Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 


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


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

alternatively
AmazonUK AmazonUS

 

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756–1791)
Symphony No.40 in G minor, K550 [24:16]
Symphony No.35 in D, Haffner, K385 [16:14]
Symphony No.36 in C, Linz, K425 [23:06]
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner (K385 and K550)
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner (K425)
rec. Pittsburgh 1947, 1946 (K385 and K550); Chicago 1954 (K425); ADD
INSTITUTO DISCOGRAFICO ITALIANO IDIS6537 [63:41] 
Experience Classicsonline


As can be seen from the recording dates, these will not be “authentic” performances insofar as they use a large orchestra, but they will be authentic performances because they are performances from the heart, given with fire and spirit. It should also be remembered that Mozart once said, whether in jest or not I don’t know, that for him the perfect orchestra included forty violins! The first movement of K550 sets off at a brisk pace and Reiner never drops the tempo, keeping it in control with a fine sense of line and style, and repeating the exposition. The only downside is the huge, and very vulgar, rallentando he employs over the final chords which spoils an otherwise perfectly judged performance. The slow movement is lovely; moments of utter simplicity alternate with high drama, with charming playing, but spoiled by another huge rallentando at the cadence. The minuet and trio is straight forward with a delightful transition from minuet to trio, which contains some gorgeous woodwind playing, and yet another large rallentando at the end. The finale races away but not with joy, this is Mozart in G minor, remember, with desperation. This is a fine performance, especially well judged in tempi, drama and repose. My only objection is the slowing down at the ends of movements – however, I am sure that when this recording was made, and for some time after, this was the norm and we never questioned it. Don’t let it ruin a fine Mozartean performance.
 

The sound for the Haffner Symphony is fierce and hard driven, and so, I am sad to report, an intelligent performance is spoiled. Reiner sets a cracking pace for the opening Allegro; it is thrilling and it is matched by a slow movement of great tenderness but in this latter the beautiful sound she elicits from the strings sounds hard edged. The minuet is fast but the trio is fantastic – full of gemütlichkeit and with a real dancing lilt. The finale is a fraction too fast making some of the string articulation a problem. This is a fine performance, full of humour and with a great spirit, let down by the recording. 

Sometimes it’s the small things which tip you off to the quality of a performance. In this recording of the Linz Symphony in bars 8, 9 and 10 of the slow introduction of the first movement, there’s the merest hint of a forte before the music falls back to piano. Reiner accents these fortes with such subtlety that I knew I was I for an intelligent performance. And so I was. The first movement races along at a cracking pace, joking and full of high spirits. The slow movement is a serene haven of peace. Here, Reiner withholds full power from the fortes which gives a much more singing quality to the whole piece. The Minuet is distinguished by some lovely oboe and bassoon playing and the finale is taken at a true racing pace – a real Presto and it’s thrilling, made all the more exciting by Reiner not applying the brakes in the final cadence but racing through it bringing the music to rousing conclusion. 

This is a very interesting issue, especially so for students of interpretation. The recorded sound is of its age, of course, but in the Linz and 40th Symphony the remastering is excellent, showing us fine and intelligent Mozartean performances. The fierceness of the sound in the Haffner Symphony can be tempered somewhat with a treble cut, but this does rob the sound of some of its bloom. Certainly this isn’t a disk of Mozart for everyone but I hope that I have managed to convey some of the excitement and satisfaction I felt whilst listening.

Bob Briggs


 


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
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




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.