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   AmazonUS

 

 

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Symphony No. 3 in A minor Scottish Op.44 [34:17]
Symphony No. 5 in D minor Reformation Op. 107 [30:42]
François COUPERIN (1668-1733)
Overture and Allegro from the sonata “La Sultane” (transcription by Darius Milhaud)  [7:49]
Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester/Dmitri Mitropoulos
rec. Funkhaus, Saal 1, WDR Cologne, 24 October 1960 (Scottish Symphony), 19 July 1957 (Reformation Symphony), 16 July 1954
MEDICI MASTERS MM014-2 [74:21]

 


By the late 1950s the once-illustrious career of Dmitri Mitropoulos at the helm of the New York Philharmonic had run into trouble. The conductor’s own essentially gentle, non-combative attitude to music-making did not earn him the respect of the hard-bitten NYPO musicians of the time. He was neither an orchestral trainer nor a martinet of the podium à la Szell. His dedication to contemporary music and his unconventional approach to programme-building was not reflected in support from the notoriously conventional Carnegie Hall audiences.  He was the subject of regular and frequently personal attacks in the New York press. As Mitropoulos’s star waned, that of his erstwhile protégé Leonard Bernstein was in the ascendant, providing New York audiences with the glamour and glitz which were absent from the Greek conductor’s make-up.  Small wonder that Mitropoulos, his health seriously affected by the stresses of the last few years, looked to Europe to continue the music-making that was so important to him. 

A series of memorable performances in Salzburg, Vienna and elsewhere consolidated his reputation on that side of the Atlantic. The current disc brings together three separate studio performances with the Kölner Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester from this period.

Mitropoulos had performed and recorded these Mendelssohn Symphonies in 1953 in New York, but these German recordings are better in terms of both sound and performance.  The Scottish Symphony recording dates from 24 October 1960, just a week before Mitropoulos memorable performance of Mahler’s Third Symphony with the same forces, and ten days before his death while rehearsing the same work in Milan. The opening movement is energetic, with imposingly dramatic playing and dynamic contrasts. The Vivace non troppo is a delight, performed faster than is customary, creating a riot of sound and colour. The Adagio is marked by heartfelt cantabile playing from the whole orchestra, followed by a suitably energetic finale.

The Reformation Symphony dates from a 1957 concert and shares the virtues of energy and commitment that distinguished the Scottish. The transition in the finale from the simplicity of the chorale melody on flute to the jubilant allegro vivace is extremely well handled, and the music’s many contrapuntal strands are effectively highlighted. Mitropoulos brings the symphony to a suitably affirmative close.

The Couperin transcription by Darius Milhaud provides a good example of the breadth of Mitropoulos’s repertoire. In the same 1954 concert he conducted Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto with Louis Krasner as soloist. The music sounds not dissimilar to the contemporary arrangements of Bach by Stokowski, Ormandy and others in its unashamed use of full orchestral forces. The opening minuet is treated to lush phrasing before a more energetic march-like allegro. This rounds off this valuable disc in fine style.

In all these pieces Mitropoulos is skilled in balancing the structural aspects of the music with its dramatic, expressive side. All provide further evidence, if any were needed, of this great conductor’s total absorption in music-making, and fully justify the high reputation he enjoys today.

Ewan McCormick

 

 


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.