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


 


alternatively AmazonUK

Romance
Alexander GLAZUNOV (1865-1936)
Melodie Op.20 No.1 (1891) [8:16]
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
Allegro appassionato Op.43 (1877) [3:49]
Édouard LALO (1823-1892)
Cello Concerto in D minor (1877) [25:27]
Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Rondo in G minor Op.94 (1893) [8:50]
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Andante cantabile – from String Quartet in D major Op.11 (1871) [8:34]
Pablo CASALS (1876-1975)
El cant dels ocells [Song of the Birds] [4:37]
Han-Na Chang (cello)
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Antonio Pappano
rec. December 2005 live; the Lalo Concerto, July 2006. Auditorium Parco della Musica, Rome
EMI CLASSICS 3 82390 2 [59:32]



The disc’s title is Romance and that gives some indication of the trajectory of the music-making. And yet the programme is odd. The ballast is provided by the Lalo concerto, a studio recording, and around it sit satellites of orchestrally-arranged smaller pieces, which were recorded in concert; legitimately arranged by the composers of course.
 
Let’s dispose of some of sweetmeats first. It’s good that she essays the Glazunov as it’s seldom performed or recorded in this form. Nevertheless tonally things are rather unvaried and Chang shows a distinct propensity for over-elastic tempi and too vertiginous an array of dynamics. The Dvořák Rondo takes these things to excess. This is a very droopy, inert performance with rubati that clog the line rendering it lifeless. You wouldn’t catch Sádlo doing this kind of thing. Things get even worse with the Tchaikovsky, which is terribly slow, completely lacking in contrast and bathed in a matte finish of generic tonal responses. Even the Casals piece sounds somnambulant.
 
These are all very disappointing performances, rendered all the more so because Chang is clearly a finely equipped player who has here surrendered herself to the luxury of indulgence. This refers to tempi and to tonal resources equally. The main issue however is the Lalo and here things are somewhat better, though the qualifier is important. What one lacks in this performance is light and shade, discrimination regarding bow weight and subtleties of vibrato usage and, vitally, finding the essential character of the piece. Chang prefers a rather all-purpose vibrato and a generic sense of drama. Passages are insufficiently characterised. In the Intermezzo we find her vibrato clogging phraseology to such an extent that phrases refuse to lift or float free. It’s the obverse of the Rose and the Starker performances and utterly removed from a classic performance by Maurice Maréchal where he phrases with such deftness and sensitivity that we are, for a moment, in the realms of pure song.
 
So, to sum up, this is a strange programme, generically performed, efficiently accompanied. We have a soloist with charisma and technique but little awareness of apt style. I wonder whether, if she’d played, say, the Dvořák Rondo in recital in the version for cello and piano things would have turned out differently. Maybe she’d have exercised greater discipline without the orchestra to buoy her. Still, maybe not, and we can only judge what we can hear.
 
Jonathan Woolf
 



 


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.