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Let's Dance- Albéniz, Bartók, Bowie/ Angèle Dubeau, La Pietà


Release Date: 01/25/2000 
Label:  Analekta   Catalog #: 23125   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ottorino RespighiBéla BartókVittorio MontiIsaac Albeniz,   ... 
Performer:  Angèle Dubeau
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

La Pietà is a group of 12 of the "best women [string players] in Canada", formed in 1997 by violinist Angèle Dubeau, who herself is a soloist of notable reputation. The program in question is a well-selected compilation of dance-related works, many of which are familiar (some very familiar) in their initial settings for orchestra, piano, or solo-instrument with piano. Holst's St. Paul's Suite is the only one of the disc's more famous pieces to have been originally scored for string ensemble, and this spirited performance shows La Pietà to be as musically solid and technically polished as necessary to hold our interest for yet one more rendition of this oft-recorded (and well-loved) work. Things get a Read more lot more interesting with the group's expertly orchestrated arrangement (by pianist Louise-Andrée Baril) of Vittorio Monti's Czárdás, which usually is a show-off vehicle for a solo violin. Here, however, some of the wild virtuoso lines are passed around to other instruments--including the piano. Another highlight, perhaps the best track on the disc, is the group's vibrant performance of Copland's string orchestra setting of his Hoe-Down.


Although there's no question as to the ensemble's competence and thoroughly enjoyable, stylish interpretations (the players really capture the flavor of Albéniz's Tango, for instance, as well as the color of Bartók's Romanian Folkdances), nor is there any doubt as to Dubeau's capability as a soloist (just listen to her sizzling Czárdás or her impressive passagework and brilliant tone in dozens of other instances throughout--such as the opening of Vieuxtemps' Souvenir d'Amerique), the program suffers slightly from an acoustic perspective that too much favors the upper-register instruments. This isn't always a bad thing, but at times the middle-range and bass is muddy and we miss what could be a more powerful sound.


And while most of Baril's arrangements/orchestrations are quite fine, the final track--a setting of David Bowie's "Let's Dance" that seems to be here for no apparent reason other than it's the title of the disc--comes off like so many attempts to capture the character of a rock song with bowed instruments: slightly forced stylistically, a little awkward rhythmically, hampered by weak melodic material, and too self-conscious in delivery. It's like the group is saying, "see, we're classical musicians but we can have a good time, too!" The fact is, they already proved that in the previous 54 minutes (and unnecessarily punctuate it all with the inclusion of outbursts of laughter at disc's end). [1/7/2003]
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Ancient Airs and Dances, Set 1 by Ottorino Respighi
Performer:  Angèle Dubeau (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; Rome, Italy 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  St. Augustin of Mirabel Church, Québec 
Length: 14 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Louise-Andrée Baril 
2.
Romanian Folkdances for String Orchestra, Sz 68 by Béla Bartók
Performer:  Angèle Dubeau (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; Budapest, Hungary 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  St. Augustin of Mirabel Church, Québec 
Length: 6 Minutes 36 Secs. 
3.
Csárdás by Vittorio Monti
Performer:  Angèle Dubeau (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
Period: Romantic 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  St. Augustin of Mirabel Church, Québec 
Length: 5 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Louise-Andrée Baril 
4.
Hojas de album (6), Op. 165 "España": no 2, Tango by Isaac Albeniz
Performer:  Angèle Dubeau (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Spain 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  St. Augustin of Mirabel Church, Québec 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Louise-Andrée Baril 
5.
Gadfly Suite, Op. 97a: Folk Festival by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Angèle Dubeau (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; USSR 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  St. Augustin of Mirabel Church, Québec 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
6.
Norwegian Melodies (2) for Strings, Op. 63: no 2, Cow-keeper tune and Country dance by Edvard Grieg
Performer:  Angèle Dubeau (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1869/1895; Norway 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  St. Augustin of Mirabel Church, Québec 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
7.
Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes - no 4, Hoe-down by Aaron Copland
Performer:  Angèle Dubeau (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; USA 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  St. Augustin of Mirabel Church, Québec 
Length: 2 Minutes 52 Secs. 
8.
Souvenir d'Amerique on "Yankee Doodle", Op. 17 by Henri Vieuxtemps
Performer:  Angèle Dubeau (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
Period: Romantic 
Written: France 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  St. Augustin of Mirabel Church, Québec 
Length: 4 Minutes 42 Secs. 
9.
Let's Dance by David Bowie
Performer:  Angèle Dubeau (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1983; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  St. Augustin of Mirabel Church, Québec 
Length: 2 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Louise-Andrée Baril 
10.
St. Paul's Suite for Strings, Op. 29 no 2/H 118 by Gustav Holst
Performer:  Angèle Dubeau (Violin)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Pieta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912-1913; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1999 
Venue:  St. Augustin of Mirabel Church, Québec 
Length: 12 Minutes 22 Secs. 

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