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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 4, No. 2 Octobre / October 1998
E-mail: | Web: (c) La Scena Musicale 1998
Disques du mois / Discs of the Month
Korngold : Suite pour cordes et piano
Schmidt : Quintette pour cordes et piano
Leon Fleisher, Yo-Yo Ma, Jaime Laredo, et al.
Sony SK 48253

CD-Korngold.jpg (17992 bytes)Parmi les nombreuses commandes faites par Paul Wittgenstein (un riche pianiste autrichien ayant perdu le bras droit en 1914), ces deux œuvres de musique de chambre figurent parmi les plus complexes et brillantes. La Suite de Erich Korngold (1930) est l’une des trois œuvres qu’il a composées pour Wittgenstein. La variétés de couleurs et d’atmosphères des cinq mouvements (Prélude, Valse, Grotesque, Lied et Rondo) est admirable : il suffit d’écouter la sonorité du violon dans le mouvement de valse pour s’en convaincre. Franz Schmidt a, quant à lui, composé six pièces pour Wittgenstein. Le Quintette (1926), pour quatuor et piano, est un chef-d’œuvre d’intensité romantique, typique du ferment culturel autrichien de l’entre-deux-guerres. Le pianiste Leon Fleisher, gaucher depuis la paralysie de sa main droite, passe de façon fascinante, dans le mouvement adagio, au travers de glissandi semblables à ceux de la harpe. Dans les deux pièces, les vedettes Yo-Yo Ma, Joseph Silverstein, Jaime Laredo et Michael Tree expriment avec authenticité l’ambiance de l’Europe centrale.

Edward Elgar & Anthony Payne : Sketches for Symphony No. 3
Andrew Davis / BBC Symphony Orchestra
NMC DO53 / Pelleas Distribution

CD-EdwardElgar.jpg (20110 bytes)In 1932 BBC Radio commissioned a symphony from Sir Edward Elgar for £1000. Elgar only had time to compose extensive sketches of what would have been his Symphony No. 3 before he succumbed to cancer in February 1934. His dying wish forbade any “tinkering” with his sketches. Elgar had indicated the four movements but not the order and function of the thematic material. All the more remarkable then, that composer Anthony Payne has made such a marvelous reconstruction of the symphony-that-might-have-been. Payne drew on his deep understanding of Elgar’s compositional technique, borrowing from other Elgar works to fill in the gaps. Payne can’t be faulted for borrowing: Elgar himself had autoplagiarized themes from The Last Judgement (1906), the incidental music to Arthur (1923) for his sketches. Payne’s creation is a strong post-Romantic symphony built of Elgarian themes and scored in Elgar’s style. It is also an enjoyable listen. Andrew Davis and the BBC Symphony Orchestra play with care and passion, and the recorded sound from BBC Studio 1 is excellent.

Les Voix Humaines: Abel, Bach, Marais
Jordi Savall, viola da gamba
Aliavox AV 9803 / Pelleas Distribution

CD-LesVoix.jpg (29230 bytes)This new release from early music guru Jordi Savall's new label is the best introduction to viola da gamba music on the market. The generous 78-minute program offers a broad overview of Baroque gamba music, grouping 14 French and Italian-inspired pieces according to affinity of tone, style and character. Savall has unearthed exceptionally beautiful and unusual viola da gamba repertoire, which he plays with a virtuosity that has to be heard to be believed. Some of the credit may go to his the incredible responsiveness, richness and range of his instrument, a 6 string lyra-viol by Pellegrino Zanetti, Venice 1550. Savall uses a Barak Norman bass-viol for three English works by Playfair and Tobias Hume. Jordi Savall plays at Toronto’s Ford Centre on Oct. 29, 1998 ,at 8 pm. Tel: (416) 324-9333.


(c) La Scena Musicale 1999