£16 post free World-wide


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

What's New
Previous CDs
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  
Founder Len Mullenger   


Newport Classics

Bruce ADOLPHE (b.1955)
Little Red Riding Hood [17.52]
Goldilocks and the Three Bears [22.39]
An die Musik: (Robert Ingliss (oboe) Frank Almond (violin) Richard Brice (viola) Daniel Rothmuller (cello) Constance Emmerich (piano))
Ruth Westheimer (narrator)
Recorded at Recital Hall at SUNY, Purchase, NY in 1998 (Goldilocks and the Three Bears) and American Academy of the Arts and Letters, New York (Little Red Riding Hood) in 1998

This is a companion volume to The Emperor’s New Clothes and Aesop Suite for An die Musik on Newport Classics NPD85668, also reviewed here, which contained music by Peter (P.D.Q. Bach) Schickele and by Jerzy Sapieyevski. Here they turn to Bruce Adolphe for both commissions and enlist the doughty support of Mittel-Europish Dr Ruth Westheimer as narrator, a woman whose violent association with the English language has encouraged the use of American demotic in matters culinary and cultural.

Little Red Riding Hood has been rudely plucked from her European locale and festooned with bagels and "nut cookies" (whatever they are). Characters don’t wander through pathways of a vaguely Schubertian kind, they patronise "a small diner by the interstate" and when swallowed by the wolf, extraction of the consumed bodies is facilitated by the Heimlich Manoeuvre. This is not a manoeuvre to be recommended when practised by "Dr Ruth" a woman whose fearless inspection of sexual mores is matched only by her Genghis Khan like assaults on the text. Still I dare say that children in her neck of the woods will enjoy the weird local colour and will equally enjoy the music. This veers from fresh flowing (non-Prokofiev) perambulation, flecked by charming exchanges for violin, oboe and piano, to a trenchant wolf motif. There’s delightful nostalgic reverie for the Grandmother, revisited in vaguely leitmotif style and some sturdy jazzy music for the woodcutter. This is a most enjoyable piece of work by Adolphe – nothing startling, but sympathetic and warm.

His Goldilocks and the Three Bears is recorded much closer than the companion work so to avoid the Westheimer Effect you might want to adjust your volume control. There’s not so much Americanisation here, just a reference or two to hot dogs, but otherwise the retelling is harmonious even if there are car journeys to set us in motion and not elysian walks. Adolphe characterises the singing and the sleep musics adeptly, not dissimilar in the latter case from the Grandmother’s nostalgia in the companion setting. The bears are well characterised musically and there are some sinuous melodies here to amuse the listener. Some of the writing bears an Impressionist stamp but there’s also plenty of honest drama to involve the imaginative child.

Two more pleasurable invitations to sample An die Musik’s thoughtful commissions.

Jonathan Woolf




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Northern Flowers
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

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.