Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

CD REVIEW



Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 


Preiser records 

 

 

Michael Bohnen (1887-1965) - Volume 3
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Der fliegende Hollander: Die Frist ist urn [8:02]
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Was duftet doch der Flieder [4:07]; Gut'n Abend, Meister with Lotte Lehmann [8:35]; Wahn! Wahn! Überall Wahn! [6:26]; Gruss Gott. mein Junker with Ernst Kraus [8:44]; Euch macht ihr's leicht [3:48]
Die Walküre: Lebt wohl. du kühnes. herrliches [6:59]
Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893)
Faust: O gib junges Blut with Robert Hutt [6:01];  Ja, das Gold regiert die Well [2:01]; Scheinst zu schlafen du im Stübchen [3:15]; Auf eilet!  with Lotte Lehmann and Robert Hutt [2:30]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Rigoletto: Gleich sind wir beide [3:57]
Ruggiero LEONCAVALLO (1858-1919)
Bajazzo; Schaut her, ich bin's [3:35]
Giuseppe PUCCINI (1854-1928)
Tosca: Spät in der Nacht ist's [4:17]
Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884)
Die verkaufte Braut: Weiss ich doch Eine with Robert Hutt [2:33]
Michael Bohnen (bass-baritone)
Unnamed orchestras and conductors
rec. 1916-25
PREISER 89676 [76:00]

 


Preiser has reached the third volume of its laudable Bohnen series and with it the core of his 1916-17 Odeons. Flanking them – this particular disc doesn’t run chronologically but divides into handy composer blocks – we find Grammophon sides from 1916 and later. The final track, the Smetana extract from The Bartered Bride, is a late acoustic dating from 1925 and therefore the only side to stand on the cusp of electric recordings.

Bohnen was famed for his characterization and for some outsize stage magnetism. Fortunately much of this histrionic quality was preserved in the performances on disc – though not always to the betterment of credible impersonations it has to be admitted. In Wagner he was often magnificent. One of the most valuable things about this latest Preiser is to have the complete Odeon tranche available in one sitting. They suffered limited distribution because though they were recorded in 1916 and 1917 they weren’t released until after the War – and then on a limited basis outside German speaking countries. Looked at biographically these earliest sides are remarkable inasmuch as Bohnen only made his debut in 1910 and it was really only his successful Wagnerian roles in 1914 that brought him to prominence. But Odeon’s confidence was not misplaced nor that of Grammophon for whom he sang at the same time.

One needs to discount the typically weak brass dominated organisation – let’s not call it an orchestra – provided by Odeon. The voice is the thing. And Bohnen brings a steady emission of perfectly sustained bass-baritonal magnificence to many of these sides. Pitch is seldom a real issue, and the top register never feels forced whilst the bottom is rounded and secure. His conception is individual and theatrically impressive. What might not impress quite so much is that lion-mane shaking of the voice. He does it in one of the many extended Mastersinger extracts, Was duftet doch der Flieder where one might also find the voice a touch on the hollow side. But how fortunate that so many Mastersinger sides were recorded and how richly full of character the singing. Joining him is Lotte Lehmann is full, fresh voice and when Bohnen chuckles it’s the real deal with nothing coarse about it or stagey – not here at least. The gravity of the sole example from Walküre is also notable – tonal variety and dramatic but within reasonable limits.

Maybe the other examples of his art are less comprehensively successful. One feels him out-sung stylistically by his colleague  Robert Hutt in their foray into Faust. Both men are joined by Lehmann for a 1916 Grammophon Faust; Lehmann sounds distant – so maybe she was standing rather too far away from the recording horn. Bohnen’s take on Leoncavallo is certainly different. He ranges from barking strictures to watery portamenti and most stops in between; hardly idiomatic but an avid example of how he approached the repertoire. The Smetana scene with Hutt makes for an engaging, jovial and enjoyable envoi. 

The transfers have minimal wear and have not been over-filtered – they’re warm and natural sounding. Bohnen collectors will certainly want this latest instalment.

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
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
 

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.