ATMA Classique Presents FRANCOIS DOMPIERRE CONCERTANGO GROSSO
ATMA Classique proudly presents the world premiere recording of the vibrant, latin-infused Concertango grosso performed by pianist Louise Bessette and the Appassionata Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Myssyk. The renowned pianist, who commissioned the work from Québécois composer François Dompierre, is also joined by bandoneon player Denis Plante in this entrancing performance. The all-Dompierre album was recorded in March, following the world premiere performance at Montreal's Salle Bourgie. Also featured on the album are Dompierre's Les Diableries, in a new arrangement for piano, violin, and string orchestra, with violinist Kerson Leong. Bessette also performs Dompierre's Concerto de Saint-Irénée. Finally, the Appassionata Chamber Orchestra performs La Mort de Céleste, a work based on music Dompierre composed for Les portes tournantes, a film by Francis Mankiewitz.
Concertango grosso was written by François Dompierre at the request of pianist Louise Bessette, one of today's pre-eminent interpreters of the music of our time. "I have known François for many years and it is wonderful to work together - intensely musical and very warm," says Bessette, "I am very passionate about dancing and often perform tangos for solo piano. When I asked François for a tango for piano and orchestra, he had the excellent idea to surround me with traditional tango instruments." "Given Louise's honesty and absolute rigour, I am convinced that there is no better person with whom to undertake a new work," said Dompierre, "And, as we're both enthusiastic about tango, the collaboration could not have been more ideal." The composer added: "the bandoneon is to the tango what the harpsichord is to Baroque music. I absolutely love this instrument and its many sonorities."
Violinist Kerson Leong also performs Dompierre's Les Diableries with the orchestra. The popular work consists of five short movements, each highlighting different characteristics of the violin through The Devil's many moods - limping as he leans on his fork, charming and in love, in a frenzied gigue, a burst of short-lived happiness, and in his usual bad temper!
In 2015 Le Conseil québécois de la musique declared pianist Louise Bessette the winner of the Prix Opus for Artist of the Year. Recognized around the world as a pre-eminent interpreter of the music of our time, Bessette has sustained a fierce dedication to the interpretation and celebration of contemporary Quebec composers, the theme of her extraordinary recital series last season, 25 ans de musique québécoise avec Louise Bessette, in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of La Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur. Bessette's artistry can be heard on over twenty recordings across ten labels and she has performed over 40 world premieres, including many works written specifically for her. She is a Member of the Order of Canada, and Officier of the Ordre national du Québec. In June 2016 Louise Bessette received the degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa, from Western University in London, Ontario, recognizing for her accomplishments as "an internationally recognized performer and leading light in the interpretation of 20th and 21st century music, and for her significant impact in the contemporary world of classical piano."
A prolific composer, as well as a conductor and performer, François Dompierre is a man of many passions. He created the soundtrack for sixty films, including The Decline of the American Empire, Jesus of Montreal, The Tin Flute and The Passion of Augustine. He is a two-time Genie Award winner for Best Original Score, for the films Mario and The Alley Cat, as well as a two-time winner for Best Original Song. After studying music at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal, Dompierre first became prominent as a performer of jazz-inspired chansonnier. He soon changed course to pursue classical composition and conducting, working with orchestras such as the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre symphonique de Québec, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. In March, he will be given a lifetime achievement award by the Prix Jutra.
Daniel Myssyk has been Artistic Director of the Orchestre de chambre Appassionata since 2000. He recently brought Appassionata on its first American tour, which included two concerts in Richmond, Virginia, where he is Associate Professor and Director of Orchestral Activities at Virginia Commonwealth University. He also toured with Appassionata in Ontario for enthusiastic audiences, in 2014. In 2015, Myssyk made his debut in Mexico with the Guanajuato Symphony Orchestra, who immediately rehired him. Last November, he returned to Mexico to lead the Symphony Orchestra of the State of Michoacan, and returned to the helm of the Richmond Symphony.
Violinist Kerson Leong gained international recognition in 2010 at the age of 13 when he won the Junior First Prize at the Menuhin Competition in Oslo. Other recent honours include the 2015 Young Soloist Prize of the Radios Francophones Publiques and first prize at the 2013 OSM Standard Life Competition. In 2014, Kerson was named Revelation Radio-Canada for classical music. He has appeared as soloist around the world with such ensembles as the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the Oslo Philharmonic, I Solisti Veneti, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, l'Orchestre Métropolitain, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. He is currently an Artist in Residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium, where he studies with Augustin Dumay.
Denis Plante plays one of the famous double A varieties of the bandoneon, the very same as that played by Astor Piazzolla. An impassioned musician whose vibrant interpretations entrance large audiences, Plante is a unique face in the world of contemporary tango. Frequently invited to perform across Canada, the United States and South America, Plante has recorded four CDs of his own compositions, and collaborated on recordings with ensembles such as Astorias, Quartango, and Bataclan.