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View and Order CDs by Violinist Ioan Harea

Violin Ioan Harea
Piano Accompanists James Wright and Dina Namer; on *, Diana Namer

Produced by: Virtuosi Productions,
“The Music Makers”
Recorded at: Marc Productions & Ambience Studios, Ottawa
Engineer & Editing: John Cybansky
Mastering: Charles Fairfield
Cover Portrait: Doug Bernhardt

 Ballade

I would like to see a return to the violin recitals given in the first half of the century by the great performers such as Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler and Mischa Elman. Their programs featured one or two large works surrounded by short, contrasting pieces such as those found on this CD. More recently, shorter works have been relegated to the ranks of “encore” pieces. I feel this minimizes their value. The greatness of these works is the freedom that they give the violinist to show off his or her individual personality, to the delight of the listener.

I feel equally at ease with the fiery technique of Fritz Kreisler’s Recitative and Scherzo as with the beauty of simple melody as found in Paganini’s Cantabile. Mozart’s Rondo gives me an opportunity to showcase my classical training from the Conservatory in Bucharest, as well as my many years as a working orchestral concertmaster.

Ballade both complements and contrasts with my prior recordings. All the offerings here are classical compositions, with the exception of “The Lark,” which is a Romanian folk melody better known as Romanian Rhapsody #1 by George Enescu. I have included “The Lark” on this CD because of its great popularity with my public. The remaining works have been chosen for the warmth, passion and joie de vivre that people have come to expect of my performances.

In spite of my constant critiques, which distinguish me as a technician, I do not consider myself a virtuoso performer. I feel that my strength lies in my ability to reach out and touch people at the very core of their being. Ciprian Porumbescu’s “Ballade” is a good example of this. It somehow expresses the spirit of the Romanian people. Yet when I play the “Ballade” anywhere, you can hear a pin drop! I first performed “Ballade” in Bucharest at the age of 13. It was a great moment for my parents. “Ballade” was always a favorite of my father, Arcadie Harea. He died of cancer some years ago, and I was not able to be with him. For that reason, I dedicate this performance to his memory.

—Ioan Harea

Ioan Harea wishes to thank Dr. Guillermo Valentiner and Nicholas Pora, whose generosity has made the realization of this CD possible.

Violin Ioan Harea
Conductor Richard Stout
Concertmaster Brian Boychuk
Violins Allyson Lyne, Solange Tremblay, Richard Green, Sylvie Rocheleau,
Nick Ross
Viola Nancy Eadie
Cello Pawel S. Marjanovic
Bass Ed Hounsell
Flutes Lisa Germain, Jeffrey Miller
Oboes Angela Casagrande,
Frédéric Hodgson
Clarinets Joy Skrapek, Yves Leveillé
Bassoon Gerald Corey
Horns Martin Bender, Denise Monast
Trumpet Alan Ridgeway
Percussion Brian Barker, Eli Bellama
Harp Caroline Léonardelli
Guitar Roddy Ellias
Accordian Marcello De Luca
Piano Richard Stout
Recorded in: The Chapel of Tabaret Hall, University of Ottawa, August 2001
Produced by: Virtuosi Productions,
“The Music Makers”
Recorded by: John Dooher and
Tracy Holmes
Mixed at: Sound of One Hand Studios by John Dooher
Editing: Charles Fairfield, N-Code Studios
Assistant Engineers: Beth Henderson, Michel Legault and Shawna Caspi
Mastered at: Lacquer Channel by
Phillip Demetro
Graphic Design and Layout: John James, Ably Productions

 Classic Gypsy

The barriers of our world are coming down. Cultures that once knew nothing of one another’s existence now live side by side. Food, drink, clothing, language and music are all being transformed, influenced by the international community living on our doorstep. Pitas, croissants, shawarma, espresso, burritos, stir-fry and curry have all become part of our regular diet, symbolic of the greater number of cultures within our borders and the opening of our minds. Our bodies move to the rhythms of salsa, reggae, merengue and tango. Our hearts beat to the rhythms of the world.

We crave the exotic. We have the ability to communicate instantaneously with new worlds and travel to faraway lands. It is human nature to want it both ways: we want our security, yet at the same time, we want adventure.

The blending of folk and art music—the contrast between the improvisatory and the ordered—has fascinated all of the great musicians. Brahms played with a gypsy from Romany. The works of Bartok are based in folklore. Yehudi Menuhin dabbled in jazz with Stephan Grappelli. Perlman found release in Klezmer.

With “Classic Gypsy,” Ioan Harea transforms the folk music of Europe and South America into a new genre of virtuoso violin playing, elevating music of the campfire and dance hall to the symphonic stage.

In “Classic Gypsy, violinist Ioan Harea will guide you into a world of fantasy—a world of dancing skirts swirling around a campfire, a world of dark eyes staring intensely, drawing you into dreams of a nomadic life, free of responsibilities, full of passion and adventure. In the words of the immortal gypsy in Verdi’s opera Il Trovatore, “the sky is our roof and our country, the world.”

Ioan Harea and “Classic Gypsy” release the gypsy in your soul!

A huge debt of gratitude is owed to John Dooher and Sound of One Hand Studios, without whom this CD would never have happened.

Ioan Harea would also like to thank his longtime friend and supporter Guillermo Valentiner, president of Laboratorios Vargas in Caracas, Venezuela, for his continued sponsorship on this, the fourth of Ioan’s recordings.

Thanks also to the Music Department of the University of Ottawa for facilitating the use of Tabaret Hall.

Violin Ioan Harea
Violin Brigitte Amyot
Viola Nancy Eadie
Cello Olivia Blander
Produced by: Virtuosi Productions,
“The Music Makers”
Recorded by: John Dooher at Sound of One Hand Studios
Assistant Engineers: Michel Legault and Shawna Caspi
Graphic Design and Layout: John James, Ably Productions

 Sentimental Strings

The Harea String Quartet was formed in 1987 by violinist Ioan Harea with the sole purpose of providing high-quality classical music for special events in Canada’s capital.

Represented exclusively by Virtuosi Productions, the Harea String Quartet is now considered Ottawa’s foremost event music ensemble. Thanks to the fine leadership of violinist Ioan Harea, the artistic dedication of all of its members and superb arrangements by Matthew Naughtin, the Harea String Quartet has elevated the performance of background music to artistic levels.

The Harea String Quartet has performed at events hosted by the Governor General of Canada, the Speaker of the House of Commons and the American Ambassador to Canada. The Harea String Quartet is the core of Virtuosi Strings, which performs at state dinners hosted by the Prime Minister of Canada.

Sentimental Strings is a collection of some of the best loved and most often requested works performed by the Harea String Quartet.

A huge debt of gratitude is owed to John Dooher and Sound of One Hand Studios, without whom this CD would never have happened.

Ioan Harea would also like to thank his longtime friend and supporter Guillermo Valentiner, president of Laboratorios Vargas in Caracas, Venezuela, for his continued sponsorship of Ioan Harea’s recordings.

Violin Ioan Harea
Viola Pemi Paull
Oboe Angela Casagrande
Violin John Lindsey
Guitar Roddy Elias
Piano Ian Clyne
Fiddle Sol Gunner
Bassoon Jo Ann Simpson
Cello Mathias Wexler
Recorded at: Sound of One Hand Studios, Ottawa
Produced by: Virtuosi Productions,
“The Music Makers”
Recorded and Engineered by: Michel Legault and John Dooher
Mixed at: Sound of One Hand Studios by John Dooher
Mastered at: Lacquer Channel Mastering by Phillip Demetro
Graphic Design and Layout: John James, Ably Productions

 Versatility

Versatility is an experience of everything from Baroque through classical and 20th-century art music to gypsy and jazz. On this CD, I have chosen to interpret a wide variety of musical styles in collaboration with some of my favorite musicians. The works I have chosen to play all reflect who I am, what I have experienced in life and what I love most about music.

It has been a real privilege and pleasure to work together with such good friends and fine colleagues on Versatility. I particularly want to thank those who collaborated with me in the creative process as composers and arrangers. I want to thank Roddy Ellias for trusting me to give voice to his very heartfelt and personal compositions. Sol Gunner continues to amaze and enlighten me as to the inner science of the “shuffle.” Ian Clyne’s reworking of the three songs that make up “Nostalgie” brings freshness and humor to the music, which is otherwise all too familiar.

Playing duos is perhaps the most difficult project I have yet worked on. The writing is so transparent. There is nowhere to hide. The blend. The intonation. The colour. The articulation. The rhythmic ebb and flow! In a successful duo you move as one with your partner, sensing when to lead and when to follow. It is a lot like dancing a tango!

Creating Versatility has been a privilege and an enriching experience; I hope it will bring joy to those who listen to it!

A huge debt of gratitude is owed to John Dooher and Sound of One Hand Studios, without whom this CD would never have happened.

iolin Ioan Harea
Recorded at: Sound of One Hand Studios, Ottawa
Produced by: Virtuosi Productions,
“The Music Makers”
Recorded, edited and mastered at: Sound of One Hand Studios by Michel Legault
Mixed at: Sound of One Hand Studios by John Dooher
Graphic Design and Layout: John James, Ably Productions

 Unaccompanied

Ioan Harea wishes to thank his great friends Michel Legault and John Dooher at Sound of One Hand Studios and his wife and manager Jo Ann Simpson at Virtuosi Productions for their generous and ongoing support, as well as the City of Ottawa, whose project grant made this recording financially possible.

Violin Ioan Harea
Guitar Andrew Mah
Bass Paul Mach
Percussion Alvaro De Minaya
Produced by: Virtuosi Productions,
“The Music Makers”
Recorded by: Michel Legault at Happyrock Studios
Mastered by: Scott Anthony at The Viewing Room
Graphic Design and Layout: Michel Legault and Christopher Hindshaw

 Alegria

Alegria is the culmination of a very ambitious project conceived in 1999, when John Dooher offered his expertise and his studio, Sound of One Hand, in Ottawa for me to record five CDs over a period of three years. Between 2001 and 2005, we released Classic Gypsy, Sentimental Strings, Versatility and Unaccompanied. At that time John sold the studio, and his career turned in a completely different direction.
I, however, remained committed to the idea of a fifth CD.
I have always been a great admirer of Stéphane Grappelli, but I know my limitations—and I am not a jazz musician.
While growing up in Romania, tangos were always a part of the popular music culture, even though we mistakenly believed that the tango originated in France, not Argentina! That might explain the European influence in my interpretation of the tango.
In Venezuela, where I lived from 1980 to 1986, music is everywhere: from cumbia, salsa and merengue to the folke music of the Illanos, the traditional instruments such as the arpa criolla and the cuatro and the exquisite Venezuelan waltzes.
So what is Alegria?
Is it classical? Definitely not.
Is it jazz? Not quite.
Is it world beat? I wouldn’t say that.
Is it Ioan Harea? You betcha!
All arrangements by Andrew Mah.