NADINA MACKIE JACKSON
ROMANZA: Works for Trumpet, Bassoon and Orchestra
Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Ignaz Lachner, Carl Maria Von Weber
NADINA MACKIE JACKSON, bassoon
GUY FEW, trumpet & corno da caccia
Toronto Chamber Orchestra
REVIEWS"[The Hummel and Lachner] performances are exciting renditions of historical works played with a tremendous amount of zeal and vigor. Above all, Few’s playing demonstrates the dynamic and stylistic variation possible on the instrument. The outer movements of Hummel’s concerto are pristine, played with a marvelous brilliance and clarity of articulation. Few achieves a wide dynamic range to establish each of the contrasting themes. In the middle movement he displays lyrical playing with a singing quality that blends extremely well with the strings. A real treat for this reviewer is the performance of the Lachner Concertino on corno da caccia. The mellow sound of the conical-bored corno blends nicely with the bassoon, allowing for an equal partnership without overpowering the double reed instrument. The manner in which the bassoon and corno interact is outstanding in this seldom-heard work. Additionally, both players demonstrate their virtuosity in soloistic passages, as well as ensemble sensitivity during the combined passages. ...this recording is well worth the investment to have these performances in one’s archive."
David Bohnert, ITG Journal - January 2010
"[In the Hummel Trumpet Concerto] virtuoso Guy Few plays in a mellifluous legato... [this] is a well-polished gem that should please those familiar with the work... The Andante is particularly luscious and lingers in the senses like the memory of a gourmet meal long after it has been consumed... Hummel's Grand Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra delivers all the excitement and freshness one could hope for. Jackson 's chops are fantastic... Her playing can be described as nothing short of saucy and supremely confident; those who love the bassoon would be hard-pressed to find more liquidity and precision of articulation. Jackson removes all doubts as to the bassoon being a born solo instrument: the Romanza contains the most delicious, heart-achingly sincere bassoon cadenza I’ve ever heard... In a unique offering, the two virtuosi pair up for Lachner's Concertino. This work presents a canvas that allows the masterful concertino free reign; their lightning-quick parallel runs are breathtakingly exact. To McGegan's credit, the maestro's fingerprint is nowhere too distinct—the immensely capable soloists constantly shine through the even texture. Everyone seems to expect nothing but the best from McGegan, and thanks to the wonderful soloists this recording certainly lives up to that standard.”
Northwest Reverb - April 2009
"...these performances are top notch... Mr. Few's performance of the Hummel Trumpet Concerto is clean and polished. Phrases are crafted to perfection, and his tone is rounded to a point of fascination. Ms. Jackson's performance of the concerto is also made her own... This pair of performers is indeed a good one, and I am glad they are collaborating as much as they have. Let us hope that this collaboration continues.”
American Record Guide -March/April 2009
"Guy Few begins the CD beautifully with an excellent interpretation of the Hummel Trumpet Concerto. [In the Bassoon Concerto] Nadina's interpretation...gives us three impressive 'lessons'. The first is in exquisite double-tonguing, the second is in equally exquisite lyricism, and in the third it is making us literally want to 'dance' to her interpretation... this recording is the very best of the Hummel Bassoon Concerto since John Miller's landmark disc of the 1960s. It makes the CD worth getting for this work alone! The entire CD is a delightful 'journey' through the age of Romanticism...A final singular word about the marvelous Toronto Chamber Orchestra and its conductor Nicolas McGegan needs to be added: Perfecto! They do an incredible job throughout, giving the two artists a luscious 'canvas' upon which they can freely 'paint' their magical sonorities...state of the art 'concert-hall' recording technique, and you have a CD that is equally Perfecto: a fabulous recording that I cannot recommend highly enough. Once again I am dazzled by Nadina's musical prowess on the bassoon and profoundly jealous of her formidable technique. Braves to all involved in this recording! ”
Rating: 5 Crows! The Double Reed -December 2008
"Seductively and shimmeringly gorgeous…”
World Magazine - June 2008
"This latest release by Ms. Jackson couples her once again with trumpet wiz Guy Few in a superb program consisting of some wonderful music... The Hummel Trumpet Concerto is played here to perfection by Few, with ample and gracious support from the reliable Toronto players. [Few provides a] vigorous performance that ensures full competitive standing... my favorite [Hummel] Bassoon Concerto to this date (that of Dag Jensen on a Capriccio release) cannot really top this wonderful reading by Jackson, one of the best, if not the best on disc. This is a wonderfully proportioned reading that simply sparkles. [The Lachner] piece is a gem, playing to the instruments in a really facile manner, and keeping your attention easily... Jackson’s reading [of the Weber] meets all challenges while kicking up a lot of dust in the dizzy final pages, great fun and spirited playing. The sound is very naturally captured, as are all of the best MSR releases, without undue microphone placement on the soloists. As mentioned, the orchestra is up to the high standards set by the soloists, and I cannot imagine a better put together recital, for the specialist and the generalist—you will love it."
Audiophile Audition - August 2008
"Few and Jackson’s remarkable virtuosity… most striking trumpet playing, strong, confident, very secure in the high register…dark, burnished and sensuous way of playing the bassoon…”
American Record Guide - 2008
“Few and Jackson play with polished tone, immaculate intonation and infectious high spirits; its obvious they are having a blast.”
All Music Guide - 2007
“…stunningly beautiful in every way… pure virtuosity… gorgeously together and breathtakingly in tune…"
The Double Reed - Spring 2007
PROGRAM NOTESROMANZA is the second disc in the long term recording and commissioning project directed by Nadina Mackie Jackson and Guy Few with the Toronto Chamber Orchestra, pairing double concerti with solo concerti for trumpet and bassoon. The title of this recording is inspired by the lyrical slow movements that figure in each of these nineteenth century concerti for trumpet, bassoon, corno and orchestra. Courtly yet amiable, the romanza frequently followed a rondo pattern and was the perfect vehicle for the wind virtuosi of the nineteenth century, players demonstrably capable of delicately persuasive expression and dazzling flights of fingers.
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The three composers on this recording, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Ignaz Lachner and Carl Maria von Weber, were all were renowned as opera composers and directors. Written in a time when wind soloists were much more common than today, these bel canto concerti give leading roles to the trumpet, corno and bassoon within the texture of the full orchestra.
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GUY FEW is a virtuoso. As a pianist, trumpeter, cornist and singer, he delights audiences with his intensity and charm. Montreal's Le Devoir called him "outrageously gifted" and "quite simply phenomenal". It is no wonder that he is in demand as a soloist, performing with many orchestras and festivals in Canada and the United States. Guy is equally at home in classical or contemporary genres. Through the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council, he has debuted new works by Canadian composers including Glen Buhr, Peter Hatch, Alain Trudel, Melissa Hui, Boyd McDonald and Jacques Hétu, among others. Jacques Hétu’s concerto, written for Guy, is available on Canadian Trumpet Concerti with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony conducted by Raffi Armenian (CBC SM5000). He has also recorded for S.N.E., Arsis Classics, Musica Viva, ibs, Naxos and Hänssler Classics labels. Hänssler recordings include the Grammy Award winning CREDO of Penderecki with the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra under Helmuth Rilling.
Guy has been invited as a professor, adjudicator, soloist, principal and recitalist to many festivals including the Festival of the Sound, Scotiafest, Kiwanis National Music Festival, Ottawa Chamber Festival, Vancouver Chamber Festival, Tanglewood, Takefu International Music Festival and Oregon Bach Festival. Clinics and master classes have been presented internationally at institutions such as the Montreal Conservatory, University of Toronto, Memorial University, New York State University at Fredonia and Sonoma State University. Guy is a gold medal graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario and holds a Fellowship Diploma from Trinity College, London, England. He performs and records on a regular basis with Bellows and Brass, Nadina Mackie Jackson and Stephanie Mara. Guy has appeared on CBC-TV, CTV, BRAVO, TV5 and European television broadcasts and is heard regularly on CBC Radio and NPR.
Guy lives in Elora, Ontario, and is a part time faculty member at Wilfrid Laurier University where he conducts the Wilfrid Laurier Brass Ensemble and teaches trumpet and duo piano. He is a Yamaha Artist and performs on XENO and Custom trumpets.
Combining a virtuosic technique with an exuberant artistic flair, NADINA MACKIE JACKSON has gained a world wide following through her many solo recordings and recitals. One of today’s most exciting and articulate performers she brings a creative spark to her performances and has appeared with orchestras in Canada and the United States. Many new works have been written for Nadina alone and in connection with distinguished collaborators, including Guy Few, Patrick Gallois and David Swan.
An active chamber musician, Nadina has formed many chamber groups in Toronto and Montreal, the most well known being the Caliban Quartet of Bassoonists. Her baroque chamber group, Musica Franca, released two CDs on MSR Classics in 2006, and was described by Gramophone Magazine as "refined, quicksilver & swashbuckling."
Nadina is equally at home as an orchestral musician; for two years, she was the principal bassoonist of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and can also be heard on more than 50 of the Montreal Symphony recordings. She continues to perform and record with such groups as Les Violons du Roy, Aradia Ensemble and Toronto Chamber Orchestra. As a baroque bassoonist, she has appeared with such groups as the Handel & Haydn Society of Boston, Tafelmusik, Ensemble Caprice and the Theatre of Early Music. A founding member of the Council of Canadian Bassoonists, Nadina is also on the Advisory Board for the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition.
Nadina is currently on faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario and the State University of New York at Fredonia along with the University of Toronto and the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Conductor Nicholas McGegan is one of the world’s leading authorities on Baroque and Classical repertoire and a favorite guest of major orchestras and opera companies around the globe. Mr. McGegan’s itinerary includes regular appearances on the most illustrious international podiums. In North America these include engagements with the Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, Saint Louis and Toronto Symphony Orchestras. He has also conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Sydney, Melbourne and West Australian Symphonies in Australia, and orchestras in Lithuania, Hungary, Austria and Italy.
Mr. McGegan has been music director of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for more than 20 years. Since 1990, he has also been Artistic Director of the International Handel-Festival Göttingen, the oldest festival for baroque music in the world. Under his directorship, the Festival has returned to presenting fully staged Handel operas such as those that marked its launch in 1920, heralding the revival of interest in the composer’s work. His Göttingen performances have resulted in more than a dozen notable recordings of Handel’s operas, including the Gramophone Award-winning Ariodante with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Nicholas McGegan’s 100-plus recordings cover a range of opera, orchestral and chamber music and appear on the Avie, BMG Conifer, Classic fM, Decca, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Erato, Harmonia Mundi USA, Hungaroton, Reference Recordings and Virgin Classics labels and are available on iTunes and Magnatune.com.
McGegan was born in England, studied at Cambridge and Oxford Universities and has received an honorary degree from the Royal College of Music in London. He has also been awarded the prestigious Handel Prize from the Halle Handel Festival in Germany, and in 1996 was presented with the Drottningholmsteaterns Vänners Hederstecken, the honorary medal of the Friends of the Drottningholm Theatre. In 2006, he was made an Honorary Professor of Philosophy at Georg-August University in Göttingen.
The Toronto Chamber Orchestra draws players from the best groups in Toronto and Canada, including the Toronto Symphony, Canadian Opera Orchestra, Canadian Ballet Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Victoria Symphony Orchestras and Aradia Ensemble. Many of the musicians also play baroque instruments and are all well-versed in stylistic issues from the 18th century to the modern day. As such, the orchestra's approach is to extend transparency and purity of tone to all periods of music. The TCO has made five recordings for Naxos (symphonies of J. Haydn, W. Pichl, L. Mozart, F. Beck and overtures by D. Cimarosa).
PROGRAMJohann Nepomuk Hummel:
Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E-flat major
Grand Concerto for Bassoon & Orchestra in F major
Concertino in E Flat major for Corno, Bassoon and Orchestra, Op. 43
Carl Maria von Weber:
Andante and Hungarian Rondo for Bassoon and Orchestra, Op. 35