Talking Down the Tiger, the latest release in the Naxos Canadian Classics Series, features the world première recordings of five works by one of Canada's leading composers, Andrew Staniland. The cover title refers to the opening work on the disc, for percussion and electracoustic looping, which the composer introduces here:
“Composing Talking Down the Tiger was one of the rare times where both the title for the piece and the musical ideas came simultaneously. For me, percussion is a metaphorical tiger: possessing all at once ferociousness, beauty, and mystery. Many percussion instruments (and percussionists) exhibit their most interesting and expressive sounds at the pianissimo dynamic register, which is at odds with the type of heavy-handed writing often associated with percussion. In this piece I wanted to explore a journey from a wild and ferocious sound world that gradually recedes into a mystical and beautiful sound world lying beneath.”
Andrew Staniland is recognised as one of Canada’s most important and innovative musical voices, and his works are performed and broadcast internationally. He has already composed a powerful body of music for solo instruments with electronics, which reveals the exciting and evocative use he makes of sound files and ‘looping’. Talking Down the Tiger explores the ferociousness, beauty, and mystery of percussion instruments whilst Flute vsTape is virtuosic, vivacious, and not afraid to embrace capricious fun. These qualities permeate his music and help explain why leading American writer Alex Ross calls it ‘alternately beautiful and terrifying’.
Listen to an extract from Talking Down the Tiger
About the Artists
Critically acclaimed Canadian percussionist Ryan Scott has been hailed as “Fierce and delicate … a chameleon-like virtuoso who triumphs over the varied colouristic demands and technical challenges.” (Gramophone) As a marimba and multi-percussion soloist he is in constant demand, and has performed extensively in Europe, Japan, North America and the United Kingdom.
Performances of bold and engaging repertoire have established guitarist Rob MacDonald as one of Canada’s most exciting performers of new music. Alongside virtuoso guitarist Tracy Anne Smith he is co-founder of ChromaDuo, an ensemble commissioning, premièring and performing new repertoire throughout North America.
Camille Watts has been a flautist and solo piccoloist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 1990, positions she held previously with the Atlanta and Denver Symphonies. At 21, she became the youngest player in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Shaw, touring, recording, and performing as soloist.
Cellist Frances Marie Uitti has worked closely with composers such as Iannis Xenakis, Elliott Carter and Brian Ferneyhough, as well as numerous composers from the new generation. She gave the premières of cello concertos dedicated to her by Per Norgaard, Dick Raaijmakers, Jonathan Harvey, James Tenney and Peter Nelson, as well as the first performance of William Jeths’ Cello Concerto in 2000.
Canadian saxophonist Wallace Halladay is at home in a range of styles, from the traditional to jazz and beyond. A specialist in the performance of contemporary music, Wallace has commissioned and premièred numerous works for saxophone; he is also a noted performer of concertos by Ibert, Schmitt, Husa, Muldowney, Kancheli, Scelsi and Donatoni.
“This is a cutting-edge album in the best sense, an invigorating indication of where we are in classical music. Fung’s music is fluid and seemingly improvisatory yet cunningly constructed. The Eastern and Western gestures blend so smoothly that they sound like one entity.”
– American Record Guide
“…French flutist Patrick Gallois gives stellar performances of both concertos, and the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra under conductor Alexandre Myrat provide outstanding support.” – Classical Lost and Found
Listen to an extract from Departures: III. Progress Blues