Phil’s Review of Mozart: Sonatas and Variations for Piano and Violin

TOP_quilicoMozart: Sonatas and Variations for Piano and Violin Jacques Israelievitch, violin; Christina Petrowska Quilico, piano (Fleur de Son) http://www.a-vcoa.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=290418&module_id=131981&sl=561443509

This is Volume 1 in a series of Mozart works for piano and violin. Sadly, it must also be a memorial to the late violinist Jacques Israelievitch, who died of lung cancer last September 5th, less than two months after he and pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico completed the ambitious recording project. That the French-born Canadian violinist persisted in this endeavor in his final illness would be remarkable enough; what is amazing is that there is absolutely no evidence of infirmity in his performances, so full of the rhythms and colors of life, taut and firm, and always endowed with the warmth that Mozart requires. Petrowska Quilico proves the ideal partner for him, in recordings made in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall at York University in Toronto.

In this first volume in the series, we have a selection of Mozart‟s richest and most persuasive sonatas: K.380 in E-flat major, K.454 in B-flat major, and K.526 in A major. Chronologically, they are a study in the development of the genre, from what is basically a piano sonata with violin accompaniment to one in which the violin has clearly achieved an equal partnership. The slow movements, in particular, contain some of Mozart‟s most beautiful melodies. They are also different kinds of melodies. The Andante of K.380 has a haunting quality that is enhanced by chromatic inflections. The slow movement of K.454 is another Andante, but with more of the feeling of an Adagio, the violin now is entrusted with the prominent melody. Bold chromatic moduations add to its intriguing beauty. In K.526, the most mature sonata Mozart ever wrote, the slow movement, likewise an Andante, has an extended development, which was rare for the period. It even modulates for a while into A minor with no apparent hurry to end on the major key, traditionally the signal for the finale to begin. Mozart was evidently taken with the beguiling melody and in no haste to return to the main event. Israelievitch and Petrowska Quilico obviously enjoy the wealth of melody and the increasingly rich chromatic harmonies in these three works, so reminiscent in many ways of his writing in the operas with which they were contemporary, from Abduction from the Seraglio to The Marriage of Figaro. The joy of music making is evident in every single measure. Highly recommended. (If this CD doesn‟t win one of Canada‟s Juno Awards next April, there‟s no justice.) Phil’s review.

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

Christina Petrowska Quilico on recording with late TSO Concertmaster Jacques Israelievitch

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.

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Remembering Jacques Israelievitch

jacques

Much has been written about Jacques Israelievitch and his remarkable career since his untimely death on September 5, 2015. Instead of repeating his extensive biography, I want to write about him from the heart, as a dear friend and esteemed colleague. His wonderful qualities as a kind, gentle and spiritual man made him an extraordinary musician and artist. He was a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather.

I loved the way he called his wife, Gabrielle, “angel” and held her hand. I loved the way he beamed with pride when speaking about his three sons and two grandchildren. I loved the way he cared about his students, musical friends and artists. I loved the way he Skyped his mother in France almost every time we rehearsed. I loved the way he always encouraged, supported and inspired me during concerts and recording.

As a musician, Jacques was always “on.” When we met to sight-read for fun, he expected concert tempo. Every rehearsal and performance was expected to be at the highest artistic level. He knew when to push and be demanding as a concertmaster, soloist, collaborator and conductor. He was just as critical of himself, always expecting as much from himself as from others. I was fortunate enough to have also been soloist in two piano concerti with Jacques conducting. It was his strength, leadership, warmth and camaraderie that elevated all the performers.

What really made Jacques unique and stand out in my memory in these last few months, while facing such devastating illness, was his ability to continue performing at such an unbelievable level. We were in the midst of giving concerts and recording the complete Mozart violin and piano sonatas, all 28 of them, at York, when he learned about his illness. It didn’t stop him. We also released a CD of Canadian repertoire on Centrediscs, Fancies and Interludes, which we had recorded live in one take a few years earlier. We gave a performance of selected works from the CD for the launch party on June 11 at the Canadian Music Centre. This was one of his last performances. Jacques had wanted to perform as much as possible in the last months. In spite of pain, Jacques never complained, never questioned, and made sure that every rehearsal, every concert was the best musical experience we could have.

Both of us were mad for Mozart and wanted to enjoy every opportunity to make music. He didn’t even complain when the piano in a concert hall was digital. He said that we would concentrate on the marvellous Mozart. He told me, and his family, that this was the happiest summer of his life. He savoured every note, every phrase that he played. Jacques also made sure to play chamber music with as many friends as he could. He never lost his sense of humour, and our rehearsals were filled with joy and fun. If either of us made a mistake, we would laugh. He was never judgmental and we were both open to trying out new musical ideas. Never one to gossip, he still did enjoy a good story. During breaks, we would take turns venting or trading jokes. In spite of the extreme pain and fatigue, he insisted on finishing our marathon of recordings and our mood was bittersweet when we finished. He kept asking me to record more, even a few days before his death. He called this project our Mount Everest. What a gift and legacy these recordings will be. We played the sonatas with love and affection for Mozart, who has been in our souls and heart throughout. I couldn’t have asked for a better musical partner or colleague. He cherished every musical line and nuance of the sonatas. It was inspired playing. Jacques and I appeared together July 11 at Chautauqua, performing the last four Mozart sonatas. Nobody realized that this would be his final concert. The experience was magical. His playing was moving, heartfelt, strong and always honest and true to the score.

It was so difficult to say goodbye to such a dear friend. Gradually, a sense of joy returned, as I became overwhelmed with the beauty of the music and Jacques’ extraordinary playing. I realize now that we will never really lose him. His artistry and musicianship will live forever in his recordings and our memories of the wonderful person that was Jacques Israelievitch.

His friend,

Christina Petrowska Quilico

Also published here by The WholeNote.

Fancies and Interludes – Christina Petrowska Quilico; Jacques Israelievitch – Canadian Music Centre Review

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.

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.

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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