Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

CD REVIEW



Some items
to consider

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


Buy through MusicWeb from £12.00 postage paid.
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Musicweb Purchase button

Paul Kletzki in Moscow
Franz SCHUBERT
(1797-1828)

Symphony No. 8 in B minor ‘Unfinished’ D 759 (1822) [23:15]
Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826)

Oberon - overture in D major (1826) [9:22]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)

Tragic Overture in D minor Op.81 (1880) [13:42]
USSR State Symphony Orchestra/Paul Kletzki
rec. Moscow, 1968
MELODIYA MEL CD 10 01155 [46:19]



It’s fortuitous that I should be able to review two Unfinished Symphonies presided over, two decades apart, by that most underrated and elegant of conductors, Paul Kletzki. The earlier recording was a commercial set, made for Walter Legge in London. It has now re-appeared in the context of a Guild Kletzki symphony brace (see review) Over twenty years had elapsed before his final concert tour of the Soviet Union and this must have been pretty much his last concert there in the fearful year of 1968.

Listening to his performance leads me merely to reprise the comments I made about his Abbey Road, 1946 performance - polished control and eloquence with phrasing that is always affectionate. Kletzki pays attention to detail and, as a good former orchestral leader, encourages a strongly singing tone from the strings. There’s not quite the same burnished quality to the string tone but of course this was a concert performance. Over the intervening two decades it would have been odd – doctrinaire, rigid, perplexing – had certain features of his approach not modulated or softened. One such was his approach to the Andante where the modifying instruction con moto was very much more closely observed than in 1946. It does subtly shift the axis of the symphony and represents a more precise, less romanticised approach.

There are two other works preserved here, though presumably at the concert there was a concerto or another symphony or a tone poem. Oberon goes with assured refinement and fine balance. And then there’s the Tragic Overture where we find once more that Kletzki really was a thoroughly sane, practical and intelligent Brahmsian. He encourages a surging string tone even in the more strenuous pages though the tubby brass playing needs to be absorbed rather than rejected to get the most from the performance. As regards a few of his contemporaries, and in strictly tempo terms, he is pitched half way between the terse vitality (yes!) of Knappertsbusch and the more measured approaches of Abendroth and Szell.

There are two demerits. The first is the timing, a mere 46 minutes. The second is the English text in the booklet which, not to put too fine a point on it, is an absurdity way, way beyond Supraphon School of ‘74. Fedor Sofronov deserves better. But if he thinks Georges Sebastian was German he needs a New Yorker fact checker at his side.

So – fine playing and an auspicious, well recorded concert. I have to say though that only Kletzki admirers would really be satisfied with the short playing time.

Jonathan Woolf

 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

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.