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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 13, No. 2 October 2007


by Wah Keung Chan / October 3, 2007

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The universal language of music has always been a comfort, especially in times of grief. When a great musician dies, we music fans grieve. Lately, music fans have been grieving a lot.

On September 6, the world mourned the passing of legendary tenor Luciano Pavarotti. Just over a week later, on September 14, Canadian baritone Robert Savoie died suddenly of heart failure at the age of 80. Pavarotti will be remembered primarily for his voice, leaving an immense catalogue of recordings. The global outpouring of grief shows how a man with a distinctively beautiful voice matched by an innate musicality can touch people deeply. In this issue, Norman Lebrecht looks back at Pavarotti's legacy.

Robert Savoie made his mark as one of Canada's leading baritones during the 1950s and the 1960s, performing in Canada and abroad. As Richard Turp aptly mentioned in his eulogy (reproduced in this issue), Savoie's warm sunny voice was recognizable both in song and in speech. In the 1970s, Savoie began a career as a tireless arts advocate and administrator, helping launch important Canadian institutions such as the Lachine Music Festival, which is now 33 years strong, and 27 years ago, the Montreal Opera and the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal. Although he left few recordings, Savoie's voice lives on through his students, including baritone Gaétan Laperrière.

Legacies of long-departed musicians are often celebrated at anniversaries. René Bricault pays tribute to Claude Vivier as we begin a series of articles on this Canadian composer (leading up to the 25th anniversary of his death), and Stéphane Villemin continues our series commemorating Glenn Gould.

Franz Schubert's Die Schöne Müllerin is perhaps the greatest song cycle ever written. Richard Turp explores the work's history and motivation. In the Musicians’ Corner, Caroline Louis contributes to our ongoing series on musicians’ health with an introduction to the Feldenkrais method.

As usual, please check out our Jazz, World and Review sections, our comprehensive music calendar covering Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa-Gatineau, and the radio and TV schedules.

We wish to inform our readers of a significant change in the distribution of La Scena Musicale. In September 2007, La Scène Musicale began a major subscription campaign with the goal of diversifying sources of revenue in order to help continue and improve the award-winning services we have provided to readers and the music and arts community. This means that the majority of copies will be distributed directly to selected homes to incite subscriptions. To continue our mission of actively promoting music and arts education, a percentage of copies will still be distributed at music and arts schools and key venues to reach musicians and music students. Effectively, this means that most of the copies of LSM will have been picked up by the 7th of each month; the balance of the copies can be purchased at local newsstands. We invite you to continue supporting LSM by purchasing a subscription and ensuring that you do not miss out on your monthly LSM. Subscribers currently receive privileges such as discounts on tickets and travel, and we are working on more partnerships to offer greater value.

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