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Cat. No. CHAN 9748 Price: £0 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 9748 - I Musici de Montreal - Whale Spirit Rising
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Available From: 25 November 1999
Whale Spirit Rising for baritone saxophone and string orchestra reflects, in a unique way, the diverse interest and talents of Canadian composer, teacher and jazz musician Roddy Elais. The ‘Spirit’ referred to in the title harkens back in large measure to a water creature (half-fish, half-human) named Kwimu who figures prominently in a legend of the Mimacs (a North American Indian tribe on Nova Scotia and Quebec). The work was written for friend and fellow musician David Mott. Only about a tenth of the solo part is written, the rest is to be improvised.

Fantasia… sul linguaggio perduto (Fantasia… for a lost language) was originally written for flute, violin, viola and cello in 1981, but in 1985 was arranged for string orchestra. The energetic rhythmic pulse of the opening serves as a recurring element throughout the work. The lush orchestral palette of late Romanticism is woven into the work as reminiscences of unforgotten musical styles make brief, poignant appearances.

Jarret’s Elegy for Violin and String Orchestra had is debut in 1985 in Tokyo. The mournful, yet lyrical, themes are made more plaintive through Jarrett’s effective use of chromaticism as well as frequent metre changes that permit a flowing accentuation of the melodic line. The sombre mood of this elegiac composition is emphasised for the musicians with score indications such as ‘pensive’, ‘singing’ and ‘ dark song’. Given Jarrett’s love of improvisation, it is not surprising to note that there are two cadenzas for the solo violin.

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