£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every Day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor: Rob Barnett  
Founder Len Mullenger   
 



CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo


String Quartet 1 & 2
Pavel Hass Quartet


RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Dvorak Opera Premiere
BEST SELLER


The Best


Vanhal


Francis Pott


Mahler 9 Elder


New Lyrita Release


British Violin and Cello Concertos


Lyrita New Recording


RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Ritchie Symphony 4

Mozart concertos

Editorial Board
MusicWeb
Classical Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


alternatively AmazonUK

 

 

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
Complete Piano Music 2

Puppets Book III H92 (1914) [9:35]
Puppets Book II H116 (1918) [12:58]
Puppets Book I H137 (1924) [11:09]
Film en miniature H148 (1925) [13:21]
Spring in the Garden H125 (1920) [7:12]
Butterflies and Birds of Paradise H127 (1920) [15:36]
The Fifth Day of the Fifth Moon H318 (1948) [2:57]
Les bouquinistes du Quai Malaquais H319 (1948) [1:31]
Giorgio Koukl (piano)
rec. RSI Lugano, October 2005
NAXOS 8.557918 [74:19]



This is the second of Giorgio Koukl’s recordings of the complete Martinů solo piano music (see review of volume 1). I was fortunate inasmuch as Koukl sent me pre-production copies of some of his performances – though none from this volume - and I was therefore able to hear that his playing was athletic, brisk and fully up to all technical challenges. So it proves in this volume, one that brings together all three sets of Loutky (Puppets).
 
They were published in reverse order over the decade between 1914 and 1924. Thus set three is the earliest and is heard first. Major competition of course comes in the shape of Emil Leichner’s boxed set but as I’ve noted elsewhere Koukl and Leichner approach Martinů in strongly contrasted ways; the former tends to have sharper rhythms and is quicker, the latter more romanticised. This is a crude summary but it embeds an essential truth. That said Leichner prefers more harpsichord-like staccati in the first of set III. Elsewhere Koukl’s Columbine is far more active and less clement than Leichner’s. The Puppet Ball is voiced more richly and powerfully in Koukl’s hands.
 
I don’t have a score to hand but Koukl doesn’t seem to take the repeat in Harlequin in set II – if one is written. Leichner certainly does. There’s a textual matter to be resolved here. One notes how in set I Koukl’s New Puppet struts with a more determined dynamism. Here Leichner embeds some halting embarrassment into the playing – just right for the newcomer, I think. The hesitant shyness of the next number is deftly delineated by Leichner through subtle articulation – perhaps Koukl is rather too bluff and matter-of-fact for this Shy Puppet.
 
The best music in this volume is Butterflies and Birds of Paradise, that efflorescent outpouring of glittering impressionism from 1920. There’s little difference in strictly temporal terms between Koukl and Leichner. Koukl glints more in the first of the three though he’s arguably less rapturous but he plays throughout with real verve and command – and an array of appropriate tone colours as well. Splendid playing.
 
Film en miniature is not often recorded. The rhythms are generic and very much of their time – the vogue for the Tango in 1925 was as potent as ever. This was a product of the composer’s Parisian years and it’s no surprise that the most arresting of the six brief movements is the Ukolébavka, a Czech dance. Spring in the Gardens has a nocturnal lulling sweetness – these are four brief Czech songs. And finally we have two post-Second War slivers. The Fifth Day of the Fifth Moon is Chinese pentatonic and dedicated to the wife of Tcherepnin. Les bouquinistes du Quai Malaquais by contrast is a jocular effusion reminiscent of his long Parisian sojourn – and it doffs the cap to native models, notably Poulenc.
 
Excellently performed, recorded and well annotated – no complaints then of this admirable second Koukl volume.
 
Jonathan Woolf   
 


 


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
Altus
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

Sample: See what you will get
 

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.