One of the most grown-up review sites around

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

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             



Classico Records

Tonya Lemoh - piano
Franz LISZT (1811-1886) La Vallée d'Obermann [11:45]
Frederick CHOPIN (1810-1849) Sonata in B minor Op. 35 no. 2 [19:17]
Charles GRIFFES (1884-1920) The White Peacock (Roman Sketches Op. 7 no. 1), The Fountain of the Acqua Paola (Roman Sketches op. 7 no. 3) [4:16; 2:55]
Niels Viggo BENTZON (1919-2000) Suite (Ouverture, Rigaudon, Courante, Sarabande, Menuet, Réjouissance, Sicilienne, Gigue) [10:08]
Alberto GINASTERA (1916-1983) Danzas Argentinas (Danza del viejo boyero; Danze de la moza danosa; Danza del gaucho matrero) [7:49]
J.S. BACH arr F. BUSONI Ich ruf' zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ BWV 639 [3:27]
Tonya Lemoh (piano)
rec. live, Musikhuset Aarhus 3 Nov 2004.

This is an enterprising ClassicO disc of a recital given in Aarhus by Tonya Lemoh, an Australian pianist now on the piano faculty at Copenhagen University. It makes for a most diverting concert programme and if some limitations are evident it certainly doesnít diminish enthusiasm for some important features of her musicianship. Nor indeed of her invigorating choice of the Bentzon (more later), Ginastera and the Griffes.

The domestic catalogue is certainly not groaning under the weight of Griffes piano recordings, and that despite the fact that Myra Hess, no less, recorded a famous disc of The White Peacock back in 1929. The piano version is seldom programmed these days and itís enjoyable to hear Lemohís performance, though the rather swimmy acoustic rather drains it of immediacy. The Fountain of the Acqua Paola fares rather better in his respect, which is fortunate as this is a work even less performed than its Opus mate. I enjoyed its glittering expressionism in this performance.

Ginasteraís Danzas Argentinas must owe something at least linguistically to Granados but the fruity, rhythmic nationalism is all Ginasteraís own. Short though they are the trio is convincingly played here Ė thereís buoyant malambo rhythm for the first, and a Criollo slow, sinuous second cousin of Ragtime, dance for number two. The third is a driving moto perpetuo, and a malambo of real vigour, played here with great assurance and attack.

Chopinís sonata takes a while to get going and is consistently fast in the opening. I enjoyed the good più lento section in the Scherzo. Itís a shame that it didnít settle down because the makings of an understanding performance are there. Brave of her to take on the Liszt, though its gargantuan presence is clearly not off-putting.

Bentzonís Suite is a "transcribed version of a live performance" that the composer gave. There are eight movements. He declined an invitation to write down his own improvised performance, impishly declaring that he would write another sonata instead, so it was Tonya Lemoh and her husband, Thomas Walbum (Bentzonís nephew) who transcribed it. Dating though it does from the 1970s and fully improvised itís still a most rewarding opportunity to hear some "new" Bentzon. All the movements are short and they move from baroque sounding procedures, to rhythmic drive and neo-classicism. The Rigaudon is playful, the Courante surgingly dramatic, the Sarabande compact and concentrated, the Réjouissance suitably driving and full of élan, and the Sicilienne is elegant and weighted with aplomb.

Thereís an encore to end the concert in the shape of the Bach-Busoni Ich rufí zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ. She takes a good tempo but phrase endings are rather droopy as a result of excessive rubato. But there are rewarding things here and Lemohís proselytising on behalf of Bentzon is especially to be welcomed.

Jonathan Woolf

see also review from Rob Barnett



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

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

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1



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.