Monday, 14 April 2008

How The CBC Ought to Do It: Concert Gives Voice to Great Music and Great Singers from Medieval, Renaissance and Jazz Traditions

We had a taste of what could happen if the CBC really was serious about giving voice to different kind of music being produced in Canada. Sunday night the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal (SMAM), the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) and jazz singer Karen Young gave a terrific performance of music written between the 1300s and 25 years ago.

The theme was Eclectic Paths/Passages The concert began with a Requiem by medieval composer Johannes Ockeghem and ended with Karen Young, two soloists from SMAM’s excellent choir, a bassist and percussionist doing jazz riffs on music by Guillaume de Machaut from about 1360. In between were two pieces by Quebec composer Claude Vivier who died at 35 in 1983.

If the CBC were to broadcast more things like this concert which bring together different tendencies and traditions, I don’t think anyone would complain. We heard excellent performers throw themselves into interesting music, illuminating points in common and glorious differences. But was the CBC there? No.

Nor was it there for a stirring performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, done by the McGill music faculty. As Christopher Huss said in Le Devoir this morning, this is a work that should be done more often. Too bad the rest of the country won’t be able to hear this fine version.

3 comments:

Muzition said...

I wish I'd been at the SMAM concert. It sounds like it was a good concert.

The War Requiem concert was very good. I heard that the CBC recorded it the last time it was performed in Montreal. Things were different in the mid-90's...

--Emily G.

Mary Soderstrom said...

Dear Emily

Thanks so much for all your hard work on the Save RAdio Two campaign. We are endebted to you.

Mary

PS Wonder what the butterfly did when it turned so cold, poor thing.

Muzition said...

You're welcome!