The Gazette from Montreal, Quebec, Quebec, Canada on November 29, 1997 · 59
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The Gazette from Montreal, Quebec, Quebec, Canada · 59

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Location:
Montreal, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Issue Date:
Saturday, November 29, 1997
Page:
59
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THE GAZETTE, MONTREAL, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 1997 D13 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT A passionate guide Sergei Istomin on smooth end of Baroque spectrum in Bach suites DOUG CAMILLI Show-biz gossip, and more, with a real point of view. Five days a week. Bach: Six Suites for Solo Cello. Sergei Istomin, "Baroque" cello. Analekta FL 23114-5 (two CDs). On the eve of their 10th anniversary, the people at Analekta do not hesitate to enter the most crowded corners of the repertory. Now on the shelves - beside new versions by Yo-Yo Ma and Janos Starker - is a highly competitive survey of Bach's Six Suites for Solo Cello as performed by Sergei Istomin, a Toronto-based Russian who plays for the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. The booklet specifies that he uses not a cello but a Baroque violoncello -made, oddly enough, three years ago in Ottawa. This should be taken not so much as a stamp of authenticity as a declaration of a point of view. Like An-ner Bylsma on Sony Vivarte, Istomin prefers a less tensile attack, drawing the listener into the sonority rather than thrusting his sound into a hypothetical concert hall. A comparison can be made between his raspy tone and the sound of the first, famous recordings by Pablo Casals. Like that master, Istomin adapts his beat to the moral curvature of the music and does not make a didactic attempt to remind us of the dance origins of individual movements. Yet the courtly character of the Allemande of the Suite No. 4 is vividly conveyed and the Sarabandes, while lofty, never become mired in sober second thought. CLASSICAL DISCS ARTHUR KAPTAIN1S The glowing stereo is punctuated by a plethora of bow-clicks - some of which, truth to tell, I mistook for manufacturing defects. Nonetheless, Istomin is decidedly on the smooth end of the Baroque spectrum and will present no offence to non-original listeners. In the Suite No. 6, he plays a bright-toned violoncello piccolo, with striking mastery. It makes a welcome change, however technically necessary. It is hard to recommend any recording of the Bach Suites as supreme. The music has brought out the best from many cellists, including Yuli Turovsky, whose version for Chandos should not be forgotten. For me, the rugged intensity of Casals on EMI remains irreplaceable. Seekers after a contemporary account will find in Istomin a consistently intelligent and passionate guide. Briefly reviewed: Pieter Wispelwey, the Dutch cellist performing soon for both the Orchestre Metropolitain and the Ladies' Morning Musical Club, can be heard on Channel Classics (CCS 10797) in a program bringing together the Cello Sonatas of Poulenc and Chopin and three small works by Faure. The sound is warm and the style ar dent. Pianist Paolo Giacometti contributes to the "live" feel of this recording. , The choir of the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montreal under Christopher Jackson is fine form for a compilation of a-cappella works by Palestri-na and Victoria (although only the former composer makes the booklet cover). There is pathos in the presentation and dynamic variety, as well as pure tone. Louis-Philippe Pelletier, professor of piano at McGiU University, has always taken a bold approach to his art, and it is refreshing to hear Debussy played so robustly on a disc from CBC Records (MVCD1107). The 12 Etudes, subjectively rendered, belie their pedagogical title. The sun is hot on L'Isle Joyeuse and the rain of Estampes is a downpour, not a drizzle. Vividly recorded in the Eglise de la Visitation. Istomin prefers a less tensile attack, drawing the listener into the sonority rather than thrusting his sound into a hypothetical concert hall. Mediaeval Baebes rock classical world WILL BENNETT London Daily Telegraph LONDON - The world of classical music has never seen anything quite like the Mediaeval Baebes, who are climbing the chrrts with their first album. Among the ranks of the 12-strong all-female group, who sing 14th-century plainsong in Latin, Middle English and ancient French, are an ex-stripper, a couple of fire-eaters, a witch and two former members of a rock group called Miranda Sex Garden. No wonder the group is being promoted as the raunchiest phenomenon ever to hit classical music. Although sex has been used to sell the classics before, the marketing operation behind the Baebes has taken the process a step farther. In a phrase guaranteed to send shivers down the spine of any classical-mu sic listener, their publicity handouts describe them as the "Anglo Saxon acid-mead mistresses of the Middle Ages music scene." One has a dragon tattooed on her arm, all claim to enjoy strong drink and bad behaviour and only Katherine Blake, the lead singer, has any formal musical training. They even share the same record label as the Spice Girls. But the Baebes deny that they are a manufactured group like the Spice Girls and say that they began singing together when they went for picnics on Hampstead Heath, north London. Although critics say that they sound more like a good school choir than professional singers, their first album of plainsong reached No. 3 in the classical charts on the weekend. Salva Nos was released only last week and is heading for the top aided by a heavy marketing operation and semi-naked pictures on the cover. THG THIRTGGNTH ANNUAL TO THG BGNGflT Of Ulxt asrttf Christmas Fund IN THG MAGMIflCeNT PUBLIC COMCOUIKe Of- WINDSOR TRAIN STATION Sunday, DecenueR 21 8 PH 11 PN HOLIDAY COCKTAIL LOUflCG 10 PM - 3 AN DANCING TICKETS. 30$ AVlAILABie AT DIMS DOWNTOWN AND ADMISSION N6TW0M (514) 790-1Q45 mi mi. hi ,!iwiMi:J.,iJi. urn .piimj ' 'H mu5izcttc LE REINE ELIZABETH CATERING SERVICE Canadian Pacific ifj Railway WIN A DOUBLE MOVIE PASS If; Vl ly. : Special Advance Preview Loews Cinema Thurs., Dec. II 7 p.m. CONTEST QUESTION: What Quebec artist sings the theme song in the movie "Titanic"? Tall Thp fIri7Pttp ht5a2ftTf QukkUne 555-1234 - rail ONLY 50 CENTS rtn -" QuickLine vvilhour tm answer to the above Question and enter Code 9500 foryour chance to win! 8 winners will be drawn daily. Gazette subscribers with a PIN, call auicKLineaio4i-r.". m-purjcitiQ en trnm K CUSSUWIT MORE CHANCES MIX Iff fllfl IN. LISTEN TO J?M FOR TO WIN, Contest ad appears in The Gazette Nov. 29. 30. Dec. 1, 1997. No purchase necessary. Eight winners will be drawn every day. Winners will be notified by phone and must pick up their passes at The Gazette. Contest open to everyone except employees ot The Gazette. MIX 96. CJAO. Paramount and members ot their immediate tamilies. Contestants may enter in person at no charge at The Gazette belore 6 p.m today. Movie passes: $384. Any dispute concerning the awarding ot prizes in this contest may be submitted to the Regie des alcools, des courses et des ieux. Complete rules available at Paramount. YouH need more than your fingers to enjoy KFC s Holiday Feast. KFCs Holiday Feast comes with a Viennetta Premium ice cream dessert, 12 pieces of chicken and all the trimmings. Only $21.99 Reg T M M Emg KFC Canada. ""Real Meals Easy as KFC is a trademark of KFC Canada. ProductrBegisiered Trademark of Good Humor-Breyer s. Used under Licence.

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