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
CD: AmazonUK
Download: Classicsonline

 

Barocking Together
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Sonata in b minor for flute and continuo (Op.1/9), HWV367b (1712-21) [
14:01]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Sonata in e minor for flute and continuo, BWV1034 91717-24) [
13:02]
Sonata in A for flute and harpsichord, BWV1032 (1717-23, rev. c.1736) [12:13]
Sonata in E for flute and continuo, BWV1035 (1741-7) [11:17]
Sonata in E-flat for flute and harpsichord BWV1031 (1730-3?) [10:19]
Georg Philipp TELEMANN (1681-1767)
Sonata in F for flute and continuo, TWV41:F4 (from der getreue Music-meister, 1728-9) [
5:23]
Sharon Bezaly (flute); Members of London Baroque: Terence Charleston (harpsichord); Charles Medlam (bass viol)
rec. December, 2006 (Handel, BWV1032 and 1034) and August, 2007 (BWV1031 and 1035, Telemann), The Warehouse, London. DDD
BIS BISCD1689 [67:46] 

 

Experience Classicsonline


Like many regular listeners to BBC Radio 3, I’ve followed the progress of Sharon Bezaly with interest.  One of the BBC’s Young Artists, she has demonstrated great ability and versatility in her wide-ranging broadcasts and recordings, and this new CD is no exception.  With the support of two members of London Baroque and BIS on the label to guarantee the recording quality, this new CD is virtually self-recommending, unless you cannot abide the sound of the flute – in which case you won’t be reading this review.
 

There are several highly recommended versions of the Handel flute sonatas, but Bezaly can hold her head high even in such exalted company as the ASMF Chamber Ensemble on modern instruments in the complete wind sonatas (Philips Duo 4465632) or Linda Besnosiuk, etc. (CDA67278) or Marion Verbruggen (recorder and flute) et al on period instruments (HMU90 7151).  Her tempi here are well judged: very similar to – if anything, slightly faster than – those of Verbruggen and those of Il Vero Modo on the Thorofon recording to which I refer below. 

Prospective purchasers are most likely to be attracted by the four Bach sonatas.  They won’t be disappointed, except perhaps by the fact that BIS haven’t included all six sonatas; though I realise that those who do so mostly run to two CDs, as in the case of Stephen Preston’s CRD recording (CRD3314/5), they should have been able to accommodate all six comfortably, even leaving enough space for the short Telemann work as filler.  Bezaly’s tempi are consistently faster – sometimes much faster – than Preston’s, but the playing never sounds remotely breakneck.  Preston undercuts Bezaly just once in the opening movement of BWV1032 (tr.12), by just 9 seconds. 

The final allegro of BWV1031 (tr.21) is one movement where, on paper, Bezaly’s 4:35 against Preston’s 5:06 seems highly discrepant, yet even here there is no hint of undue haste.  The opening and closing movements of BWV1034 (tr.8 and tr.11) offer another extreme contrast of tempo: 2:38 and 4:26 against Preston’s 3:08 and 5:11, yet here, too, Bezaly and her supporters seem to have it just about right. 

BWV1034/i is marked adagio, ma non tanto, and if the BIS performers concentrate on the forward movement more than Preston, they are surely right to stress the ma non tanto element of the indication.  Preston does sound a little sluggish and even doleful by comparison – try the opening 60 seconds of his version here.  The tempo in BWV1034/iv on this new recording sounds equally right; again, Preston sounds a little too slow when heard immediately afterwards: try the sample on the same web page. 

Those who wish to have Bezaly’s excellent accounts of the four sonatas here, yet also have a collection of all six, might wish to download Preston’s recordings from theclassicalshop.net – by buying each CD for the absurdly low price of £4.80, £9.60 for the whole set, including the Partita, BWV1013, or by complementing the four sonatas on Bis with just the three tracks of BWV1030 for £2 and/or the four tracks of BWV1033 for just £1.60.  It’s not one of their 320k or lossless recordings, but most listeners will find the 192k sound perfectly acceptable. 

Otherwise, those requiring all six sonatas will find themselves catered for by William Bennett, George Malcolm and Michael Evans on super-budget ASV Resonance CDRSN3008.  The Archiv Galleria versions of BWV1020, 1030-2 and 1013, with Aurèle Nicolet and Karl Richter, available as a mid-price import on 427 113-2 are also most enjoyable, though Richter’s accompaniment now sounds a little four-square. 

The short Telemann sonata which ends the recording also receives an excellent performance.  If anything, Telemann was even more adept at writing for the flute or recorder than Bach or Handel – as witness the well-known Suite in a minor, TWV55:a2 – and this sonata is a good example of his style. 

With excellent recording and a very informative booklet of notes, this new CD is highly recommendable.  It’s almost impossible to imagine anything better. 

Criticisms?  Well, the title is a bit gash and, whereas BIS correctly give Handel’s name in the booklet as George Frideric Handel, the form of his name which he adopted when he settled in London, the front cover and rear insert list him as Georg Friedrich Händel.  It’s a trifling, pedantic complaint, but it does demonstrate that my critical faculties are still in order – I’m not recommending this CD for any other reason than its overall excellence. 

If you enjoy the one Handel work included here, you could also try the Thorofon CD of six sonatas for recorder and harpsichord which I recommended in May 2008 (CTH2540 – see review).  Bezaly plays the version which Walsh published as the flute sonata Op.1/9 (HWV367b), a work which also exists as HWV367a for recorder, in which form it is played on the Thorofon CD.  And for an inexpensive and very enjoyable account of Handel’s trio sonatas for oboe and violin, look no further than Convivium on Hyperion Helios CDH55280 – see review. 

I hardly know where to begin with recommendations for Telemann.  As good a place as any to look would be the very varied collection of Domestic Music performed by Collegium 90/Steven Standage on Chandos CHAN0525: a trio sonata for violins and continuo; a set of exercises for voice and continuo; a suite for flute, violin and continuo; a flute quartet and other pieces, all excellently performed – one of a series of excellent Telemann recordings made by these performers. 

For those wishing to start a Telemann collection on a low budget, the Naxos Best of Telemann, including the Suite in a minor, HWV55:a2, would be a good place to begin (8.556689).  Have a look, too, at my recent review of Telemann Wind Concertos Vol.2 on CPO 7772672, in which I refer to a number of other recommendable recordings. 

This new recording reminds us of the almost unfailingly high quality of BIS recordings and the range of repertoire which they encompass – as wide as that of Sharon Bezaly herself.  I may not be too enamoured of some of the Scandinavian avant-garde whom the label has championed, but I am deeply grateful for the range of excellent recordings of music which I love which has appeared on BIS, from the recordings of Bach orchestral music and cantatas with the Bach Collegium of Japan under Masaaki Suzuki, to the music of Sibelius.

Brian Wilson



 


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.