Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

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

 


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

 

Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936)
The Seasons Ballet Op. 67 [35:50]; Concert Waltz No. 1 in D major Op 47 [8:12]; Concert Waltz No. 2 in F major Op. 51 [8:21]; Stenka Razin Symphonic Poem Op. 13 [14:48]
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Carnaval
Op. 9 (orch. Glazunov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Liadov, Tcherepnin) [26:43]
Mikhail GLINKA (1804-1857)
Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture [5:28]; Kamarinskaya Fantasy [6:46]; A Life for the Tsar Overture [9:12]; Valse-Fantasie [8:23]; Jota Argonesa [9:23]
Anatoly LIADOV (1855-1914)
Baba-Yaga Op. 56 [2:59]; Kikimora Op. 63 [6:15]; Chants populairs Russes Op. 58 [12:52]
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Ernest Ansermet
rec. Victoria Hall, Geneva, 1954-1966
DECCA ELOQUENCE 4800038 [79:31 + 76:52] 
Experience Classicsonline


The continuing stream of Eloquence reissues of performances by this orchestra and conductor makes one realise how much they recorded and how little appreciated they were by many at the time. Certainly the orchestra does not have the kind of virtuoso brilliance that starrier orchestras of the period had, and Ansermet does not produce the kind of show off performance that would have an obvious instant impact. Nonetheless this slower than usual performance of Ruslan and Ludmilla does enable the listener to hear and enjoy much more of the actual music. The sound of the orchestra may be somewhat plain at times, but I found myself increasingly enjoying the very characterful sounds of the somewhat acid first oboe and watery flute, and not bothering about some occasional lack of power in the strings. The music comes across clearly and that is what matters.
 

Largely this is a matter of balance, and whilst the engineers must certainly be congratulated this is all of a piece with the conductor’s careful approach to his craft and understanding of the music. The kind of transparent sound and clear textures that are achieved over and over again here are not the result of chance or merely of good microphone placement; they are the outcome of proper care to ensure that all strands of the texture can be heard without obscuring each other or being obscured. Admittedly there are occasions when some degree of thinness is apparent or where the kind of ripe string sound beloved of so many conductors might be missed, but increasingly I found this irrelevant to the fundamental character of the music. 

The lion’s share is given to Glazunov. The Seasons probably is still his best known score despite the energy that has gone into recording other of his orchestral works in recent years. There are good reasons for this. In its relatively brief length it includes all the expected ingredients of Russian ballet music, and it leaves one of its best tunes to the end – the Bacchanale of Autumn - leaving the audience happy and wanting more. I thoroughly enjoyed this very idiomatic and rhythmically alive performance. I should point out for completeness that there is a curious cut at the start of the Variation “Le Satyr” in Autumn of some six pages of score – about a minute of music. Presumably this is a normal theatrical cut and it does not in any way affect the musical logic or enjoyment of the work. 

The two Concert Waltzes are comparatively well known, and are always worth hearing especially in such stylish performances. I find that my attention tends to wander during Stenka Razin, but Ansermet does what he can for it and at least it is a relatively compact piece. 

The orchestration of Carnaval was made for performances in St Petersburg in 1910, and apparently was shared between Glazunov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Liadov and Tcherepnin. It would have been interesting if the booklet had indicated who arranged which piece although there are no great changes of style between them. I had not heard it before and very much enjoyed it once I had put memories of the original behind me. It helps to treat it as simply as colourful and unusually imaginative ballet music. You will then not be worried unduly about any loss of the character and ambiguity that the original has, and be less likely to bother about the cuts both within the music and of the whole of Réplique.

The short works by Glinka and Liadov are very enjoyable – well played and recorded clearly, even if their age does show at times. All in all this is yet another very welcome reissue from Eloquence, full of good and perhaps unexpected things.

John Sheppard

see also Review by Brian Wilson






 


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.