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!


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

Buywell Just Classical


George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) arr. Robert Russell Bennett
Porgy and Bess – A Symphonic Picture (1941-1942) [23:55]
Ferde GROFÉ (1892-1972)
Grand Canyon Suite (1931) [36:05]
Mississippi Suite (1924) [13:01]*
Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Antal Doráti; Eastman-Rochester Orchestra/Howard Hanson*
rec. United Artists' Auditorium, Detroit, USA, October 1982; Eastman Theatre, University of Rochester, New York, USA, May 1958*. DDD/ADD*
DECCA ELOQUENCE 4429496
[73:18]
Experience Classicsonline


This disc is a must-have. Antal Doráti was 76 years old when he made his Gershwin and Grofé record for Decca, but these performances have all the cocky swagger of youth. They are also stunningly well recorded and played to the nines by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, of which Doráti had been music director for about five years by the time these tracks were recorded.
 

Robert Russell Bennett's arrangement of material from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess is probably the best known orchestral work drawn from Gershwin's opera, and is arguably more effective than the composer's own suite, Catfish Row. It was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Symphony at the behest of its then chief conductor, Fritz Reiner, and has been a popular part of the repertory ever since. 

Russell Bennett's scoring paints a Symphonic Picture in lush, vibrant colours. He weaves the themes of the opera together to suit the dramatic arc of his synthesis rather than following strictly the order in which they appear on stage.

This Detroit performance is riveting from first note to last: from the warmth of the surging unison strings singing out Bess, You is My Woman Now, to the slight sneer in the brass commentary on It Ain't Necessarily So; from the bluesy trumpet writing to the syncopated swing of I'm On My Way at the close even as a lone trumpet interjects with I Got Plenty of Nothin'. This performance is idiomatic, energetic and brilliantly recorded in early Decca digital sound. 

The brilliance of the recorded sound is also very much in evidence in the famous Cloudburst that concludes Ferde Grofé's Grand Canyon Suite. This music is painted in primary colours, and demands committed execution and vivid sound to make an impact. It receives both here. The deft Detroit percussion and brass cut through the swell of strings and the woodwind squall to spectacular effect. The earlier movements of Grofé's tuneful, Broadway-influenced score are equally well served. Cooing French horns evoke sunrise and in the first movement of the suite and sunset in the fourth. Doráti's dynamic control gives the second movement, The Painted Desert, an air of movie mystery and the depiction of a clip-clopping, hee-hawing donkey carrying a singing cowboy in the central third movement, On the Trail, is priceless. 

Just having Doráti's old record back in circulation, let alone at this bargain basement price point would be cause enough for rejoicing. Australian Eloquence, however, is determined to ice the cake. Originally coupled with his own recording of the Grand Canyon Suite, Howard Hanson's recording of Grofé's Mississippi Suite with the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra comes from Doráti's old label, Mercury, which is now also part of the Universal Classics family. Hanson, a fine composer in his own right, is a deft colourist in these lighter scores and while his Grand Canyon must yield to Doráti's, at the very least in terms of its sound quality, his Mississippi Suite is a welcome filler here. 

The Mississippi Suite is a slighter work than the Grand Canyon Suite, but is very enjoyable when played with such panache, even if the 1958 stereo is showing its age. The first and third movements feature writing of limpid beauty, and the finale has a lively party atmosphere, even if it is a touch too relaxed in this performance. The second movement is the best: a bright-eyed character sketch of Huckleberry Finn, flecked with colours from the tone poems of Dukas and Richard Strauss. 

Helpful liner-notes from Christopher Palmer and Harold Lawrence (on the Mississippi Suite) complete a very attractive issue.

Tim Perry




 


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.