Search MusicWeb Here

 

selling Internationaly

aSymphonies 1 and 5 £9.00 post free

See also

Symphonies 2 and 3


Vision of Judgement £9 post free

Newest Releases


Symphonies 4&5 £9 post free

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

 

CD REVIEW

 

Some items
to consider

 

  • Menuhin lost tapes
  • Overtures SACD
  • Krommer Flute Quartets
  • Schubert Piano Trios 2CD
  • Menuhin lost tapes


Let me tell you


David Pia


Beethoven Rattle


Highly Impressive


Matthews Shostakovich
Sheer delight!


To live with


outstanding retrospective


A superb celebration


flair, insight, controversy


outstanding singing

 


Sheer bliss


best thing I’ve heard this year

this really exciting release

 

 

alternatively AmazonUK   AmazonUS

 

George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759)
Solomon
(1748)
Ewa Wolak (mezzo) – Solomon
Elizabeth Scholl (soprano) – Pharoah’s Daughter, Queen/Second Woman
Nicola Wemyss (soprano) – Nicaule, Queen of Sheba/First Woman
Knut Schoch (tenor) – Zadok/Attendant
Matthias Vieweg (bass) – Levite
Junge Kantorei
Frankfurt Baroque Orchestra/Joachim Carlos Martini
rec. live, Kloster Eberbach, Rheingau, Germany, 30 May 2004
NAXOS 8.557574-5 [81:06 + 79:01]


There are too many things wrong with this live recording for any kind of meaningful recommendation. The choral sound is mushy and indistinct and the spatial separation between the choir and the orchestra seems to have been magnified by the recording process – the location clearly didn’t help either. Martini, whose extensive series of recordings has done some valuable work, here seems hidebound and unable to inject rhythmic buoyancy into the proceedings. His soloists are very variable as well, and the orchestra sounds uninspired by the goings-on.

Of the singers, bass Matthias Vieweg seems occasionally taxed by the demands of Praise ye the Lord. Kurt Schoch has a light and well-focused tenor though he suffers some breath control problems in Sacred raptures. Elisabeth Scholl makes a reasonable show; her Queen’s aria Bless’d the Day is quite attractively done. Nicola Wemyss, the Queen of Sheba, understands what she’s singing about more than most. She colours the text intelligently in Part III’s Ev’ry sight these eyes behold. In fact she’s the only singer to whom the words seem to mean much and the fact that she’s Scottish is one of the reasons why.

I’ve saved the title role for last. Ewa Wolak has a remarkable voice. Her operatic mezzo, coffee dark and big of vibrato, is intrinsically most exciting and in some ways beautiful. But here, at least, she suffers so many technical problems that it’s difficult to assess her objectively. She’s hooty, with an unsupported lower part of the voice (causing it to go flat all too often) and an indistinct sense of pitch. She also attacks under the note, swooping up – a trait that has to stop. But in some ways hers is a most unusual voice; it put me in mind of David Daniels with a very heavy cold. It has a masculine ring but a shortage of colour. Still, like Eva Podleš, another idiosyncratic Polish Handelian, I’m going to keep my ears open for Wolak.

But apart from these somewhat constrained virtues this set is a big disappointment. Choruses are limp – Praise the Lord goes slack very early – and the direction sometimes annoying. The accompaniment to the beautiful duet Welcome as the dawn of day constantly distracts the ear with its fatuous fussiness. On the plus side the text hasn’t been hacked about ŕ la Beecham – but God, for an ounce of the Bart’s passion. McCreesh is the front-runner, textually and musically, but my admiration for the Gardiner, a favourite recording of mine, is still strong.

Jonathan Woolf

see also Reviews by Göran Forsling and Glyn Pursglove




 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Altus
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Prima voce
Red Priest
Redcliffe
Retrospective
Saydisc
Sheva
Toccata Classics
Wyastone


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

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

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.