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

 


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


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


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

 

 

 

 

alternatively Crotchet

 

Jacques OFFENBACH (1819-1880)
La Périchole - Opéra Bouffe in 3 Acts (1874) [88:02]
Maria Ewing (mezzo) - La Périchole; Neil Rosenhein (tenor) – Piquillo; Gabriel Bacquier (baritone) – Don Andrès; Paulo Martinelli (baritone) – Don Pedro; Ricardo Cassinelli (tenor) - Le Comte Miguel de Panatellas; Charles Ossola and Samuel Hasler – Notaries; Madelyn Renee, Monique Barscha, Nicole Buloze – Cousins and Dames d’Honneur; Charles Ossola – Gaoler; Jean-Paul Muel – Old Prisoner
Chorus of the Grand-Théâtre, Geneva; Suisse Romande Orchestra/Marc Soustrot
rec. no information given; no text or translations provided
Extracts: La Périchole, Les Brigands, La Grande Duchesse de Gérolstein, Barbe-Bleu, La Belle Hélène and La Vie Parisienne (details at end of review) [70:16]
Jane Rhodes (mezzo); Georges Liccioni (tenor); Promenadeorkest en Radiokoor/Roberto Benzi
rec. Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, 16 June 1969
GALA GL100786 [78:58 + 79:20] 

 

Experience Classicsonline


The recent Opera Rara anthology of lesser known music by Offenbach – “Entre nous” – has shown just how much of his music remains both rarely performed in Britain and little attended to disc. La Périchole is one of his best known and most frequently recorded works. Even so professional performances in Britain are relatively rare – most recently at the Buxton Festival in 2002 but not for some time before that. New recordings of what is surely one of Offenbach’s masterpieces are therefore especially welcome, even if this issue cannot be regarded as an unqualified success.
 

The good things first. Despite a somewhat dry acoustic and crude recording, there is very much the atmosphere here of a live performance. Only a few lines of the spoken dialogue are here, but some very audible edits make it clear that much more was probably included in the original performance. Unfortunately no details are included as to when or where this took place, and it may not even have been fully staged. The otherwise incomprehensible inclusion of a Tarzan-like call in the Act 1 Finale and what appear to be gunshots before the final scene suggest that it was, but the nature of the performance is perhaps not of enormous relevance in itself. What matters is that the cast clearly work together as a very lively team with only one significant weak link. Unfortunately that is in the title role in which, surprisingly in view of her many distinguished performances live and on record, the singing of Maria Ewing can only be described as coarse and lacking in charm. She seldom points phrases or relishes the language. All too often she resorts to a very obvious manner which might work with music hall or similar songs but does not in Offenbach. Worst of all is her singing in “Ah! Quel diner”. This can be extremely funny – think of Maggie Teyte – but just as drunks in real life are tedious and embarrassing it is a mistake for singers to go beyond a refined and controlled tipsiness with the aim of increasing the effect of the song. This performance shows very clearly that it does not; it merely results in tedium and embarrassment. Not everything she does is like this, but her singing is seldom idiomatic and shows little sense of line. 

Fortunately the rest of the cast perform at a much higher level. Neil Rosenhein sings attractively with good tone and a clear understanding of the musical and dramatic point of each number. Gabriel Bacquier is an experienced singer of Offenbach who makes much of the words – a key requirement with this composer – even if he does tend at times to broaden the humour more than is necessary. The other roles are, in general, acceptably taken, although all of the soloists have occasional moments of unsteadiness which you would probably not have noticed in a live performance. The orchestra and chorus are efficient without showing any especial sympathy with the style of the work. This may be due to the conductor, Marc Soustrot, who only rarely brings out the alternate inherent elegance and the abandon of rhythms or phrases. 

To find that you only have to listen to the rest of the second CD, which consists of what was presumably the bulk of a concert of extracts from Offenbach’s works sung by Jane Rhodes and Georges Liccioni and conducted by Roberto Benzi. Even if there are the inevitable imperfections of a live concert overall this is singing and playing of a very high order which catches precisely the character of each of the various numbers chosen. Both singers make much of the words and are capable of a great variety of tone and phrasing. This may not always be the most beautiful singing imaginable but this is of no matter when each item is so well pointed. I have listened to this recital repeatedly with increasing enjoyment – especially to the extracts from “Les Brigands” and “Barbe-Bleu”. Even if you agree with me as to the defects of the performance of the main work - and it is by no means unenjoyable - the set would be worth buying just for the recital. And you may not agree with me about Maria Ewing’s performance, in which case it becomes a particularly worthwhile purchase.

John Sheppard

Recital by Jane Rhodes and Georges Liccioni

La Périchole
Complainte de l’Espagnol et de la jeune Indienne [2:36]
Séguedille [2:36]
Air de la lettre [3:26]
“Et là, maintenant que nous sommes seuls” [1:32]
“Ah! Que les homes sont bêtes” [2:47]
“On me proposait d’être infâme” [3:50]
“Tu n’es pas beau, tu n’es pas riche” [3:24]
Les Brigands
“Ecoutez, ecoutez! Voyes-vous, lâ-bas, j’entends un bruit de bottes” [4:00]
La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein
“Ah, que j’aime les militaries” [3:38]
“Dites-lui qu’on l’a remarqué” [3:05]
“Voici le sabre de mon père” [3:04]
Barbe-Bleu
Légende [3:29]
Duo [2:34]
La Belle Hélène
“C’est le devoir de jeunes filles … Amours divins” [4:43]
“Au Mont Ida” [4:18]
“Gloire .. O ciel, c’est l’homme à la pomme!” [3:32]
“On me nomme Hélène la Blonde” [3:50]
“C’est le ciel qui m’envoie” [8:49]
La Vie Parisienne
“A Paris nous arrivons en masse” [0:22]
“Je suis Brésilien” [1:45]
“Nous venons, arrivons, de tout les pays du monde” [2:38]




 


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.