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Friday, April 13, 2007

Music: Two Solitudes in Songbook

Georgia Straight Arts Features By Alexander Varty
Publish Date: April 12, 2007

Gordon Lightfoot we know. Ditto Joni Mitchell and, to a slightly lesser extent, Buffy Sainte-Marie. But local listeners who are considering taking in the CBC Radio Orchestra's Great Canadian Songbook concert can be forgiven for asking who, exactly, is Serge Fiori?

There are few better examples of Canada's "two solitudes" than the fact that the Québécois equivalent of Peter Gabriel is virtually unknown in Western Canada. Singer, songwriter, film composer, and founder of the exemplary progressive-rock band Harmonium, Fiori is, as CBC Radio Orchestra conductor Alain Trudel says, "an icon of music, especially progressive rock and folk music".

"Of course," Trudel adds, reached at home in Montreal, "he's not so well known outside out of Quebec because it's all in French, the repertoire."

As part of the Great Canadian Songbook, at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts on Sunday (April 15), Trudel is arranging four of Fiori's best-loved songs for orchestra, with another francophone star, Marc DÉry, handling vocal duties. Veda Hille, Sarah Slean, and Ron Sexsmith are the other featured performers, taking on Sainte-Marie, Mitchell, and Lightfoot, respectively.

Read the full article here...

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