30 Jun 2013

The Canadian Mosaic - Listening for Canada

From Composer of the Week, 9:15 am on 30 June 2013

Aurora Borealis in Canada
Image: Aurora Borealis in Canada. Source: Kazi Hirok Al-Arafat, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Canadian actors, film makers, artists and authors are celebrated throughout the world.  In New Zealand, violinist James Ehnes visits regularly, the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra performed at the New Zealand International Arts Festival, and Janet Cardiff’s installation The 40 Part Motet visited from the National Art Gallery of Canada.  But what of Canada’s composers?

In this programme, David Houston interviews Eitan Cornfield, a producer of the expansive documentary series, Canadian Composer Portraits, about the multi-faceted history of Canada’s composers and their impact.  They discuss seminal figures, from the Canadian League of Composers founder John Weinzweig, to sound ecology theorist R Murray Schafer.  From immigrant composers who brought influences from their homelands (Morawetz, Forsyth) to women who blazed a trail in a male dominated profession (Pentland, Archer, and Coulthard).

 What is Canada’s national voice?  Who is their greatest composer?  The answers aren’t easy, and as varied as Canada’s composers themselves.

Barbara Pentland in the mountainsJohn Weinzweig and Jacques Hetu
Images [L-R]: Barbara Pentland, Source: Ann Pentland; John Weinzweig and Jacques Hétu, Source: André Leduc

 

Further Episodes:

  • National Voices – Happy Canada Day! “Music that could only have been written in Canada.”
  • The Two Solitudes - music of English and French Canada
  • Multiculturalism - music with Czech, Chinese, Greek, and South African influences
  • Minimalist Influences – Did a Canadian light the fuse that ignited American Minimalism?
  • Canadian Eclectic – Influences from the farm to the silver screen.

To discover more, visit the Canadian Music Centre, Canada’s repository for Canadian scores, recordings, and compact discs.

Schafer teaching at the University of Montreal
Image: R Murray Schafer teaching at the University of Montreal, Source: François Varin

Music Details

ESTACIO: Seeds of Spring, from A Farmer's Symphony - Edmonton SO/Mario Bernardi (CBC Records SMCD 5232)
WILLAN: Scherzo, Symphony No 2 - Edmonton SO/Uri Mayer (CBC Records SMCD 5123)
WEINZWEIG: Quarks, from5 Pieces for Harp - Judy Loman (hrp) (Naxos 8.550171)
WEINZWEIG: Mvt, Violin conc  - Albert Pratz (vln), CBC SO/Geoffrey Waddington (Centrediscs SMCCD 8002)
PENTLAND: Eventa  - Vancouver New Music Ensemble/Owen Underhill (Centrediscs CMCCD 9203)
MORAWETZ: Memorial to Martin Luther King - Shauna Rolston (cello), Edmonton SO/Uri Mayer (CBC SMCD 5105)
HÉTU: Symphony No 5 - Amadeus Choir, Elmer Iseler Singers/Peter Oundjian, Lydia Adams (chorus master) (CBC Musique)
HÉTU: Symphony No 5 - Amadeus Choir, Elmer Iseler Singers/Peter Oundjian, Lydia Adams (chorus master) (CBC Musique)
ARCHER: Larghetto piacevole fromSinfonietta - CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra (Centrediscs CMCCD 8205)
ARCHER: Allegro molto con brio fromSinfonietta - CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra (Centrediscs CMCCD 8205)
COULTHARD: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra - Robert Silverman (pno), CBC Vancouver Orchestra/Dwight Bennet (Centrediscs CMCCD 8202)
BUHR: Akasha (Sky) - Winnipeg SO/Bramwell Tovey (Naxos 8.550171)
FORSYTH: The Spirits from Atayoskewin - Edmonton Symphony Orchestra/Uri Mayer (Centrediscs CMCCD 8802)
SCHAFER: Schafer_Epitaph for Moonlight  - The Festival Singers of Canada/Elmer Iseler (CBC PSCD 2027)
SCHAFER: Tapio for Alphorn with Echoing Instruments, from Wolf Music [1 ] - R Murray Schafer (nar), Michael Cumberland (Alphorn, Tuba), John Dewirst (trbn), Wendy Humphreys (sop), Stuart Laughton (trpt, cornett), Tilly Prudhom (cl), Ellen Waterman (fl) (CMCD 8902)
RIDOUT: Fall Fair - Edmonton SO/Uri Mayer (CBC SMCD 5069)