La Scena Musicale

Friday, 10 July 2015

La prochaine grande mélodie: La mélodie préférée d'Yves Marcoux

Yves Marcoux nous fait part de ses trois mélodies préférées. Partagez vos choix au!

1. Ave Maria – Franz Schubert

Chaque fois que j'entends ce chant, les magnifiques images du film "Fantasia" me reviennent en mémoire . La fin de l'œuvre de Moussorgski, "La Nuit sur les Monts Chauves" se fond avec le début du chant de Schubert, quand les cloches annoncent la tombée de l'aube et que le démon Chernobog retourne au tombeau, tout en marquant le début de la messe.  On voit alors les moines déambulant au flambeau et se diriger vers l'église.  Le tout finit par la levée d'un soleil resplendissant.  C'est de toute beauté!

2. L’heure exquise – Reynaldo Hahn

À cause de l'interprétation qu'en a faite Anne Sofie von Otter, qui est inégalée à mon avis.  L'heure exquise y est traduite en une mélodie suave.

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Next Great Art Song / La prochaine grande mélodie: Lori Milbier, Peter Low and David McNicol

Here are three new submissions. Share yours at! / Voici trois votes récents. Soumettez vos choix au!

Lori Milbier’s favourite art songs

1. Zueignung – Richard Strauss

Zueignung is a lush and beautiful's short and sweet, and has a great high note at the end!

Peter Low’s favourite art songs

Outstanding poem, tune, piano part.

David McNicol favourite art songs

'Morgen' in its simplicity captures the peace, longing and calm of the text and it is such a pleasure to play. It is deceptively simple, but it really isn't, for either the pianist or the singer. Just love it!!!

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Thursday, 9 July 2015

Next Great Art Song - David Xenakis's Favourite Art Song

Here is our next submission, a thoughtful response by David Xenakis. Submit your choices on our website!

Among Brahms' many songs, this one strikes me as unusually persuasive in the way the accompaniment matches the words. There are dark, rich colorations as the young lovers walk through the darkness, unusual changes in meter to match the words and the change in mood from the young man to the declamation of the young woman, and subtle opportunities for a very good, very accomplished singer to demonstrate the power of the middle and lower ranges. The accompaniment is challenging to perform, and the song demands almost Wagnerian stamina from the singer. This is a great treasure of a song, and probably the most popular of Brahms’ lieder.

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Next Great Art Song - Michael Morse's Favourite Art Song

Our next submission is by composer Michael Morse. Submit your vote at!

1. Gretchen am Spinnrad', Franz Schubert -- a radical departure from the Lieder of Beethoven and Mozart, and from operatic melody, too; the fantastically conceived nervous rhythm of the piano part both imitates the spinning wheel and cuts to the inner emotional turmoil of the character. Schubert contributed as much to Lied as a genre as Haydn to the symphony and string quartet.

2. "Ging heut morgen über's Feld," fromSongs of a Wayfarer, Gustav Mahler -- effortlessly expresses the combined verve, hope, and doubtfulness of youth; and it prepares the way for Mahler's fusion of Lied and Symphony, starting with the development of this piece in the First Symphony.

3. "Auf einer Wanderung," Hugo Wolf -- develops the combination of evocation/imitation in the accompaniment pioneered by Schubert, married to expressive post-Wagnerian harmonies and a gorgeous melodic sense.

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Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Governor General Announces 100 New Appointments to the Order of Canada

July 1st, 215—His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, announced today 100 new appointments to the Order of Canada. The new appointees include2 Companions (C.C.)11 Officers (O.C.) and 87 Members (C.M.). These appointments were made on the recommendation of the Advisory Council for the Order of Canada.

The Order of Canada, one of our country’s highest civilian honours, was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Over the last 45 years, more than 6 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.

The list of recipients, with short citations and a backgrounder on the Order of Canada are attached. For more information on the Canadian Honours System, please consult our website at
Here are the appointees in the fields of music and the arts:
Pierre Bergeron, C.M.
Gatineau, Quebec
For his contributions as a champion of Ontario’s Francophone community, and for his efforts to build bridges between communities as a journalist and administrator.
Daniel Bertolino, C.M.
Montréal, Quebec
For his contributions as an explorer, producer and documentary filmmaker whose works have given us a multitude of windows onto the world.
Nathalie Bondil, C.M., C.Q.
Montréal, Quebec
For her contributions to the promotion of the arts and culture as a museologist and administrator.
Blake Brooker, C.M.
Calgary, Alberta
For his creative contributions to theatre in Alberta, notably as a co-founder of the One Yellow Rabbit theatre company.
Serge Chapleau, C.M.
Montréal, Quebec
For his contributions as one of Canada’s most innovative and respected cartoonists.
Lisa de Wilde, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario
For her contributions to public broadcasting, notably for her transformative leadership at TVO.
Michèle Fortin, C.M.
Montréal, Quebec
For her contributions to the vitality of French-language and educational television, notably as the head of Télé-Québec.
Margaret Fountain, C.M.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
For her philanthropic support of provincial and national arts organizations focused on music, dance, theatre and arts education.
Linda Gaboriau, C.M.
Montréal, Quebec
For her contributions as a translator who has brought French-Canadian theatre to a broader English audience.
Graham Greene, C.M.
Stratford, Ontario
For his achievements as a pioneering and versatile actor of the stage and screen.
Yolande Grisé, C.M.
Québec, Quebec and Vancouver, British Columbia
For her contributions to the promotion of French language and culture in Canada, and to the advancement of knowledge and research as president of the Royal Society of Canada.
Bill Henderson, C.M.
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
For his contributions to the Canadian music industry as a musician, singer, songwriter and copyright advocate. 
Lawrence Hill, C.M.
Hamilton, Ontario
For his contributions as an author and activist who tells the stories of Canada’s Black community and of women and girls in Africa.
Mel Hoppenheim, C.M.
Montréal, Quebec
For his contributions to the vitality of movie-making in Canada and for his support for a wide variety of educational and community organizations.
Jacques Israelievitch, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario
For his contributions to music as a violinist, as an educator and as a champion of Canadian musical creation.
Douglas Knight, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario
For his service to the arts community and for his leadership as a media publisher.
Ginette Laurin, C.M.
Québec, Quebec
For her achievements in contemporary dance as a performer, choreographer and instructor.
Ophelia Lazaridis, C.M.
Waterloo, Ontario
For her contributions as a community leader and philanthropist who focuses on education and the arts.
Marie-Nicole Lemieux, C.M., C.Q.
Montréal, Quebec
For her achievements in Canada’s opera community as a renowned contralto.
Judy Loman, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario
For her service to the arts community as one of Canada’s renowned harpists. 
Michel Louvain, C.M., C.Q.
Montréal, Quebec
For his contributions to popular music in Quebec as a singer, and for his dedication to various charitable causes.
Frank Newfeld, C.M.
Oakville, Ontario
For his transformative impact on Canadian publishing and on the field of graphic design, notably through his imaginative book designs. 
Mary Rozsa de Coquet, C.M.
Calgary, Alberta
For promoting capacity building and good management practices among arts organizations in Alberta.
Serge Patrice Thibodeau, C.M.
Moncton, New Brunswick
For his contributions to Acadian literature as a poet and as director of Les Éditions Perce-Neige. 
Morley Torgov, C.M.
Toronto, Ontario
For his contributions to Canadian literature as a humourist and storyteller. 

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Next Great Art Song - Helen Pridmore's Favourite Art Song

Our next submission is by Dr. Helen Pridmore:

Thank you for inviting me to join in the "Great Art Song" survey.  Here are three of my favourite art songs:

1. "The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs", by John Cage.  Using an evocative text by the great Irish writer James Joyce, this brilliant little song exploits the sonic capabilities of the piano, balanced with a beautiful folk-song like vocal line.  The piece is deceptively difficult:  it looks easy enough, but it is challenging to coordinate the parts, and create the acoustic balance required.  I recommend this song highly, its effect is enigmatic and memorable.

2. "On a Rainy Night" from Five Lyrics of the T'Ang Dynasty by Canada's own John Beckwith.  Beckwith's song cycle really stands the test of time:  it is widely performed in Canada and beyond, and begins to have the status of "classic" songs, like Mozart, Schubert and other, older composers.  "On a Rainy Night" is a highlight of the cycle.  Its simple yet moving piano accompaniment evokes the sound of the rain (think of Chopin's "Raindrop" Prelude Op. 28 no. 15).  The vocal line highlights the melancholy text beautifully, evoking memories and longing.  

3. "Frühlingsglaube" D. 686 by Franz Schubert.  It's very hard to choose just one of Schubert's Lieder, as so many of them are so remarkable, so perfect, so memorable.  But this song is special:  its wonderful blending of the harmonies between the voice and piano, the hint of melancholy in both parts, the pairing of that melancholy with the beautiful, heart-rending little poem about spring, and love -- it's a perfect song.  Not to mention the cross rhythms, the slight syncopation, like a breath, at the words "Nun muss sich allen wenden" ("Now everything must change").

Submit your vote at

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Next Great Art Song - Toru Momii's Favourite Art Song

Here is a submission by Toru Momii, a music theory student. Submit your vote at

I chose the song "Akatombo (Dragonfly)" by Kosaku Yamada (1886–1965), whose lieder are extremely well known in Japan but not so much in the Western world. Having studied at the Berlin Hochschule with Max Bruch, Yamada is one of the first major composers of Western art music in Japan. Many of his art songs cater to the speech patterns of the Japanese language. Written in 1927, the song depicts a sense of nostalgia for his hometown, brought upon by seeing dragonflies at dusk.

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La prochaine grande mélodie - Les choix d'Hubert Léveillé

La mélodie est à l’honneur à La Scena Musicale en 2015-2016. Nous menons un sondage afin de connaître les 10 meilleures mélodies de tous les temps. Pour contribuer à ce sondage international, soumettez votre vote au Voici les choix d’Hubert Léveillé, un étudiant en théorie de la musique, accompagnés d'un court texte justifiant son premier choix: 

Winterreise est probablement le cycle de Schubert le plus intimement lié au peuple canadien, ne serait-ce que pour le caractère omniprésent de l'hiver. Der Wegweiser représente un cliché vivide de cet hiver tenace. Dès les premières notes de l'introduction, on s'imagine le narrateur, seul, marchant dans la neige craquant sous ses pas, le vent froid d'hiver marquant son visage comme la lame d'un couteau. Il marche dans silence pesant d'une nuit sombre de janvier, avec pour seule compagnie ses pensées incessantes.

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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Next Great Art Song - Chris Foley's Favourite Art Song

Here is pianist Chris Foley’ submission for the Next Great Art Song survey. Chris has promoted our competition on his blog, and you can also follow him on twitter.

In 1815, an 18-year-old student of Antonio Salieri named Franz Schubert was making a meagre living teaching children in the outskirts of Vienna. Although still a teenager, Schubert's setting of Die Erlkönig was revolutionary in every way, from the virtuoso-like relationship of voice to the keyboard to the portrayal of multiple narrators in Goethe's text, setting the course for an entire genre that took piano, voice, and text-setting to a higher level of artistry than ever before.

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Next Great Art Song - Daniel Lichti's Favourite Art Song

La Scena Musicale is celebrating the Art Song in 2015-16 with the launch of an worldwide survey, What is your favourite art song? Submit your vote at Here is a submission by bass-baritone Daniel Lichti.
1. My top choice is Schubert’s Der Lindenbaum.  For me it is one of the best examples of the duality in which a song, as recognizable as a beloved folk song, can also exhibit the composer’s mastery, with all the refinement and depth of the Art Song.


3. Third Choice is Hôtel by Francis Poulenc.

 This has been a difficult exercise…there are so many more favourites!

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Monday, 6 July 2015

Next Great Art Song - Christopher Dunham's Favourite Art Song

La Scena Musicale is celebrating the Art Song in 2015-16 with the launch of an worldwide survey, What is your favourite art song? Submit your vote at Here is our second submission, by baritone Christopher Dunham.  
An old christian song first written in the early 19th century and popularized over the years was arranged by several American composers. The most recognizable of which is Aaron Copland's arrangement. Though it is difficult to categorize this as purely an art song due to its arguably more popular use in tradition christian hymn books. The simplicity and beauty of the music and text has allowed it to transcend the realm of "classical music" and into the traditions of millions of peoples.
2. Ballade que Villon fait à la requeste de sa mère, from Trois Ballades de Francois Villon (Claude Debussy)

During his time, Debussy was a brilliant innovator of song, stretching harmonic and artistic language even further into the 20th century. All the while he kept his mind on the past and infused the beautiful poetry and music of the 14th century. The poem, written by Francois Villon is a prayer for his mother, who was illiterate and wished for a deathbed prayer. Debussy artfully uses medieval modal harmonies to grace the poetry and create a song cycle which is hauntingly beautiful.
The antithesis of the German art songs is to be found in Mahler's works, particularly this piece. Originally a chamber piece, it is equally beautiful when performed with piano. Magnificent poetry, coupled with 300 years of German counterpoint, this song takes the number one position, in my mind, of all art-songs.

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Cette semaine à Montréal: du 6 au 12 juillet

La soprano Gianna Corbisiero (Photo: Opera Hamilton)

Cette semaine à Montréal: du 6 au 12 juillet

Concerts populaires de Montréal
L’Orchestre Métropolitain et le maestro Julian Kuerti ouvriront la série des Concerts populaires le 25 juin avec le jeune violoniste canadien Kerson Leong, Révélation Radio-Canada en 2014-2015. L’OM reviendra le 23 juillet, sous la direction du jeune chef Andrei Feher, récemment nommé Découverte de l’année au gala des Prix Opus 2015. On entendra Gianna Corbisiero dans un programme Gershwin (9 juillet) et Marc Hervieux dans des comédies musicales (30 juillet), sous la direction de Stéphane Laforest. Un concert-spectacle avec Richard Desjardins, Alexandre Da Costa et Alexandre Éthier mettra en vedette la poésie de Lorca et la musique d’Espagne (16 juillet). Sous la direction de Gilles Bellemare, une soirée animée par Marc Hervieux présentera le mariage parfait entre les choix culinaires et musicaux (17 juillet). Centre Pierre-Charbonneau.

Festival Juste pour Rire - le 8 au 28 juillet
Cette année, le festival Juste pour Rire présente la série «Les 7 péchés capitaux» qui regroupe six galas animés par sept humoristes: François Bellefeuille, Laurent Paquin, André Sauvé, Philippe Laprise, Anaïs Favron et Maxim Martin et Guy Nantel. Vous pourrez aussi découvrir les spectacles solos des comédiens et humoristes Valérie Blais, Jean-Marc Parent et Maxim Martin, pour n’en nommer que quelques-uns. Et si vous n’êtes pas friand des clubs et des grandes salles de spectacles, sachez que les rues du quartier des festivals seront envahies par des artistes qui vous amuseront à coup sûr–pensez à l’audacieuse Lise Dion (11 juillet) ou au musicien satirique Weird Al Yankovic (21 juillet).

Festival-Opéra de Saint-Eustache – Place aux jeunes
Du 10 au 12 juillet, le Festival-Opéra de Saint-Eustache accueillera cette année le baryton Hugo Laporte, lauréat du Concours OSM Standard Life, ainsi que les lauréats des Jeunes Ambassadeurs lyriques, à l’occasion d’un concert gratuit à la Promenade Paul-Sauvé, derrière l’église de Saint-Eustache (12 juillet, 14h30). Le jeune «sopraniste» Étienne Cousineau, découvert à l’émission La Voix, présentera pour sa part un mélange d’airs d’opéra et de comédies musicales, le 11 juillet, au Centre d’art La petite église, en compagnie de la soprano Geneviève Charest et du pianiste Pierre McLean.

Le festival Juste pour Rire présente cet été la comédie musicale Grease au Théâtre Saint-Denis. Les billets se sont envolés si vite que les producteurs ont décidé à la mi-avril d’ajouter des supplémentaires pour répondre à la demande. La grande dame du théâtre et du cinéma québécois, Denise Filiatrault, joue le rôle de conseillère artistique dans cette production dirigée par le metteur en scène Andrew Shaver. L’histoire est campée dans le Chicago des années 1950. La distribution des personnages de la classe ouvrière compte les «greasers», une sous-culture représentée par de jeunes amateurs de rock’n’roll, d’où le titre. Annie Villeneuve et Jason Roy Léveillée incarnent le célèbre couple adolescent, Sandy et Danny. La production, qui fait revivre le rock’n’roll du début des années 1950, est épaulée par 17 artistes dont Normand Brathwaite dans le rôle de Vince. Traduction et adaptation d’Yves Morin, sous la direction musicale de Guillaume St-Laurent. 17 juin au 17 juillet 25.

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This Week in Montreal: July 6 to 12

Andrei Feher (Photo: Pierre-Etienne Bergeron)

This Week in Montreal: July 6 to 12

Concerts Populaires de Montreal
The Orchestre Métropolitain and maestro Julian Kuerti will open the Concerts Populaires series on June 25 with young Canadian violinist Kerson Leong, Radio-Canada’s Discovery of the Year in 2014-2015. The OM is back on July 23, under the baton of young conductor Andrei Feher, recently named Discovery of the Year at the 2015 Prix Opus gala. Audiences will hear Gianna Corbisiero in a program of Gershwin (July 9) and Marc Hervieux singing musicals (July 30) conducted by Stéphane Laforest. A concert-show with
Richard Desjardins, Alexandre Da Costa and Alexandre Éthier will feature the poetry of Lorca and the music of Spain (July 16). Under the direction of Gilles Bellemare, an evening hosted by Marc Hervieux will present the perfect balance of musical and culinary delights (July 17). Centre Pierre-Charbonneau,

Festival-Opéra de Saint-Eustache – Place aux jeunes
From July 10 to 12, Saint-Eustache’s Festival-Opera will welcome baritone Hugo Laporte, winner of the OSM Standard Life Competition, as well as the winners of the Jeunes Ambassadeurs lyriques. They will perform a free concert at the Promenade Paul-Sauvé, behind Saint-Eustache church (July 12, 2:30 pm). Male soprano Étienne Cousineau, discovered on La Voix, will present a mix of opera arias and musicals, on July 11 at La petite église art centre. He will be accompanied by soprano Geneviève Charest and pianist Pierre McClean.

Just for Laughs -  July 8 to 28
Big names at this year’s Just for Laughs include Neil Patrick Harris, Trevor Noah, and Jane Lynch hosting the Videotron Galas. Mike Myers, Bill Burr, and Dave Chappelle will also be there, and Moroccan Montrealer and francophone comedy star Rachid Badouri makes his English-language debut in The Ethnic Show. But if clubs and big venues aren’t your style, the streets will be filled with plenty of performers to tickle your funny bone - like chart-topping musician/satirist Weird Al Yankovic, who performs a free outdoor show on July 21.

Montreal’s comedy festival Just For Laughs, presents GREASE (in French) this summer, at Théâtre St-Denis. Tickets were selling out so fast that as of mid-April producers had to extend the run in order to meet demand. Grande dame of Quebec theatre and cinema, Denise Filiatrault, serves as artistic advisor, while Toronto-based Andrew Shaver directs. Set in 1950s Chicago, the cast of working-class characters comprises a cross-section of youth subculture called “greasers,” hence the title. Local singers Annie Villeneuve and Jason Roy Léveillé play lovestruck teenagers, Sandy & Danny. The musical score invokes early 50’s rock ‘n roll and features a 17-member cast, which includes Normand Brathwaite (as Vince). Translated and adapted by Yves Morin, with musical direction by Guillaume St-Laurent. June 17-July 25.

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