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Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Vinyl's Revenge - L'Orchestre des Jeunes du Québec

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Today is the first of a new monthly feature (along with the Podcast Vault, Once Upon the Internet and La Chronique du Disque) which I will program on the Tuesday Blog.

The premise is fairly straight forward: there are several YouTube Channels that feature music from old vinyl records, and I figured “why not do that too”. The idea is that once a month, I will share an album from my vinyl collection that I am featuring on my YouTube channel – my own YouTube clips or those of others that are part of my vinyl collection.

This little initiative has been quite rewarding so far, allowing me to rediscover old stuff I hadn’t paid much attention to these past few years. If you are like me, many of these old LPs were my intial foray into Classical Music, and some of these interpretations just have a “good feeling” to them, like rediscovering an old comfortable pair of sneakers.

Furthermore, as we are getting older and try to downsize and force ourselves into a “less sentimental” approach to old keepsakes, much of my vinyl has been dispersed through yard sales and donations to the Salvation Army, so all I have left in many cases are these digital rips or old cassette backups if I want to listen to these old recordings. I try hard not to feel too nostalgic, but sometimes you just can’t help it… These old LPs do take a lot of space, and the few albums I still have I plan to rip and donate in the fullness of time.

Today’s feature: CBC Records (Musica Viva) MV1008



In my vinyl collection, I had about a dozen or so CBC releases: classical and jazz recordings featuring many of Canada’s finest artists. The CBC had two main Classical series: the “SM-5000” series were early digital recordings (issued both on vinyl and CD) mainly focused originally on the Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestras and, later, the CBC added a series called “Musica Viva”, which tried to focus on “one off” releases by artists. Today’s feature comes from the latter series.

The year 1985 was proclaimed by the United Nations as the International Youth Year. It was held to focus attention on issues of concern to and relating to youth, and the CBC commemorated the year by issuing a recording by one of Canada’s standing Youth Orchestras, l’Orchestre des Jeunes du Québec.

According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, the orchestra was created (and mainly funded) by the Québec Ministry for Cultural Affairs during the summer of 1977 and officially recognized several months later. It comprised musicians under 30 years of age, graduates of Quebec's various musical institutions, who were hired for a 25-week period and received a weekly salary. Membership could not exceed a period of three years, as as to allow more musicians to participate. The OJQ thus became a permanent orchestra based in Montreal and offering the regular activities, high standards and quality training needed to meet the requirements of professional orchestras.

The orchestra presented over 200 concerts between 1977 and 1991. Eugene Plawutsky (1981-4), Gilles Auger (1984-6) and Michel Tabachnik (1987-91) were appointed conductors in residence, and Auger was also conductor in training in 1983-4. Among guest conductors were Mario Bernardi, Franz-Paul Decker, Charles Dutoit, Serge Garant, Pierre Hétu, Uri Mayer, Otto-Werner Mueller, Michel Plasson, Joseph Silverstein, Simon Streatfeild, Georg Tintner, and Michelangelo Veltri. Guest soloists included Angèle Dubeau, Maureen Forrester, Rosemarie Landry, Louis Lortie, Philippe Magnan, and Sonia Racine.

The orchestra commissioned and premiered works by Canadian composers, among them Plages by Serge Garant, Mirages by Jacques Hétu, À deux by Michel Gonneville (1981), Lettre d'Étienne à Jacques by Michel Longtin (1983), Swiateo: un pas vers la lumière: in memoriam Claude Vivier by Michel-Georges Brégent (1984), and Konzert by Denis Dion (1987).

The program ended in 1991, with the musical institutions (notably, the network of provinciaal conservatories, McGill and the University of Montreal) standing up their own orchestras. Orchestral summer programs (Canada's National Youth Orchestra and the Orchestre de la Francophonie) have also filled the void left by the disbanding of the OJQ.

Today’s recording, made at St-Jean-Baptiste Church in Montréal, features Auger condicting the orchestra in two works: Respighi’s suite Gli Uccelli, and Schubert’s Third symphony.

Violinist Gwen Hoebig (who has been the Winipeeg’s Symphony’s concertmaster since 1987) acted as concertmaster on this recording, and her husband David Moroz (who received his Ph. D. in piano performance from the University of Montreal) plays the celesta on the Respighi. Gilles Auger (featured as the conductor on today's recording) continues to work with student orchestras in his native Quebec City.

The disc was nominated for Classical Albumn of the Year by the Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque et du spectacle (ADISQ) in 1986 (losing to the Montreal Symphony’s recording of Suppé overtures).

Enjoy!

Ottorino RESPIGHI (1879-1936)
Gli uccelli (The Birds), P. 154

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Symphony no. 3 in D Major, D. 200

Orchestre des Jeunes du Québec
Gilles Auger, conducting

Playlist URL: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...b3-nudOLNAaLVi

September 12, 2014, "I Think You Will Love This Music Too" will feature a new podcast "Dvorak Dressed to the Nines" at its Pod-O-Matic Channel . Read more on our blogs in English and in French.
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Classical Music , Recorded Music

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