Aureole etc.




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

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

 

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906–1975)
Piano Trio No.1, op.8 (1923) [12:46]
Seven Poems by Alexander Blok, op.127 (1967) [24:34]
Piano Trio No.2, op.67 (1943/1944) [27:04]
Young-Hee Kim (soprano)
L.O.M. Trio: (Joan Orpella (violin); José Mor (cello); Daniel Liorio (piano))
rec. 13, 15, 16 December 2006, 15 January 2007, l’Auditori Paper de Musica de Capellades. DDD
COLUMNA MÚSICA 1CM0180 [64:24]

 

Experience Classicsonline


These three works with piano trio make a most satisfactory coupling of music spanning Shostakovich’s career from 1923 to 1967. His development can easily be seen as the 1st Trio is overfull with ideas, the 2nd Trio more concise with strong ideas worked out in his most serious manner, then the Blok Songs, which are object lessons in economy.
 

The 1st Trio is a youthful work in one movement. It flits from one mood to another with the swiftness of a film cut - a most enjoyable concoction, full of good tunes, and well laid out for the three instruments. 

The 2nd Piano Trio comes from Shostakovich’s maturity, written during the Great Patriotic War, in memory of his friend Ivan Sollertinsky. It is the first of his Jewish works. A difficult work to bring off it covers a vast range of emotion. The first movement is relatively easy going, indeed, in some ways it exudes an air of untroubled innocence. The second is a manic scherzo and the slow, third, movement a sombre passacaglia. The finale was started just as news was announced of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, including Treblinka. Shostakovich was horrified that the SS Guards made their victims dance beside their own graves and created a programmatic image, the music becoming wilder and wilder. Ian MacDonald (The New Shostakovich, Fourth Estate, London, 1990) has pointed out that at the climax of this movement there is “… the impression of someone stumbling about in exhaustion …” which is “… painfully vivid”.

Shortly after his first heart attack, Shostakovich was commissioned to write a vocalise for Vishnevskaya. It was to be accompanied on the cello by her husband, Rostropovich. The composer quickly realized that this wasn’t what he had in mind, and with the addition of violin and piano created the Seven Poems by Alexander Blok. This takes the original idea of a duet and uses the three instruments, with voice, in every available combination. Alexander Aleksandrovich Blok (1880-1922) was one of the leading symbolist poets of the time.

I tend to shy away from any recording which includes a contemporary singer for the standard of singing these days is marred - perhaps ruined is a better word - by the accursed wobble. Lieder singers of the recent past never wobbled – used vibrato to be sure, because vibrato is an expressive device, to be used on special occasions. Wobble is when the singer is not in control of the voice and it is prevalent today. What is more important is that vibrato cannot be put on every note, wobble can. At least with vibrato the listener has a clear idea of what note the singer is singing! It must be that young singers are taught to wobble for whenever I hear students at the music colleges here in London, wobble is already in place. Hasn’t anybody ever heard Elsie Suddaby, Elizabeth Schumann, Lisa della Casa? - three of the purest voiced singers ever to open their mouths and sing a song.

I am afraid that Young-Hee Kim wobbles, though, it must be admitted, not as badly as so many these days. There are times when she actually employs a slight vibrato. But her wobble is an unpleasant sound, and wobbling always will be. This has bothered me for some time and it was the performance of Jeanne-Michèle Charbonnet in Foulds’s World Requiem which brought this problem to the fore. It’s time we returned to a purer style of singing, one which does a service to the composer.

The L.O.M. Trio (the name is made from the initials of the surnames of the members of the group) is a young ensemble with a promising future. The Trio plays the 1st Trio expertly, easily handling the many gear-changes Shostakovich demands of his players, but it is less successful in the later work. This 2nd Trio makes heavy demands on its performers from the greatest delicacy - as in the opening of the work with the harmonics for solo cello - to the danse macabre mentioned above. It is here that this performance falls down. In the 1947 recording made in Prague with David Oistrakh and Shostakovich joined by a young Czech cellist, the great Milos Sadlo, this finale borders on insanity. Shostakovich, I believe, refused to do retakes so the piano playing is full of fistfuls of wrong notes but what an awesome performance it is! As I have written of Shostakovich elsewhere, this is music which is on the very edge of madness, all caution thrown to the wind and that 1947 performance is positively diabolical. The L.O.M. Trio is accurate but oh so polite, almost apologetic. Where’s the urgency? The sense of danger? The passion? It is to be hoped that this Trio will come to see the truly passionate nature of this music and, one day, give of their all. But don’t wait until then, go for Shostakovich and colleagues in the Trio - truly one of the greatest performances of anything ever (Symposium SYMPCD 1314 – coupled with other first recordings of Shostakovich’s works) and Vishnevskaya, Oistrakh, Rostropovich and Weinberg (the première performers of the work) in the Blok Songs (EMI Classics 0724356282957).

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.