On February 11, 2022. Canadian violin superstar Angele Dubeau released the 46th album of her career. Joined by her all female ensemble La Pieta, this Cd titled “Elle” celebrates 25 years of La Pieta performing on the international stage.
“Elle” consists of 15 compositions that were all written by 13 women composers from all over the world. The composers featured on the recording come from very diverse backgrounds. There is music from composers who are often associated with film music such as Rachel Portman, and Rachel Pook. Dance and electronic music is represented by the composer Dalal. There is also music composed by multi-disciplinary artists such as Lera Aurebach. The end result is a CD filled with gorgeous expertly played by Angel Dubeau and La Pieta.
When asked how Dubeau came up with the idea of putting together a project that consists of all women composers, the answer was simple. “I asked myself how I can underline this 25th anniversary, and the answer came naturally…through music. It’s an album conceived completely by women. La Pieta… 25 years of women playing on stage, I thought it was the best way to do it.”
Dubeau spent hours and hours listening and discovering new music that would work for the album. “ I always go through and choose pieces that speak to me first… and also a guide for me is to always choose my repertoire with no limit of choice. This is a gift I gave to myself a long time ago.” The result is 15 works written by twelve different composers. “I like to put a musical panorama out with this CD. A panorama of different writing, but from women who are different ages, from women with different styles of writing, and except for one…all the composers are modern composers,” states Dubeau. The album is titled “Elle” meaning the she singular in English. “I put Elle in singular, because each women is unique.”
Any arrangements that needed to be done on “Elle” were provided by Angele Dubeau and violist and arranger François Vallières. “I like my arrangements made to measure,” states Dubeau. “Why do I call on the great talent of François Vallières for the arrangements? It’s because first he’s a string player… I’ve known him for many years, and he knows the musicians (of La Pieta) well also. Either he or me are able to custom fit for the Orchestra.”
Works by Canadian composers are also featured on “Elle.” One of the more notable Canadian pieces on the album is Katia Makdissi-Warren’s piece “Memoire.” This piece makes use of Inuit throat singing that is accompanied by the beautiful sounds of La Pieta.
The music on “Elle is all very accessible and sonorous, and yes almost all of the music is from the 21st century, with one notable exception. “O Virtus Sapientiae” is music by the 12th century composer Hildegard von Bingen. “It’s luminous music that has aged very, very well,” states Dubeau. “It’s amazing when you look to the pedigree of that women. She was a composer, a poet, a prophet. She was canonized… do you know any musicians that were canonized…I don’t.”
“Elle” celebrates 25 years of La Pieta on stage, but it also provides a marvelous soundtrack for the possibilities that are out there for contemporary music. The fact that all of the music is written by women, is an encouraging sign that female composers can and will be more front and centre on classical music concert programs going forward.
To hear Chris wolf's conversation with Angele Dubeau, click here:.