strings. Soprano Andréanne Paquin was very convincing in her Mozart, violinist Victor Fournelle-Blain demonstrated remarkable virtuosity in Waxman’s Carmen Fantaisie and percussionist Isabelle Tardif captivated in Canadian composer Harry Freedman’s Bones.

But in the end, there was only one big winner, who left with the $25 000 grand prize: pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin, second prize winner at the International Steppingstone, first prize winner at the Concours de l’ARAM and first prize winner of McGill Orchestra’s Concerto Competition last year. The young pianist will be starting his Masters degree in the fall at the Yale School of Music. Congrats to all!

Prix d’Europe: the winners revealed tomorrow only

11 June 2011

The finals of the 100th edition of the Prix d’Europe were held yesterday at Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur. After the finalists’ recitals, audience was expecting to hear the name of the winner, quite obviously, but that did not happen. Instead, the jury revealed the names of the four still considered, all to perform tomorrow at the gala concert at salle Claude-Champagne.

They are: soprano Andréanne Paquin, pianistCharles Richard-Hamelin, violinist Victor Fournelle-Blain and percussionist Isabelle Tardif. All will receive 5000 $ from TD Bank. The grand prize winner will receive 30 000 $. We’ll keep you posted.