Loving / Toi

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Price: $13.98

Audio Samples: 
Scenes 1 - 7 (940.20 kb)
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Scenes 1 - 7 (1,183.87 kb)
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Call Number: CD 1707
Organization: New Music Concerts Ensemble
Media Type: CD
Year of Release: 2016
Record Label: Centrediscs / Centredisques

Centrediscs is pleased to announce the reissue of R. Murray Schafer’s Loving (Toi). This iconic recording was originally released on the Melbourne label as a double LP in 1979. Centrediscs is delighted to partner with New Music Concerts to make this historic performance available to new generations on compact disc.

Loving (Toi) was commissioned by Radio Canada and performed first (in part) as Toi on the TV series L'Heure du concert in February 1966, produced by Pierre Mercure with music direction by Serge Garant. It was rebroadcast on the CBC English network as Loving later the same year 1966. Loving received semi-staged performances of the complete score in 1978 in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax by a cast that included Mary Lou Fallis, Jean McPhail, Susan Gudgeon and Kathy Terrell and a chamber orchestra (New Music Concerts Ensemble) conducted by Robert Aitken. It was recorded that year by the same performers and released by Melbourne Records. In Schafer's words Loving is a “synaesthetic work” in which “several arts are employed in extremely close, frequently interpenetrating relationships.” There is no plot in the sense of unfolding action; rather there is a series of comments on and suggestions about love between man and woman. The female psyche is portrayed by the four singers - Modesty (soprano), Ishtar, Vanity, and Eros (all mezzos) - and by an actress, Elle (Trulie MacLeod). The male psyche is represented by an actor, Lui (Gilles Savard), and a voice on tape, Le Poète (also Savard).

R. Murray Schafer (born Sarnia, Ontario, 1933) has won national and international acclaim not only for his achievement as a composer, but also as an educator, environmentalist, literary scholar, journalist, visual artist, and provocateur. He has written more than 100 compositions, ranging from orchestral and vocal pieces to musical theatre and multimedia rituals. In his music and in his writings he repeatedly challenges and transcends orthodox approaches to the relationships among music, performer, audience and setting. He has expanded the potential and appreciation of music and its place in the arts and culture of our time. Among his myriad honours are two prizes from the Fromm Foundation, the Canadian Music Council Medal, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the William Harold Moon Award, Composer of the Year Award from the Canadian Music Council, the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, the Prix Honegger, the first Glenn Gould Prize for Music and Its Communication, the Molson Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Louis Applebaum Composer's Award, the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts, the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement and the title of Companion of the Order of Canada.

1. Loving (Toi), Scenes 1-7 22:42

2. Loving (Toi), Scenes 8-15 16:23

3. Loving (Toi), Scenes 16-19 27:42


"Schafer’s writing is broadly expressive, a free-flowing synthesis of the avant-garde mannerisms of the epoch, warmly recorded spoken text, simple yet effective electroacoustic episodes, florid harp writing and long vocal lines that sometimes foreshadow the neo-Romanticism that dominates his later work. While Schafer describes Loving (Toi)as ambiguous and exploring the depths of the unconscious, his consideration of human sexuality now seems dated in its binary focus on masculine and feminine. Fifty years later, however, the piece retains the sense of sonic inventiveness and integrated plurality that is synonymous with his best work." - Paul Steenhuisen, the WholeNote

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