£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


Buy through MusicWeb for £12.49 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

 

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Estampes [13:47]
Images, Bk.II [14:34]
Préludes, Bk.II [39:34]
Russell Sherman (piano)
rec. 27-29 July 2005, Jordan Hall, Boston, USA. DDD
AVIE AV2164 [68:01]

Experience Classicsonline


Of all the great composers for the piano, Debussy is the most elusive for the performer. A transcendental technique must be taken as read, yet the music grants few opportunities to revel in bravura for its own sake. Above all, it requires an extraordinary imaginative response - from listener as well as pianist - and an intensity of concentration that can draw an audience into the experience.

Louis Laloy, Debussy’s first biographer, revealed in 1909 that the composer received his most profitable lessons from poets and painters, not from musicians. Debussy himself told Edgar Varèse in 1911 ‘I love pictures almost as much as music’. He met Toulouse-Lautrec, knew both Maurice Denis and Whistler - from whom he borrowed the title of his Nocturnes. He probably met Gauguin, who had a ‘mania for relating painting to music’ and likened colours to instrumental timbres.

So any interpreter who takes on Debussy must be able to project these ‘visual’ qualities vividly. This is the first time I have encountered Russell Sherman on disc, but it seems clear to me that he possesses all these necessary qualities. The three Estampes (literally ‘Engravings’) of 1903 are sharply characterised, with an especially powerful realisation of Pagodes, an oriental evocation by means of the pentatonic scale. Sherman brings out the intimidatingly alien feeling of the music, while in Poissons d’or (Goldfish) from the second book of Images, he captures perfectly the creatures’ sparkling, quixotic movements.

The same type of sensitive response to the images of this amazing music is there in all Sherman’s performances. His Puerta del Viño from Book 2 of the Preludes is a tour de force of light and dark, of brilliance and despair. I admit I was relieved, in a way, to arrive at Bruyères (‘Briars’) on track 11, for this is the first truly relaxed work on the disc. It is in truth a sort of companion piece to La fille aux cheveux de lin from Book One, and Sherman fills it with appropriate charm and delicate humour, while avoiding coy sentimentality.

It is said that Prelude 10, Canope, named after the ancient Egyptian city, was inspired by the contemplation of two ancient Canopean jar-lids that Debussy kept on his work-desk. Certainly this is one of his most austere and enigmatic pieces, and once more, Sherman finds exactly the right timing and tonal gradation for it to make its effect. His voicing of the parallel chords is a joy – and this ability to sense the perspectives in the music, to give a graphic sense of foreground and background, is utterly transfixing in the final prelude Feux d’artifice (Fireworks) too. As the display fades – or rather, we seem to move further away from it - there is the most fleeting of allusions to La Marseillaise, barely perceptible. Once more, by the subtlety of his touch, Sherman finds the exact poetic tone to communicate the scene and its emotions.

The sound of the piano is perfectly captured by the Avie technicians; the harp-like resonance of the strings in the softer music is so important, and it has been recorded exceptionally well, as have the fierce fortissimo moments.

There are so many great interpretations on disc of these works – to name but a few, Thibaudet, Arrau, and, perhaps greatest of all, Gieseking. But Sherman can certainly hold his own in such exalted company. On hearing this disc, I was once again awe-struck by the power of Debussy’s musical imagery; no praise for a performer can be higher than that.

Gwyn Parry-Jones

 

 

 

 


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.