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


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

alternatively Crotchet


Nicolai MEDTNER (1880-1951)
Sonate-Idylle Op. 56 (1937) [11:37]
Vergessene Weisen (Forgotten Melodies) Op. 39 (c.1920) [28:39]
Second Improvisation (in form of variations) Op. 47 (1925) [26:03]
Earl Wild (piano)
rec. Fernleaf Abbey, Columbus, Ohio, 1988. ADD
IVORY CLASSICS 75003 [66:40]
Experience Classicsonline


It’s twenty years since Earl Wild set down these recordings of a composer not perhaps much associated with him – though surely a Rachmaninovian of such distinction should enjoy similar stylistic assurance in a composer Rachmaninov esteemed higher than any of his contemporaries. It was originally issued on Chesky and reissued on that label [AD1] in the late 1990s.

Wild brings a lexicon of pianistic skill and sensitivity to bear on these works. In the case of the Sonate-Idylle he also brings his accustomed sensitivity and leonine power. He’s been accorded a rather cavernous acoustic, to which I happen to be antipathetic, but there’s not much to be done about it now, and remastering can’t ameliorate the problem. It does at least confer a slightly distant, halo effect to the music making. Compared to a contemporary klaviertiger such as Hamelin we find that Wild is altogether more straightforward and linear in his approach. Hamelin’s rubati are distinctive but somewhat invasive in the opening Pastorale, though the clear, detailed sound is a definite plus for those who prefer greater clarity and texture. I do prefer the greater warmth Wild brings to the second of the two movements; he stresses the wholesomeness and nobility of the writing and despite the swimmy acoustic I find that his refusal to fuss over details – as Hamelin can and does – pays rich dividends.

The charming portraits enshrined in the Second Improvisation reveal Wild the colourist and painterly wit, almost as much as they do the composer. The bell chimes are subtly evoked in Meditation where luminous voicings course throughout the brief span, whereas the sturdy march of Fancies contrasts nicely with the dynamism and fervour of The Tumult of the Crowd. The Orthodox Church saturates Incantation – very Mussorgskian and grand - and there’s ferment in Bad Weather. All these miniatures are played with tremendous verve and assurance.

Finally there is Vergessene Weisen (Forgotten Melodies) written c.1920. Rachmaninovian – maybe that should be Medtneresque - chordal power is unleashed in the first of them - the control of the ascents and descents of the music, and its wave-making incessant beauty, is spellbindingly done. Wild takes a reflective line in the Romanza, much more so than Hamelin, though he never loses the spine of the music. The melodic lines of Primavera are brought out with rich succour. Hamelin is good here but he doesn’t sing out as effusively as Wild and his rubati are more obviously explicit once again. Just the right sense of intimacy and warmth – all very naturally phrased – informs the Canzona. Both Geoffrey Tozer (Chandos) and Hamelin (Hyperion) take different points of view from Wild in the Sonata tragica. The former two see things more decisively and intensely whilst Wild is more content to stress the melancholia and is therefore slower and less explicitly exciting.

Throughout Wild proves a formidable champion of Medtner’s music. True the recording is a handicap but the musicianship frequently convinces us of his identification with the caprice, the power, the legend, the introspection and the fancy of these pieces.

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.