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“Ovation,” with Angèle Dubeau and La Pietà

La Pietà
Courtesy of the Artist
La Pietà"

After twenty award-winning years of globe-trotting, Angèle Dubeau and her all-female string ensemble La Pietà share a collection of favorites from their 2017 20th anniversary tour, and it’s WCRB’s CD of the Week.

In 1997, the Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau pulled together a women’s string ensemble and named it La Pietà, after the famous girls' orphanage where Vivaldi once taught. Dubeau was born in Québec, and after her studies at Juilliard and in Romania, she couldn’t possibly have imagined that she and her string ensemble would tour 25 countries and sell 300,000 albums. The special brand of energy she looks for in her players has given the group its signature exuberant sound, polished with the remarkable precision of great chamber musicians. Her open-minded curiosity about the world’s many styles of music has kept the group fresh.

The synchronized passion in their music-making can be heard and seen:

The arrangements that Dubeau chooses to perform come to life thanks in large part to the care she takes in capturing the atmosphere and the narrative in everything she plays. The CD opens with Louise-Andrée Baril’s highly entertaining take on Saint-Saëns’s Danse macabre. The three pieces by composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi that are included (tracks 2, 5, and 11) are from the group’s Portrait recording of his haunting music.

For the film music that Dubeau is passionate about, she includes some of Philip Glass’s score for The Hours (track 4) and Morricone’s classical theme from The Mission (track 10; see below). There’s also Max Richter’s music from the HBO Series The Leftovers (track 6).

It's great to see that Canada’s major composer, Srul Irving Glick, is represented in a passionate performance of The Rabbi’s Wedding at the Palmerston Street Shul from his Old Toronto Klezmer Suite. The dance is irresistible, as is George Enescu’s First Romanian Rhapsody. These live recordings capture the extra frisson that audiences bring to La Pietà’s performances.

Listen to a track from the album:

For more information and to purchase this album, visit ArkivMusic.