Magazine article Opera Canada

Inspired by Canada/notre Pays

Magazine article Opera Canada

Inspired by Canada/notre Pays

Article excerpt



Marquis Classics: 774718148520

This being a year of celebrating all things Canadian, the Amici Chamber Ensemble is doing its part by releasing Inspired by Canada/Notre Pays. Given that the Amici artists are all classically trained, a disc devoted entirely to Canadian music of the pop and folk genres may seem surprising. As explained in the liner notes, these songs define Canada as a culture and a nation, not to mention many of the songs hold special meaning to the four artists. The project is "a love letter to the country we call home."

I confess that I'm not a huge pop-folk fan, but even as a casual listener, I recognize two thirds of the tunes. Iconic songs such as Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," or the hit song "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise" composed by 12-year old Wunderkind Ernest Seitz come to mind. All pieces receive fresh arrangements by Serouj Kradjian. Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag," would seem out of place here, except that Kradjian cleverly Canadianizes it by melding it with "Maple Leaf Forever" to create the "Maple Leaf Forever Rag." Besides giving it a delicious arrangement, the classically-trained Kradjian shows in no uncertain terms that he plays a mean jazz piano!

In addition to the joplin, there is another non-Canadian work, "49th Parallel Prelude" by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Its inclusion seems appropriate given the CD was launched on Remembrance Day weekend. …

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