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Evelyn Glennie, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra & Anne Manson | Mirage? Concertos for Percussion

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Classical: Vivaldi Classical: Contemporary Moods: Instrumental
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Mirage? Concertos for Percussion

by Evelyn Glennie, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra & Anne Manson

The solo marimba and vibraphone together with string orchestra, show virtuosic vigour one moment and masterful subtlety the next, creating an impressionistic, lush, and nostalgic album.
Genre: Classical: Vivaldi
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Piccolo Concerto in C Major, RV 443: I. Allegro (Arr. for Vibraphone by Evelyn Glennie)
Evelyn Glennie, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra & Anne Manson
3:22 $2.50
2. Piccolo Concerto in C Major, RV 443: II. Largo (Arr. for Vibraphone by Evelyn Glennie)
Evelyn Glennie, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra & Anne Manson
4:23 $2.50
3. Piccolo Concerto in C Major, RV 443: III. Allegro molto (Arr. for Vibraphone by Evelyn Glennie)
Evelyn Glennie, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra & Anne Manson
2:36 $2.50
4. Mirage?
Evelyn Glennie, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra & Anne Manson
13:50 $2.50
5. Sonata in D Minor, Op. 5: No. 12 “La Folia” (Arr. for Marimba, Vibraphone and Strings by Karl Jenkins)
Evelyn Glennie, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra & Anne Manson
12:31 $2.50
6. Kaluza Klein (2016)
Evelyn Glennie, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra & Anne Manson
12:01 $2.50
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
GRAMMY-winning percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie is celebrated the world over, and boasts one of the most consistently surprising recording catalogues of any classically trained musician today. She and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Music Director, Anne Manson, have collaborated to produce the album Mirage? Concertos for Percussion, which features two classical masterworks and two pieces by leading Canadian composers, Michael Oesterle and Christos Hatzis. Glennie trades in her drumsticks for mallets here, performing brilliantly on various melodic percussion instruments, adding a lyrical, jazz quality to an already eclectic album. The strings-only line-up of the orchestra, led by MCO Music Director and conductor Anne Manson, is also in top form, conversing musically with Glennie with virtuosic vigour one moment, and masterful subtlety the next. The album features cover artwork by renowned artist and Winnipegger Sarah Anne Johnson. Its gorgeous title track, Mirage?, is much like Johnson's piece: impressionistic, lush, nostalgic.

Anne Manson
Conductor Anne Manson has served as Music Director of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra since 2008. Manson’s strong commitment to contemporary music has led to numerous commissions and recordings with the MCO. Among them are Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 3 and Piano Concerto, and the JUNO- and Western Canadian Music Award-nominated Troubadour & the Nightingale with soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian.

As a guest conductor, Anne Manson has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston and Indianapolis Symphonies, the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, London Philharmonic, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Orquesta de Extremadura, BBC Proms, and she has guest conducted regularly with many orchestras in Spain.

Manson has led at houses around the globe: San Francisco Opera (Così fan tutte), New York City Opera (Barber’s Vanessa), Grand Théâtre de Genève (Floyd’s Susanna), Royal Opera Stockholm (Donizetti’s Viva la mamma), Spoleto Festival (Janáček’s Kat’a Kabanova), Minnesota Opera (US premiere of Jonathan Dove’s The Adventures of Pinnochio, Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, Puccini’s Tosca, Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel), Portland Opera (Philip Glass’ Orphée and Galileo Galilei – released on CD in 2013 – and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly), Virginia Opera (Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers). At the Washington National Opera, Manson has conducted numerous works including Douglas Pew’s Penny, Barber’s Vanessa, Conrad Susa’s Dangerous Liaisons, and Scott Wheeler’s Democracy. She has also served as a mentor for the American Opera Initiative commissions. She received Canada’s DORA Award for outstanding musical direction for her work with the Canadian Opera Company on Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. At the Juilliard School, she has conducted Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen and Kat’a Kabanova, Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers, Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, Ned Rorem’s Our Town, and the North American premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies’ Kommilitonen!.

In addition to recordings with MCO and Portland Opera, Manson has recorded with the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague, the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Iceland Symphony, the Singapore Symphony, and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.
Before serving as the MCO’s Music Director, Manson was Music Director of London’s Mecklenburgh Opera (1987-96) and the Kansas City Symphony (1999-2004). She was the first woman to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival in 1994 (conducting Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov).

Evelyn Glennie
“My first experience with percussion was seeing and being inspired by my school orchestra at the age of 12. I knew I needed something else to go alongside my piano playing, which was my main instrument at the time. It was an inexplicable feeling but as soon as I saw the percussion section I knew this was the family I belonged to.”

Evelyn Glennie is the first person in history to successfully create and sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist, performing worldwide with the greatest conductors, orchestras, and artists. She fondly recalls having played the first percussion concerto in the history of The Proms at the Albert Hall in 1992, which paved the way for orchestras around the world to feature percussion concerti. She had the honour of a leading role in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. “Playing at an event like that was proof that music really affects all of us, connecting us in ways that the spoken word cannot.”
Evelyn’s solo recordings, which now exceed 30 CDs, are as diverse as her career on-stage. Shadow Behind the Iron Sun and Sound Spirits continue to be bestselling albums that amply demonstrate her brilliant improvisational skills.

A leading commissioner of new works for solo percussion, Evelyn has more than 200 pieces to her name from many of the world’s most eminent composers. She believes this has been crucial to her success as a solo percussionist. “It’s important that I continue to commission and collaborate with a diverse range of composers whilst recognising the young talent coming through.”
A double GRAMMY award winner and BAFTA nominee Evelyn is in demand as a composer in her own right and records high quality music for film, television and music library companies. The film Touch the Sound and her enlightening TED speech remain key testimonies to her approach to sound-creation.

With over 90 international awards to date, including the Polar Music Prize, a Damehood and the Companion of Honour, Evelyn continues to inspire and motivate people from all walks of life. Her masterclasses and consultations are designed to guide the next generation.

To this day, Evelyn continues to invest in realising her vision – to Teach the World to Listen – while looking to open a centre that embodies her mission: “to improve communication and social cohesion by encouraging everyone to discover new ways of listening. We want to inspire, to create, to engage and to empower.”

Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
The MCO is “Canada’s tiny, perfect chamber orchestra” (Toronto Star). It has toured widely, commissions often, embraces a diverse repertoire, and collaborates regularly with the world’s leading soloists. The orchestra, boasting a roster of some of the finest orchestral musicians in Canada, has been praised for its “satiny sound… dynamic subtlety, and an impeccable sense of ensemble” (Ottawa Citizen).

Established in 1972, the MCO presents nine concerts annually in Winnipeg, most of which feature guest soloists, and all of which present an accessible, eclectic repertoire ranging from the mega-hits of the common practice tradition to exciting new premieres. The rest of its energies are devoted to unfolding an extensive program of touring, recording, and outreach every year.
In 1995, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra became the first North American orchestra to release a record with Sweden’s prestigious BIS label. Since then they’ve recorded eight albums, two of which have earned Juno nominations (So Much To Tell with Measha Brueggergosman and Troubadour & the Nightingale with Isabel Bayrakdarian). Their 2013 recording of Philip Glass music has enjoyed international acclaim.

Their first international tour was of Italy in 1999. Since then, highlight tour appearances include performing with Isabel Bayrakdarian at Carnegie Hall in 2008 in a spectacular concert that garnered three curtain calls. Other highlights include their Canadians tours with Dame Evelyn Glennie in 2009 and 2016.

Notable among ongoing outreach initiatives is the ‘Fiddlers on the Loose’ ensemble, taking live music to remote parts of the province, from Churchill to Grand Rapids, to work with and play for youth and families who face geographic and economic challenges.

Anne Manson was appointed Music Director of the MCO in 2008, succeeding Roy Goodman in the post.

Sonata in D Minor, Op. 5 No. 12—‘La folia’
 by Arcangelo Corelli
— arr. for marimba, vibraphone and strings by Karl Jenkins
Corelli’s reputation and influence extended through much of Europe. He was one of the leading violin soloists of the Baroque era, as well as a composer of music that is both appealing and historically significant. For example, his sonatas for violin helped establish this instrument as the most important non-vocal element in music. La folia (the folly) is a type of wild Spanish or Portuguese folk dance. One particular melody used for it attained wide popular currency, beginning in the sixteenth century and extending through the eighteenth.

Numerous composers have used it as the theme upon which to base sets of variations, including Vivaldi, Frescobaldi, Lully, Pergolesi, Geminiani, Bach, Grétry, Cherubini, Liszt, Nielsen, Rachmaninoff, and Henze.

The best-known is Corelli’s, a dazzling single movement which makes up the last of the twelve sonatas for violin and continuo that he published in 1700 as Op. 5.

Kaluza Klein (2016)
 by Michael Oesterle
Kaluza Klein was commissioned by the MCO for Evelyn Glennie, with the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts. She, Anne Manson and the MCO performed the premiere on 10 April 2012. The composer has provided the following note:
In 1921, mathematicians Theodor Kaluza and Oskar Klein proposed the theory of a fifth dimension. Their collaboration produced a credible geometry: an elegant solution to this theory which was soon after referenced by other scientists, including Albert Einstein. The general consensus today is that this idea does not fit within the now widely accepted model of supersymmetry, but the possibilities opened up by a fifth dimension continue to lure physicists and mathematicians. Incidentally, the Kaluza-Klein theory of a compact curled dimension became central to the emergence of String Theory, an idea which is still to be proven.

In any case, the Kaluza-Klein theory remains a byword for elegance in physics and math. Although I didn’t intend for my piece to have an audible reference to this mathematical theory, my idea was to write music that is about an analogous partnership between the vibraphone and strings; a collaboration in search of an harmonic identity for the piece. The violins introduce the initial pitch, the vibraphone proposes alternative ideas – both continuing to search for the ‘right’ notes – leading to the final 25 measures of the piece during which a series of chords appear as an elegant solution.

Mirage? by 
Christos Hatzis
The composer writes:
Commissioned by CBC for Dame Evelyn Glennie and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Mirage? was composed during the winter months of 2009. It was a time when the world was entering an economic downturn which has often been compared with the Great Depression of the 1930s. This dark period was preceded by years of greed, selfishness, political and economic opportunism and plain disregard for basic human rights all over the world, which necessitated the present period of cleansing and testing so we can hopefully reclaim our humanity and faith through the trials and tribulations of today’s economic and geopolitical crucible.
Looking back at the previous period of careless and callous accumulation of wealth by the few at the expense of many, one wonders if the exorbitant life-style which we, the residents of the developed nations, managed to sustain for several decades at the expense of the developing world and the underprivileged among us was real or a mirage: sweet, lovely and seductive, but a mirage nonetheless. The unmistakable connection between the years preceding the present crisis and the ‘roaring twenties’ accounts for the particular musical styles used in the composition and the question mark in the title.

The music of Mirage? is permeated by a sense of sadness, and at one point, of despair. It is lamenting the loss of something pleasurable that could not be held on to: of a way of living that less fortunate generations in our post-apocalyptic future may find hard to believe as possible and relegate instead to the domains of myth and legend, like the myths and legends of lost continents and civilizations of our distant past that are still pounding at the threshold of our collective memory. Were they mirages too or are we failing the same test over and over again, destroying ourselves and others in the process while blotting our legacy in the collective memory of humankind?

I don’t know if the music of Mirage? answers any of these questions, but these were the questions that led to its being. Perhaps there is still hope, that is hope for human solutions before God and nature take matters into their own hand, but during the days of composing this work that too seemed like a mirage.

Piccolo Concerto in C Major, RV 443 by 
Antonio Vivaldi
— arr. for vibraphone by Evelyn Glennie
In Vivaldi’s time, it was common practice for a composition to be played on several different instruments. Composers were happy just to have their music heard, and they weren’t fussy about whether it was performed on a violin, flute or harpsichord. Given this attitude, as well as Vivaldi’s well-known love of instrumental colour, it’s quite likely that he would have welcomed the chance to hear one of his works sounding in an attractive (and what would have been new to him) medium such as the vibraphone.
He intended the delightful concerto that Dame Evelyn Glennie performs on this recording for the smallest member of either the flute family, the piccolo, or the recorder family, the sopranino model. It’s one of just three concertos that he composed for this instrument, perhaps under the inspiration of a virtuoso soloist.

The lively outer movements are filled with high, bird-like trills that suit either piccolo or vibraphone admirably. In between comes a stately, almost melancholy slow movement which displays the solo instrument’s lyrical side.

Anne Manson, conductor
Dame Evelyn Glennie, percussion

First Violin
Karl Stobbe
Mary Lawton
Mona Coarda
Shao Jun
Meredith McCallum
Chris Anstey

Second Violin
Kerry DuWors
Barbara Gilroy
Boyd MacKenzie
Laura Chenail
Momoko Matsumura
Robert Richardson

Daniel Scholz
Coca Bochonko
Suzanne McKegney
Barbara Hamilton

Desiree Abbey
Minna Rose Chung
Carolyn Nagelberg
Leanne Zacharias

Double Bass
Theodore Chan
Paul Nagelberg

Canada Council for the Arts
Manitoba Arts Council
Winnipeg Arts Council
The Winnipeg Foundation
The Richardson Foundation
Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Endowment Fund
Recording producer: Denise Ball
Recording engineer: Doug Doctor
Digital editing, mixing and mastering: Don Harder
Recording venue: Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, 8 &  October 2016
Cover artwork: Sarah Anne Johnson, Two Bears, 2011; 28 x 42; chromogenic print, photospotting & acrylic inks, gouache
Art Direction and design: Conrad Sweatman & Jon Snidal
Liner notes: Don Anderson, except where noted
This project is funded in part by FACTOR, the Government of Canada and Canada’s private radio broadcasters. Ce projet est financé en partie par FACTOR, le gouvernement du Canada et les radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.
This recording was made possible through the assistance of the Music Section of the Canada Council for the Arts.
MCO Records is the recording division of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
© 2017 Manitoba Chamber Orchestra

Regarding Manson’s recording of Glass’s Orphée:
“An excellent recording” and “….”The vibrant Ms. Manson works effectively to bring transparency and balance to the orchestra, without loss of plush colors and harmonic intensity….”
— Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

“… a tour de force performance of Glass's Oscar-nominated music from The Hours and a virtuosic performance of Glass's Third Symphony for Strings … This recording shows off the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra's versatility, especially in the quick paced second and fourth movements, as well as the ensemble’s silky interpretation of the many layered voices of the third movement, all under the precise direction of Manson.”
— editorial review, amazon.com

“In this absorbing and impressive performance, Anne Manson and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra bring out Glass's intricate polyphonic weave with brilliant ease and assurance”
— Gramophone Magazine, July 2013

“... this orchestra is doing everything right …”
— Winnipeg Free Press

“MCO is Canada’s "perfect, 22-string" chamber orchestra …”
— The Toronto Star

“…subscription sales were up 15 per cent this year. With concerts of this quality, it is easy to understand why.”
— Winnipeg Free Press

“The orchestra … had a satiny sound that allowed for considerable dynamic subtlety, and an impeccable sense of ensemble.”
— The Ottawa Citizen

“… poise and polish.”
— The New York Times

“… the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, an excellent string ensemble conducted with crispness and verve by Anne Manson.”
— The San Francisco Chronicle

“Manson led the solid, polished orchestra in robust and committed performances.”
— The Orange County Register

“They played wonderfully.”
— The Vancouver Sun



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