Archive pour October, 2012

Pavel Kolesnikov wins Honens International Piano Competition

31 October 2012

A few days ago, the 23- year olf Russian pianist Pavel Kolesnikov has been named the Prize Laureate of the 2012 Honens International Piano Competition. The prize is outstanding: the $100,000 Enbridge Prize (cash, CAD) and an artistic and career development program valued at a half million dollars!

Finalists Lorenzo Cossi (Italy), Maria Mazo (Russia), Jong-Hai Park (South Korea) and Eric Zuber (United States) each received $10,000 (CAD) prizes and Semifinalist Zenan Yu of China was awarded the $2,500 Raeburn Prize for Artist of Special Promise. Canadian Avan Yu was as well among the semi-finalists.

“These last ten days have been an inspiration for music-lovers inside the concert hall and around the world via live and archived webcasts,” said Stephen McHolm, Honens’ President & Artistic Director. “I’m more convinced than ever that Honens is a festival of music and not a traditional knock-em down competition. The Jury’s choice of Pavel Kolesnikov—a thoughtful and inquisitive young musician—is a testament to Honens’ commitment to discover musicians with an original voice.”

You missed the competition. No worry! The performances are archived. All the info here…

Haydn by the Eybler Quartet

29 October 2012

After an album featuring the first recording of Eybler’s Op. 1 and some Backofen quintets paired with Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, the Eybler Quartet just launched Joseph Haydn’s complete Op. 33 Quartets.

Started in 1781, this cycle is of the utmost importance for music historians as it is the inspiration for Mozart’s “Haydn” Quartets. Each quartet is in four movements, a scherzo replacing the traditional minuet.  They are also known popularly as the “Jungferne” quartets (the Hummel edition featured an engraving of a young maiden), the “Russian” quartets (they are dedicated to Russian Grand Duke Paul, to become Tsar Paul I) and “gli scherzi” (a reference to the music itself).

You can listen to and download the album here…

A new app for a new album

25 October 2012

A string ensemble and video games: an impossible match? On the contrary, a great fit! After a 36th album devoted to film music, A Time for Us, which topped the Canadian charts for the last 9 months, Angèle Dubeau with La Pietà now launches Game Music. This new recording features unrivalled performances of strong and striking works from some of the most popular video games in the world. Never before has the realm of video game music been imbued with such virtuosity and originality. You can listen to or download the album  here…

Gamers love to play, of course, so an application for iPhone and iPad has been devised for all compulsive fans of video games. You think you know every detail, from the best sniping spots in Dust to how to unlock every weapon in Splinter Cell, and recognize theme music from a game after no more than 4 seconds? Try it out! Answer the questions, earn points and  go for the bonus round!

Get it here!

Alain Lefèvre wins another Félix

23 October 2012

<p>For a second consecutive year, l’Autre Gala de l’ADISQ was held at Théâtre Saint-Denis last night. Hosted by the Denis Drolet (who were right on target for a few presentation but overplayed clichés a bit, demonstrating once more that classical musicians and jazzmen seem like strange creatures to most), the gala saluted the excellence of classical albums, as well as hip-hop, traditional, world, rock, etc. A mixed bag of goodies, let’s just say…</p>
<p>In the classical categories, <a href=”” target=”_blank”>Alain Lefèvre et son <em>Petit Noël</em></a> took home the statuette in the “classical / soloist with small ensemble”. Alain Lefèvre was also a contender in the “classical / orchestra and big ensemble” with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal for his album <a href=”–40-version-originale-de-1926;-Scriabine-Promthe-ou-le-Pome-du-feu-op–60_1692_html” target=”_blank”>featuring Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 4 and Scriabin’s <em>Prometheus</em>, alongside <a href=”!_1690_html” target=”_blank”><em>A Time for Us</em> with Angèle Dubeau &amp; La Pietà </a>and Beethoven’s <a href=”—Misres-et-Amours-humaines_1674_html” target=”_blank”><em>Ninth Symphony</em>, recorded during inauguration week at Maison symphonique de Montréal. Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 by Orchestre métropolitain won in that category.</p>
<p>Ensemble Caprice’s Vivaldi: The Return of the Angels (classical / vocal) dans Trio Lorraine Desmarais’ Couleurs de lune (Jazz Premiere) were also nominated. Congrats to all!</p>

Too many anniversary years?

21 October 2012

The upcoming year will be a very busy year, anniversaries wise, with giants like Wagner, Britten and Verdi to be “honoured” in 2013. But what do composer anniversaries actually achieve? Is it really necessary to feature – even overfeature – those composers, to the detriment of all others already fighting for public attention?

An interesting blog post from On An Overgrown Path dares to address the question. You may read it here…

Debussy Days

19 October 2012

The Debussy Days at the Musée des beaux-arts started last night but there is still time to catch up… until October 28, that is! It is a great way to celebrate in style Debussy’s 150th birthday (1862-1918).

French pianists Jean-Philippe Collard and Michel Béroff (who will share the two books of Préludes and perform as well some four-hand pieces by the composer), as well as two concerts featuring the OSM first chairs in the chamber music.

Lectures are presented as well at the Auditorium Maxwell-Cummings.

More information here…

Wagner and me

15 October 2012

To launch Richard Wagner’s bicentenary celebrations so to speak, the Opéra de Montréal and Cinéma du Parc become partners, for a special presentation tonight (7 p.m.) of Wagner & Me with Stephen Fry, which will include a contextualization of the composer and film by musicologist Pierre Vachon

If you can’t make it tonight, don’t panick! You will get a chance to see the film at Cinéma du Parc between October 19 and 24. (More info and schedules can be found here…)

Note that with the purchase of a movie ticket for this film, you will receive a 25 % discount on the purchase of an opera ticket for Wagner’s Flying Dutchman, presented at Opéra de Montréal on November 10, 13, 15 and 17.


Live a little, laugh a lot

12 October 2012

Hurray, it is Friday! You are wondering where you hid the camera because you are strongly considering an outing to take a few pictures of the trees turning yellow and red thiw week-end? You have time for a little laughter before, right? This morning, just for you, classics making fun of two of the most (in)famous works of the classical repertoire, Ravel’s Boléro and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

First, here is the incredible Jacques Villeret, just promoted to the snare drum part in the Bolero. His facial expressions are worth alone the ticket price.

The day after the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, you just had to search through Youtube to find Rowan Atkinson’s (alias Mr. Bean) reinterpretation of the neverending soundtrack to Vangelis’ Chariots of Fire? You will just love the way he leads the orchestra in the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth.

Bon week-end!

Saint-Saëns and the cello

9 October 2012

He would have been 177 years old on this day. Saint-Saëns held the cello in high regard and composed generously for it: two sonatas, two concertos, several short pieces with organ accompaniment, and of course, “The Swan” from Carnival of the Animals.

In keeping with this composer’s reputation for upholding the traditional Gallic qualities of balance and proportion, his Cello Concerto No. 1 overcomes the age-old problem of how to keep the low-pitched, darkly sonorous sound of the cello audible against the strength of a full orchestra behind it. So successful was Saint-Saëns in this regard that there is scarcely a passage in the entire concerto where the soloist cannot easily be heard. Furthermore, the concerto is highly gratifying for cellists. It is idiomatically written, exploits the full range of the instrument, and provides passages of both soaring lyricism and exuberant virtuosity. Its large number of stirring, memorable themes also helps keep it in the forefront of the cellist’s solo repertory.

This concerto is part of young cellist Stéphane Tétreault’s debut album with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, already saluted by critics. Here is the young master of the instrument, in “The Swan,” accompanied  by harpist Valérie Milot, at the recent season launch.


Visit the new Montreal head office of the CMC

4 October 2012

The Quebec offices of the Canadian Music Centre just moved and you are invited to visit it today between 9 and 5. They are located at 1085 Beaver Hall, suite 200, in Montreal

You will be able to discover the promotion and documentation centre and even buy scores from the music library (hundreds of them will be sold at a discount prize). If you decide to stop by around noon, you will be treated to a piano four-hands recital with TwinMuse, a sisters’ duo made up of Hourshid and Mehrshid Afrakhteh, who will, amongst others, perform works by  Debussy, Poulenc, Dvorak, as well as Alain Payette, who will address comments or questions from the audience after the concert.

The CMC has as well a brand new Website. You can check it out here…