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

 

POLDOWSKI (Régine WIENIAWSKI) (1879–1932)
Mélodies
1. L’heure exquise (1913) [2:46]
2. Mandoline (1911) [1:38]
Trois mélodies sur des poésies de Paul Verlaine (1911): 3. Dimanche d’avril [0:54]; 4. Bruxelles [2:27]; 5. En sourdine [2:50]
6. Dansons la gigue (1912) [1:41]
7. Cythère (1912) [1:01]
8. Cortège (1912) [1:25]
9. L’attente (1912) [2:23]
10. Brume (1912) [1:52]
11. Spleen (1912) [2:48]
12. Sur l’herbe (1918) [2:01]
13. Le faune (1919) [1:07]
14. Impression fausse (1912) [2:21]
15. Colombine (1911) [1:56]
16. Fantoches (1912) [1:12]
17. Effet de neige (1913) [2:42]
18. Circonspection (1913) [2:44]
19. Crépuscule du soir mystique (1913) [2:53]
20. A poor young shepherd (1923) [2:23]
21. À Clymène (1927) [2:14]
22. Sérénade (1914) [2:48]
23. La passante (1924) [2:04]
24. Pannyre aux talons d’or (1912) [3:35]
25. Dans une musette (1918) [3:57]
26. Berceuse d’Armorique (1914) [3:15]
27. Soir (1911)*[4:56]
Élise Gäbele (soprano), Philippe Riga (piano), Sylvain Cremers (oboe d’amore)*
rec. 2 – 4 November 2006 at Academiezaal, Sint-Truiden, Limburg, Belgium
Texts and English translations enclosed
MUSIQUE EN WALLONIE MEW 0741 [66:50]
Experience Classicsonline


The name Poldowski may be new to many readers – it was to me – but Wieniawski should ring a bell. Henryk Wieniawski (1835 – 1880) was a Polish violinist and composer and some of his virtuoso works are still played, not least his violin concertos, of which No. 2 has some claims to be his masterpiece. He settled in Ixelles in Belgium in 1874, having been appointed to the Brussels Conservatory. His daughter Régine was born on 16 May 1879 and less than a year later Henryk died in Moscow, leaving his wife Isabelle Bessie-Hampton alone with her daughter. Isabelle was of a London family and eventually, in 1896, they moved there. Régine studied the piano in Brussels and gave recitals very early but there seems to be very little documentation on her further studies, even though she claimed to have gone to study at the Conservatory. That she was a child prodigy and started composing very early is beyond doubt, however. In 1893, when she was 14, she performed in public two or three of her own compositions.
 
In London she seems to have pursued her musical training and she also had two songs to texts by Yeats and Tennyson published under the name of Iréne Wieniawska. She had become friendly with Nellie Melba while still in Brussels and meeting the Australian diva again in London she was introduced to Sir Aubrey Dean Paul, whom she married in 1901 and became Lady Dean Paul. When she pursued her dual career as pianist and composer she chose to appear under the pseudonym of Poldowski. As a composer she was successful, not only in the field of songs, but privately she went through several crises of illness, divorce from her husband in 1921 and heavy financial problems. She died from a heart attack on 28 January 1932 after an unsuccessful operation. She had three children, one of whom died at a very early age.
 
The majority of her songs were settings to French texts and according to her daughter Brenda she always spoke French. As can be seen in the header many of the poems she set had already been set by Fauré, Debussy and Ravel and her compositional style shows strong influences from Debussy in particular, but I think it is unfair to call her a mere epigone. Still I am sure many knowledgeable listeners hearing her songs in a blindfold test would think “Debussy” as a likely composer. They are well crafted, harmonically sure-footed though sometimes predictably so, and sometimes they can feel a bit too perfumed and with a melodic sweetness that isn’t too far away from the parlour songs of the day. Sometimes I even hear a kinship with Augusta Holmès. Try Dimanche d’avril (tr. 3)! For more genuine Debussyan echoes En sourdine (tr. 5) or Effet de neige (tr. 17) are good examples while Cythère (tr. 7) and Cortège (tr. 8) are more personal. There is no denying the craftsmanship and she was certainly inspired by the poems.
 
Paul Verlaine was her favourite poet and on this disc all 21 settings of his poetry are collected. Among the remaining songs one is a setting of a poem by herself, La passante (tr. 23). A great number of the songs were created during a few years preceding World War One and after the war she composed again but not with the same intensity.
 
By and large these are attractive songs but I don’t think it is a good idea to play all 27 in one sitting. Three or four at a time is a much better proposition, and why not start from the beginning with the beautiful L’heure exquise start the next session with Dansons la gigue.
 
The singing is honest and polished. Élise Gäbele has a clean, bright voice which sounds best at mezzoforte and below. At forte – the few times she has to be there – it can take on a strident quality. This also implies that the dynamic scope of the songs is limited. The accompaniments, sometimes illustrative, are well played by Philippe Riga and in the final song, Soir, actually one of the best, a pastoral atmosphere is created through the presence of Sylvain Cremers’s oboe d’amore, which blends well with the soprano.
 
To sum it up: well crafted, agreeable songs but hardly forgotten masterpieces; pleasing enough, three or four at a time, for listeners with a liking for impressionism.
 
Göran Forsling
 


 


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.