All the music here, and the musicians as well, has origins in Quebec, but only composer Jean Lesage is of French-Canadian background. The disc is a project of the Canadian Music Centre in Toronto, and perhaps there is something distinctively Canadian (rather than Québécois) about this quintet of contemporary pieces. Dan Aykroyd once ascribed the success of Canadian comedians to the observational skills developed while living next door to a much larger country. Perhaps something similar is happening here: all these pieces are about commentary, observation, and deconstruction. This is clearest, but perhaps least satisfactory, in the case of Lesage's cumbersomely titled Le projet Mozart, ou l'auteur s'interroge sur la complexité dy style et le métissage des genres, which scrawls passages in various styles onto and beside Mozart's music without any clear sense of what kind of "interrogation" is occurring. Chris Harman's Piano Trio, similarly based on a Bach partita for solo violin, is more rigorous in its results; Harman undertakes the task of forging a fresh neo-classic idiom based on Baroque structural principles. Ana Sokolovic's Portraît parle and Analia Llugdar's Tricycle are both structured around the exploration of a single sound stated at the beginning of a section, a vaguely programmatic tone cluster in Sokolovic's case, an "attack" that produces "resonance" in Llugdar's (which has nothing to do with a child's toy). In the Quarks Tropes of Paul Frehner, the source material is an earlier work by the composer himself. All the music was composed for the Trio Fibonacci, which demonstrates the commitment it proclaims in the notes. Recommended for those interested in the contemporary Canadian scene.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim