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François Houle, clarinet
Sheila MacDonald, violin
Peggy Lee, cello
Marguerite Witvoet, piano
Laura Lyster, percussion
w/guest artist Chenoa Anderson, flute
Jacqueline Leggatt; Farandole II (1998),
Bradshaw Pack; the earth for you a Standing place (1997),
Elliot Carter; Con Leggerezza Pensosa (1990),
Bruce Mather; Standing Wave (1994),
John Korsrud; Stark Raving (1994, rev. 1998),
Pierre Boulez; Derive (1984),
Claude Vivier; Paramirabo (1978),
Cam McKittrick; Wanderer (1996)
Marketed by SPOOL.
What the critics are saying:
"[T]he CD is warm, crisp and live. Engineers chose to mike the studio in stereo rather than the individual instruments. Thus the balances among players are earned, rather than mixed, and the authenticity is audible… Bruce Mather wrote Standing Wave for Standing Wave in 1994 to showcase super-clarinettist Francois Houle. The composer's work shines with urbane, Montreal glamour, and Houle realizes this ambience with ease. The ensemble accompaniment is an engaging counterbalance, rather than a passive backdrop, adding richness and texture to this exposé's flash. Any ill-founded doubts regarding Standing Wave's abilities will be crushed by this CD's inclusion of Boulez's Derive of 1984. Here is a different rendition of the work than what is normally heard (the composer conducting IRCAM, 1991). Standing Wave's reading of Derive is bright and almost ecstatic, not weighed down by the millions of institutional francs showered upon the Boulez troupe. While these two versions compliment each other admirably, Standing Wave positively outclasses The Claude Vivier Ensemble's 1988 version of Vivier's 1978 Paramirabo. Standing Wave delivers crunch and emotive contour, leaving the earlier recording - which did not involve the composer directly - sounding limp and unfocused. Canada's greatest composer would have enjoyed Standing Wave's tribute.
This recording really works. The modern classics included here show both how well the ensemble can play standard repertoire, and how well our local composers stand up to the same. Standing Wave is vital to any collection founded on love and curiosity. "
-- John Keillor