Canada's internationally acclaimed and best selling violinist, Angele Dubeau, along with her chamber ensemble La Pieta, turn in a resolutely contemporary direction for their new album on Analekta: a musical portrait of Philip Glass. The prolific American composer has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times. Here, Dubeau paints a dramatic portrait of Glass with some of his most significant works for strings.
Dubeau has maintained a close collaboration with Philip Glass in New York since studying his first violin concerto, and so, in and light of this relationship, he has authorized an overview of his work with musicians outside his regular circle. The works featured on the new CD include the Overture to La Belle et la Bete, a work from the 90s in homage to Jean Cocteau; Mishima, String Quartet No. 3, inspired by the writings of Yukio Mishima and initially used as the soundtrack for the 1985 film Mishima, a Life in Four Chapters; The Secret Agent, an excerpt from the score of the 1996 Christopher Hampton based on Joseph Conrad's novel; Echorus (from echo) a Baroque-influence work, originally written in 1994-95 for violinists Edna Mitchell and Yehudi Menuhin; The Hours Suite for piano, strings, harp and celesta, from the soundtrack of the Academy Award-winning Stephen Daldry film; and Closing, from the popular Glassworks, which naturally concludes the album.
This month, Angele Dubeau and La Pieta make several US appearances, including Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri (Oct. 24); Albuquerque's KIMO theater (Oct. 26); Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa (Oct. 27) and a special "Nightclub Concert" appearance at Yoshi's in San Francisco, hosted by KDFC on Wednesday, October 29th.
Last season, Angele Dubeau and La Pieta celebrated their 10th Anniversary with the release of Fairy Tale: "Hail to Canadian violinist Angele Dubeau and her crackerjack female string ensemble La Pieta" said Gramophone, in an album review, "... Dubeau plays everything with alluring sweetness ... and her colleagues match her tender, inflected playing note for note" (January 2008). One of Canada's most prominent artists, Dubeau has performed in prestigious concert halls in more than 25 countries. She is the only Canadian soloist in classical music to have two certified Gold records for more than 50,000 albums sold.
Angele Dubeau & La Pieta release a resolutely modern album: a musical portrait of Philip Glass. A contemporary composer of the highest renown, Philip Glass began his artistic schooling in the 50s in Paris. His talent aligned itself with many artistic influences, rooted in the work of John Cage, Merce Cunningham, the Living Theatre, Grotowski and Genet, and most significantly in his admiration for Jean Cocteau, the paragon of the French avant-garde whose reach extended to cinema, theatre and painting.
Angele Dubeau has always maintained a passionate interest in all musical forms; this curiosity led her to explore the works of Glass and to paint a dramatic portrait of the composer with these personal choices of some of his most significant works for strings. For a number of years, Angele Dubeau has collaborated with Philip Glass in New York while working on his first violin concerto. In light of this relationship, Glass authorized, for the first time, an overview of his work with musicians other than the ones he works with regularly. With this repertoire, Angele Dubeau proves her artistic maturity while exploring new territories, bringing this discovery - or rediscovery - of this great composer of our time to her public.
In the 1990s Glass created Orphee and La Belle et la Bete, two works in homage to Cocteau. The overture for La Belle et la bete is the first piece on the album. Another imposing figure from the world of literature, Yukio Mishima inspired Glass to write his string quartet N. 3, initially used as the soundtrack for Mishima, a Life in Four Chapters, directed by Paul Schrader in 1984. In 1996, Glass scored the Christopher Hampton film, Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, one of his most romantic scores, with a mood that fluctuates between melancholy and hope. Echorus (from echo) was written during the winter of 1994-95 for the violinists Edna Mitchell and Yehudi Menuhin. With its ABA form, the work is akin to a Baroque chaconne. The three-movement structure of the suite entitled The Hours, for piano, strings, harp and celesta, recalls that of a concerto. It was written by Michael Riesman from the soundtrack of the Stephen Daldry film, itself based on the Michael Cunningham novel. The recording naturally concludes with "Closing," from Glassworks, a 1982 composition that Glass wrote to introduce his work to a wider audience.
Groupe Analekta Inc. recognizes the financial assistance of the Government of Canada par l'entremise du Ministere du Patrimoine canadien (Fonds de la musique du Canada) and of the Government of Quebec through SODEC's Programme d'aide aux entreprises du disque et du spectacle de varietes.
Groupe Analekta Inc. remercie aussi Archambault, commanditaire du piano utilise par Angele Dubeau & La Pieta lors du lancement du disque.