£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider


BRAHMS Complete Edition
58CD £95.22


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

alternatively Crotchet

 

Judith BAILEY (b. 1941)
Instrumental music

String Quartet Op. 31 (1987) [12:10]
Clarinet Quintet for B flat clarinet and string quartet Op. 47 (1993) [8:19]
The Towers of San Gimignano for solo piano Op. 51 (1993) [11:22]
Egloshayle Nightingale Trio for violin, viola and cello Op. 59 (1997) [11:15]
Aquamarine Waltz for cello and piano Op. 65 (1999) [4:28]
Microminiature No. 1 for violin, cello and piano Op. 68 (2000) [3:14]
Microminiature No. 2 for violin, viola and cello Op. 70 (2000) [3:42]
Visions of Hildegard for B flat clarinet, violin, cello and piano Op. 72 (2001) [7:17]
Light for violin, viola and piano Op. 76 (2004) [15:34]
Davey Chamber Ensemble (Juliet Davey, Prunella Sedgwick (violins); Lucy White (viola); Catherine Wilmers (cello); Jane Plessner (clarinet); Nicola Grunberg (piano))
rec. Michael Tippett Centre, Bath Spa University, 19-21 December 2007.
METIER MSVCD92101 [77:24]

 

Experience Classicsonline


The Cornish composer Judith Bailey is succinct in her music. You would know that if she ever wrote a sixty minute symphony every note would count. There would be no ullage. Going by these works she is also of a serious bent yet with a light heart.

The String Quartet is the earliest work here - some twenty years old. It's a densely grave weave of sound with each line of singing intensity occasionally suggesting early Tippett. The effect is husky and warm and the redolences are of a consort of viols. This is relieved by a pizzicato episode in the finale.

It was commissioned by the Davey String Quartet, following the death of the composer's mother in 1986. Their first performance took place in Kentish Town, London on instruments which were all made by female luthiers. The three movements are headed by literary quotations: I. "Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent" (from The Bridge of Love; an Anthology of Hope, collected by Elizabeth Basset); II. "We are what suns and winds and waters make us" (W.S. Landor); III. Those who spread their sails in the right way to the winds of the earth will always find themselves borne by a current towards the open seas (Teilhard de Chardin). The latter author is of interest given the Rubbra connection mentioned later. Rubbra’s Eighth Symphony is entitled Hommage à Teilhard de Chardin.

The 1993 Clarinet Quintet was also written for the Daveys and strikes me as more of a suite of three contrasted movements. The first has the rearing strength of the Bax and Alwyn clarinet sonatas. The second laps sweetly and the finale is a woozy-zany song. It's very attractive and should find a ready place in chamber recitals.

From the same year comes the carillon-fractured Towers of San Gimignano. It traces its origins from the composer’s visit to Tuscany in 1993. The three segments are: 1. The Towers of San Gimignano: “There are fourteen of them, built in rivalry by warlike nobles in Mediæval times. As one approaches the hill-top city of San Gimignano the towers stand majestically silhouetted against the skyline.” 2. Frescoes and 3. Piazza: “A sunny square thronging with people. A man is singing - it echoes through the arches and towers beyond. The free three-notes repeated motif was made by bells heard on Easter Sunday morning. Bells are never far away in Italy.”

The work that is The Egloshayle Nightingale Trio is in four movements which look back to the string quartet but here the textures are more open and folksong invigorates and seduces the listener. The bluffer moments are offset by a heartfelt second movement. If the first and final movements do sport a phrase that recalls Yorkshire rather than Bodmin this remains a tender and vulnerable work. It was written for Tony Cox and his Mainly Baroque Trio based in Egloshayle in Cornwall. The Cornish folk-song The Sweet Nightingale is the basis of the work. It was premiered in South Harting, near Petersfield.

The Aquamarine Waltz is intended to have marine view connotations although it seemed more pastoral-homely to me. The two Microminiature pieces are each in three concise movements variously reflective-unrepentant and glintingly eager. The first and second movements of No. 2 recall the Quartet while the finale is more unbuttoned and carefree.

The Visions of Hildegard takes a fragment of a piece by Hildegard von Bingen and meditates upon it. The drone effect at 0.50 and other aspects later imply the medieval connection in a work that has a strongly serious bearing perhaps reminding the listener of Rubbra's music for chamber orchestra. Light is in three movements. Again this is a gravely beautiful piece which should make it endearing to admirers of Rubbra's chamber music. The four movements carry superscriptions from St John of the Cross, Browning, Bridges and Anon. The music and the words saturate each other in the crepuscular and the valedictory. Also we encounter a new mood in Silent Silver Lights - a flash of anger. This music has more angularity than you might have expected from the other works apart from The Towers of San Gimignano.

The Davey Ensemble are accorded a powerful close-up sound. There was only one momentary player slip which could have been edited out and that falls in the second movement of Light. It causes no harm to the progress of the music.

The presentation has something of the Dunelm design feel marking the recent transition of that label into the Divine Arts Metier line.

I am sure that Judith Bailey must be grateful to Patrick Waller who made this album happen and to the Davey Ensemble whose expertise and caring dedication has released this music to the listening world.

I hope that this disc, quite apart from its intrinsic pleasures, will be the harbinger of recordings of Bailey's Concerto for Orchestra, Cliff Walk Symphony, the two numbered symphonies, the Clarinet Concerto and her other string quartet.

Rob Barnett

see also Judith Bailey's Website


 




 


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
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 


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.