Contrasts Trio
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Contrasts Trio

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"Raum, Elizabeth - How Bodies Leave Ecstatic Marks"

Raum, Elizabeth - How Bodies Leave Ecstatic Marks
Contrasts Trio; Renée Brad
Centrediscs CMCCD11907

I have always wondered what it is about the Canadian Prairies that it is the home to countless home-grown artistic talents. Being a "native" Torontonian (albeit technically from the north side of Steeles Avenue), I have travelled across the Prairies by plane, train and van, and have been awed by the natural beauty of its flatness, grain fields, and the occasional display of northern lights. Is it the geography or just something in the drinking water that creates creators of such high regard?

The Canadian Music Centre seems to have taken notice of this as well. Their “Prairie Sounds” imprint appears on releases that are "initiated and funded within the Prairie region". The latest in this series, “How Bodies Leave Ecstatic Marks”, features four compositions of Regina-based Associate Composer Elizabeth Raum, a creator whose work I have always admired for its intricate detail, tonal accessibility and musical wit.

This release features an excellent cross-section of her prolific output. The Contrasts Trio comprised of violinist Eduard Minevich, clarinettist Pauline Minevich and pianist David McIntyre are excellent in their performance of Raum's four-movement Baroque Suite, a quizzical look at Baroque counterpoint. The third movement Aria is a lyrical section that best illustrates Raum's compositional strengths and is my personal favourite. The Trio also performs the virtuosic Duet and Burlesque, a comical musical portrayal of day-to-day marital bliss commissioned by Trio members and real-life couple Pauline and Eduard Minevich. Pauline Minevich and McIntyre are joined by mezzo-soprano Renée Brad in Dark Thoughts, a seven section setting of the poetry of Betty Warland. This is a thought provoking work and I only wish the poetry had been included in the otherwise comprehensive liner notes. Prayer and Dance of Praise, for violin and piano, provides an apt finale to this important addition to the Centrediscs catalogue.

Tiina Kiik - Wholenote Magazine


Bushwakker Six Pack. 2005 Independent
ERDM 01369-6


Feeling a bit camera shy


Contrasts was originally founded by Pauline and Eduard Minevich, with pianist Leslie De'Ath in Waterloo, in 1991. For eight years the group performed for festivals and concert organizations across Ontario. On moving to Regina in 1999, the Minevich's recruited David McIntyre as pianist for the trio and together they maintain a busy performance schedule. Among their many activities are: frequent performances on the University of Regina's Concert series, a tour of Saskatchewan for the Organization of Saskatchewan's Arts Councils, and many performances and recordings for CBC Saskatchewan. The group has a special interest in new Canadian music, and has commissioned works by Several composers, including David McIntyre, Peter Paul Koprowski, and Elizabeth Raum.

Eduard Minevich, Violin
Eduard studied violin at the prestigious St. Petersburg Conservatory, graduating wiht an Artist Diploma as an orchestral soloist. After serving as concertmaster with the St. Petersburg Concert Orchestra and performing with a leading St. Petersburg string quartet, he immigrated to Canada and was appointed concertmaster with Orchestra London Canada. In 1987 he and his wife Pauline moved to Kitchener, Ontario where he became concertmaster of the orchestra and first violin with the Canadian Chamber Ensemble. He toured Canad, Europe, and South and Central America with the Canadian Chamber Ensemble. Besides being a consummate classical musician, Eduard has many other musical interests, such as jazz, klezmer, and gypsy musics, and in 1996 he left Kitchener to pursue a solo career in shows with Canadian fiddle champion Frank Leahy. Together, the duo has appeared with orchestras from St. John's, Newfoundland to Vancouver as well as touring the U.S. Since 1999 Eduard has been concertmaster of the Regina Symphony Orchestra, while continuing his solo and chamber performances.

Pauline Minevich, Clarinet
Educated in England, Pauline met her husband Eduard while both were members of Orchestra London Canada. Once they moved to Kitchener, she developed her freelance career, performing with Orchestra London, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Canadian Chamber Ensemble, and the Stratford Festival, among others. She has toured Canada, Europe, and South and Central America with the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, and performed with them on "Serenades" a CBC Cd which won the Grand Prix du Disque du Canada. Along with her performing career, she holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Western Ontario, and teaches at the University of Regina, where she is an associate professor of clarinet and musicology, and Head of the Department of Music. She has a special interest in contemporary music, especially by Canadian composers, and in soundscapes.

David McIntyre, piano
Composer David L. McIntyre has spent most of his life on the Canadian prairies. He was born in Edmonton in 1950, raised in Saskatoon and Calgary and has worked since 1976 in Regina as a professor, pianist, organist, and conductor. Composer Luigi Zaninelli and pianist Boris Roubakine were his chief mentors. Highly regarded throughout North America as a composer of a large body of concert, educational and church music, David is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre.
Performers appreciate McIntyre’s music for its sensitivity to the nature of their instruments. He is a professional pianist; his keyboard works are meticulously crafted, sophisticated, and nuanced. His Second Piano Sonata was commissioned by MusiCanada 2000 for Angela Hewitt. His Piano Concerto, premiered in 2003, was written for Catherine Vickers of Germany. Butterflies & Bobcats for solo piano, commissioned by the 2004 Eckhardt-Grammaté National Music Competition and Slam Dunk Dancing for American pianist Jo Boatright have delighted audiences across North America.
For three years McIntyre served as Composer-in-Residence with the Regina Symphony Orchestra. This position (funded by the Saskatchewan Arts Board) enabled him to create several exciting new orchestral works, all premiered by the RSO. Perhaps his favourite genre is chamber music with piano. He has written striking concert sonatas for most orchestral instruments with piano, from a Tuba Sonata for John Griffiths to the Second Violin Sonata for Erika Raum. As a member of the trio Contrasts, with violinist Eduard Minevich and clarinetist Pauline Minevich, David has recently written Hybrids and Chocolates, two very different works that appear regularly on their programs.
Although most well-known throughout North America as a composer, David is also a fine pianist, a frequent collaborator with singers and instrumentalists. His close association with Opera Saskatchewan has allowed him to work with many fine singers from across North America and beyond. He is heard frequently on the CBC as pianist and composer and performs regularly as a member of Contrasts. As a conductor he has worked for several years with Regina’s Prairie Pride Chorus, c