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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 20, No. 1

Contemporary Music

by Réjean Beaucage / September 5, 2014

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We’re amazed and overjoyed every fall, when we witness the liveliness of our contemporary music scene.  Here is a quick look at what is in store for us in the months to come.

Large Ensembles

The Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) starts its season with a bang; its opening concert (September 26, Salle Pierre-Mercure) pays tribute to the 25th anniversary of the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM). They will revisit Solaris, a composition of SMCQ’s artistic director Walter Boudreau, which was premiered by the NEM last May. Also on the program is a music/video piece by Alain Thibault (God’s Greatest Gift, 1985); and City Life (1995) by Steve Reich, with French composer René Bosc responsible for the electronics and projections.

The 2014-2015 season also includes the seventh edition of the Montreal/New Music (MNM) International Festival, created by the SMCQ. Taking up the theme of “Environment and new technologies,” the festival takes place from February 26 to March 7, 2015. smcq.qc.ca

The season opener of the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM) will be dedicated to Montreal premieres of works by Zak Moultaka and Ana Sokolović, as well as reprising a work written for the NEM by French composer Tristan Murail (October 9, Salle Claude-Champagne). Lorraine Vaillancourt’ ensemble will also participate in a symposium dedicated to Gérard Grisey and spectral music, organized by the Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique (OICRM) (November 1-21). But the big event of the NEM season will be the 12th edition of the Forum international des jeunes compositeurs, whose final concerts take place November 20 and 21.  And, in a much-anticipated concert, the NEM performs a re-orchestration by its violist, François Vallière, of the Rite of Spring in Bourgie Hall on January 21. lenem.ca

The Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM+) offers a program dedicated to new compositions as part Génération 2014, the ensemble’s eighth cross-Canada tour. Artistic director Véronique Lacroix will lead the ECM+ in works by Marie-Pierre Brasset, Evelin Ramon, Alex Hall and Anthony Tan. The ensemble will perform in Banff, Edmonton, Vancouver, Quebec, Toronto, London, Ottawa and Halifax, as well as in Montreal on November 13 at the Conservatoire de Musique.

In January 2015, the ECM+ presents works by Luna Pearl Woolf and Esa-Pekka Salonen in the vocal program Images of Sappho, in collaboration with the instrumental ensemble BOP directed by Hubert Tanguay-Labrosse. ecm.qc.ca

Small ensembles

In October and November, the Bradyworks ensemble gives five performances of guitarist and composer Tim Brady’s Spontaneous Sonata Project as part of the Conseil des arts de Montréal Touring Program. Two of Tim Brady’s other projects will be included in the MNM festival in February 2015. timbrady.ca

The Quasar Saxophone Quartet launches its 20th anniversary season with a tour of a dozen concerts in five European countries in September and October. The launch of its celebration season takes place at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur (CHBP) on November 28. quasar4.com

The Molinari Quartet performs as part the SMCQ season on November 2, with Molinari branché, a program of works for string quartet and electronics (Yannick Plamondon, Jonathan Harvey and Laurie Radford.) The quartet can also be seen on tour in several concerts around the island, performing Shostakovich, Schafer and Debussy. quatuormolinari.qc.ca

The Bozzini Quartet will definitely be racking up the most air miles during its 2014-2015 season. With concerts in England in August, in Japan in September, then in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and the United States, the ensemble will return to Vancouver in May. The quartet won’t be around much in Montreal in the autumn and winter, but we will see what they bring back from their travels in April at the Salon qb. quatuorbozzini.ca

New and electroacoustic music

Productions SuperMusique offers a full season, beginning with a grand concert by the JOKER Chorale (12 voices and a narrator under the direction of Joane Hétu) at the Phénoména festival (October 22 and 23).  On November 4 at the Sala Rossa, Quartetski offers its perspective on Bartok’s Mikrokosmos. supermusique.qc.ca

In electroacoustic music, the AKOUSMA festival international des musiques immersives is back at Usine C from November 5-8. The festival’s eleventh edition will welcome eighteen artists over four days. akousma.ca

And more ...

The Ensemble Transmission in concert on October 10 at the CHBP (Boulez, Vivier, Essl, Murail, André Ristic and Alain Perron). ensembletransmission.com

The fifteenth anniversary of Erreur de type 27 in Quebec City. Concert on October 3 at the Palais Montcalm (Gisèle Ricard, François Morel, Simon Martin, Heber Schunemann and Jimmie Leblanc). erreurdetype27.com

A repeat performance of Giacinto Scelsi’s Chants du Capricorne by Chants Libres with mezzo-soprano Marie-Annick Béliveau. March 11-14, 2015, Usine C. chantslibres.org

Starting in January, the group Le Vivier settles in at the Gesù, on Bleury Street. Bringing together the driving forces of Montreal’s new music scene, the group will present a number of concerts and hopes to focus attention on this venue in the heart of Montreal. levivier.ca

Forthcoming CDs
• NEM: monographic CD dedicated to Lebanese composer Zad Moultaka (digital imprint)
• Molinari Quartet: complete quartets of Sofia Goubaïdoulina (ATMA)
• Bozzini Quartet: portrait of Aldo Clementi (Collection qb)

Translation: Rona Nadler

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