The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on January 5, 2013 · 26
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The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · 26

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Saturday, January 5, 2013
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52SATURDAY, JANUARY 5, 2013 BREAKING NEWS AT OTTAVVACITIZEN.COM THE OTTAWA CITIZEN ARTS CONCERT REVIEW Jarvlepp's 'greatest chamber hits' full of surprises " f ), C ! i-, ljt-i - - - - Maggie Smith as Lady Violet, left, and Shirley MacLaine as Martha Levinson in Downton Abbey's third season. Shirley: Captivated by Egyptian collection Continued from page Dl Excitement like the time when a boom accidentally nearly swung into a valuable 17th-century Van Dyck painting (the equestrian portrait of Charles I is in the dining room), or the time the team wanted to move a piece of furniture that was concreted into the house. Highclere is a private home, which means the castle has many pieces that would otherwise likely be in a museum and the family does not have a "white-gloved" approach to handling valuable items. "We're much closer to our home obviously than something that is there to be guarded, if you like, on someone else's behalf," explains Lady Carnarvon, a former accountant who is married to Geordie, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon. They have a 12-year-old son, Edward. Sometimes, she said, some of the 90-odd crew might be resting in the saloon state room on an "utterly unique" leather covering that dates to 1661, and standing on a 150-year-old Agra carpet Abbey: Season two was most-watched series Continued from page Dl It's certainly a development galling enough to draw insults. But as Downton's courtly master, Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), once rebuked a blunt-spoken visitor: Steady on, sir, the ladies have suffered quite enough of a shock! Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of PBS's Masterpiece showcase that's home to Downton, contends it's premature to assess the impact here of the U.K. airing that wrapped Christmas Day. Will ratings be dented by dampened enthusiasm or piracy? "It will be difficult to say until it airs in this country," Eaton said, with the size of the audience providing a key measurement The bar is high compared with last year, when Downton Abbey became the most-watched series ever for Masterpiece with more than 17 million viewers across seven episodes. With its swooning, buzz-worthy romances, the drama also fed social media and gave PBS a new veneer of cool. But what's to be done if the season endgame is stuck in your brain? As a famous Brit said in more dire circumstances, never surrender! Go along for the ride that the beautifully produced soap opera-cum-fairy-tale offers, admiring how the devilishly clever Julian Fellowes, its creator and writer, foreshadows the events to come. As Downton's residents adjust to post-First World War England, "there are chills and spills involved in that for all the characters, some laughs and some tears," as Fellowes neatly summed it up. Knowing the destination doesn't mean you can't appreciate the scenery, including these highlights: I Newcomer Shirley MacLaine as an American visitor, talking smack with British in-law Violet (Maggie Smith), each wittily knocking the other's nation and values. MacLaine wears pasty, kabuki-like makeup as armour; Smith meets insults with world-weary eyes. I Michelle Dockery keeping it real as Lady Mary, who's surrendered to love with Matthew (Dan Stevens) while barely softening her sharp edges and steely devotion to family tradition. Bonus: The willowy actress was born to wear sleek 1920s dresses. Fashion and its evolution, as Downton's upstairs ladies move from lovely but fussy wardrobes to sassier, clean-lined garb and (except for steadfast Mary) shorter hair, reflections of liberating changes that include the promise of universal suffrage for all British women. I Stevens as golden-boy Matthew, emerging intact from the war and still conflicted about his future role "So I'm not being difficult if I ask them to put covers down if they're going to wheel equipment across it, and I'm perfectly direct in explaining why," she laughs. "We want them to be successful and show the cast as being completely beautiful but we want it (the house) standing at the end of the day." Away from the filming, High-clere's Egyptian collection tickled MacLaine, she adds. "I found out she was interested in Egyptology so it was a delight for me to show her around and she thoroughly enjoyed it," she says of the collection of her husband's ancestor, who uncovered the tomb of Tutankhamen. With a fourth season of Down-ton already in the works, Lady Carnarvon admits the filming has been "very full-on" but she is not sitting back while there is such an opportunity to push the castle into the mainstream. "We are jolly lucky," she concludes, "and we certainly don't take it for granted." POSTMEDIA NEWS v f n - Li ' If Hugh Bonneville as Robert, Earl of Grantham, head of the Crawley family and courtly master of Downton Abbey, in reality Highclere Castle near London. as lord of the manor. A side game: See if Stevens, smart as he is, looks distracted by the novels he read on the set as a judge for Britain's Man Booker Prize. I Cultural, medical and other period tidbits, which are fascinating and a reminder that wise historians never would choose to live in a time before their own. In one instance, a character who may have cancer is told that test results will take up to two nerve-shattering months. I Fellows' charming faith in the tender side of revolutionaries, at least ones that mate with landed gentry. Irish chauffeur-turned-activist Tom Branson (Allen Leech), who previously turned moist-eyed over the murder of the Russian royal family, loses it again in season three over fiery political warfare. I A stately house, but fast-paced action. Fellowes said he took a cue from the American mash-up approach to storytelling perfected in shows such as ER and The West Wing, with stories big and small, sad and funny and" "all sort of plotted up together." The look is period, but the energy is "much more modern," as Fellowes put it But modernity can be troublesome, proof being the Internet, imperilling the drama's surprises for U.S. viewers. Whatever the outcome, Eaton said Masterpiece will tread carefully in making changes. ITV is the primary funder of Downton Abbey and has international premiere rights. While a September debut fits the U.K. TV marketplace, it would mean stiffer competition for Downton as U.S. networks launch their fall slates, Eaton said. "We want to make sure we don't do something with Downton that will hurt it in the long run," she said which, for now, extends to the drama's fourth season set to air on Masterpiece, its co-producer with Carnival Films. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Ottawa composer shows his mettle with small-scale performances that capture the ear beautifully The Composer Performs: Jan JMrvlepp and Friends The Gig Space Friday at 7 and 9 p.m. RICHARD TODD Ottawa composer Jan Jarvlepp has produced so many new works in recent years that it came as a surprise, albeit a pleasant one, that his short concert Friday evening, part of the Gig Space's series The Composer Performs, was made up mostly of his "greatest hits" from the last 20 years or so. To put it more exactly, they were his greatest chamber music hits. He has produced several substantial works for orchestra, including a number of concertos. Also, his superb Symphony for Brass was premiered last season by the Capital BrassWorks. Adele's top-selling album of 2011 also tops charts in 2012 Taylor Swift's Red is next on the list NASHVILLE Turns out Adele ruled 2012, too and set a record while she was at it The British singer's 21 was the highest-selling album in the U.S. for the second consecutive year, according to 2012 sales figures released by Nielsen SoundScan this week. That's a first in the SoundScan era. Adele sold 4.4 million copies of the album in 2012 after selling 5.8 million in 2011. She crossed the 10-mil-lion threshold in November and was only rivalled by Taylor Swift, whose Red was second on the list If her album sales continue apace in 2013, 21 will move into the top 10 list for sales since 1993, when SoundScan began current tracking methods. Gotye scored the year's top-selling song with Somebody That I Used To Know featuring Kimbra. The song was downloaded a record 6.8 million times. Carly Rae Jepsen's Call Me Maybe was next at 6.5 million. Both songs are the first to cross the six-million digital-sales mark, while fun. came close with 5.9 million NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE CENTRE NATIONAL DES ARTS BUZZ am But Friday evening was all about smaller-scale stuff, including two violin duets entitled The Tennis Game and The Ping Pong Game. They are easy enough except for their sometimes tricky back-and-forth rhythms. They were written as student pieces with the composer's daughter Karen in mind. On Friday they were played by two members of the Ottawa Symphony, Galina Re-zaeipour and Lotta Lundsten. If we can speak of Jarvlepp chestnuts, the first thing to come to mind is Moonscape, a beautiful, haunting and quirky piece that was originally set for English horn and electric guitar. It has been played by many instruments other than the English horn, though; Friday it was performed by violist Emmanuel Beau-det with Jarvlepp on the guitar. Jarvlepp didn't seem to have the piece as comfortably under the fin downloads of We Are Young featuring Janelle Monae. Forty-one songs crossed the two-million-download mark, helping drive digital and overall sales to a new high even as album sales began to drop after a momentary gain. A record 1.65 billion music units combining physical albums, digital albums and digital songs were sold in 2012, fuelled by an increase of 9.1 per cent in total digital sales and a 14.1 per cent increase in digital album sales. Overall, however, album sales declined 4.4 per cent That continues a downward trend since 2004 that was briefly halted by last year's three per cent gain mostly due to the success of 21. Only two genres showed album sales gains in 2012. Rock gained by two per cent and country, fuelled by the format's assault on the top 10, jumped 4.2 per cent Swift led a record five country artists into the top 10, selling 3.1 million copies of Red in just over two months. Other country artists on with the -7 mm 0 I - . I. . ; r-anuAr- " 1 gers as he might As with most of the program, the playing was adequate and certainly idiomatic, but it wasn't always as good as the music deserved. Pascale Margely joined the composer and his guitar in two pieces, Music from Mars on the flute and Tarantella on the piccolo. These are solid and ingenious scores, though they don't have quite the immediate appeal of Moonscape. They engage the mind effectively and are entertaining on that basis. Arnas Maiste, the former pianist of the Montreal Symphony, performed a short and attractive piece called Dream. Not too surprisingly, he played it well. The most substantial of the evening's offerings was the Trio no. 2. It's a fanciful yet strangely intense work for the unusual combination of flute, viola and cello. In places it is reminiscent of Shostakovich, but it is basically pure Jarvlepp. In performing it, the composer exchanged his guitar for his cello, and seemed particularly engaged. ' L MATT SAYLESTHE ASSOCIATED PRESS British singer Adele broke another record for having the best-selling album for two consecutive years. the list included Carrie Underwood's Blown Away at No. 7 (12 million) followed by Luke Bryan's tailgates & tanlines (1.1 million) and Jason Aldean's Night Train (one million). THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NAC Orchestra Jj TUNETOWN Enjoy free activities in the lobby 45 minutes prior to each concert. Presented by the friends of the NAC Orchestra.

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