Archive pour la catégorie ‘Reviews’

Angèle Dubeau on Classic FM in the UK

14 April 2015

Angèle Dubeau’s Ludovico Einaudi: Portrait album is featured on the home page of Classic FM, UK’s most popular classical radio station, this week. 

“Supported by her excellent string orchestra, La Pietà, Dubeau recasts Einaudi’s music, giving the 13 tracks a lusher texture then we are used to, and endowing the melodies with a satisfying dramatic weight and, on the more atmospheric tracks, a heartfelt wistfulness.
This might be the album that convinces those who are not yet fans of Einaudi’s music that there is more to it than usually meets the ear.”

The album still stands very strong in the No. 2 position of the Top Classical Music Albums Charts of iTunes Canada. Two other Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà’s albums are still doing extremely well on the Top 100 chart: A Time for Us at No. 27 and Blanc at No. 48.

You can get the Deluxe edition of Ludovico Einaudi: Portrait on Analekta’s website here…


Two Analekta albums garner praise

17 June 2014

Two of Analekta’s recent albums, Philippe Sly’s Love’s Minstrels and Valérie Milot’s collaboration with Les Violons du Roy, received 4 out of 5 stars in the current issue of La Scena Musicale (June-July-August) featuring on the cover the Orchestre de la francophonie conductor and founder Jean-Philippe Tremblay.

Joseph So has generous words about Philippe Sly:

 “Having seen him as a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, I can say with certainty that he is the “real deal” – a wonderful, warm baritone of beauty and flexibility, coupled with solid technique, abundant musicality, and striking stage presence.”

 When discussing the album, So states:

“He sings those pieces with his custamory warmth, ingratiating timbre and musical intelligence. Though a bass-baritone, his top voice is secure and clarion, which he uses unstingingly. Everything is textbook clean and neat by both the singer and Michael McMahon, the pianist.”

To (re)discover this album…

Harpist Valérie Milot’s most recent opus, with Les Violons du Roy and flutist Claire Marchand also garnered high praise from Marc-Olivier Laramée, who thinks of it as an excellent summer album.

“Here the perfect touch of Valérie Milot and Les Violons du Roy will captivate you.

The sound of the harp is mesmerizing, and Milot plays each piece with great agility. As soon as you hear the first few seconds of this recording, you’ll all sigh in admiration! […] The ensemble created by orchestra, harp and flute is just wonderful.”

You can listen and download the album here…

Delayed Jazz Day

3 May 2012

If, like me, you were buried under work (or whatever else) and missed International Jazz Day on Monday (some extraordinary concerts were presented including this one), you may want to join the celebration by listening to Lorraine Desmarais’ latest and very compelling album. Since its launch, Couleurs de lune was received enthusiastically by both public and critics, climbing to the top of the charts.

La Presse wrote: “Lorraine Desmarais had not struck so hard in many years… one experiences more emotions than ever in her playing… Loraine Desmarais remains the best female jazz pianist that the 70’s and 80’s gave us in Canada, as in Quebec. Let’s respect Lorraine Desmarais, then, for trying to outdo herself, as she has just done, while being more viscerally connected to the music.”

 Le Journal de Québec stated: “Human frailty, tenderness and emotion – we are in the presence of an important work that will register as a landmark in the career of this great lady of jazz.”

Don’t take my (or their) word for it, and just listen for yourself here…

Alain Lefèvre: defending music

10 April 2012

Well-known for promoting the legacy of André Mathieu, Alain Lefèvre has decided to devote himself to a new composer every year from now on. He will premiere François Dompierre’s 24 Preludes in Lanaudière in July, Walter Boudreau’s Concerto de l’Asile in 2013 with the OSM, but that doesn’t prevent him from also defending the repertoire of yesterday, as it is the case with his latest Rachmaninov/Scriabin project with the OSM, under Kent Nagano.

He talks about this recording and upcoming projects in the current issue of La Scena Musicale, page 34. (A review of the album can also be viewed on page 32.)

You can download and listen to the album here…

Ensemble Caprice saluted by the press in Washington

21 October 2011

Ensemble Caprice is coming back from a short but intense tour in the US. They were in Washington a few days ago with their Vivaldi and the Gypsies program and their raw energy and wonderful artistiry certainly convinced the critic of the Washingtonian...

“That the experience was anything more than an intellectual exercise is due to the electrifying performances of the group’s best musicians. Lead violinist Julie Triquet gave virtuosic flourish to many of the Romani melodies, in which the technical demands at breakneck speeds were no less formidable than Vivaldi’s, requiring pitches to bend and slide, and the tone to growl and complain. The group showed admirable unity as the tempo was likewise distorted, slowing down and speeding up, the changes guided especially by the expert beat of percussionist Ziya Tabassian.”

To read the full review…

The Concert

10 August 2010

The film had been loudly saluted in Europe so I seized the first chance I got to see The Concert (with English subtitles in some cinemas), a Radu Mihaileanu movie.

The story is as as extravagant (some moments are truly unplausible but we go to the movies to escape the real world, right?) as it is delicious. The movie is essentially the story of Andrei Filipov (Aleksei Guskov, particularly expressive with his eyes and hands), the once famour conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra, whose carreer was abruptly interrupted 30 years ago under Brejnev when he refused to let his Jewish musicians go. He is still on the paylist of the Bolshoi however, but this time as janitor. One late night he is stuck cleaning up the director’s office, he intercepts a fax from the Théâtre du Châtelet, an invitation for the Bolshoi to become quick replacement for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He gets the crazy idea to make this opportunity his own, and to bring his own team of old friends (who all have tedious jobs) on a Parisian tour.

Together with best friend Sacha (endearing Dmitri Nazarov) and the help of one time adversary Ivan Gavrilov (Valeriy Barinov), an ex-KGB agent who ruined Filipov’s career, they raise funds and sponsorship and finally make it to the stage of the mythical French hall. Will Filipov be able this time to lead a complete performance of the Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, with the help of Anne-Marie Jacquet? That is the (easy to answer) question.

The Concert won the Cesar for Best Music Written for a film and Best Sound, and it’s not difficult to see why. The ensemble cast is more than convincing (François Berléand as Châtelet’s manager Olivier Morne Duplessis is a pure joy to watch), the music is of course great (and made me love  Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto once again). Through the laughs (numerous), the director was clever enough to integrate a (soft) critique of the communist system, a reflexion on the neccessity of filiation (the young violinist has never known her parents) and, of course, the importance of music. The scene in the restaurant in which Filipov explains what the concerto and music mean to him is remarkable in that sense.

I was certainly not as shaken when I left the theater than after viewing Polanski’s The Pianist (a very different story, of course) or even as sweetly moved then after Les Choristes. Nevertheless, The Concert is a movie that reconcilies anyone with the musician herewithin, wheter you are a professional or a simple music lover.


Saturday at the opera

9 November 2009

Arthur Kaptainis, from The Gazette, truly enjoyed Saturday’s premiere of The Magic Flute. “Soprano Karina Gauvin as Pamina was in golden voice and projected an unerring sense of line”, he wrote. He saluted as well Aline Kutan’s brilliant technique. To read…

Gargantua delights…

29 June 2009

Julian Haylock, in the latest edition of the prestigious string magazine The Strad, wrote a glowing review of Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà’s latest recording, featuring Jean Françaix’s Gargantua.

” […] Composed as recently as 1970, it sounds for all the world like a gently playful product of1920s Paris, with its knowing musical asides guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face. Throughout, Françaix sustains an exquisite luminosity and impeccable ear for balance, which Angele Dubeau and her gifted ensemble of musicians play with such radiant warmth and sensitivity (ideally matched by the velvety engineering) that it is impossible to imagine the work better performed.”
[…] This issue’s impeccably high performing standards are fully maintained in the shorter pieces, with some truly melt-in-the-mouth textures and heavenly phrasing in the piano-and-strings L’heure du berger. The otherwise light-hearted Serenade B.E.A. ends with a haunting epilogue, acknowledging the fact that during work on the piece a certain Beatrice (after whom it is named)jilted the wealthy Hungarian who had commissioned the work for her as a present in the first place. A wonderful disc.

To listen to the recording…