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Canada Day Countdown: Our hosts reflect upon some Canadian greats

Canada Day Countdown: Our hosts reflect upon some Canadian greats featured image

Happy Canada Day! All of our hosts took a moment to celebrate and toast some of Canada’s most memorable classical musicians. Today all day, we are broadcasting the best of Canada’s performers, conductors, and composers. This past week featured favourite artists in the words of our on-air hosts. Enjoy, and Happy Canada Day! #ClassicalCanadian

Mike Duncan, co-host, “Classical Mornings”

Weekdays, 6AM – 10AM

Pianist Angela Hewitt

My appreciation of the artistry of Angela Hewitt coincides nicely with my career here at The New Classical FM. I’ll take you far back in time to 1987 when the earth was still cooling … we still played a great many L.P. records on air but were slowly replacing them with this new-fangled Compact Disc format. And along with those replacements came in new recordings eager with the promise of the digital age. I was captivated upon first listening to Ms. Hewitt’s debut disc of Bach with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra and conductor Mario Bernardi. Here was someone fresh and new, with a spring in her playing that couldn’t help but engage you. Obviously we were going to play it – a lot! (In those bygone days, coming up with sufficient Canadian content was a struggle!) Here was a Canadian playing Bach who wasn’t Glenn Gould! (Remember, this was in the days when the whole “period performance” mania was near its height – if you didn’t play Bach on a harpsichord with 3 kazoos accompanying, it was considered sacrilege. So I always admired her for that). Since that debut she has certainly gone on to a rich and rewarding career: her awe- inspiring complete Bach keyboard cycle, discs of the music of Faure, Couperin, Ravel, concerto recordings of Mozart….each and every one of them beautifully thought out and performed. She is not only a great Canadian artist but one for the world as well. Given the depth and breadth of her repertoire (and what is still to come), Angela Hewitt could very well be her generation’s Claudio Arrau – and coming from me, that is the highest of praise.

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