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



TROUBADISC

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


FOGHORN Classics


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


New Releases

Naxos Classical


Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

 


Obtain 10% discount

 


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
Ph. 020 8418 0616
jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 


 

Buy through MusicWeb for £11.00 postage paid World Wide. Try it on Sale or Return
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Musicweb Purchase button

Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941)
Oration - Concerto elegiaco for cello and orchestra H180 (1930) [31:07]
Phantasm for piano and orchestra H182  (1931) [27:19]
Julian Lloyd Webber (cello);  Peter Wallfisch (piano)
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite
rec. Southwark, October 1976 (Oration) and Kingsway Hall, November 1975 (Phantasm)
LYRITA SRCD.244 [58:32]



To begin I can do no better than to quote what Rob Barnett said in his review of this recording: "This is a disc for Bridge connoisseurs".  Those who are collecting Richard Hickox's set of the complete Bridge orchestral music on Chandos may feel that they do not need a second recording of these two Bridge masterworks. Those who have been long-term admirers of the composer will probably already have these recordings in some form. I will try to provide a few reasons why this particular version is important.
 
Bridge's Phantasm has been ably recorded by Howard Shelley in the Chandos set, but it must be said that the performance by Peter Wallfisch on Lyrita is perhaps the most distinguished of his career. The work is based on two related ideas that are taken though four complex movements and is spectral throughout and frequently terrifying. This is where Wallfisch excels - he brings these aspects out in a mixture of increasing and decreasing intensities that ably serves Bridge. In this he is brilliantly assisted by Nicholas Braithwaite, creator of so many fine Lyrita recordings (see my review of his performance of the Rawsthorne Symphony No. 2).  The recording dates from 1977 and was an excellent one for the time, although it had a tendency to be a little murky. That problem has been cleared up in the digital re-mastering and the sound is now almost like new, except for certain woodwind passages in the third section.
 
Julian Lloyd Webber was at a different place in his career when he made this recording of Oration, but he provides the seriousness that this piece requires and occasionally his playing is extremely searching and incisive. Oration  comprises eight sections, mostly varying between moderato and allegro, leading to a searing lento, followed by a slightly hopeful andante. It is unique in its particular brand of sadness. We expect sadness from an anti-war work, but Bridge's sadness contains a weariness that make it stand out from a work such as Bliss's more heroic Morning Heroes, almost as if it's too much effort not to be sad. Lloyd Webber is best in the connected fourth and fifth sections - an ironic march leading to a progressively more enervated cadenza. Again Braithwaite and the LPO provide splendid support, although their contribution is not quite as crucial as in the Phantasm.
 
Overall, I prefer Lyrita's Phantasm to the Chandos version, in spite of the recording issues, while I think Raphael Wallfisch's Oration on Chandos and Lloyd Webber's are about equal in terms of depth. The recording of the latter by Alban Gerhardt I have not heard. Overall, the Wallfisch family does well, although only one Lloyd Webber was present. As said above, not a recording for everyone interested in these Bridge masterworks, but one many will want to have.
 
William Kreindler

see reviews by Rob Barnett (Recording of the Month) and Ian Lace
 



 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

 

Recordings of the Month

March


piano music Vol 4


Charpentier


Songs of Love and Sorrow


Thomas Agerfeldt OLESEN
Cello Concerto


The female in Music

 

February

January


Linda BUCKLEY
From Ocean’s Floor

 

 

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.