One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

BUY NOW 

  AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Richard HOL (1825-1904)
Symphonies: No. 2 in D minor, Op. 44 (1866) [32’49]; No. 4 in A (1889) [29’33].
Residentie Orchestra The Hague/Matthias Bamert.
Rec. Dr Anton Philipszaal, The Hague, Netherlands, on March 21st-23rd, 2001. DDD
CHANDOS CHAN9952 [62’35]

 


This is a tremendously interesting disc. The care lavished on two premiere recordings inspires so much respect in this reviewer. I see there are three backers’ logos on the back of the CD, which may help to explain the financing. This is in effect a companion disc to Hol’s Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3 on CHAN9796 (review).

There are echoes of Mendelssohn, Brahms and Dvořák in both of the present works. The layout of the Second Symphony is traditional – slow introduction to first movement; Adagio (subtitled ‘Preghiera’), Scherzo and Finale. Mendelssohn is present in abundance in the Presto Scherzo; very on-the-toes in this performance.

Bamert and his orchestra relish the opportunity to act as advocates for this music and the Chandos engineers have produced a top-flight recording. The mysterious slow introduction leads to an active, determined Allegro molto agitato. Definition in the strings is excellent. This is nicely constructed music, most affectionately played.

The Adagio (‘Preghiera’) begins in a deeply peaceful vein, and flows wonderfully throughout its ten-minute duration, chiefly because Bamert has found the tempo giusto. Bamert goes for the intense approach in the finale, which initially I believed to be too much so, yet it works, especially when the contrast of the Mendelssohnian Scherzo reappears around 2’30.

The Fourth Symphony is in a bright and sunny A major and accordingly dispenses with the need for a shadowy slow introduction. Instead Hol opts for a more approachable Andante prior to the main Allegro moderato. This is extrovert music.

Hol has a written-out slow introduction for the Presto; i.e. using longer note values to imply this tempo, or so I assume from the booklet notes. There is a Dvořák connection here – Dvořák in his energy-drenched mode, that is. There are distinctly darker shadows right at the end, presumably to lead into the interior slow movement. This is a glorious piece and is exquisitely played by the Hague orchestra. The finale is festive, bringing to this reviewer’s mind Schumann’s ‘Rhenish’ symphony.

The playing time is on the low side; only just over an hour. I see Hol wrote an opera called Floris V (1892) – does this have an overture? Could it have been extracted, I wonder? No matter. This is an excellent disc that merits investigation.

Colin Clarke


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews


All Chandos reviews


All Hyperion reviews


All Foghorn reviews


All Troubadisc reviews


Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All Eloquence reviews


All Lyrita Reviews

 


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali


Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4


French Cello Concertos

 

October


Shostakovich

 


Return to 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.