> Summary of New Classical CD Reviews - July 2002 part 1- (last two days): MusicWeb: Len Mullenger
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Reviews July 2002

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 The Hoffnung little books
The Maestro, Symphony Orchestra, Music Festival,Companion to Music, Musical Chairs, Acoustics

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The Hoffnung Music Festival Concert 1956,The Hoffnung Interplanetary Music Festival 1958,The Hoffnung Astronautical Music Festival 1961

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BBC recordings of Speech Day, Oxford Union, December 1958 "Life begins at 38" with the famous Bricklayer story and the hotelier offering French widows in every bedroom.

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A Carey Blyton page
Judith Bingham. A Fiftieth Birthday interview with Christopher Thomas.
Janet Owen Thomas (1961-2002)
LUCREZIA - The story of Respighi’s last opera by Ian Lace
The Ballet World of RESPIGHI by Ian Lace

Carey Beckenham’s Other Blyton by Cliff Watkins
Composers - for Love or Money? by Arthur Butterworth
by David Wright
Irvine Fine by David Wright

The Friendship of Miaskovsky and Prokofiev by David Wright

Joachim Raff by David Wright

John Veale and Film Music by David Wright (John will be 80 this month)
Aaron Copland by David Wright

Heitor Villa-Lobos by David Wright
JOHN MARSH 1752-1828 250th Anniversary Celebrations
The future of the British music Society
Portrait: Aaron Rabushkaby Jennifer Paull

Phil Scowcroft Garlands: We have started to add the next 200.

What is a mezzo-soprano ? Chris Howell part (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7)]

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The Best Years of British Film Music, 1936 – 1958 by Jan G. Swynnoe The Boydell Press; £40 243 pages ISBN 0-85115-862-5 [IL]

This book does few favours for British films or British film music. In fact it puts back the appreciation of film music in general by years. Approach with caution.... see Full Review

CAREY BLYTON Short Stories £12.50 FAND MUSIC PRESS, The Barony, 16 Sandringham Rd, Petersfield, Hampshire GU32 2AA

Short stories - whimsical, ironic, sentimental and one or two autobiographical. All readable and pleasantly written.... see Full Review

Vivian FINE: A Bio-Bibliography by Judith CODY Greenwood Press Bio-Bibliographies in Music, Number 88

Will open the way to Fine scholars the world over as well as shedding illumination for enthusiasts of Fine's music. ...see Full Review

LIGHT MUSIC IN BRITAIN SINCE 1870 Book– A survey of the development of Light Music By Geoffrey Self, pp.262 [published 2001]

Makes an enjoyable read for all wanting to widen their knowledge in this area. … see Full Review

Arturo TOSCANINI – The NBC Years By Mortimer H. Frank Amadeus Press. Hardback 358 pages. $29:95. ISBN 1-57467-069-7

A valuable comprehensive survey of a vital phase in Toscanini’s long career and one that corrects many misconceptions about the considerable achievements of one of the 20th century’s greatest maestros. … see Full Review



Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Kreutzer Sonata Bela BARTÓK (1881-1945) Rhapsody No 1 for Violin and Piano, Violin Sonata No 2 Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin Sonata Joseph Szigeti, violin Bela Bartók, piano Recorded Library of Congress, Washington April 13th 1940 VANGUARD OVC 8008 [69’40] [JW]

One of the most decisively important sonata recitals on record. Vanguard’s exemplary production is a matter for rejoicing. … see Full Review

Lili BOULANGER (1883-1918) Clairières dans le ciel* Trois morceaux pour piano, Quatre mélodies§ Jean-Paul Fouchécourt (tenor)*
Áonia de Beaufort (mezzo soprano)§ Alain Jacquon (piano) Recorded 16-18 October 1997, Théâtre de Poissy, France TIMPANI 1C1042 [55.30] [TB]

A most distinguished issue, and I hope it becomes as widely distributed as it deserves to be. … see Full Review

Wolfgang RIHM (b.1952) Jagden und Formen (1995/2001)[51.02] Ensemble Modern/Dominique My - Rec. Sendesaal des Hessischen Rundfunks, Frankfurt, 8/2001 DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON 20-21 471558-2 [51.02] [AT]

An explosively dramatic and expressive piece, and the musicians deserve the highest praise for making it so … see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS(1865-1957) En Saga, Op.9 (1892/1902) [18.03] The Dryad, Op.45 No.1 (1910) [5.07] Dance-Intermezzo, Op.45 No.2 (1904/07) [2.47] Pohjola’s Daughter, Op.49 (1906) [13.10] Night Ride and Sunrise, Op.55 (1908) [17.20] The Bard, Op.64 (1913/14) [7.32] The Oceanides Op.73 (1914) [10.03] Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä Recorded at the Sibelius Hall, Lahti, Finland during August 2000 and May 2001 BIS CD-1225 [75.54]

Vänskä is keeping up to the incredibly high standards he has set himself. … see Full Review

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Songs: Illalle, op. 17/6, Den judiska flickans sång, from Belshazzar’s Feast, op. 51, 6 Songs, op. 36, Jag är etz träd, op. 57/5, Necken, op. 57/8, 5 Songs, op. 37, Vem styrde hit din väg? Op. 90/6, Norden, op. 90/1, 6 Songs, op. 50, Våren flyktar hastigt, op. 13/4, Under strandens granar, op. 13/1 Katarina Karnéus (mezzo-soprano), Julius Drake (pianoforte) Recorded 26th-28th June 2001, location not given HYPERION CDA67318 [65’01"] [CH]

A disc which surely announces the arrival of a major artist. Sibelius’s songs are highly individual, poetic creations, and this is an ideal introduction to them. … see Full Review



BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Douglas LILBURN (1915-2001) The Three Symphonies Symphony No. 1 (1949) Symphony No. 2 (1951) Symphony No. 3 (1959) New Zealand Symphony Orchestra James Judd, conductor Recorded in the Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand, 29th - 31st May 2001. NAXOS 8.555862 [77.16] [NH]

A compulsory purchase for anyone who has not yet encountered these under-exposed masterpieces. if you only buy one CD this year, make sure it is this one….. see Full Review

Leevi MADETOJA (1887-1947) Comedy Overture (1923) [8.31] Kullervo - Symphonic Poem (1913) [14.06] Symphony No. 2 (1918) [42.29] Helsinki PO/Jorma Panula (Comedy Overture) Finnish RSO/Leif Segerstam (Kullervo) Tampere PO/Paavo Rautio (Symphony) rec 1978 (Symphony); 1985 WARNER CLASSICS APEX 0927 43074 2 [65.20] [RB]

Still the leading version of the Second Symphony - lovely, lissom and unemphatic. … see Full Review

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Yevgeny Svetlanov, who died on 3rd May in Moscow, was one of the most mercurial of Russia’s post-war conductors – both in his temperament and his music-making. A frequent visitor to Britain he was due to conduct the Philharmonia on Sunday 5th May in a typical programme of Russian masterworks, music in which he excelled. Over the years, British orchestras, the LSO, LPO and BBC SO amongst them, entrusted the symphonies of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Shostakovich to Svetlanov’s impulsive style of interpretation. But it was the Philharmonia with which he established the most long lasting relationship – one that started in the early 1970s and continued almost annually thereafter. It was rare indeed to find a Philharmonia season in which Svetlanov did not conduct at least one concert. It is, therefore, somewhat ironic that he recorded so little with the orchestra, although the recording he made with the Philharmonia of Glazunov’s Four Season’s is a very fine one.

His style of interpretation owed much to Mravinsky – and like him, Svetlanov was capable of securing a fabulous string sound from his players. His own USSR Orchestra had a profoundly sonorous string tone, and this was something which he partly relished in the European orchestras he guest conducted. Svetlanov never cared much for the brass or woodwind in an orchestra and in Russia at least the sound was often pungent and coarse. If it never sounded too distracting it was partly because Svetlanov’s interpretations inhabited a similar world. I remember a couple of years ago a Mahler 9th which Svetlanov conducted with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra – a performance as dynamic in extremes and explorative in manner as it would be possible to hear today, and a lifetime away from the refined interpretations so often heard in London, Berlin and Vienna. It was a cataclysmic performance which reached real heights of greatness in the great string perorations of the final movement. Typical Svetlanov.

His last concert in Britain was with the BBC SO and critics noticed the sublime playing of an orchestra clearly enjoying the opportunity to play with an inspirational conductor. His concerts were rarely less than inspirational events.

A difficult, even obtuse, man Svetlanov communicated with orchestras only through interpreters – and in one famous instance, with the LPO, by saying absolutely nothing at all for an entire hour and a half of rehearsal; the results were sublime and emphatic in the concert performance. Latterly he had spent much time in the Netherlands and guest conducting elsewhere, a position in part thrust upon Svetlanov by his summary dismissal as chief conductor of his USSR Orchestra two years ago, a position he had held without interruption since the 1960s. His sudden death robs us of a huge talent it is difficult to imagine being replaced: a younger generation of Russian conductors have become a little too westernised to give us the sort of authentic Russian performance Svetlanov excelled at.

Marc Bridle

This year's Proms season has just been announced and it looks like being a vintage season with opera and choral works forming the backbone of this greatest of music festivals. HIghlights of the season must include Prom 30, a performance of Mahler's Eighth Symphony conducted by Simon Rattle (National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain) and Prom 44 a pairing of Martha Argerich and Claudio Abbado with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester in Bartok, Ravel (the G major piano concerto) and Debussy. Also promising to be of outstanding interest are three concerts by the Kirov Opera under Gergiev, including a complete performance of Boris Godunov and the UK premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina's St John Passion. They conclude their visit to the Proms with a performance of Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto (Toradze) and Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony. Bryn Terfel and Renee Fleming sing together in a Welsh National Orchestra Prom spanning Wagner, Strauss, Mozart and light music whilst there is a rare performance of Schoenberg's Romantic masterpiece Gurrelieder under the BBC SO and Donald Runnicles. Visiting orchestras come from Spain, France, Denmark and Holland with Riccardo Chailly conducting his Royal Concertgebouw in Mahler's Third Symphony. The Los Angeles Philharmonic under their chief conductor, Esa Pekka Salonen, play two concerts the first of Debussy, Ravel and Prokofiev and in their second concert take on this years Choral Symphony (coupled with Shostakovich's Second). James Levine makes a welcome return to the Proms with the wonderful Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in an enterprising programme of HIndemith, Mozart, Varese (Ameriques) and Ravel. The LSO have two Proms this year - one under Jansons the other under Haitink, whilst the Philharmonia bring with them their Music Director, Christoph von Dohnanyi in Strauss, Beethoven and Dvorak. The LPO play Elijah under their chief conductor Kurt Masur.

Full details of all Proms can be read on the BBC's website at: www.bbc.co.uk/proms. Seen & Heard will be covering much of the season.

Marc Bridle



MusicWeb is planning its first recording of previously unrecorded orchestral pieces by Arthur Butterworth. If you would wish to part-sponsor that recording please contact len@musicweb-international.com

Did you know you could help sponsor a new recording for as little as £10 - a symphony for £25? such as this one  now reviewed here: GRAHAM WHETTAM  Sinfonia Intrepida   BBCSO/Sir Charles Mackerras.   Redcliffe Recordings RR016 (44' 11'') [PC] Read on

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