MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs
 

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World


all Nimbus reviews



all tudor reviews


Follow us on Twitter


Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

alternatively
Crotchet

 

Cťsar FRANCK (1822-1890)
Violin Sonata in A Major (1886) [27:44]
Camille SAINT-SAňNS (1835-1921)
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in D minor Op. 75 (1885) [24:00]
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Violin Sonata in G major (1923-27) [17:03]
Sarah Chang (violin)
Lars Vogt (piano)
rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, May 2003
EMI CLASSICS 2081222 [68:46]
Experience Classicsonline


This recording is now five years old and is reissued in the ‘Encore’ or ‘Nipper Collection’ – take your pick. Nipper’s on the front and ‘another lower price bracket go-round’ is the principle behind its reappearance in the marketplace. I’ve nothing against this. These are generally well played performances, best in the Ravel, worst in the Franck and middling in the Saint-SaŽns.

Best to get the Franck out of the way first in the circumstances. The balance is suspect with the piano often in front covering the violin. Partly this is also Vogt’s fault. One appreciates the dilemma for a sonata partner in this of all works. The violin has the graceful melodies but the pianist shoulders much of the considerable technical and textual difficulty. The solution is not to play out quite so dramatically as does Vogt because it unbalances still further an already unbalanced perspective. In addition the dynamics – from both - are inclined to be self-regarding and Chang’s solutions to the problems posed by the second movement are smeary in the exposed emotive passages. Throughout the Recitative Chang’s line is rather unsteady and her tone not particularly graceful; her instincts here are unbending, cosmopolitan, very much on the surface. Vogt forces when no other solution presents; the finale ends as a damp squib. Altogether it’s one of the least Franco-Belgian performances of this work I can recall. Not much to commend it, unfortunately.

The Saint-SaŽns is a lot better - though even here there’s a feeling of something aloof in Chang’s phrasing, a decided feeling that things are being read through and not absorbed into the stylistic bloodstream of her performance. Moments of virtuoso excitement are not reflected in comparable lyric phraseology and the result is a curiously unmoving and uninvolving reading, for all the panache the two display – as before rather too much for comfort sometimes.

It’s only when they play Ravel that they sound remotely at home. What is it about the Ravel that suits them as the other brace of sonatas did not? I suspect something of the work’s aloofness appeals to them, its stylistic games playing, its questionable sincerity. When relieved of the demands to deliver romantic effusiveness we find, despite the endemic balance problems, a finely tuned, occasionally acerbic reading in which the partners sound sympathetically compatible. It’s not the most alluring Ravel I’ve ever heard but it does exert its own pull.

Which doesn’t advance us very far. One out of three is something of a miss I suppose.

Jonathan Woolf

 


 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

 

 


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
Past 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.