02 Worlds Apart

Worlds Apart
Christina Petrowska Quilico
Centrediscs CMCCD 23717

This album can be purchased here.

Canadian pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico unleashes the eight works here with such immediacy that she creates a special kind of pianistic excitement. Her technique is brilliant, and her imagination boundless. But it’s not just the thrill of the keyboard that drives her – above all you feel the fierce conviction that underlies her vision of each composer’s score.

This is the latest release in Petrowska Quilico’s ongoing recording project covering works from the Canadian piano repertoire. It’s as though she’s out to singlehandedly show just how rich it is. These works were written during a period of just over 20 years, from 1969 to 1992. They all, more or less directly, invoke historical sources – musical, literary or visual.

Peter Paul Koprowski’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Brahms and Steven Gellman’s Fantasia on a Theme of Robert Schumann take full advantage of Petrowska Quilico’s virtuosity. Koprowski gives the elements of Brahms’ Lullaby a Chopinesque treatment, only gradually revealing the familiar theme, while Gellman introduces his theme, from the slow movement of Schumann’s Piano Quintet, then lavishes embellishments.

In Las Meninas, John Rea follows the structure of his source, Schumann’s Scenes from Childhood. But he filters it through his viewing of Velázquez’s iconic, complex painting, Las Meninas by recasting Schumann’s 13 movements in various composers’ styles – Romanticism, impressionism, minimalism, jazz, and so on. Petrowska Quilico has a field day.

Her energy infuses Patrick Cardy’s mythologically based The Masks of Astarte with narrative force. In contrast, her incisive control allows a sense of space to envelop Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux’s lyrical yet monumental Assemblages like a multidimensional sculpture (I thought of Anthony Caro’s works currently on display at the AGO).

In Quivi Sospiri by David Jaeger (who produced this set, and whose writings appear in this magazine), Petrowska Quilico is joined by computer-generated sounds. The rhapsodic yearnings of the piano confront the ominous electronics, then blend in a moving evocation of the sounds that swirl around the hopeless souls condemned to darkness in Dante’s Inferno.

Diana McIntosh’s atmospheric Worlds Apart, which gives this collection its title, weaves a shimmering fabric of intricate patterns. But it’s Geste by Michel-Georges Brégent, Petrowska Quilico’s first husband, who died in 1993, that forms the spiritual heart of this set – especially in the way he invites the performer’s interventions in shaping what happens and when. Brégent’s own description likens his score, mounted on a scroll, to a Calder mobile. In PQ’s hands the sense of urgency never lets up, even in the contemplative passages.

This set certainly showcases Petrowska Quilico’s talents, including her talent as a painter. The painting by her on the booklet cover, called Other Worlds – Light and Dark, beautifully sets the tone for this terrific collection.

 

Centrediscs CD Launch: Worlds Apart

Friday, April 7, 2017
5:00 PM

Canadian Music Centre

 

Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico launches her new 2 disc CD Worlds Apart at the CMC in Toronto. A short performance will follow.

$FREE with RSVP. Please RSVP here

 

Event details

  • Venue / Location: Canadian Music Centre, 20 St. Joseph St., Toronto
  • Date: April 7th, 2017
  • Time: 5:00pm
  • Price: $FREE with RSVP
  • External Link: Please RSVP here

Christina Petrowska Quilico on recording with late TSO Concertmaster Jacques Israelievitch

National

TSO President & CEO Jeff Melanson and Principal Trumpet Andrew McCandless speak with pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico about recording with late TSO Concertmaster Jacques Israelievitch.

Listen Here

Great review of Glass Houses Revisited. 

by Grego Applegate Edwards

Ann Southam, Glass Houses Revisited, Christina Petrowska Quilico

The late Ann Southam produced some of the most original and distinctive minimalist music to be heard. On May 22, 2014 here I covered Glass Houses Volume 2, a significant collection of some of her solo piano works performed beautifully by Christina Petrowska Quilico.Thanks to Centrediscs, we can explore the first volume of this collection (Centrediscs 16511) today. It is every bit as worthwhile as the second volume, maybe even more so.

Southam’s solo piano works are like tongue twisters, or learning to rub your stomach and jump up and down at the same time, only a great deal more rewarding in result. That has to do with the rhythmically distinctive contrasts between the left-hand ostinatos and the melodic figurations of the right hand. They mesh in tempo but have often enough the feel of contrasting meters.

Add to that the primal diatonic irresistibility of the right-handed melodic figures, which are rhythmically vibrant and far from banal, but instead memorable in the best ways. When meshed with the swirling ostinato figures the music has the trance magic of the very best minimalist works, yet utterly original, utterly Southam-esque.

This is by no means easy music to play properly, in spite of the diatonics. Christina Petrowska Quilico gives them a combination of legato lyricism and a rhythmic swing that make of the music all it should be.

Volume one covers nine of the “Glass Houses” movements, each one a miniature of happy complexities and lyrical drive. Here is a wonderful place to start if you don’t know Ann Southam’s music. If you already do it is more for you, most dedicatedly performed and exciting as well as reassuring. RIP, Ann Southam. May your music delight our ears in the centuries ahead!

Buy Glass Houses Revisited

Check out more of Classical-Modern Music Review blog!

 

GLASS HOUSES: Complete collection

“This is nothing short of miraculous…That Petrowska Quilico can perform these nine pieces is an achievement in itself; that it makes for mesmerizing listening is the magic of art.” – John Terauds, Toronto Star

“This is difficult and nuanced music, and Christina Petrowska Quilico is entirely up to the challenge. […] These performances are deeply musical and affecting.” – American Record Guide

Presented together for the first time: Glass Houses Revisited and Glass Houses Vol. 2 together in a box set for the complete collection of Ann Southam’s mammoth “Glass Houses” as performed by virtuoso pianist, Christina Petrowska Quilico.

Ann Southam was a close friend and musical collaborator of Christina Petrowska Quilico for almost 30 years. Petrowska Quilico began performing her music in 1981 and has recorded a number of her major works for piano. Glass Houses Revisited (Centrediscs) was the third collection and the first recording of this cycle and remains Centrediscs’ best-selling CD of all time. It was nominated for a JUNO for Best Classical Composition in 2012. Glass Houses Vol. 2 completes the entire set of “Glass Houses” for Centrediscs.

Passion and sensitivity, phenomenal technique and “dazzling virtuosity” (New York Times) characterize pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico, whether she is playing a Liszt piano solo, a Mozart chamber work, the Grieg concerto or the premiere of a new work by a living composer. Her 30-some recorded titles encompass contemporary works by Canadian and International composers as well as standard repertoire.

Born in Winnipeg, Ann Southam (1937-2010) completed musical studies at the University of Toronto and the Royal Conservatory of Music. Southam’s works have been commissioned through the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and continue to be performed in Canada, Europe and the United States. She was honoured with the Order of Canada, and earned a posthumous JUNO nomination for Best Classical Composition in 2012.

Available for purchase through the Canadian Music Centre:

https://www.musiccentre.ca/node/137236

NOW AVAILABLE:
Christina Petrowska Quilico & Ann Southam
GLASS HOUSES: COMPLETE COLLECTION 

DECEMBER 8, 2015, Toronto, on Centrediscs, the recording label of the Canadian Music Centre, presents the newly released complete collection of composer Ann Southam’s Glass Houses. Christina Petrowska Quilico’shighly lauded CDs, Glass Houses Revisited (2011) and Glass Houses Volume 2 (2014) come together to commemorate the fifth anniversary of composer Ann Southam’s death. Glass Houses Revisited has become one of Centrediscs’ all-time best sellers. Both the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star accorded it four stars out of four, it was named one of “30 best Canadian classical recordings ever” by CBC Music, and it received a 2012 JUNO Award Nomination for Classical Composition of the Year.
 
To date, Petrowska Quilico has recorded three major cycles by Southam for Centrediscs (including Rivers and Pond Life), for a total of six CDs on that label, in addition to Southam pieces she has recorded on four compilation discs.
 
To purchase the box set, please click here.
Glass Houses Revisited

 – The Globe and Mail

One of the “30 Best Canadian Classical Recordings Ever”  CBC Music

2012 JUNO Award Nominee for Classical Composition of the Year

“…nothing short of miraculous…”
– The Toronto Star
“These performances are deeply musical and affecting.” – American Record Guide

“…an outstanding solo piano recording…”– The WholeNote 

“… flawless musicianship… extraordinary recording.” – CAML Review

April 12, 2016, 8:00 PM

Tickets $15, Students / Seniors / Artists) $10
Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur
100, rue Sherbrooke E, Montreal

Fancies and Interludes

Fancies and Interludes is both a labour of love and musical declaration, intuited and played by two ingenious and accomplished musicians – former Toronto Symphony concertmaster Jacques Israelievitch and pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico. Recorded live at York University’s Tribute Communities Recital Hall, it has the immediacy and the vigour of a live performance (background sounds of pages being turned included), which makes the music come alive with the splendour of the excitement (or the sorrow) of each precious phrase as it was played in the moment…”

Purchase Fancies and Interludes

See the full review here.

A Centrediscs release

JACQUES ISRAELIEVITCH & CHRISTINA PETROWSKA QUILICO

LAUNCH FIRST JOINT CD, FANCIES AND INTERLUDES JUNE 11

JacquesandChristina

Two of Canada’s finest musical soloists team up in a new Centrediscs CD of 20th century music, launching June 11.

Jacques Israelievitch and pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico are featured in their first CD collaboration, Fancies and Interludes (CMCCD 21315), comprising works by four established Canadian composers.

It launches Thursday, June 11, 5 p.m. at the Canadian Music Centre, 20 St. Joseph St., Toronto. The artists will give a short performance of some of the featured music. Admission is free, but reservations are required, by phoning 416-961-6601 ext. 201, or e-mailing rsvp@musiccentre.ca.

Lyrical, jazzy and complex, Fancies and Interludes is a collection of contrasts – from the lyrical, contemporary classicism of Oskar Morawetz’s Duo to the quirky, minimalist jazziness of James Rolfe’s Drop; and juxtaposing primal rhythms and tonal colours of Raymond Luedeke’s monumental Fancies and Interludes VI. Gary Kulesha’s seductive and passionate …and dark time flowed by her like a river… (inspired by a line from Thomas Wolfe`s posthumously published novel, The Web and the Rock) also features complex rhythmic structures, along with virtuoso parts for both instruments.

The CD was recorded at a concert in the Tribune Communities Recital Hall, York University, in 2012. It was digitally edited and remastered by David Jaeger.

The CD will be available from the Canadian Music Centre, www.musiccentre.ca.

Jacques Israelievitch (www.israelievitch.com/jacques.html) was the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s concertmaster for a record-setting 20 years. He has also appeared as soloist with many major orchestras and conductors, and performed chamber music with Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, and Yo-Yo Ma, and is violinist for the New Arts Trio. As a conductor, he has been music director of the Koffler Chamber Orchestra since 2005. In his discography of more than 100 albums are the first complete recording of Kreutzer’s 42 Studies, and concertos, including ones he has premiered. He is an officer of France’s Order of Arts and Letters, and holds a Lifetime Achievement Award for his distinguished contribution to the performing arts in Canada.

Christina Petrowska Quilico (www.petrowskaquilico.com), hailed by the New York Times at 14 for her “promethean talent,” has appeared at Lincoln Center, and as soloist with orchestras in Canada, the US, Greece and Taiwan; and premiered over 150 new works, including 18 piano concertos. CBC Music named her one of 20 international “not to miss pianists” of 2014 and one of Canada’s “Top 25 Classical Pianists” in 2015. Her CD Glass Houses Revisited was one of CBC Music’s “Top 30 best Canadian classical recordings ever”, included on two other CBC top 10 lists, and is one of Centrediscs’ all-time best-sellers. Her 36 CDs range from contemporary to standard repertoire, four of the titles JUNO-nominated. She was named a Friend of Canadian Music and was one of the Canadian Music Centre’s 50 Ambassadors.

As a duo, Israelievitch and Petrowska Quilico gave a day-long performance of all 28 sonatas and variations for violin and piano by Mozart in a one-day marathon concert in 2014. They have just completed recording them for a series that will be distributed by a major label in the near future. They also collaborated as conductor and pianist when Petrowska Quilico performed two Canadian works in one concert with the Koffler Chamber Orchestra – Violet Archer’s Divertimento for piano and strings and Heather Schmidt’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

Petrowska Quilico will perform Schmidt’s fourth piano concerto with the Kindred Spirits Orchestra and conductor Kristian Alexander, Thursday, June 25 at the Flato Markham Theatre. More details are at www.KSOrchestra.ca.

Centrediscs, recording label of the Canadian Music Centre, with 7 JUNO Awards and 35 nominations, 7 ECMAs and 14 nominations and 10 WCMAs and 9 nominations to date was created in 1981 as Canada’s foremost label of Canadian contemporary concert music, recording the works of its CMC Associate Composers. Visit www.centrediscs.ca for more information.

The Canadian Music Centre oversees the music of the largest community of professional Canadian composers. The CMC offers an on-demand publishing service, music repertoire consultations, does extensive outreach events and marketing through its five Regional Centres and is easily accessible through its extensive interactive website. CMC also promotes the work of its Associate Composers through its Publishing unit and the five lending libraries of more than 24,000 scores and 14,000 related archival recordings plus some 1,400 commercially recorded CD titles.

– 30 –

 

For further information, contact:

 

Linda Litwack

416-782-7837

e-mail: lalitwack@rogers.com                                                                 May 21, 2015

Pronunciations:

Jacques Israelievitch – zhahk is-RAIL-yuh-vitch (zh as su in measure)

Petrowska Quilico – pet-TROV-ska (e as in get)  KWIL-i-koh

Glass Houses Revisited (Music of Ann Southam):

One of The 30-best-Canadian-classical-recordings-ever CBC Music (on a list with Glenn Gould`s recordings of the Bach Goldberg Variations, and other major classics)

One of 10 Pieces of Classical Music Everyone Should Know CBC Music (on a list with Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Strauss, Bizet and Copland).

One of 10 Piano Pieces Everyone Should Know CBC Music (along with works by Debussy, Chopin, Beethoven, Ravel, Liszt, Glass, Bach and Handel)

“This recording is the result of an extended collaboration – and friendship – between the distinguished Canadian composer Ann Southam and her most devoted interpreter, pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico. Petrowska Quilico selected an assortment of pieces from Southam’s 1981 Glass Houses series, then added her own spin with the composer’s blessing. She describes them as ‘fiendishly difficult etudes’ played at breakneck speed. Petrowska Quilico manages the technical demands with supreme virtuosity and creates a complex sound tapestry that pays personal tribute to one of Canada’s most engaging musical figures.” – Denise Ball, CBC Music Classical/blogs:The-30-best-Canadian-classical-recordings-ever

“Christina Petrowska Quilico…exhibits enormous strength, stamina and an amazingly crisp, clean articulation.” – Art Lange, Fanfare Magazine, reviewing Mystic Streams

“She has a remarkably luminous tone that draws the listener to the music in a way that not many pianists can manage.” – American Record Guide, reviewing Northern Sirens

“Petrowska is …an excellent musician, technically skillful and interpretively sound. She knows her way through the thorny thickets of Messiaen, Boulez, and the other contemporary composers, delivering their strange rhythms and discords effectively. I’m particularly taken by hearing the eerie sounds of the Boulez sonata again.” – American Record Guide, July/August 2003, reviewing Gems with an Edge

Espace Musique Review

La pianiste canadienne Christina Petrowska Quilico a contribué à la création de 150 nouvelles œuvres musicales au cours de sa carrière. L’une de ses compositrices fétiches est sa compatriote Ann Southam et l’album Glass houses vol.2 témoigne ainsi d’un amour double : celui de Quilico pour la musique de Southam et, incidemment, celui de Southam pour le compositeur américain Philip Glass de qui la musique jouée ici s’inspire largement.

Un tourbillon de derviches tourneurs

Quilico affirme que dans les études de la série Glass houses d’Ann Southam, les doigts de l’interprète deviennent quasiment des derviches tourneurs. Je veux bien la croire. Le tourbillon de notes de ces pièces induit une sorte de transe obsédante qui n’a rien de déplaisant. Imaginez un tourbillon de formes abstraites en constante métamorphose, ondoyantes et colorées, sur un écran d’ordinateur. Imaginez maintenant une musique jouée au piano et parfaitement adaptée à ce tourbillon.

C’est moderne et accrocheur. D’ailleurs, le volume 1 de la série Glass houses a été le meilleur vendeur à vie de l’étiquette Centrediscs, une maison consacrée à la musique contemporaine canadienne.

L’offrande musicale

La musique répétitive et pulsative de Glass est célébrée ici avec un éclat chatoyant, tant par la créatrice que par l’interprète. Ce disque est une offrande musicale respectueuse et lumineuse d’une pianiste à une amie compositrice, et de cette amie à un grand mentor contemporain.

Frédéric Cardin