Archive pour November, 2012

Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà at Maison symphonique tonight

29 November 2012

“Since the dawn of mankind, music has maintained fascinating and singular relations with the underworld and black magic.  The great variety of music presented in Infernal Violins is aimed not at exorcising the Evil One but of making light out of him.  These mostly daredevil works scoff at him or, quite the opposite, are inspired by him to conjure up spellbinding, entrancing sonorities.” 

Here is how tonight’s program is introduced. Mario Saint-Amand will play a seductive devil, at some point trapped in the world of video games, which will give Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà a chance to perform three pieces from their new album devoted to video games music.

There are still a few tickets left if you want to enjoy this show in Maison symphonique de Montréal. Details and tickets here…

Pianist Xiaoyu Liu wins the OSM Standard Life Competition

26 November 2012

Congratulations to all the winners at the 73rd edition of the OSM Standard Life Competition, announced yesterday.   Winner of the Grand Prize is 15-year old pianist Xiaoyu Liu, a student at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, who competed in Piano Class B.  In addition to receiving a $10,000 scholarship offered by Standard Life, he will  perform with the OSM on April 7 under Jean-François Rivest (the concert will be broadcast by Espace musique), and will also receive an array of prestigious performing and recording opportunities. This 73rd edition was devoted to piano and percussion.

Other first prize winners include pianist Alexander Malikov, 23 years-old, from Alberta (a student at Juilliard) in Piano Class A and percussionist Krystina Marcoux, from Quebec, a student at McGill University. Charles Richard-Hamelin (who also won best performance of a Canadian work), Antoine Rivard-Landry and Clara Warnaar placed second, Surren Barry, Anastasia Rizikov and Bryan Allen third in their respective categories.

After semi-finals at the Tanna Schulich Hall in McGill University, the audience was invited to hear the finalists in the Maison symphonique de Montréal for the very first time on Saturday.


The Taiwan National Choir on tour

22 November 2012

Since 2006 Grossmann has intensified her work in Asia. She has been named Artistic Director of the Taiwan National Choir and leads it on a North American tour. Last night, the choir was in Ottawa. It will be in Toronto tormorrow, in Repentigny Saturday, in Joliette Sunday, in Montreal Monday (at Maison symphonique) and in Quebec Wednesday. A packed schedule! The 40 singers will perform Bruckner’s Mass No. 2 and thr

Carmina burana

ee Motets, Schumann’s Drei Gedichte, Brahms’ Zigeunerlieder and folksongs from Taiwan.

As an backdrop to this tour, Analekta released the recording of the chamber version of Carl Orff’s famous

Carmina burana. Solos will be sung by soprano Yuh-Chyi Jou, countertenor Daniel Taylor and baritone Christian Miedl. This chamber version was written in 1956 and features two pianos, but the same percussion section as for the orchestral version “for the purpose of concert and school performances”. The percussion instruments were the ones he used in the Orff Schulwerk, an educational program of music and dance for schoolchildren, developed to teach children the fundamentals of melody, rhythm and movement.

You can listen and download this really interesting version here…

Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà play Angry Birds

19 November 2012

Angèle Dubeau was one of the guests on the popular Sunday night show Tout le monde en parle. She talked about her latest album, with La Pietà, Game Music. You should have seen the faces of those present light up when they heard themes from Splinter Cell or Tetris. No doubt about it, video games are now part of many of our lives, whether you are on the road everyday like the guys from Simple Plan or just enjoy some time in your living room with your favourite game.

The interview (in French) can be seen here…

Moreso, the team behing the extremely propular Angry Birds franchise  like Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà’s take on their musical theme so much that they decided to integrate the musicians to a brand new clip, released early this morning.

You can view it on Youtube…

Just back from Poland, Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà will be on the road again next week, this time in Quebec, with their popular Infernal Violins program (with bonus material from the Game Music album). They will  be in Quebec on November 28, in Montreal at the Maison symphonique on November 29 and in Laval on November 30.

Impressionism and music

15 November 2012

You have seen the exhibit “Once upon a time… Impressionism”, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts? You will soon? Those 74 paintings are worth the detour and Analekta has just launched an album that prolongs the mood, which includes a rare performance of the touching series Portraits d’enfants d’Auguste Renoir by  composer Jean Françaix, performed by Angèle Dubeau & La PietàImpressionism

The album also includes works by Debussy (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun performed by the late flutist Alain Marion and pianist Louise-Andrée Baril, The Girl with the Flaxen Hair with pianist Francine Kay and Clair de lune with harpist Valérie Milot), Satie (Gymnopédie No.1, played by Valérie Milot), Ravel (Jeux d’eau, Pavane for a Dead Princess and Une Barque sur l’océan, played by André Laplante), Tournier (‘Cloches sous la Neige’, from the suite Images, No. 4, with Valérie Milot), and Fauré (Après un rêve, a duo with Thérèse Motard and Louise-Andrée Baril).

 You can discover it here, download it and why not listen to it while at the Museum…


4’33” “performed” this weekend in Montreal

12 November 2012

John Cage would have been 100 years old this year, had it possessed the same boundless energy Elliot Carter seemingly had. He was a true iconoclast, featuring music that would change every time it was performed, works for prepared piano (pins, rubbers, metal pieces being inserted in the instrument), but also, the famous – or shall we say infamous – 4’33”, performed on Saturday night by another experimentalist, former McGill composer-conductor Alcides Lanza

Written in 1952 for any instrument or combination of instruments, 4’33” is habitually performed on the piano. For 4 minutes and 33 seconds, as the title suggests, the pianist sits at the piano intently and does not play. The music here doesn’t come from the piano itself but from the audience: squeaks, coughs, the sound from the heating/cooling system, whispers (or contained laughter) from audience members. Quite obviously, a different story unfolds everytime the piece is “performed.”

There is even a score to this “controled silence” and, yes, the piece is written in three movements, like a lot of old-fashioned sonatas. Most performers will close the lid of the piano at the end of each movement, to mark time, so to speak.

Quite obviously, other works were performed that evening, which also included the presentation of the film 19 Questions, which included photos of Cage, his scores, his mushrooms (the composer was an amateur mycologist), while you heard Cage in a 1971 interview withLanza.

RIP, Elliot Carter

8 November 2012

One may have thought he was inextinguishable, but American composer Elliot Carter died Monday afternoon at the age of 103. He was one of the last ones who could remember first-hand Stravinsky, Nadia Boulanger, Charles Ives (he was his protégé) and so many others. Even a few short months ago, the composer seemed full of energy. He finished his last piece in August, 12 Short Epigrams, a piano work for Pierre-Laurent Aimard.

“As a young man, I harbored the populist idea of writing for the public,” once explained this two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. “I learned that the public didn’t care. So I decided to write for myself. Since then, people have gotten interested.” (You can read a full-lenght article about the composer in yesterday’s edition of  The New York Times.)

Last July, he discussed his music with cellist Alisa Weilerstein (who performed last night with the OSM). The conversation between the two is rather fascinating.



Ondes Martenot featured in a documentary

5 November 2012

The Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal will start on November 7 and run until November 18. Two musical films (three if you take into consideration the musical La France qui se lève tôt) will be featured.

Jacqueline Caux’ Les couleurs du prisme, la mécanique du temps is a full-lenght film on minimalisme (Friday November 9, 3 p.m., salle Parallèle of  l’Excentris). A premiere will also be presented on November 8, 7 p.m (Salle Cassavetes in l’Excentris): Caroline Martel’s Sur la piste de Maurice Martenot (Wavemakers), a coproduction between Productions artifact and the National Film Board of Canada. It will offer a rare glimpse into the rather mysterious qualities of this unusual instrument.

You can also see it on November 13 at 9:15 p.m., in Cinémathèque québécoise (Salle Claude-Jutra). The film will be distributed on January 25, 2013.

You can view the trailer here…