One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

CD REVIEW



Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

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


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

 

 


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

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

alternatively AmazonUK   AmazonUS

 

 

Charles-Auguste De BÉRIOT (1802-1870)
Violin Concerto No. 7 in G major, Op. 73 (1851) [20:53]
Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor, Op. 32 (1841) [31:56]
Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minor, Op. 46 (1844) [11:47]
Laurent Albrecht Breuninger (violin)
Northwest German Philharmonic/Frank Beermann
rec. Herford, Schützenhof, October 2004
CPO 777 167-2 [64:29] 

 


This is beautiful music. So why don't we hear it more frequently? Bert Hagels, in his program note, suggests a shift in nineteenth-century concert programming away from virtuoso works, intended primarily to exploit the technical capacities of the violin (or the violinist), to abstract concerti by non-violinists; he specifically cites Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Brahms as favored composers. The explanation makes sense, and would seem to hold true today: among composers of the virtuoso persuasion, only Vieuxtemps and Wieniawski - along with Paganini, the pioneer of the genre - have kept a tenacious, if tenuous, hold on the repertory. On the evidence of this program, Bériot's melodic, richly colored concerti deserve at least as much respect, and exposure, as any pieces by those composers.

Paganini's influence is marked in Bériot's early B minor concerto, notably in the sharply etched, "Classical" rhythmic outlines of the first movement's rigorous opening ritornello, and the showy fireworks that it sets off. The central Andantino has an appealing, bittersweet lyricism, saved from mawkishness by touches of pungent instrumental color. The concluding Rondo russe, while not a Gypsy dance movement as such, has the sort of syncopated lilt associated with such movements.

In the D minor concerto, the composer attempts an integrated one-movement form with some success. The orchestral introduction doesn't suggest a condensed structure: the orchestra offers the conventional two themes, respectively forceful and lyrical, before the soloist takes them up. Instead of proceeding to the expected development section, however, the music subsides into a calming cantabile intermezzo, followed by a full recapitulation of the second theme and a coda. It's all quite accomplished, and despite the piece's relative brevity - it's just eleven-minutes-and-change in duration - the musical argument doesn't require further amplification.

The G major concerto of seven years later reverts to a standard three-movement pattern, but by now Bériot has come into his own as a melodist. The short-winded motifs of Paganini and his followers have been replaced by long, surging phrases that unfold in broad arcs to span the bars. More than once as I listened, the heady swellings of Lalo's Roi d'Ys overture came to mind. This score, at least, should appeal to modern, sophisticated audiences. 

Laurent Albrecht Breuninger is a persuasive advocate for these scores. In the slow movements and equivalents, he phrases the arching melodies sensitively, playing with an understated vibrancy. His intonation and tone in the display passages are acceptable rather than breathtaking most of the time, though he nails the most important moments - exposed leaps and such - with thrilling accuracy. The Northwest German Philharmonic under Beermann provide a colorful, musically understanding backdrop, though the resonant bassi, more Germanic than Gallic, underscore the foreshadowing of the French post-Wagnerians. Gorgeous sound reproduction completes the package.

Stephen Francis Vasta
 

 

 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews


all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

June 2022


Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32


Orchestral Works


String Quartets Vol 1

May2022


Cantatas and Organ Works


Complete Songs


Ralph Vaughan Williams


Simone Dinnerstein piano

 

 

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.