Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

alternatively AmazonUK AmazonUS

 

Hans OTTE (1926-2007)
Stundenbuch (Book of Hours) – forty-eight pieces for piano for two hands, in two volumes (1991-98) [57:06]
Roger Woodward (piano)
rec. Radio Bremen Concert Hall (Sendesaal), January 2006
CELESTIAL HARMONIES 13259
[57:06]

 

Experience Classicsonline


Hans Otte, who was born in 1926 and died in 2007, was musical director of Radio Bremen between 1959 and 1984. He was a Hindemith pupil and a fine pianist in his own right. The Book of Hours – Stundenbuch – had a relatively long eight-year gestation and bears the laconic, but detailed subtitle “forty-eight pieces for piano for two hands, in two volumes”.

Almost all the movements are refined and refractive and only one exceeds two and three quarter minutes in length. Some indeed last no more than forty seconds. Their concentration doesn’t imply  terseness or superficiality. But they do have the status of arrested time, a profoundly involving sense of spiritual density despite their brevity.

Otte employs the idea of the medieval Book of Hours – “of monastic life – of pilgrimage – of poverty and death” – in a way that is explicitly studied, meditative and spiritual. With the amazingly clear and warm recorded sound and the excellent embracing acoustic, Roger Woodward’s Bösendorfer sings with luminous beauty.

With so much that is refined and still, it’s hard to pick moments that are more descriptive than others or that point to sources of inspiration other than those already outlined. But there are pointers; Feldman is perhaps an influence, Cage too. In the fourth piece of Book I one can feel questing hints of Bartók. The circular, drifting patterns of No.8 have a gravitational allure independent of any putative influence. The stillness of No.11 carries its own lucid charge. Elsewhere we can hear a sort of very stripped down Debussy – an influence that Otte might have assimilated anyway, but the fact that he studied with Gieseking is doubly suggestive.

Throughout, despite those brief eruptive moments that do exist, we feel a constant skein of stillness and purity; the second piece from Book III is an example of the more textually angular writing that provides contrast in the Stundenbuch. In the main though the shifting patterns, constant yet changeable as cumulus, affords the greatest sensual and musical satisfaction. Whether glittering in the treble infused writing of No.43 or controlling the stasis of No.39 Woodward proves himself, as one has come to expect, a subtle explorer of touch and refined poetry.

Celestial Harmonies’ booklet might appear typographically austere but the composer’s printed aphorisms better reveal the concentrated richness evoked in his music.

Jonathan Woolf





 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




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.