£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    


CD REVIEW



Some items
to consider


BRAHMS Complete Edition
58CD £95.22


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

alternatively AmazonUK   AmazonUS


 

 

Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY
(1840-1893) The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act 2a (1892) [43:58] Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
The Bolt
- Suite, Op. 27aa (1930/31) [14:06] Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Scènes de ballet
b (1948) [17:58]
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
rec. live aRoyal Albert Hall, London, 18 August 1987, bRoyal Festival Hall, London, 29 April 1981. ADD/aDDD
BBC LEGENDS BBCL42042
[77:34]

Gennady Rozhdestvensky has always been a much loved guest in the UK. His affable persona, his larger-than-life baton and his seemingly unquenchable appetite for new music - be it literally new to the page or new in terms of need of resurrection - and his clear affinity with his players all mixed together to result in performances which frequently exuded magic. 

And it is fairy-tale magic that is the order of the day here in the second act of Nutcracker. This act excerpts particularly well, given that it includes a Divertissement of six dances (including the famous 'Danse arabe') immediately prior to the beloved 'Dance of the flowers'. Phrasing is a dream throughout, particularly from the strings, and makes up for the slightly dull recording and recessed violins. Each dance is individually characterised. Try the gossamer web of muted strings in the 'Danse arabe' and contrast that with the headlong sprint of the 'Trepak'. True, the muddiness characteristic of the venue can muddy detail, but the spirit is all there. I cannot in all truth prefer this to a live performance of Act 2 I attended in 2003 with the London Symphony Orchestra under Temirkanov at the Barbican, but there is still plenty to enjoy. 

Shostakovich's three-act ballet, The Bolt (1930/31) calls upon circus-like antics right from its outrageous opening. Interestingly, there is delicate string counterpoint later on before a bassoon reasserts buffoonery in no uncertain manner. The second movement, a Polka entitled 'The Bureaucrat', is spiky and bare (piccolo, trombone and bassoon feature soloistically), while comedy also informs the ensuing 'Intermezzo' - plenty of caricature here, not to mention good-natured faux-dignity. The final 'Drayman's Dance' returns to the outrageous. 

Finally Stravinsky's Scènes de ballet, whose acidic tones sound almost welcoming after the Shostakovich! Rhythms are here sharply etched, while the woodwind show much agility: 'Pantomine', for example. What shines through most, though, is the conductor's insatiable appetite for moments that delight or amuse; and this is just what the Stravinsky, in particular, seems to be about. 

This disc is also a celebration of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The BBCSO is probably the UK's most adaptable orchestra. It has amazed under conductors as diverse as Günter Wand and Pierre Boulez - with Rozhdestvensky coming somewhere in between? A most stimulating disc. 

Colin Clarke

 

 


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
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 

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.