Carissa Klopoushak & Philip Chiu | Soundworlds: Music of Janáček - Carrabré - Debussy - Vivier - Willan

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Soundworlds: Music of Janáček - Carrabré - Debussy - Vivier - Willan

by Carissa Klopoushak & Philip Chiu

Violinist Carissa Klopoushak teams up with pianist Philip Chiu, showcasing sonatas by Janácek, Debussy, Willan, and two works by Vivier and Carrabré. 3 Canadian works, 1 world premiere - masterfully performed chamber music, delivered with warmth and charm
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Violin Sonata, JW VII/7: I. Con moto
Carissa Klopoushak & Philip Chiu
5:06 $0.99
2. Violin Sonata, JW VII/7: II. Ballada
Carissa Klopoushak & Philip Chiu
5:27 $0.99
3. Violin Sonata, JW VII/7: III. Allegretto
Carissa Klopoushak & Philip Chiu
2:27 $0.99
4. Violin Sonata, JW VII/7: IV. Adagio
Carissa Klopoushak & Philip Chiu
4:52 $0.99
5. Chaconne for Violin and Piano
Carissa Klopoushak & Philip Chiu
8:12 $0.99
6. Sonate pour violon et piano, L. 140: I. Allegro vivo
Carissa Klopoushak & Philip Chiu
4:45 $0.99
7. Sonate pour violon et piano, L. 140: II. Intermède fantasque et léger
Carissa Klopoushak & Philip Chiu
4:12 $0.99
8. Sonate pour violon et piano, L. 140: III. Finale très anime
Carissa Klopoushak & Philip Chiu
4:38 $0.99
9. Pièce pour violon et piano
Carissa Klopoushak & Philip Chiu
8:16 $0.99
10. Sonata No. 1 in E Minor, HWC 100: I. Lento quasi recit
Carissa Klopoushak & Philip Chiu
6:57 $0.99
11. Sonata No. 1 in E Minor, HWC 100: II. Adagio
Carissa Klopoushak & Philip Chiu
7:31 $0.99
12. Sonata No. 1 in E Minor, HWC 100: III. Allegro molto
Carissa Klopoushak & Philip Chiu
4:51 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
SOUNDWORLDS: music of Janáček, Carrabré, Debussy, Vivier, and Willan

One can hardly imagine that three sonatas written within a four-year period during the First World War could be so different. In their violin sonatas, Leoš Janáček, Claude Debussy, and Healey Willan offer diverse and uniquely personal perspectives on the world around them.

"...In the 1914 Sonata for violin and piano, I could just about hear the sound of the steel clashing in my troubled head..."

Leoš Janáček (1854-1928) was fascinated by traditional Moravian folksong, and incorporated it into his compositions in a modern and highly original way. His Violin Sonata, composed amidst the clash of the First World War, explores a full range of emotions - turmoil, utter despair, nostalgia, and moments of absolute joy. Despite calling this work a sonata, Janáček avoided traditional forms, writing instead in a stream of consciousness manner.

The violin opens the piece with a cry of despair, prefacing an intense melody accompanied by dramatic tremolando in the piano. The Ballada features an enchanting melody, perhaps reminiscent of a happier time. The third movement alternates between anger and regret. The finale pits the violin and the piano against each other in a series of interruptions and abrupt changes of mood, but the two resolve, or dissolve, together into nothingness.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
 was unable to fight for France in The Great War due to his terminal cancer; instead, he hoped to write a set of six new works as his wartime contribution. Unfortunately, he only completed three works before his death, the last of which was the Violin Sonata. In this joyful and rhapsodic work, Debussy incorporates forms and values from celebrated French masters (Couperin, Leclair, and Rameau) while infusing Spanish, Asian, and Roma (Gypsy) influences.

Debussy evokes more emotion in these three short movements than one might think imaginable - playfulness, melancholy, excitement, nostalgia, uncertainty, bravado, and pure joy.

"I am English by birth, Irish by extraction, Canadian by adoption, and Scotch by absorption"
- Healey Willan

Healey Willan (1880-1968) immigrated to Canada in 1913 and was soon immersed in Toronto's musical life. He held teaching positions at the Toronto Conservatory of Music (now the Royal Conservatory), the University of Toronto, and served as organist-choirmaster at St. Paul's and later St. Mary Magdalene’s Anglican churches. He is best known as a composer of organ and choral music.

Willan composed very few instrumental chamber works; apart from his two published violin sonatas, only fragments of a piano trio and string quartet exist. The Sonata No. 1 in e minor is written in the late-Romantic tradition. A brooding, tempestuous opening movement gives way to a touching middle movement full of both longing and rapture. A delightful final movement, in rondo form, completes the work.

Complementing the three sonatas are the single-movement works of Claude Vivier and T. Patrick Carrabré.

Claude Vivier (1948-1983) is lauded for his very personal, expressive musical language, and is arguably the most internationally recognized Quebecois and Canadian composer. A native of Montreal, Vivier spent a number of years in Europe studying with composers including Karlheinz Stockhausen, who had a notable influence on his compositional style.

Pièce pour violin et piano is part of a set of pieces that Vivier composed for the international Stepping Stone Competition, and as such, it affords the performers ample opportunity to test the technical limits of their instruments. It is emotionally charged and full of contrast; the prevailing mood is one of quiet reflection and exploration, occasionally disrupted by violent outbursts. It is a deeply personal work, expressive and soulful.

Brandon University professor Pat Carrabré (b. 1958) wrote Chaconne for the 2009 Eckhardt-Grammatté Competition. He states:

“Bach’s use of repetitive harmonic sequences is masterful and it gives the music a forward momentum that I’ve come to admire. It’s a very different approach to the longer Neo-Romantic structures that have been the stock-in-trade for most of my music. In the last few years though, I’ve started to explore this type of repetition – which doesn’t include a lot of modulation to new key areas - because it gives the music a lot of power. That drive towards the end of a phrase becomes so relentless that you can really feel the notes march relentlessly towards their resolution. The chaconne form is best known from the big bear of a movement that closes out Bach’s Partita no. 2. It’s a huge set of variations that challenges the performer with every phrase. My little Chaconne isn’t on that scale, but hopefully it’ll have some of the drive and a few of the challenges, in a musical language that speaks from our time.”

I had the privilege of performing Chaconne on every program on the 2009 E-Gré Winner’s Tour, and now I have the immense privilege of recording this charming nod to the solo works of Bach. (Yes, that is a harmonica!)

- Carissa Klopoushak, 2016


Carissa Klopoushak and Philip Chiu have performed extensively together. Their musical partnership has taken them across the country, beginning with a 17-city Canadian tour for the Eckhardt-Grammatté Competition Winner’s Tour in 2009. Since that time, they have performed together in many recitals and chamber music collaborations across Canada, appearing at Ottawa Chamberfest, Ritornello Chamber Music Festival, and touring the Maritime provinces for Debut Atlantic. This recording presents some of their favourite works from their many tours together, capturing their explorations of many different characters and soundworlds.

Carissa Klopoushak, violin

Carissa Klopoushak has made a name for herself as a curious, creative, and versatile violinist. Described as a charismatic and engaging performer with the complete package of sensitive musicianship and effortless technique, Carissa is the laureate of the 2009 Eckhardt-Grammatté (E-Gré) National Music Competition and winner of the 2012 Canada Council of the Arts Instrument Bank Competition. She has toured extensively across Canada, performing at Ottawa’s Chamberfest, the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, Toronto Summer Music, the E-Gré Winner’s tour, and for Debut Atlantic. In 2014, Carissa toured Australia and North America with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Carissa holds a Doctorate in Violin Performance from McGill University. She is a founder and Artistic Director of the Ritornello Chamber Music Festival in her hometown, Saskatoon. A proud Ukrainian-Canadian, Carissa plays and sings in a Ukrainian folk-rock band, Tyt i Tam. She resides in Ottawa, where she is a member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Ironwood Quartet.

This album was recorded on the 1869 Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin (with Vuillaume model bow), generously on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.

Philip Chiu, piano

Inaugural recipient of the Prix Goyer (2015), ­ one of Canada’s largest classical music prizes, pianist Philip Chiu has become one of Canada’s leading musicians through his infectious love of music and his passion for communication and collaboration. Lauded for the brilliance, colour and sensitivity of his playing, he is particularly noted for his ability to connect with audiences on and off­stage. An exceedingly sociable artist, Philip concertizes extensively as one of Canada's most sought­ after chamber musicians. He has appeared in recitals with leading musicians of the world stage, including Regis Pasquier, James Ehnes, Raphael Wallfisch, Patrice Fontanarosa, Matt Haimovitz, and Radovan Vlatkovic. Philip would like to recognize the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts for their support.

Soundworlds: music of Janáček, Carrabré, Debussy, Vivier, Willan
Carissa Klopoushak, violin & Philip Chiu, piano
Produced by Carissa Klopoushak and Jeremy Tusz
Balance Engineer: Jeremy Tusz (Diapason Mobile)
Assistant Engineer: Paul Scriver
Editing and Mastering: Jeremy Tusz (Diapason Mobile)
This recording was made at Oscar Peterson Concert Hall, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, December 20-22, 2014.

Cover art: “Cobalt Tumult” by Ben van Duyvendyk, 2016
Photo of Carissa: (Hair and makeup: Ivy Lam; styled & coordinated by LIZPR)
Photo of Philip: Luc Robitaille

Carissa performed on the 1869 Jean Baptiste Vuillaume violin (with Vuillaume model bow), generously on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. She is represented by Latitude 45 Arts Promotion



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