Robert Marcel Lepage

Adieu Leonardo!

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Released in 1992, Adieu Leonardo! is the outcome of a project premiered in October 1987 at Montreal's Musée des Beaux-Arts as a cinema/music event with Pierre Hébert around Leonardo da Vinci. On record, Lepage (clarinet, saxophones) is surrounded by Michel F. Côté (percussion), Jean Derome (flutes, baritone sax), Bernard Gagnon (programming), Mario Légaré (electric bass), Serge Lépine (acoustic guitar), and René Lussier (bass, guitar, daxophone). The da Vinci theme is hardly palpable in the music itself. This is Lepage at his finest: his writing is funny, insightful, warm, and easy to listen to. With Adieu Leonardo!, Lepage proved he could appeal to larger audiences while keeping his music fresh and crisp. "Les Alpes" is a very nice ballad where a bass clarinet motif and acoustic guitar are the backdrop for a heartfelt clarinet solo. Michel F. Côté's creative percussion keeps "La Forteresse Borgia" on the edge, while "Le Sourire de la Joconde" is a typical simple feel-good clarinet piece in the same vein as Lepage's 1999 CD Les Clarinettes Ont-Elles un Escalier de Secours? A well-balanced album, Adieu Leonardo! presents a good overview of the clarinetist and the composer's talent.

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