2020
52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider


Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


 

Recordings of the Month

August


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE


Enescu Ravel Britten


Debussy Images etc.


53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)

 

July


KAPSBERGER
Che fai tù? - Villanelles


Cyrillus KREEK
The suspended harp of Babel


SHOSTAKOVICH
violin concertos - Ibragimova


Peteris VASKS
Viola concerto - Maxim Rysanov


The Complete Lotte Schöne

 

 

 


Buy through MusicWeb for £12 postage paid.
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Musicweb Purchase button

Arthur de GREEF (1862-1940)
Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor (1896 rev 1932) [15:37]
Violin Sonata No. 2 in C minor (1933) [22:15]
Sonata in C minor for two pianos (1928) [22:30]
Nico Baltussen (violin), Catherine Mertens, Luc Devos (piano)
rec. 1998?
TALENT DOM2910 24 [57:52]



Ronald J Dom’s label has been working away quietly in Antwerp since the mid-1990s. Only in recent years has its unhackneyed approach to A&R started to nudge its way into the broader international market.
 
These are passionate performances of passionate music written or revised in temporal exile from the decades when its style was common. Truly the past was in De Greef’s case a different country. However he held true to his star.
 
De Greef had been a pupil of both Liszt and Saint-Saëns. He popularised the Grieg Piano Concerto throughout Europe. There’s a symphony and two piano concertos in C minor (1914, dedicated to Saint-Saëns and 1930) from his own hand. The two concertos have been recorded by Andre de Groote on Naxos on 8.223810.
 
A slightly tremulous and wiry violin tone from Baltussen does nothing to dampen these romantic sonatas. They were probably written as a product of the friendship between De Greef and Eugène Ysaÿe. The First Sonata is passionately redolent of the Franck and Grieg sonatas and in the swirlingly romantic and tempestuous finale there’s even a passing similarity to the Grieg piano concerto. The Second Sonata has its centre of gravity removed from that of the First. It has about it a stronger fragrance of the Franck and an even more powerful philosophical bent. We hear this in the potent unshowy writing that ends the first movement. However the salon style grotesquerie of the Romance makes for an awkward gear change when it comes to the middle movement. There’s a gangly protesting brusqueness about the Tumultueux finale which finally dissipates in a becalmed seascape before the splendidly impassioned and ripely romantic closing pages.
 
The Sonata for Two Pianos was premiered at the Brussels Royal Music Conservatory on 21 April 1928 by two of De Greef’s female pupils. It’s a darker work than the two violin sonatas with conflicts and tensions resolved in some clangorously grand Rachmaninovian statements (I, 4:04; III 3:12, 4:20) in the outer parts of the three movement structure. That seriousness of purpose relaxes somewhat in the face of the Litolff-like bravado of the central Très vif. I cannot help thinking that De Greef must have intended to work up this sonata into a piano concerto. Mertens and Devos are well matched and are forthrightly recorded.
 
The violin sonatas are richly enjoyable and will appeal to anyone with a taste for Franck, Grieg and Rachmaninov.
 
Rob Barnett

 



 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage



Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Return to Review 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.