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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

LEBRECHT LISTENS | Massenet With The Late Sally Silver Is Perfect Fare For A Summer's Night 

By Norman Lebrecht on August 2, 2019

Jules Massenet: La vie d’une rose (Somm Recordings)

★★★★☆
🎧 Apple Music Amazon

Sally Silver — also known as ‘Silver Sally’ — died last November of cancer at 50 years old, casting a pall over the British opera scene, where she was a vibrant and ever-willing participant. Never a showy diva, Sally landed roles in any opera from Handel to Thomas Adès, pursuing a particular love for French chanson. This posthumous album — curated by Sally, accompanied by her friend Richard Bonynge and produced by her husband Jeremy Silver — is a delight from start to finish.

It’s not just the sparkle she brings to Massenet’s somewhat timeworn drawing-room songs — though that alone is worth the price of admission — it’s the slightly-knowing false-innocence that she injects into numbers like Passionément and Souhait. Sally sings like someone who knows the meaning of life and the value of each moment. The mezzo Christine Tocci, who joins in several duets, gives as good as she gets. Why go to see a Massenet opera when the small stuff is so good, and so concise?

This must be Richard Bonynge’s first recording of the decade. He’s still a decent pianist, in case you’re wondering, a little prone to heavy elbows in the triple fffs but, unlike many condcutors, knowing when to sit back and do as little as possible. This is perfect fare for a summer’s night.

To read more from Norman Lebrecht, follow him on Slippedisc.com.

LUDWIG VAN TORONTO

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Ludwig Van Toronto

LEBRECHT LISTENS | New Year Listening With Poulenc And Koechlin

By Norman Lebrecht on January 3, 2020

No happier way to start a year than Francis Poulenc, few grimmer than Charles Koechlin; Poulenc captivates, but tepid Koechlin is the sort of thing the BBC used to play to fill time up to the news.
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THE SCOOP | Soundstreams Taps Rising Voice In Toronto Arts Scene As Executive Director

By Michael Vincent on December 30, 2019

After the departure of Soundstreams' former Executive Director, Ben Dietschi last November, Soundstreams names Menon Dwarka as Executive Director.
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SCRUTINY | Bravissimo And Salute To Vienna The Perfect Musical Doubleheader For The Change Of Decade

By Joseph So on January 2, 2020

Crowd pleasing programs and stellar talent mark Toronto’s beloved year end/New Year classical music extravaganzas, Bravissimo and Salute to Vienna.
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