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 Crotchet

 

Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
Anatomy of a Masterpiece: Six Metamorphoses after Ovid
Op.49 – Study CD
Trs. 1-6 Metamorphoses – George Caird (1951) [13:29]
Tr. 7 Diary Sketch by George Caird [1:52]
Trs. 8-29 Performances from the Compositions Sketch and Fair Copy by George Caird
Trs. 30-35 Metamorphoses: Joy Boughton (1951) [13:16]
Trs. 36–41 Metamorphoses: Nicholas Daniel (1951) [13:48]
George Caird (oboe); Joy Boughton (oboe); Nicholas Daniel (oboe). rec. Joy Boughton: BBC Broadcast 3 October 1952; Nicolas Daniel: Concert Hall of the Musikhochschule, Trossingen, Germany, 11 October 2007; George Caird: 27-28 May 2007, Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire
OBOE CLASSICS CC2017 [59:39]

 

Experience Classicsonline


First of all let’s look at what is included in this impressive and innovative release from Jeremy Polmear’s ‘Oboe Classics’. It is immediately clear that something is different; this is evident from the fact the CD is presented in a DVD-style box! However the reason for this is obvious – it is needed to house the massive 20,000 word essay written by George Caird; more of that later.

Secondly there are three full performances of this work – including one from 1952 by the work’s dedicatee, Joy Boughton. But perhaps the most interesting part of this ‘study disc’ are the 23 tracks of Britten's sketches which are analysed and played by George Caird.

It is worth quoting the opening paragraphs of the booklet: “This recording sets out to provide a complete overview of Benjamin’s Britten’s masterpiece for solo oboe … not only is this work unique in the oboe repertoire but it is also one of the most distinctive examples of a solo single-line instrumental writing from any age”. Caird continues “This recording has based itself on an investigation of the literary and artistic background that lies behind the work’s creation …” And finally, he hopes that “... these notes will offer performance suggestions based on Britten’s own remarks on the work, views and performances of players from its dedicatee Joy Boughton onwards and the shared experience of teachers and aficionados.”.

The booklet is a major production that surely sets the standard for any future venture of this order. It is divided into three parts.

The first section explores the work’s background, the literary influences and Ovidus Naso himself. Mention is also made of the stimulus that the visual arts had on Britten’s composition.

The largest part of the essay is dedicated to an analysis of the sources and interpretations. There is a discussion of the printed editions, the metronome markings, and a typescript of a letter from BB to Friedrich Krebs which outlines Britten’s views of the interpretation of this work. There follows a detailed discussion of each movement – from both interpretative and descriptive perspectives.

A major part of this CD is given over to a performance of the surviving sketches – these include a diary sketch, the composition sketch and the ‘Fair Copy’.  These sketches are printed in full in the booklet.

The essay concludes with brief biographies of the performers, an extensive bibliography and discography.

I must not forget to mention the music! Three excellent performances of this work – two contemporary and one historical, the first broadcast performance - are showcased here. I am not going to express a preference for any particular version – suffice to say that all three are essential for an in-depth appreciation of this great work.

I look into the future and I wonder if this format will become an accepted part of the musicologists’ apparatus? In the meantime I guess that this Study CD will appeal to a number of discrete parties. Firstly, there are performers who will benefit from the detailed analysis – both written and audible - for their better appreciation of the genesis and realisation of this work. For example the chapter on the metronome marks of the different versions and the printed editions of the score must provide valuable and helpful information.

The musicologist will surely be impressed with the whole package – however I guess the discussion of the work’s sketches will be of particular interest. And finally the general listener will surely enjoy the opportunity of hearing one of the 20th century’s chamber music masterpieces in three versions along with detailed literary notes to enable them to relate each movement to the craft of Ovid.

I thought of other works that might benefit with this ‘study guide’ approach. Britten’s Young Person’s Guide would be a good candidate - complete with Sir Malcolm’s original film of the work. And then I wondered about a Beethoven Symphony with its hard won final form. And would a CD exploring the genesis and reworking of RVW’s London Symphony be of interest?

I showed this new CD to a friend. Her opinion was that she hoped that Oboe Classics would play a long game: she explained that this CD must be available for many years and not be deleted after the first ‘pressing’ else the scholarly value will be dissipated in a few short months. She felt that it was a major reference document that needs to be regarded as an important contribution to Britten studies. I concur absolutely with her thoughts.

John France


 


 




 


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.


 

nc"-->