Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Tre preludier (1936-37) [7.27]
Sonatine (1943) [16.54]
Fyra pianostycken (1944) [11.14]
Liten Svit (1947) [13.15]
Inventioni (1970) [9.37]
Marianne Facht-Ribbing (piano)
rec. 29 June 1991, studio 3, Swedish Radio, Stockholm
PROPRIUS PRCD 9064 [63.21]

I referred recently to the Proprius anthology of Hägg and Josephson piano solos as 'well behaved piano stool miniatures'. Holewa's piano music is quite a different proposition. He drank deep at the Second Viennese well. The influence here is Schoenberg rather than the 'sour' lyricism of Berg or the out and out objectivity of Webern. Across the years covered we note a trajectory from the Pierrot Lunaire astringency of the Three Preludes and the Sonatine into the quasi-romantic excrescence of the Fyra pianostycken. The Preludes and Sonatine are in awed respect of Schoenberg's precepts. Given that the Sonatine was written only one year before the Four Pieces the contrast is remarkable not that they are a complete abnegation of Schoenberg's style as the so-called allegro moderato proves. It is remarkable, by the way, that despite what you are led to expect by the declared tempo markings, most of these pieces proceed at a middling moderato. Even the schnell of the Tre preludier only snaps the moderato bonds in little impetuous outbursts rather than in a wholehearted rush of blood. For the Liten svit we are back to the style of the Tre preludier and their moderato pacing. If there is a weakness in this music it is its lack of variety of tempo - its generalised middling rate of progress. The Inventioni of three decades later shows how Holewa remained true to his adopted style but with something I take to be an Iberian flavour cut with the melancholy melodrama of the Tre preludier. It also recalls the Lisztian fist-shaking and turbulence of the Howard Ferguson Piano Sonata.

Marianne Ribbing's performances which have a bejewelled delicacy and slender steely strength must be taken to be faithful to Holewa's intentions. The notes are in Swedish and German only.

Rob Barnett


Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.