Nadina and Guy
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"CD Review of ‘Bacchanale’"

Trumpeter Guy Few and bassoonist Nadina Mackie Jackson are Canadian virtuosos who have collabo-
rated on an album of pieces for their unusual combination of instruments.
Hindemith wrote a double concerto for trumpet, bassoon and strings between 1949 and 1953, and
it has been the only piece for this combination in anywhere near the standard repertoire, or any reper-
toire. It’s unfortunately a fruit of the period that earned Hindemith the reputation as a composer who
was “dry,” “academic,” “pointlessly contrapuntal,” and “dull.” The concerto is brief, though, with some quirk-
ily charming sections, and in a performance as fine as the one recorded here, worth a listen.
Mathieu Lussier, a Canadian composer and bassoonist born in 1973 contributed four pieces to the
CD, including a concerto with the same instrumentation as Hindemith’s. Lussier’s music is genial and
conventionally if not memorably melodious. The most striking piece of his is Bacchanale, which he
originally wrote for flute, bassoon and piano trio, bur arranged for the forces on this recording. The
rhythmic quirkiness and witty light-heartedness of its second section make a it a fun piece that deserves
wider exposure. Vincent Persichetti’s The Hollow Men for trumpet and strings is a classic solo, an earnest
meditation on T.S. Eliot’s poem of the same name.
The disc is filled out with arrangements of two short Shostakovich character pieces that are the
highlights of the album. Few and Jackson play with polished tone, immaculate intonation, and infec-
tious high spirits; it’s obvious they’re having a blast. - All Music Guide, December 2007


"Review of a Concert at the Elora Festival"

1
Duo Affinite—Guy Few on trumpet, corno and piano, and Nadina Mackie Jackson bassoon—created
that irresistible combination of extraordinary musicianship and engaging showboating.
Their loosely-knit theme—prince and princess—was appropriate, with the first half featuring music
either written for royalty (Paganini sonatas), or had a courtly Baroque-inspired dance feel (Boismortier
and St-Saens).
A highlight was the Beethoven variations on a theme from Mozart’s Magic Flute. These seven varia-
tions ran the gamut from dreamy, milky-melodrama, to a mysteriously, misty-minor, culminating in a
final blistering gallop to the finish.
Their playing showcased the deeply expressive talent of each solo performer while also
exploring interconnecting musical tapestries as they wove together the various melodies, har-
monies and accompaniments.
The second set took on a decidedly contemporary feel. Starting off was Canadian composer Bill
Douglas’ Partita for Bassoon and Piano—a fantastically eclectic piece incorporating elements of bebop,
new age, world, and blues traditions.
With the risk of too many ingredients, this piece worked on its own terms, generating a likable, ac-
cessible musical journey.
The final Dance for Trumpet, Bassoon and Piano (Shostakovich), had the audience in stitches as
the pair crashed through a wild cancan, Few alternating between his trumpet and piano with comedic
gusto. - For the Record, July 2008


"CD Review of Romanza"

In a new release from MSR Classics, Nicholas McGegan conducts the Toronto Chamber Orchestra and
soloists Guy Few (trumpet, corno da caccia) and Nadina Mackie Jackson (bassoon) in works by Hummel,
von Weber, and Ignaz Lachner (1807-1895.)
The opening of the Hummel Trumpet Concerto in E-flat Major seems merely concise and professional:
virtuoso Guy Few plays in a mellifluous legato, but if one is looking for a radical new interpretation of
this old chestnut, this CD is not the place to find it. Instead there is a well-polished gem that should
please those familiar with the work but offer no brand-new insights. The Andante, however, is par-
ticularly luscious and lingers in the senses like the memory of a gourmet meal long after it has been
consumed.
Hummel’s Grand Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra in F Major delivers all the excitement and fresh-
ness one could hope for. Jackson’s chops are fantastic, and the occasionally audible click-clacking of
keys adds a delightful verisimilitude to the recording. Her playing can be described as nothing short of
saucy and supremely confident; those who love the bassoon would be hard-pressed to find more liquid-
ity and precision of articulation. Jackson removes all doubts as to the bassoon being a born solo instru-
ment: the Romanza contains the most delicious, heart-achingly sincere bassoon cadenza I’ve ever heard.
In a unique offering, the two virtuosi pair up for Lachner’s Concertino in E-flat Major for Corno, Bassoon
and Orchestra (Op. 43). This work, sometimes nobly Beethovenian in character and other times remi-
niscent of a Rossini overture, presents a canvas that allows the masterful concertino free reign; their
lightning-quick parallel runs are breathtakingly exact. To McGegan’s credit, the maestro’s fingerprint is
nowhere too distinct—the immensely capable soloists constantly shine through the even texture.
The CD ends with a short Andante and Hungarian Rondo for Bassoon and Orchestra (Op. 35) by von
Weber. Everyone seems to expect nothing but the best from McGegan, and thanks to the wonderful
soloists this recording certainly lives up to that standard. - Lorin Wilkerson, Northwest Reverb, April 4, 2009


""...stunningly beautiful in every way... pure virtuosity... gorgeously together and breathtakingly in tune...""

"...stunningly beautiful in every way... pure virtuosity... gorgeously together and breathtakingly in tune..." - The Double Reed, Spring 2007


""...Jackson performs with effortless musicality, making the bassoon sound like a human voice.""

"...Jackson performs with effortless musicality, making the bassoon sound like a human voice." - The National Post


""quite simply phenomenal""

"outrageously gifted"

- Montreal - Le Devoir


Discography

Romanza (MSR Classics)

Guy Few, trumpet, Nadina Mackie Jackson, bassoon, Nicholas McGegan, conductor,
Toronto Chamber Orchestra
Romanza is the second disc in the long term recording and commissioning project
directed by Nadina Mackie Jackson and Guy Few with the Toronto Chamber Orchestra,
pairing double concerti with solo concerti for trumpet and bassoon.
The title of this recording is inspired by the lyrical slow movements that figure in each
of these nineteenth century concerti for trumpet, bassoon, corno and orchestra. Court-
ly yet amiable, the romanza frequently followed a rondo pattern and was the perfect
vehicle for the wind virtuosi of the nineteenth century, players demonstrably capable
of delicately persuasive expression and dazzling flights of fingers.

Bacchanale (MSR Classics)

Guy Few, trumpet, Nadina Mackie Jackson, bassoon, Kevin Mallon, conductor, Toronto
Chamber Orchestra
Bacchanale is the first CD of a three year recording, commissioning project. This CD
features the Double Concerto by Paul Hindemith as well as new works by
Mathieu Lussier.

Photos

Bio

Guy Few & Nadina Mackie-Jackson

Two of Canada's most engaging virtuosos, trumpeter Guy Few and bassoonist Nadina Mackie Jackson, are joining forces to present innovative programming for trumpet, corno, bassoon and piano in recital, as well as with orchestral accompaniment.

Individually these artists have performed as soloists and principals with orchestras throughout North America and at festivals worldwide. Appearing together in concert, they demonstrate a commitment to the exploration of unusual repertory from the baroque to today in concerts that can be presented in a variety of settings from intimate house concerts to recital halls.

Recent events include the Francophonia project for CBC in February 2008 at the Glenn Gould Studio with the Toronto Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Alain Trudel, when they offered the world premiere of a new double concerto by Alain Trudel, as well as solo concerti for trumpet and bassoon by Mathieu Lussier and André Jolivet.

In summer 2008, the duo premiered a new double concerto by Mathieu Lussier for trumpet, bassoon and wind ensemble along with solo concerti for each insrument by Norwegian, Polish, American and German composers.

Their current five year project for the MSR label has generated worldwide interest and enthusiasm. Bacchanale was released in 2007. The second CD, Romanza, was released in June in conjunction with an opening night concert at the International Trumpet Conference with Guy as featured soloist.

The next project is Aria, featuring a triple concerto for soprano, trumpet, bassoon and orchestra to be performed with soprano Donna Brown and conductor Nicholas McGegan. The final recording project, Alien Baby and the Spinning Marble will also become a film.

Forthcoming performances include the Abbey Bach Festival, the Grand River Baroque Festival (where they serve as co-artistic directors) and a tour of western Canada, as well as performances with the Mississauga and Georgian Bay Symphony Orchestras.