One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider


Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

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

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases



The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation


such a success


An outstanding performance


make acquaintance without delay


Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc


Strong advocacy
for a British composer


Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted


Piano Music 5CDs


Consistently fine


Rare and interesting repertoire


An excellent introduction


A Celebration on Record


An issue of importance


Richard RIJNVOS
A splendid disc


both enlightening and rewarding
additional review

 


alternatively Crotchet

Michael TIPPETT (1905-1998)
Concerto for Double String Orchestra (1938-39) [25:02]
Alban BERG (1885-1935)
Concerto for violin and orchestra (1935) [28:29]*
Leoš JANÂČEK (1854-1928)
Sinfonietta (1924) [24:12]
Edith Peinemann (violin) *
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Rudolf Kempe
rec. Royal Festival Hall, 18 February 1976 (Tippett and Berg); Fairfield Hall, Croydon, 12 October 1975 (Janáček)
BBC LEGENDS BBCL 4215-2 [78:03]



With Kempe at the helm we can be assured of elevated and noble performances. The BBC Legends issue captures him in two concerts given four months apart. The February 1976 concert was given at the Royal Festival Hall and gives us not unexpected fare – Berg – and decidedly unusual repertoire for Kempe in the form of Tippett’s Concerto for Double String Orchestra.
 
This positively crackles with rhythmic energy and dynamism, the strings responding with admirable precision and unanimity of attack. The result is a performance of real standing and a precious surviving example of Kempe’s small repertoire of British works. I think most listeners would find the Adagio cantabile the most arresting and remarkable of the three movements in this performance. It’s not just the palpable warmth of the phrasing; it’s the sheer depth of the warmth, the unusual tenderness and lyric freedom that Kempe locates at its heart. This is freely and fully sustained over ten and a half remarkable minutes, as the music ebbs and flows, buoyed by sure dynamics and a tremendous ear for balance and the peak of a phrase. But nothing in this performance should be underestimated. The finale too has buoyancy and admirable flexibility. And it’s a magnificent performance all round.
 
Kempe partners Edith Peinemann in the Berg Concerto. She plays with true architectural awareness and with a chamber intimacy that ensures that the concerto is projected with sympathetic and moving directness. This is not to imply that it’s too pliant a performance; far from it. She has plenty of grit in her Guarneri and she’s not afraid to coarsen the tone when necessary. It brings a multi-dimensionary quality to the performance. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the Chorale statement, which is lucid, calming and gentle. This is a potent survival and augments Peinemann’s sparse discography excellently. Due to misunderstandings with agents early in her career she wasn’t given the opportunities to record that should have come her way, given her excellence as a player. She is seventy at the time of writing and this is a valuable and lasting example of her art.
 
Kempe made a well regarded recording of the Glagolitic Mass and he was no stranger to Janáček. At the Fairfield Halls he leads a highly effective reading. If I sound equivocal I probably shouldn’t but a small detail bothers me. He’s rather ponderous in the central movement – maybe he’s projecting a specifically military tone and timbre here but it sounds to me rather staid at the selected tempo. And post-Bakala and Mackerras as Janáček proponents of this work Kempe’s instincts in the finale are perhaps rather too composed for real ascendancy.
 
There is good sound quality and minimal audience noise. Marshalled by Kempe this trio of performances has much to offer. The Berg and the Tippett are the most noteworthy and elevated; the latter remarkably so.
 
Jonathan Woolf
 



 

We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage


a vibrant slice of life


BRITISH CELLO WORKS
stylistically assured


About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs


Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome


An inspired partnership
additional review


TOSCA
A valuable document



Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


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

 

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.