LaScena Worlds Apart Album Review

Christina Petrowska Quilico: Worlds Apart (Centrediscs)

MyScena

Worlds Apart
Christina Petrowska Quilico
Centrediscs, 2017. CMCCD 23717, 2 CD. 88 min 13 s.

 

Christina Petrowska Quilico dropped a new album today – a cross-section of Canadian piano repertoire – that features a wide variety of post-modern compositional techniques. In this two-CD set, the first disc is entitled Classics with a Twist – a way to dip your big toe in the pool before jumping in headfirst in the second. With overt references to the titans of Romantic piano repertoire – Schumann, Brahms, and Chopin – Rea, Koprowski, and Gellman dish up the familiar in surprising ways. The second CD features the namesake of the collection, Worlds Apart by Diana McIntosh, as well as “edgier” and darker works by David Jaeger, Michel-Georges Brégent, Patrick Cardy,Diana McIntosh, and Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux.

John Rea’s Las Meninas – named after a Velázquez painting that depicts the aritst in the act of capturing the likeness of Philip IV and his wife, Mariana of Austria who are only seen reflected in a mirror – is a series of 21 variations in 13 movements on Schumann’s “Scenes from Childhood.” Each a slight view into a different perspective of composers past and present, the variations achieve a lot with very little. The second homage in the set is to fellow Canadian composer Alexina Louie directly quotes Debussy’s “Pagodes.” An allusion to her Chinese heritage, perhaps? Though, I have to admit that’s when I gave up the game – aside from the obvious and often literal references, I don’t have nearly an encyclopedic enough knowledge of piano repertoire to trace the origin of every thread found in Rea’s rich tapestry. Petrowska Quilico has a wonderful touch in these miniatures, an intrinsic understanding of voicing that lends itself well to creating each atmosphere with due expediency.

Published around the same time, Peter Paul Koprowski’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Brahms was premiered by Petrowska Quilico at the Winnipeg New Music Festival back when she was known only by one name. The Brahms theme, his Lullaby, is well-hidden in the weeds of elaborate neo-Romantic Chopinesque figurations, handily executed by Petrowska Quilico without becoming too overwrought. Written for Angela Hewitt, Steven Gellman’s Fantasia on a Theme by Schumann has a French air to it like the previous two works, but has much more in common with the overtly pianistic Rhapsody than Rea’s take on Schumann. It’s also the darkest of the three, with tremolo bass that leads well into the second disc.

David Jaeger’s Quivi Sospiri for piano and synth, composed in the ‘70s but revised in 2014, is a dark and otherworldly depiction of Canto 3 of Dante’s Inferno, in which there is no light but only sound. Geste by Petrowska Quilico’s late first husband, Michel-Georges Brégent, is an aleatoric work with graphic notation and mobiles reminiscent of Alexander Calder that resists fixity with broad dramatic gestures. Cardy’s The Masks of Astarte draws on the myth of the ancient Middle Eastern goddess of fertility, who some believe was the prototypical Virgin Mary. The masks here are fleeting glimpses of truth, musical lines that point to something larger but which turn away at the last moment and become something else entirely.

Diana McIntosh’s Worlds Apart also evokes the celestial with water-droplets of colour that gain a compelling rhythmic vitality before gradually receding into the same ether from which it emerged, barring the abrupt perfect fifth ending devoid of a tonal centre. The final piece, Assemblages by Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux is taken from a 1972 archival recording of Petrowska Quilico at a SMCQ concert. With indeterminate pitch and rhythmic elements, it is in much of the same spirit as Geste and is very evocative of Morton Feldman’s work.

Though all the pieces featured in this collection are Canadian works and “contemporary” by most standards, I found it stunning I am the same age or younger than each. Yet, in several cases, Petrowska Quilico is still the only recording artist to devote studio time to these works, all of which deserve second, third, multiple hearings. For this, the collection is not only a great service to the Canadian musical landscape, but a testament to Petrowska Quilico’s sweeping vision.

 

ICI Musique Worlds Apart Review

Par
Frédéric Cardin

Christina Petrowska Quilico : championne du piano 100% canadien

Christina Petrowska Quilico
Album: WORLDS APART

La pianiste canadienne Christina Petrowska Quilico aime bien surprendre le public avec des choix de programmes musicaux qui sortent des sentiers battus. C’est le cas avec son nouvel album Worlds Apart, sorti sous étiquette Centredisques et où elle nous fait découvrir un tas de compositeurs Canadiens, encore peu connus dans le grand public en général.

Christina Petrowska Quilico: Fantasia on a Theme of Schumann

Christina Petrowska Quilico (elle a été mariée au baryton Louis Quilico, duquel elle a conservé le nom) a fait de la musique contemporaine canadienne une spécialité. Elle est une musicienne très sensible, en plus de posséder une solide technique, ce qui en fait une interprète recherchée par nos créateurs. Qui plus est, elle est manifestement passionnée par la nouvelle musique, ce qui s’entend tout de suite quand on l’écoute jouer.

L’album est double. Sur le premier disque, un concept qui sert de ligne directrice : la musique de compositeurs romantiques revisitée par des contemporains canadiens. Las meninas de John Rea en est le pilier principal. Il s’agit d’une reprise des fameuses Scènes d’enfants de Robert Schumann, où chaque morceau se retrouve traité selon le style musical d’un autre compositeur (de Chopin à Glass en passant par Vivier, Stravinsky et bien d’autres). L’idée est géniale, et agit comme une sorte de mise en abîme musicale à 3 niveaux : John Rea revisite un tas de compositeurs qui « revisitent » Robert Schumann.

On a aussi une Fantaisie sur un thème de Brahms de Peter Paul Koprowski et une deuxième, la Fantaisie sur un thème de Robert Schumann (encore!), par Steven Gellman.

Si le 1er disque met de l’avant des esthétique se situant au carrefour du modernisme et du romantisme, le 2e fait place à des œuvres enracinées dans l’atonalisme contemporain.

Quilico est une artiste totalement engagée dans sa passion de mieux faire connaître les compositeurs d’ici. C’est une passion que je partage entièrement. Des artistes comme elle, et des albums comme celui-ci, sont essentiels. Merci.

Christina Petrowska Quilico sera en concert au festival Montréal Nouvelles Musiques (MNM) le 4 mars. Elle y interprétera la musique du Québécois Michel-Georges Brégent.

Mozart: Sonatas & Variations for Piano & Violin, Vol. 1 / Israelievitch, Quilico

Review Vancouver

Release Date: 06/10/2016
Label:  Fleur De Son   Catalog #: 58034   Spars Code: DDD
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performers:  Jacques Israelievitch,  Christina Petrowska Quilico
Number of Discs: 1  

Reviewer Ed Farolan

This is the last joint collaboration by the duo of pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico and the late violinist Jacques Israelievitch, the recording of Mozart’s complete catalogue of violin and piano sonatas. The first of six CDs was released June 10 on the American label Fleur de Son (FDS 58034) and distributed by Naxos.  Copies are available on iTunes (electronic) and Amazon.com (physical and digital), and through numerous other digital service providers and retailers..

Volume 1 comprises 71 minutes of late sonatas along with a set of variations. It features the sonatas in E flat, K. 380; B flat, K.454; and A, KV 526; and Six Variations on a French Song (“Hélas, j’ai perdu mon amant”), K. 360. The music from these artists was beautiful and virtuosic, dynamic on the part of Quilico and finesse from the violin sounds of Israelievitch.

Jacques Israelievitch who passed away last year of lung cancer graduated from the Paris Conservatory at 16, and was a winner at the International Paganini Competition.  He was the concertmaster for 20 years with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and was an officer of France’s Order of Arts and Letters and a member of the Order of Canada.

Professor Quilico teaches Music at York University in Toronto. She has performed with the Toronto Symphony, TaiPei Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony, the National Arts Orchestra, etc. Her 40 CDs include solo, chamber and orchestral works. Four of her CDs have been nominated for Junos in the Best Classical Composition Category. Her CDs include 8 Canadian piano concerti with the Toronto Symphony, Jukka Pekka Saraste, conductor, Vancouver CBC Symphony, Sir John Eliot Gardiner to name a few.

© 2016 Ed Farolan

Centrediscs Releases Box Set of Glass Houses

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

JACQUES ISRAELIEVITCH & CHRISTINA PETROWSKA QUILICO LAUNCH FIRST JOINT CD, FANCIES AND INTERLUDES

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 reviews

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