Ensemble Vivant Enter A Fugue State

The celebrated Canadians put their own spin on a classical composition technique.

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Ensemble Vivant create a one-of-a-kind classical fusion on the title track from their latest album iFugue: A World of Fugues — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

A sonic expedition of musical discovery harnessing all the brilliance of Antonio Vivaldi’s Sinfonia in E minor for strings (among others), iFugue finds the Canadian classical-music veterans putting their own unique spin on an old compositional technique.

Fugues, a repeated musical theme carried by several voices that seemingly chase each other, have been found in music since the Italian renaissance about 500 years ago. iFugue: A World of Fugues is a tribute to the greatest fugue composer of all time, Johann Sebastian Bach, with several other masterful fugue composers and their respective countries represented — including Antonio Vivaldi (Italy), Heitor Villa-Lobos (Brazil), Aldemaro Romero (Venezuela), Astor Piazzolla (Argentina), John Burke and Michael Coghlan (Canada), Dmitri Shostakovich (Russia) and Cesar Franck (France).

The full album is a highly unique collection of 15 fugues, including classic and modern, international works, standards and three Canadian world premieres — all under the brilliant musicianship of pianist/artistic director Catherine Wilson, violinist Corey Gemmel, violist Norman Hathaway, cellist Tom Mueller and bassist George Koller teaming up with renowned drummer/percussionist Adrian Bent (Drake, Eminem, Stevie Wonder).

Hathaway describes fugue as “an example of the universal appeal and the boundless adaptability of music across time and geography.” The song was also notably mastered by Andy Walter at legendary Abbey Road Studios in London.

The inspiration for iFugue came as Ensemble Vivant were preparing to record an homage to Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla; a series of wonderfully constructed fugues by Piazzolla was discovered and inspired the unearthing of the masterful fugues written worldwide. The title iFugue was coined by its arranger, the great John Burke, whose dream was for the song to prosper before his passing in January 2020.

Ensemble Vivant are the flagship group of a larger group of musicians who are part of the registered not-for-profit charity Euterpe: Music is the Key. Named after the Greek muse of music, Euterpe has provided the highest quality music education/performance programs to children in underserved Canadian communities for over 15 years. With virtual sessions to accommodate during the pandemic, Euterpe has mainly dedicated itself to the idea of music as a developmental tool in early childcare, and primarily refers to science that demonstrates enrichment and life-enhancing benefits in children with early exposure to music education.

Check out the single iFugue above, sample the entire album below, and keep up with Ensemble Vivant at their website, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.