This addition to the Naxos
‘Great Conductors’ series does not disappoint.
The partnership between Weingartner (1863-1942) and Marguerite
Long in the C minor Concerto works well, with sensitive balance
between the supportive warm orchestral sound and the personal
approach of the pianist. The first movement is taken at an appropriate
pace and moves along with some style. In spite of the limitations
of the small hall used for the recording the piano sound is
in the foreground and allows the listener to enjoy the soloist’s
technique. Long plays the cadenza written by Beethoven’s contemporary
Ignaz Moscheles. The Largo is thoughtful
and poetic, with a real sense of unity between orchestra and
soloist, and the Rondo Allegro brings the work to a satisfying
conclusion, although there is a brief moment of pianistic bravura,
which interrupts the movement. The recording is comparatively
noisy but the music soon overcomes this.
Triple Concerto provided Weingartner with three near contemporaries
in this, the first recording of the work. Although most of the
complexity of the concerto falls on the cello, the other instruments
contribute well to the overall sound. Stefan Auber plays his
sometimes daunting role with considerable panache, although
the cello sound is occasionally more insistently to the fore
than that of the other soloists. Morales balances
well with her fellow soloists, and demonstrates her individual
skills appropriately. I did have some occasional problems with
Odnoposoff’s intonation, but it did
not affect my overall enjoyment.
Weingartner has no problems with controlling and encouraging
the orchestral sound, as well as providing a well-rounded interpretation. Those who wish to add to their knowledge and
appreciation of Weingartner should be well satisfied with this
are other ‘historic’ recordings of both works, Andante has the
same soloist in the C minor Concerto as part of a Beethoven
Concertos collection, and Pearl includes the Triple together
with the Weingartner Hammerklavier orchestration.
addition to the Naxos series is excellent artistic value for anyone who already values Weingartner’s
Beethoven interpretations, or who just wants an example of fine
orchestral and solo artistry from the last century.
See also reviews
by Jonathan Woolf and Colin