*** East Coast Music Award winner: Classical Composition of the Year, « Lamentations » by Clark Winslow Ross***

For his first solo album, cellist Vernon Regehr presents previously unrecorded, unaccompanied works of six composers, all written in the past decade. As the title of the album suggests, the works display a highly varied array of expressive and emotional landscapes, utilizing the instrument’s broad range of tone colour. Upon first hearing one immediately registers the unique qualities of each composer’s voice, and the way in which the chosen musical language reflects the composer’s source of inspiration. What emerges, too, are the points of intersection between the works.


1-4 Fantasy for Solo Cello 15:17
Larysa Kuzmenko
5 From the Edge of Mist 9:07
Matthew Whittall
6 Stigmata 11:15
Vincent Ho
7 Lamentations 11:39
Clark Winslow Ross
8-9 Interludes I and II 8:10
François-Hugues Leclair
10 Versprechen 8:23
Kati Agócs

Vernon Regehr, cello

« Unaided by other strings or a piano accompaniment, there is a particular nakedness to the sound of a cello played solo. Canadian Vernon Regehr clothes it in excellent Canadian content in a new Centrediscs release. It is so interesting to hear how six different Canadian composers can take six very different musical approaches, yet end up with a similar aching, lamentation-like quality to the opening sections of their pieces for solo cello. I guess the plaintive middle and lower registers of the instrument are far too potent a magnet for the imagination. Of the six works, all written over the past decade, the most substantial is Larysa Kuzmenko’s four-movement Fantasy laid out in slow-fast-slow-fast form, ending with a nervously hyper toccata. Matthew Whittall contributes From the Edge of the Mist, which contains some wonderful shimmery effects. Vincent Ho’s Stigmata and Clark Winslow Ross’s Lamentations are as emotionally deep as their titles suggest. François-Hughes Leclair demands an interesting alternate tuning (scordatura) in the first of two Interludes, which is particularly hypnotic. All the pieces offer quick, motoric breaks from their slow introductions later on. My favourite piece is Kati Agócs Versprechen, which reimagines a Bach chorale using the sort of variations on note sequences loved by serialist composers. This is beautifully varied, highly textured writing that Regehr executes with elegant ease, as he does every other one of the very difficult pieces on this album. » – John Terauds, Musical Toronto

« He [Regehr] has obviously cultivate an interest in contemporary and specifically Canadian repertoire and this solo disc is a real gem. Beginning with Larysa Kuzmenko’s extended « Fantasy for Solo Cello » from 2009, we are immediately drawn in to a lush and emotionally charged landscape with soaring lines and rich bass passages. As the work unfolds, over the next quarter hour we are transported. through intense drama and moments of quiet introspection. The delicate opening of Matthew Whittall’s « From the Edge of Mist » with its use of harmonics quickly heralds us into another kind of soundworld, with ethereal passages and drones. Different again is the angular and abrasive opening of « Stigmata » by Vincent Ho. This gradually gives way to more contemplative « moments of lonliness and desolation » but always with a hard edge. Clark Winslow Ross’ « Lamentations » lices up to its name and we hear the cantorial voice of the cello alternating with high wailing lines and wonderfully warm pizzicato passages. « Interlude I » by François-Huguhes Leclair explores th deep and resonant range of the cello in its opening passage and then overlays a high melody upon the drone of the lower strings. « Interlude II » centres around an ostinato bass line with occasional melodic interruptions. Kati Agócs’ « Versprechen, » composed when she was studying with Milton Babbitt applies 12-note techniques to Bach’s harmonization of the Lutheran Chorale « God is my shield and helper. » What begins in the realm of academe gradually sheds its serial trappings and in the end we are left with a simple and beautiful rendition of Bach’s original. » – David Olds, The WholeNote

« Full Spectrum is a well-assembled, high quality recording of cello music by two generations of Canadian Composers. […] I feel that Vincent Ho’s piece is the most aurally intriguing and perhaps also the most uncompromising, although Agócs’ Versprechen, which uses serial technique, shares some of these same qualities. […] The final word must be given to the performer, Vernon Regehr, of Memorial University, whose performance is outstanding throughout. » – John Wagstaff, CAML Review