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!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

alternatively
AmazonUK AmazonUS

 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Brahms Rediscovered
String Quintet in F minor Op.34 (1862) – reconstructed by Sebastian Brown (1946) [42:35]²
Piano Trio in A major  [36:57]¹
Amati Chamber Players (Leo Debono (piano), Igor Gruppman (violin); Simon Morris (cello))¹; Igor Gruppman (violin); Steven Smith (violin); Vesna Gruppman (viola); Simon Morris (cello); John Heley (cello)²
rec. All Saints Church, Petersham, 1997 
BIDDULPH 802272 [79:27]

 

Experience Classicsonline


It may well be Brahms Rediscovered but this brace of recordings has itself been hanging around undiscovered for over a decade until now. Recorded back in 1997 the Amati Chamber Players have thereby lost the opportunity to introduce a world premiere recording of the reconstruction of the String Quintet, which was made by Sebastian Brown in 1946. That honour fell to the Divertimenti Ensemble in a disc from Cello Classics that I reviewed last year.

The history of the reconstructed Quintet is complicated. Robert Pascall’s notes for Biddulph go into the details surrounding the early complexities of the original’s reception and rejection but rather bizarrely omits altogether the role of the English “reconstructor” Sebastian Brown, whose 1946 effort is the one performed. I delve into the complexities of all these matters in my previous review so for those who are interested that’s the place to look for fuller detail.

So we now have two competing versions of a reconstruction. The first thing to note is the considerable discrepancy in timings. The Amati players are much faster in the opening movement – 13 minutes to Divertimenti’s 16. But the latter group is faster in the slow movement by some minute and a half and by a minute in the finale. The proportions of both performances thus differ noticeably. The Divertimenti team were recorded in an acoustically rather echoing location. And their sonority is very much the more rich, with the viola and cellos sounding darker and more resonant. As a result their performance is rather mellower. The Amati is more febrile and violin-centred tonally with a less homogenised corporate sound. I certainly prefer the Divertimenti performance of the slow movement, which does sound laboured in this Biddulph performance.

Coupled with the reconstruction is a work that no one has ever shown definitively to be by Brahms at all. The Piano Trio in A major is likely to be an early work, and received its first performance as late as 1925 as a work by “an as yet unknown composer.” A decade later a case was made for Brahms being that composer in an article – citing Schumannesque influence, Brahmsian textures and themes and the similarity in part with Brahms’s Op.8 trio. It’s been tentatively dated to around 1853. There are some strong arguments pro and contra – the manuscript is now lost regrettably – but stylistic traits have been pursued by critics in favour and equally against. The first movement is rather clotted, but the Scherzo is striding and masculine whilst the Lento is relatively powerful alternating contrasting faster passages.  Nothing terribly distinctive is going on.

Still you might want to give this a listen for yourself. If so I recommend the alternative version of the Sebastian Brown reconstruction of the Quintet. The rival Cello Classics disc also has another novelty in the shape of Joseph Miroslav Weber’s Quintet – a rollickingly fine and enjoyable discovery.

Jonathan Woolf





 


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.