One of the most grown-up review sites around

2020
54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

CD REVIEW



Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

Jonny-Bradley-handmade-knives
Johnny Bradley
Handmade Kitchen Knives

 


 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 


Buy through MusicWeb for 14.30/15.10/15.60 postage paid.
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Musicweb Purchase button

The British Book
Judith WEIR (b. 1954)

String Quartet (1990) [13:27]
Edward ELGAR (1857–1934)

String Quartet in E minor Op.83 (1918) [26:11]
Peter Maxwell DAVIES (b. 1934)

Little Quartet No.1 (1980) [8:50]
Little Quartet No.2 (1977, rev. 1987) [4:03]
Reinhold-Quartett
rec. MDR Chorsaal, Augustplatz, Leipzig, April, December 2005
GENUIN GEN 86065 [52:59]


 

The Weir and the Maxwell Davies quartets were new to me and my search for alternative recordings has been unsuccessful. Weir’s Quartet – only her second work for string ensemble after the String Trio of 1985 – was originally written for the Endellion Quartet in 1990. It is in part based on a number of her songs, though these are pretty much of a starting-point. The result is a highly substantial, strongly emotional composition with plenty of attractive textures; her consciously avoiding techniques such as col legno results in an extremely well-crafted work full of atmosphere.

Equally impressive are the two Little Quartets by Maxwell Davies which have not yet been released by Naxos. The second had a spectacular genesis: initially composed for Henze’s 1977 Montepulciano Festival, it was lost in the mail, and was re-written only in 1987, five years after the composition of the first quartet. The first Little Quartet with its sparse textures in the first movement, the lively second and the lyrical third, as well as the short (some 4 minutes) one-movement second Little Quartet offer plenty of opportunities for the members of one of the foremost East German orchestras to excel technically. They tackle this unusual repertoire at the highest level of accomplishment.

In the company of the more contemporary works the Elgar attains a somewhat different quality. This is aided by a kind of "Germanic" approach which places the work even more firmly in the Beethoven–Brahms–Schoenberg tradition. This adds certain aspects though it also takes away quite a bit of Elgar’s famous "Englishness"; what I would like to call the "Elgarian line" which is a very typical way of melodic invention and development. For my part, when listening to Elgar I want to hear Elgar and not a German tradition - one might sometimes even call it "ignorance" - which sadly I have to encounter fairly regularly when German ensembles perform British music. I soon became bored by this interpretation. The mere expression of Elgar’s compositional techniques does not in itself result in a lively performance. This is somewhat self-contented and self-contained though technically speaking at an exceptionally secure level.

Sadly, the booklet notes display the usual ignorance of British music - knowledge of Elgar in Germany is still in a deplorable state - and the English translation is in part even worse. The translators apparently did not know what a Master of the Queen’s Music is. Thus this engaging undertaking is marred by a few drawbacks. Still, the overall impression is favourable, especially with regard to the value of the new recordings of the Weir and Maxwell Davies. The recording engineers of Mid-German Radio (mdr) offer excellent sound in an appropriate acoustics

Jürgen Schaarwächter

See also review by Hubert Culot

 


Advertising on
Musicweb


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

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

December
(short month)


Orphic Moments


Metamorphoses Books I & II

November


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali


Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4


French Cello Concertos

 

October


Shostakovich

 

 

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.