Today marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Claude Debussy, one of Western music’s revolutionaries.
As with the varying styles of Impressionist paintings, the long view represents something defined, but the closer you get, the more his compositions start to fall apart into the individual components that our minds work imperceptibly to piece together into meaningful shapes.
The long view is so sleek and seductive that listeners long ago began taking Debussy’s art for granted.
For 11 straight years, pianist Martha Argerich has assembled her personal dream team of musicians for a festival in Switzerland — captured in an album of highlights.
MARTHA ARGERICH AND FRIENDS Live from Lugano 201 (EMI Classics)
A half-century of musicmaking seems only to have been a warmup for Argentinean pianist Martha Argerich, who continues to wow with the immediacy and love she pours into every note she plays. There is life force in everything she touches. Continue reading →
Venezuelan pianist Gabriela Martinez makes her solo Toronto début at the Glenn Gould Studio on Feb. 22 (Monica Trejo photo).
There isn’t much classical programming any more from Roy Thomson Hall with the demise of its mainstage concert series. But what may be missing in quantity is still there in youthful quality, according to today’s announcement of the 2012-13 season.
The best news is that Roy Thomson Hall continues its advocacy of rising vocal talents with a series of four recitals with piano at the Glenn Gould Studio collectively billed as Canadian Voices. Continue reading →
French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays Haydn and Debussy at Stratford Summer Music on Wednesday afternoon (J Henry-Fair photo).
Never write off an artist because they are a late bloomer.
French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet won his first competition in 1986, and quickly gained the respect of anyone who heard him play, but it took nearly two decades for the wider classical music world to fully catch on to this performer’s prodigious talents, which will be on solo display at Stratford Summer Music on Wednesday afternoon. Continue reading →
Here is music made for the dog days of summer — meditative and melancholy pieces for a shady hammock in the afternoon, tangos for twilight pleasure — from New York City-based pianist Mirian Conti. A native of Argentina, Conti has spent many years championing young pianists as well as the rich store of tuneful music written for her instrument in that country. Continue reading →
This is the first in a weekly look at an indisputably great piece of music not frequently heard in concert. We’re starting with the Piano Quintet in A minor, Op. 84, completed by Edward Elgar in January 1919.
The Nash Ensemble performed this work on Thursday night at Koerner Hall. Following the performance, I heard several people say how much they enjoyed this piece, which they’d never heard before. Continue reading →