£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


BUY NOW 

Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Jan SIBELIUS (1865-1957)
Violin Concerto in D minor op.47 (1905), Serenade in G minor op.69b (1913)
Christian SINDING (1856-1941)

Violin Concerto no.1 in A op.45 (1898), Romance in D op.100 (1910)
Henning Kraggerud (violin)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Bjarte Engeset
Recorded 24-26 June 2003 at Lighthouse, Centre for the Arts, Dorset.
NAXOS 8.557266 [71:08]


The opening of the Sibelius bodes well; lovely violin sound and a beautifully spacious approach. There are plenty of recordings that open in a similarly spacious way but most of them gradually pick up speed to encompass passion as well as poetry. This one stays spacious, with some passages seemingly crawling along, but with a remarkable sense of communing with nature. Since Engeset also has a fine sense of atmosphere this is an interesting reading, to say the least.

A little surprisingly, the "Adagio di molto", while certainly not hustled, is kept rhythmically taut. The result is attractive but possibly avoids penetrating the furthest expressive recesses of the music. The finale is swift, brilliant and very exciting, although in some ways a more powerful effect can be obtained with a tempo just a notch slower, since the orchestra’s ostinatos become that much clearer. The Sibelian gifts of both Kraggerud and Engeset are strikingly evident in the beautifully poetic serenade.

So this is a version to consider, though there are others that are more likely to bowl over the first-time buyer. How does the Sinding affect the equation?

Well, it certainly shows that Scandinavians are not all gloom and doom and as it burst in so infectiously I felt, good for Sinding! The finale, too, has sizzling vitality and in between there is much generously romantic writing and a slow movement which rises from stark rumbles to a strong climax. But I have to say that Sinding’s actual themes are not particularly individual or distinguished. If you listen to almost any part of the concerto for a few minutes at random you will probably get the idea it’s marvellous since it’s always either apparently leading up to some mighty statement or dying away to usher in some new moment of hushed beauty. But when the mighty statement or the new moment of hushed beauty arrives there’s nothing much to it. But still, it is a warm-hearted affair, beautifully played on a Guarneri instrument that once belonged to the great Norwegian violinist Ole Bull, and if you enjoy Max Bruch this is probably on a level with his concertos except no.1, and it is just about good enough to make me wonder what this composer’s other two concertos are like (remembering that I was doubtful about his first two symphonies but found the third a worthy discovery). The Romance gets its first recording here and it may as well be its last since this, too, is a compendium of pleasing romantic sounds far short of the simple memorability of, say, the Romance for violin and orchestra by Dvořák, yet played with a wealth of lovely tone and an obvious affection which is hardly likely to be bettered.

The recordings are very fine and the booklet note is good.

Christopher Howell



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

 

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable Arcodiva
British Music Soc.
CDAccord
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter


Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter

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.