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Angele Dubeau - Blanc / The WholeNote review

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Angèle Dubeau and La Pietà are back with another CD of short contemporary works on BLANC (Analekta AN 2 8737), a disc very similar to her Silence, on joue! CD from two years ago. That the approach seems to work so much better this time is almost certainly due to the fact that BLANC celebrates Dubeau's return after a year spent battling cancer. In the booklet notes, Dubeau says that during her battle, music brought her "comfort, tranquility and sometimes, an essential escape." The album is the story of her fight against illness, and how she "…serenely, came out of it stronger."

Perhaps not surprisingly, then, there is much more of a sense of program here, plus a real feeling of emotional involvement – and, indeed, of serenity and strength. There are 14 tracks on the CD, with Osvaldo Golijov's Close Your Eyes, Adrian Munsey's The Distance Between and Marjan Mozetich's "Unfolding Sky," from his Postcards from the Sky, sounding particularly beautiful. Cat Stevens' Morning Has Broken and Mark O'Connor's Appalachian Waltz are presented in lovely arrangements; there are two pieces by Dave Brubeck and one by Ennio Morricone. Also represented are Garry Schyman, Joe Hisaishi, François Dompierre, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Shawn Phillips.

Recorded at McGill University's Schulich School of Music last November, the sound quality is warm and resonant. Part of the proceeds from sales of the CD will go to support the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation.