Fanfare Magazine, Robert Markow, Nov/Dec 2013
Lake Champlain Weekly, May 2013
Cellist Paul Watkins performs his inaugural concert with the Emerson String Quartet at the Montreal Chamber Music Festival
This article about Denis Brott and the Montreal Chamber Music Festival appeared in the May 2012 edition of La Scena Musicale.
Ensembles Canada, Spring 2001
So you want to start a Festival do you? Why on earth would you want to do that? A glutton for punishment? Perhaps. Looking for an excuse not to practice? Maybe. Wanting to find an opportunity to get your friends and colleagues together for the joy of making music together? That’s more like it.
In recent days we have all shared an intense, intimate and unforgettable experience. Somehow, the tragic death of an English princess has riveted our attention and humanized our collective empathy on a global scale. Why? What is it that we are all resonating to?
It has been a great honour for me to preside over a jury of such distinction. Though each jury member is remarkable in his/her individual excellence collectively their caring, loving consideration of each candidate's worth and their selfless respect for each other's opinion has been unique in my experience.
In music, the combination of sensation and understanding which opens the doors of improvement as a process of discovery is the very backbone of real growth and development for student and professional alike. Active self-awareness and consistent review of the process of learning ensure productivity. Thinking this way means there really is no point of arrival. Instead, there are many points of departure.
Being a successful student of life means you understand and acce!t that arri"al is the !lateau from which to "iew the next summit. In music, des!ite this understanding, there is a dis!araging #uir$ to this seemingly rational and acce!ted !remise. %he nature of the solitude re#uired for instrumental !ractice !resents a conse#uential !sychological and !hysiological awareness which one can often o"erloo$ and, therefore, can !ro"e to be a serious im!ediment at any stage of one&s de"elo!ment.
Revue du Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, May 1996
A figure of great grandeur in Jewish history, King Solomon also has the stature of a tragic hero. In and around 900 BCE his vast empire stretched far beyond the boundaries of present day Israel. He was undoubtedly one of the wealthiest men of his time. He had everything: power, material riches, many wives, wisdom, respect, children. He, and he alone, was responsible for the life and, at times, the death of his people - the population of an entire country.
This sonata is particularly remarkable for its symphonic breadth and nature. It has an extraordinary four-movement design and a virtuoso approach to the cello, expanding the horizons of its register and using pizzicato and tremolo to produce effects of a highly original nature. It took almost 30 years (until Debussy) for Brahms' innovative colouristic instrumental approach for cello and piano to be surpassed.
The question of who transcribed this sonata and how it came to be played on the cello is a hot topic among cellists musicologists.
The Opus 38 Cello Sonata is an unusual work in many respects: firstly, because of the absence of any slow movement typical of the solo or ensemble sonata; and secondly because of its unique fugal last movement.