Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  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
Crotchet  AmazonUK   AmazonUS

 

Ignacy Jan PADEREWSKI (1860-1941)
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op.17 (1888-89) [32:21]
Theme and Variations Op.16 No.3 (1887) [8:32]
Fantasie Polonaise in G minor Op.19 (1893) [19:10] ¹
Xaver SCHARWENKA (1850-1924)
Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor Op.32 (1877) [28:00] ²
Polish Dance in E flat minor Op.3 No.1 [3:44]
Earl Wild (piano)
London Symphony Orchestra/Arthur Fiedler ¹
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Erich Leinsdorf ²
rec. New York City, July 1964 (Theme and Variations), Barking Town Hall, September 1970 (Paderewski Concerto), Barking Town Hall, September 1970 (Fantasie), Symphony Hall, Boston, January 1969 (Scharwenka Concerto) and RCA Studio A, NYC, April 1976 (Polish Dance)
IVORY CLASSICS 77003 [60:02 + 31:44]
Experience Classicsonline


Back into the ring come Earl Wild’s immensely characterful, brilliantly executed recordings of two near contemporaneous concertos by Paderewski and Scharwenka. Both these composers’ concertos have been recorded by Hyperion but Wild’s performances lose nothing in comparison with Hamelin and Piers Lane, despite the fact that they were taped in 1969 (Scharwenka) and 1970 (Paderewski). Nor against other Paderewski alternatives; Fialkowska on Naxos, Blumental on Brana and Hobson on Zephyr.
 
Wild was a shoe-in for the Paderewski in particular. Teamed with Arthur Fiedler and the LSO he relishes the post-Lisztian drama of the writing as much as Fiedler carves out the subtle Rimsky flecked orchestration. You couldn’t have asked for two more appropriate combatants; Wild for his Lisztian bravura and gorgeous legato, and Fiedler for his command of the work’s persuasive rhetoric. He, after all, had recorded the work once before, with Jesus Maria Sanromá, in the presence of the composer in 1939. It’s true that some of the orchestral tuttis have been slightly “reinforced” in this Wild recording but one can’t really cavil, so powerful and cogent is the conducting. And Wild himself has filled out the cadenzas a little, though again without in any warm harming the fabric of the music. These are small points, though editors may tut.
 
The refined and tonally expressive qualities brought to bear are at their height in the slow movement – beautifully balanced chording and superfine legato from Wild; and marvellous tonal bloom from the LSO in the Romanza whilst the grand theme of the finale is announced with panache and indelibly exciting rhythmic control. Wild pours out calorie filled chordal waves as the music becomes impassioned, And it’s worth it as this is a successful, finely constructed, tuneful, virtuosic and thoroughly engaging work that should be heard in concert not simply on disc. Coupled on the Paderewski disc is the Theme and Variations for solo piano, which the booklet omits to note is a play on the Harmonious Blacksmith. It’s full of glint, nobility, charm, romantic tracery and leonine power. Then there’s the Fantasie Polonaise in G minor where Wild is once again joined by Fiedler and the LSO. Wild has extended the arpeggio figures into higher octaves – he has a bit of a fetish about changing keys as admirers will know – and the performance as a whole is full of joie de vivre, and rare expression too. It’s not on the same level of consistent creativity as the Concerto but it’s worth a spin now and again.
 
If Paderewski’s Concerto inclines to post-Lisztian principles Scharwenka’s First is more post-Schumann in orientation. But there’s a pot of unceasing bravura and a powerful march theme from about 7:00 that sets the pulse racing. The delightful if non-stop scherzo has its finger busting, wrist-compacting moments, squarely dealt with by Wild, and the panache and bravura of the finale almost convinces one that it’s not too long. In truth it is too long but one of the merits of a great performance, which this is, is suspending one’s critical judgement. There’s a delightful Polish Dance as an encore.
 
The concertos have both been on CD on the Élan label – an appropriate name for so vital a brace of performances. This however is the first time that they – concertos and other items - have been collated in this way. The second disc may be short measure as a result but the performances have such verve and immediacy that Wild’s admirers and lovers of the Romantic piano concerto will find it hard to resist.  
 
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.