LSM Newswire

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Centrediscs CD: 3 Concerti Just Released

PIANIST CHRISTINA PETROWSKA QUILICO PLAYS

CONCERTI BY THREE CANADIAN WOMEN COMPOSERS 

Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, long a champion of the music of contemporary composers, particularly those of her native Canada, performs works by three Canadian women composers for piano and orchestra, in 3 Concerti, a new Centrediscs release from the Canadian Music Centre.

The new CD (CMCCD 15610) features compositions by Alexina Louie, Larysa Kuzmenko and Violet Archer (1913-2000).  They were recorded for broadcast by CBC Radio over the past two decades.  

3 Concerti marks Petrowska Quilicoĺ─˘s 23rd CD, and seventh on the Centrediscs label.   

The CD features the following, all with Petrowska Quilico as piano soloist:

Alexina Louie: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1984) with the National Arts Centre Orchestra conducted by Alex Pauk.

Violet Archer: Concerto No.1 for Piano and Orchestra (1956) with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.

Larysa Kuzmenko: Piano Concerto (1995, rev. 1996) with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jukka-Pekka Saraste.  

CDs can be ordered through the Canadian Music Centre, www.musiccentre.ca or via www.petrowskaquilico.com.  

The 3 Concerti project came as result of the Gender and Performance graduate course that Petrowska Quilico teaches at Torontoĺ─˘s York University. ĺ─˙I wanted the students to hear the brilliance of Canadian women composers, especially in live performance,ĺ─¨ she said. ĺ─˙Thanks to CBC producer David Jaeger, I had recordings of several concerts in which I had premiered womenĺ─˘s concerti. From those recordings we chose works that are very different in their compositional styles, yet in which each features a virtuoso piano part.ĺ─¨ 

Since playing her first concerto ĺ─ý Haydnĺ─˘s D Major ĺ─ý at age 10, Christina Petrowska Quilico has performed an impressive range of repertoire for piano and orchestra, from Bach and Beethoven to Bartok, Gershwin, and Canadians Glenn Buhr, the three women on the new CD, and more.   

The Canadian Music Centre and the Canadian League of Composers honored Petrowska Quilico with The 2007 Friends of Canadian Music Award.  A national jury recognized her ĺ─˙for her dedication to Canadian contemporary classical music as well as her unwavering support of this countryĺ─˘s composing community. Throughout her exceptional performing and recording career, Christina Petrowska Quilico has had a profound impact on Canadaĺ─˘s classical music community from coast to coast.ĺ─¨  She was also among Canadian artists honored by the CMC on its 50th anniversary in November 2009 at the National Arts Centre, and performed Glass Houses by Ann Southam at the special concert celebrating the occasion.

CRITICAL ACCLAIM OF THE FEATURED CONCERTI AND PERFORMANCES:

Violet Archer Concerto:

In his essay on Violet Archer for the book Contemporary Canadian Composers (Oxford University Press), critic Kenneth Winters calls the Archer concerto, ĺ─˙a masterpiece and a genuine concerto in terms of display and dynamics.ĺ─¨ He refers to the ĺ─˙ease and virtuosityĺ─¨ of both piano and orchestra in the ĺ─˙propulsive opening movement,ĺ─¨ the ĺ─˙pensive and lyricalĺ─¨ middle movement, and the ĺ─˙vigorousĺ─¨ finale, which ĺ─˙leaves the listener mildly appalled that a work of this calibre should be played so seldom.ĺ─¨

Larysa Kuzmenko Concerto:

The concerto, a CBC commission, drew standing ovations when Petrowska Quilico performed it with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and conductor Bramwell Tovey at the Winnipeg New Music Festival, and again with the Toronto Symphony under Jukka-Pekka Saraste.  Elissa Poole wrote in the Globe and Mail of the ĺ─˙classically virtuoso performance by soloist Christina Petrowska Quilico. Kuzmenko returned to the grandiose gestures of the romantic piano concerto.ĺ─¨  The Toronto Starĺ─˘s William Littler described the concertoĺ─˘s ĺ─˙broad, sweeping gestures and strong melodic profile of a concerto in the romantic tradition. With the considerable help of its soloist, the nimble-fingered Christina Petrowska Quilico, it was the undoubted hit of the evening.ĺ─¨

Alexina Louie Concerto:

Petrowska Quilico twice performed this work with Alex Pauk conducting ĺ─ý first with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and again with the Esprit Orchestra.  William Littler of the Toronto Star noted ĺ─˙that able champion of the contemporary keyboard literature, Christina Petrowska Quilico, applied the proverbial hammer and tongs to a piano part full of cluster chords, glissandos and runs, surrounded by enough orchestral goings-on in rapidly changing metres to keep conductor Alex Pauk working overtimeĺ─Â.  The concerto in its deliberately big-boned, splashily and often exotically (complete with lionĺ─˘s roar and Chinese gongs) scored...it has life, color and drama enough to keep the ear wondering what is going to happen next.ĺ─¨

The Globe and Mailĺ─˘s Robert Everett-Green called it, ĺ─˙a large-scale exercise in grand-manner composition, a piece that nearly bursts the bounds of the chamber-sized orchestra for which it was written,ĺ─¨ while reflecting the composerĺ─˘s ĺ─˙project of bringing into the mainstream of progressive music the sounds of her Chinese heritageĺ─Â.  The pianist, Christina Petrowska Quilico, gave a committed reading of the virtuoso solo part, which makes some fairly athletic demands of the performer.ĺ─¨  



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