Review - DUO

Beach Metro News News

Centre Stage
By Bill Maclean

Last issue we reported a story about a flute/guitar duo called, appropriately, DUO, who survived and performed in earthquake-torn Taipei. They have recently returned and released a new, self-titled CD.

DUO consists of Ivan Zilman on guitar, originally from Montreal, but now living in the Upper Beach. He studied under the legendary Joe Pass and taught at Concordia University before moving to Toronto. He is also a composer and arranger and, with this release, has turned his hand to record producing.

The other half of the duo is Margot Rydall, a Toronto native who teaches at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto. She studied the flute under William Bennett and Peter Lloyd.

The CD, DUO, is an eclectic but entertaining mix of the classical and the popular. From the opening cut called "La Frescobalda" an arrangement of a piece by the late Renaissance composer Frescobaldi, to a sensual, husky performance of the American show tune standard "My Funny Valentine", DUO demonstrates an ability to transcend styles and genres with ease.

Other highlights include a piece called "Sheebeg and Sheemore" by Irish composer Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738), a lovely ballad where the guitar accompaniment is intricately woven beneath the lilting melody sung by the flute. And to show that DUO is no stranger to jazz, they do a superb rendition of Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight".

The final cut, "Café 1930" by Astor Piazzolla, evokes just that, the guitar setting the stage for the flute as they both sashay into the cafes of Paris. Even though they endured an earthquake, DUO's performance is anything but shaky. It is definitely on solid ground.
Tuesday, November 2, 1999