£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    



DVD 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

alternatively
AmazonUK

 

Elgar’s Tenth Muse
Starring James Fox, Faith Brook, Selma Alispahic and Rupert Frazier; featuring Natalie Clein playing the Adagio from the Cello Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Davis; soundtrack includes performance by Maxim Vengerov of parts of the Violin Sonata.
Written by Nigel Gearing. Directed by Paul Yule
Picture Format NTSC 4:3; Letterbox, Colour
Region Code 2, 3, 4, 5; Linear PCM stereo
WARNER 5051442857528
[51:00]

 

Experience Classicsonline


I clearly missed this when it was shown on Britain’s Channel 4 back in 1996. It’s based on documentary fact; Elgar’s brief, well what exactly – infatuation? – with the violinist Jelly d’Aranyi. Interspersed throughout on the soundtrack and sometimes on screen are the mournful sounds of the Cello Concerto and the slow movement in various guises, some of them interminable, of the Violin Sonata.

For once I’m abandoning elegant prose in favour of some random thoughts.

We start with Natalie Clein playing the Cello Concerto; Andrew Davis conducts. Slowly we see Elgar (James Fox with regulation prosthetic Roman nose) watching. Clunky but not bad.  Wistful. Next the composer is seen Gladstonianly chopping down a tree for a music-stand he’s making. Billy Reed appears – much too tall but that’s casting for you – complete with his trademark floppy hair, centre-parted. We’re at Fittleworth I assume. Next Reed tells Elgar of d’Aranyi that ‘word has it she’s the best’ – as if so experienced a musician would say so ridiculous a thing. Next Elgar encounters the Bohemian ménage of Mme d’Aranyi and her brood; Jelly and Adila (Fachiri) and the one looking suggestively mannish. Apart from the latter, things hereabouts get a bit ‘Cheeky Girls.’ Elgar and Jelly experience Sexual Chemistry and she lip kisses him when he asks her to perform the sonata. She’s infatuated with him; he’s Old-Man giddy over her.

Severn House next and a ghastly recital in front of clapped out dowagers and stuffed shirted old farts. Of course she plays the Elgar sonata – but only the slow movement, a leitmotif of the film. D’Aranyi’s Hungarian nationality is constantly stressed – she’d been in England a while but hers was a belligerent country and now ex-Empire. We are shown Elgar characteristically deflecting things away from his music and emotion and embittered. There are hints as to her great love, a soldier killed in the war but whose name is never mentioned probably because it would mean nothing to most people. For the record it was the composer F.S. Kelly. Incidentally we get the infamous Elgar ‘oh my horses’ comment.

After the concert Jelly begins to go off Edu, and the English habit to ‘forego life’ -even starts talking about going back to Hungary. He invites her back to Severn House some time after Mrs Elgar’s death, offering a copy of Plato as a bait, and clumsily tries to kiss her. She runs away into a taxi. And that, pretty much is that. A screen-over at the end fills in the picture – Elgar wrote nothing more and Jelly became ‘Europe’s finest violinist of the inter-war years.’ The desire to draw pathos is regrettably not resisted. Elgar did compose some more and Jelly was very far from being Europe’s finest violinist.

This is all based on incidents first related in Joseph Macleod’s biography The Sisters d’Aranyi. Elgar did call her ‘My Darling Tenth Muse’ – mind you he told Menuhin he’d like to alter the dedication of the Violin concerto in favour of him (but didn’t of course). The concert did take place. Apart from the Elgar she played a Brahms sonata – it was the last concert Alice Elgar attended at Severn House. d’Aranyi did think them all antiquated bores; she did dislike it, quite rightly, when the composer referred to himself in his preferred way as ‘Mr. E. Elgar, Gentleman’. He did conceive a ‘violent affection’ for her, in her own words. He did take her to the Pall Mall restaurant. There was a ‘little scene’.

I quite liked it despite perhaps giving the impression I didn’t. I didn’t mind the liberties but I got fed up listening to the sonata and the concerto. The sonata is played on the soundtrack by Vengerov by the way. The film is a small slice of time which has been extrapolated to bear more weight than it can really carry. And I don’t know if you’d watch it more than once.

The actors do well. Fox is good. Selma Alispahic looks gorgeous and the tricky violin shots, of which there are obviously a number, are pretty convincing.

Elgar’s later relationship with Vera Hockman would actually make for a less colourful but more revealing portrait.

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
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.