Sunday, February 20, 2005

Fringe Benefits

As both musician and translator, one of my favourite gigs is translating liner notes for the record label Analekta. I get to combine my two professions, the liner notes are always well-written and interesting, it's a real challenge (as opposed to translating, say annual reports...yawn), and--the best part--free CDs periodically appear in my mailbox.

Last week was particularly wonderful; I got a padded envelope with two discs. One, a recording of Alessandro Scarlatti cantatas by Les voix baroques and countertenor Matthew White, the other a recording of Bach sonatas by the amazing young violinist James Ehnes.

Both CDs are wonderful. I've toured with Matt White. His voice is really starting to blossom and I predict a bright future for this guy (not that he's begging for work as it is). He also happens to be a genuinely nice person. This CD is magnificent.

I've played with James Ehnes too. When I was with the Wiinipeg Symphony, this guy was a 16-year-old child prodigy. Being from just down the road in Brandon, he played with the WSO often back then, though I see that that orchestra isn't even mentioned in his bio nowadays--you've come a long way baby! He was great as a 16-year old. Now he must be around 30, and he blows me away. I'm no great judge of violinists, but this guy is certainly one of my favourite young fiddlers. The Bach CD is good, though I'm used to hearing a more period-specific style. But Ehnes is such a fine musician. I can't say much against it.

Analekta has been putting out some really good recordings lately (I'm not biased at all, mind you). I hope they continue to thrive, both because I love the gig and because they're doing a great job.

4 comments:

Carol from Nevada said...

Thanks for the links, my highbrow friend. Particularly enjoyed the liner notes on the Scarlattti cantatas by Fran├žois Filiatrault and translated by you(!)

Carol

Peter Garner said...

Hi Carol,

I see you went digging. I deliberately did not post the link to those notes because frankly I'm not all that happy with the translation. In retrospect I find it reads a little stiffly. But the CD itself is a gem. On the other hand, I think I did a pretty good job of the notes for the Ehnes disc, written by Guy Marchand (I don't get credit for the translation on the web for some reason). Ah well. Glad you enjoyed them anyway.

RT (who, incidentally, knows nothing about practical things such as building houses or fixing cars)

Aisha said...

Oh Ranger....
probably the sleeve notes were stiff to begin with...rule no one of interpreting...always blame the speaker :)

Aisha said...
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