One Man's Folly?Sunday, June 16, 2013
Some years ago, when the CBC had more money and Youtube had yet to encroach into our earbuds I went to the lovely wood-paneled studio, Studio One (where years before I had taken portraits of John Eliot Gardiner by a grand piano) to listen to Mozart. They played Mozart for 24 hours non-stop. I chose to listen to the Borealis Quartet and it was then that I noticed the wonderful acoustics. I wrote about the sound of that studio again here.
There are some days when I like to sit in my living room with two pounds of cherries and listen to every Gerry Mulligan version have of My Funny Valentine. The experience is usually wonderful in spite of the effects of the cherries on my now sensitive vintage bowels.
Even though logic says that everything must be had in moderation (I believe it specially applies to sex and garlic) deep inside of us the idea the more is better still holds.
The folks at Early Music Vancouver brought in 2009 the Academy of Ancient Music which played all 6 of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos in one sitting. I loved that particularly as I did not bring cherries.
The idea of, let’s say going to an all day concert in which musical groups would play Richard Berry’s 1955 Louie Louie ad infinitum (alas Johnny Thunders would not be available as he is dead to play my most favourite version ever) appeals to my senses and I would bring a cushion to sit on.
What is truly amazing is that I have developed an almost obsession with listening to as many versions of what could be (the annals of history are fuzzy on it) the Renaissance and the Baroque version of
If you should happen to point out that this trio features four players and wonder what it’s all about here is a simple explanation. Just like in rock and roll the bassist has no image of sorts in baroque music the person who plays the background or continuo sound (in this case Nigel North plays an archlute, a theorbo and a baroque guitar, ) might be the odd man out! Or it could be Mitzi Meyerson who plays the organ and the harpsichord or Sarah Cunningham on the cello. Vivaldi composed his set of variations and a popular one is by his contemporary Francesco Geminiani. For more see .
Now I must report a very happy occasion. A couple of months ago my friend designer Graham Walker and I attended a concert at Douglas College in New Westminster. Saxophonist, composer and musical teacher Colin MacDonald had paired with cellist, Stefan Hintersteininger and harpsichordist Christina Hutten to play his own variations of La Folia, Folie à Deux. This version was absolutely wonderful. For me it was full of humour. The concert did not end there. The group also played Vivaldi’s Concerto in E minor RV 484, his Concerto in F Major 445 and the Largo of a possible Handel Sonata. This music was played as written in which MacDonald modified the music to contemporary pitch. What he did which I found endearing was that he somehow made the sound of his soprano saxophone seem like he was playing an alto flute and his baritone saxophone was dead on as a bassoon.
You might want to know where you can listen to this music. You can but you will have to settle for doing it with your computer’s tinny speakers here. But it’s still wonderful. Thanks to Colin MacDonald life can indeed be a bowl of cherries.
Colin MacDonald's Variations on La Folia - Folie à Deux
There is another version of La Folia that I have a liking for. It is here.
Johnny Thunders sing Louie Loui