Vol. 33, No. 2
Publication Date: 2015-08-19
Number of articles: 14

Introduction 

PDF through Erudit | Member Access

By / par Gordon Smith

Articles

Canadian Music: A Personal Perspective 

PDF through Erudit | Member Access

By / par Carl Morey

Abstract

In this article the author reflects on musical life in Canada, drawing on experiential perspectives while growing up in Toronto and his career for three decades as a faculty member in musicology at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. References to pivotal musical institutions (Canadian League of Composers, CBC, Canadian Music Centre, among others) and historical documents such as Ernest MacMillan’s Music in Canada, Marshall McLuhan’s Gutenberg Galaxy, and George Grant’s Lament for a Nation provide contextual frameworks for these perspectives.

The Wild Hunter, the Wandering Jew, and the Flying Dutchman: The Hunt In Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer 

PDF through Erudit | Member Access

By / par J. Stephen

Abstract

Richard Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer is unusual among the composer’s mature operas for the brevity and relative unfamiliarity of its source material. Since the legend of the Flying Dutchman was relatively unknown, both Heine and Wagner contextualize the Dutchman by relating him to better-known figures: Heine refers to the Dutchman as the Wandering Jew, and Wagner, through hunting music, connects him to the Wild Hunter. This article addresses the significance of these associations by examining the meanings of all three legends and demonstrating how they are used by Wagner to provide dramatic and musical structure in the opera.

Perspectives on the Late Piano Music of Oskar Morawetz and John Weinzweig 

PDF through Erudit | Member Access

By / par Elaine Keillor

Abstract

Oskar Morawetz and John Weinzweig were colleagues of Carl Morey at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. Each composed considerable piano music throughout his compositional career. In this article, the author examines the late piano compositions of Morawetz and Weinzweig, comparing approaches to the instrument, and how those approaches were reflected musically in this group of late compositions. Because Morawetz based his approach on the late Romantic piano compositions with which he was familiar, pianists do not encounter extended techniques in his works. Weinzweig, on the other hand, makes new demands upon the performer to bring across his “disparate gestic/phonetic shapes.”

The Eventual Premiere of Issipile: Porpora and the Palchetti War 

PDF through Erudit | Member Access

By / par Kurt Markstrom

Abstract

“Where Porpora is concerned, misfortune is bound to ensue. Beware, in faith, of having anything to do with his company.” Metastasio’s damning indictment of Nicola Porpora in a letter published in his Opere (the offending passage omitted from Charles Burney’s English translation) is put into the context of the “Palchetti Wars” in Rome in 1732/33 and a court case against the impresario Francesco Cavanna of the Teatro della Dame. The court case was filed by a group of musicians, presumably led by Porpora, after the cancellation of the premiere of his Issipile during the spring of 1732 as a result of the closing of the theatres by the pope due to the controversy between the ambassadors of France and Austria over their boxes (palchetti) at the opera. In the court case between two of his old friends, Metastasio took the cause of the impresario over the composer because the case resulted in the bankruptcy of Cavanna and the closure of the della Dame. Although arrangements were made for the premiere of Porpora’s Issipile the following year at an alternate venue, the Teatro Pioli—which got around the theatrical ban by replacing its palchetti with a large balcony or palchettone, the della Dame, preserving its celebrated five tiers of palchetti—remained closed until 1738. This was probably part of the strategy of the directors of the delle Dame in dealing with the twists and turns of the palchetti controversy.

Providing the Taste of Learning: Nadia Boulanger’s Lasting Imprint on Canadian Music 

PDF through Erudit | Member Access

By / par Jean Boivin

Abstract

This article traces the rich Canadian legacy of the twentieth-century French musical legend Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979). Through teaching her more than seventy Canadian students, both French- and English-speaking, the renowned French pedagogue played a crucial role in the development of concert art music in this country from the 1920s, notably in Montreal and Toronto. Her numerous Canadian students went on to distinguish themselves as composers, teachers, performers, musicologists, theorists, administrators, and radio producers. Drawing on extensive archival and primary research, this study demonstrates the decisive impact Boulanger had on the development of musical styles and compositional practices in Canada in the last century.

Anhalt’s Oppenheimer: The History of a Never-Finished Major Work 

PDF through Erudit | Member Access

By / par John Beckwith

Abstract

The “opera fantasy” Oppenheimer by Istvan Anhalt (1919–2012) survives as a draft libretto and 1,100 pages of musical sketches, on which the composer concentrated from mid-1988 to late 1991, partly with the collaboration of the playwright John Murrell. Prolonged negotiations with the Canadian Opera Company eventually collapsed and the work was abandoned. Using prior research by Peter Laki and archival documents (especially the composer’s previously inaccessible “diary” of the opera’s progress), this article traces Oppenheimer’s compositional development and the COC production talks, compares it to the 2005 opera Doctor Atomic by John Adams and Peter Sellars (both works deal with J. Robert Oppenheimer’s role in creating the first atomic bomb), and speculates on possible affinities between the existing sketches and other Anhalt compositions of the same period.

“The Spectacle of a Young Man”: Glenn Gould, Graham Steed, and an Unpublished Concert Review for the Windsor Star 

PDF through Erudit | Member Access

By / par Barbara Reul

Abstract

This article focuses on the content, intent, and historical context of an unpublished review of a concert performed by Glenn Gould and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in Detroit, Michigan, on 13 October 1960. The review is preserved at the Library and Archives Canada and was written by Graham Steed (1913–1999). This respected British-Canadian organist and scholar served as the Windsor Star’s music critic from 1959 to 1965. Interestingly, Steed’s American colleagues reviewed Gould’s performance favourably. In contrast, Steed’s own highly controversial critique was deemed unfit for public consumption by the editor of the Windsor Star.

Neglected Canadian Orchestral Music 

PDF through Erudit | Member Access

By / par Robin Elliott

Abstract

This article examines neglected orchestral works by six Canadian composers: Rodolphe Mathieu, Colin McPhee, John Weinzweig, Harry Somers, Istvan Anhalt, and R. Murray Schafer. Despite the considerable professional accomplishments and career achievements of these composers, each has at least one orchestral work in his catalogue that failed to make a good impression with the musical public or has never been heard in live performance. The article attempts to find why these compositions did not win a place in the repertoire and also considers how these works illustrate broader issues relating to the Canadian orchestral repertoire.

Seeds for a Mature Compositional Style: An Analysis of Melody, Musical Layers, and Signals in Claude Vivier’s Chants 

PDF through Erudit | Member Access

By / par Brian Harman

Abstract

Claude Vivier’s Chants is considered by many to be his first significant musical composition, yet very little exploration has been undertaken to determine what techniques and ideas flow from this work into his mature musical style. This article provides an in-depth analysis of Chants’ pitch organization and the influence of the principal melody on the work as a whole, followed by an analysis of the manipulation of musical layers and the use of processes as signals for formal change in the work. These qualities bear strong similarities to Vivier’s later works, demonstrating that Chants was pivotal in his development as a composer.

The Power of Stories: Canadian Music Scholarship’s Narratives and Counter-Narratives 

PDF through Erudit | Member Access

By / par Beverley Diamond

Abstract

This article is a reflection on how narratives of Canadian music scholarship have shifted since the late 1980s, generally moving toward an array of “diversity narratives.” It questions how government policy, academic institution building, increased interdisciplinarity, new configurations of individual and collective experience, and new regional or nationalist discourses have played a role in this shift. It suggests that Canadians may be particularly well poised to lead in the study of how multiple narratives and “sovereign aesthetics” can coexist.

Book Reviews

Keith W. Kinder. 2014. This Awareness of Beauty: The Orchestral and Wind Band Music of Healey Willan. Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press. 221 pp. ISBN 978-1-55458-960-9 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-77112-127-9 (paper), ISBN 978-1-55458-962-3 (ebook) 

PDF through Erudit | Member Access

By / par Elaine Keillor

Bálint András Varga. 2013. From Boulanger to Stockhausen: Interviews and a Memoir. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press. xi, 400 pp. ISBN 978-1-58046-439-0 (cloth) 

PDF through Erudit | Member Access

By / par Gregory Marion

Keith Potter, Kyle Gann, and Pwyll Ap Siôn, eds. 2013. The Ashgate Research Companion to Minimalist and Postminimalist Music. Burlington VT: Ashgate. 458 pp. ISBN 978-1-4724-0278-3 (ebook), ISBN 978-1-4094-3549-5 (cloth). ISBN 978-1-4094-3550-1 (PDF) 

PDF through Erudit | Member Access

By / par Patrick Nickleson

MusCan Office

MusCan is led by a committed community of volunteers from across Canada. You can contact our secretariat by mail, phone, or email.

10 Morrow Avenue, Suite 202
Toronto, ON
M6R 2J1
Canada
416-538-1650
office [AT] muscan.org