One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

CD REVIEW



Some items
to consider

  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
  • Mozart Flute Quartets
  • Schubert complete piano works
  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

alternatively Crotchet

 

 

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Water Music (1717): Suite in F major [22:46]; Suite in D major [18:01]
Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749) [27:45]
London Classical Players/Roger Norrington
rec. Lyndhurst Hall, Air Studios, London, 9-12 January 1996. DDD
VIRGIN CLASSICS 3913342 [68:45]

 


Virgin Classics has embarked on an extensive reissue programme and this is one of the fruits of that back catalogue work. Norrington’s Water Music was recorded back in 1996 and conflated the three suites into two, in F major and D major. The results are consistently bracing, powerfully propounded, skilfully projected and not always free from disputatious point-making.

 

Fortunately Norrington was accorded a first class, if rather close-up recording which emphasises attacks. The horns are full of vigour in the Allegro of the F major Suite, the strings’s rhythms well sprung, and the oboes phrasing with real acumen in the Andante section. The Air has a light, bright insouciance that’s really effective; articulation is crisp and lines are shaped with care. The evenness of the horns’ playing is especially effective. The flute playing is at its most impressive in the Menuet of the D major Suite and there is a splendid delineation of upper and lower voice parts in the Country Dance of the same suite. That said there are some stylistic features that might grate and one of the most pervasive and problematic is the nature of the articulation, which has a détaché quality that sounds overdone too often. The Rigaudon also sports a strange legato moment that perplexes.

 

The Fireworks Music is suitably grand but Norrington is occasionally mannered in the Ouverture. To make amends the trumpets and percussion are on tight, excellent form in La Réjouissance. It’s an excellent performance as far as it goes though Norrington’s approach to orchestration and repeats is quixotic, or personal – however you wish to characterise it; I’m thinking in particular of the Minuet repeats. 

 

It’s precisely these questions that lend Norrington’s performance their character and more combustible qualities. This is a well-established pairing, the baroque equivalent and the Bruch and Mendelssohn Violin concerto pairing, so you are not short of recommendable recordings on original instruments. The variance of the repeats still strikes me as a small weakness but if you can cope with this and rather shifting nature of the instrumentation then you’ll find much to enjoy.

 

Jonathan Woolf

 

see also Review by Michael Greenhalgh

 

 

 

 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
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.