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

 

Not available in the USA

Availability
CD: Crotchet
Download: Classicsonline

 

Fryderyc CHOPIN (1810-1849)
24 Préludes, op.28 (1836-1839) [35:06]
Ballade no.1 in G minor, op.23 (1835-1836) [8:18]
Ballade no.2 in F, op.38 (1836-1839) [7:03]
Ballade no.3 in A flat, op.47 (1841) [7:05]
Ballade no.4 in F minor, op.52 (1842-1843) [9:29]
Fantaisie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, op.66 (1834) [4:38]
Benno Moiseiwitsch (piano)
rec. Studio 3, Abbey Road, London; 23 September 1938 and 17 March 1939 (Ballade no.1 and Ballade no.3), 22 August 1947 (Ballade no.2 and Ballade no.4), 29-30 December 1948 and 20 September 1949 (Préludes), 11 January 1952 (Fantaisie-Impromptu)
NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111118 [71:40]
Experience Classicsonline

“I am startled, occasionally,” pianist Benno Moiseiwitsch once admitted, “to find "intelligence" used as the antithesis of "feeling", as though the two played against each other. Nothing could be further from the truth. No intelligent interpretation is lacking in emotional values …  [D]epending on gifts and degree of maturity, some natures emphasize brain over heart. Where such an imbalance occurs, it must be corrected by conscious and concentrated application to emotional content.”
 
In that statement and others like it, Moiseiwitsch made it clear that he considered the printed score, on its own, an insufficient guide.  He believed, rather, that any interpreter of the music of Chopin, for example, required “a sound knowledge of Chopin's life, his moods; what he was experiencing and feeling when he wrote that particular work; its relation to his work as a whole, etc. One tries to reconstruct all this, and then to apply it”.
 
Of course, such subjectivity contradicts any thought of there being such a thing as a standardised interpretation.  Indeed, Moiseiwitsch went on to explain that, in approaching a work, he preferred trying out a variety of what he called “shades of meaning” before hitting upon the one that he found most personally satisfying at that particular moment in time.
 
It was perhaps that same constantly shifting subjective viewpoint that explains the chequered history of his attempts to record Chopin’s multifaceted Préludes, for none of his early ventures - in November 1921, December 1921, May 1922, July 1922, October 1922 and April 1924 – ever emerged from inside the studio walls.  Only in 1948, after playing the full set on tour in Australia, did Moiseiwitsch achieve a recording that was – with some retakes of Préludes 16-18 and 22-24 the following year - to his own artistic satisfaction. 
 
Many pianists come to this music with strengths particularly suited to some of the pieces but most definitely not to others.  But by bringing his interpretations to the studio relatively late in his career when he was almost 60 years old – though still at his technical peak – Moiseiwitsch offers us the keenest insights of both brain and heart, even though they may well be differently proportioned from one individual Prélude to another.  The result is a performance that, while typically refined, is utterly alive, responsive and flexible.  Nearly 60 years after it was recorded, it continues to put many later competitors in the shade.
 
Booklet writer Jonathan Summers chooses probably the most apposite adjective when he observes that this is one of the most satisfactory sets of Préludes overall - not in the schoolmaster’s meaning of “average” but in the literal sense that this is a performance for life that provides complete aesthetic satisfaction.
 
The recordings of the four Ballades (that of no.4 was never commercially released) come from two different phases of Moiseiwitsch’s career, but one would be hard pressed to notice distinctions in either general artistic approach or, indeed, the quality of the recorded sound as expertly remastered by Ward Marston.  Chopin’s eclectic literary inspiration – with stories ranging from the doomed love of a water spirit for a mortal to treasonous shenanigans among the medieval Teutonic Knights of Lithuania - means that the Ballades are more episodic and less purely atmospheric than the Préludes.  As such, they pose rather less complex interpretative challenges to performers.  Moiseiwitsch offers here, nonetheless, accounts of some subtlety and complete integrity, after which the familiar melodies of the Fantaisie-Impromptu op.66, recorded in the best sound of all, round off a worthwhile disc, the twelfth in Naxos’s fine series that pays tribute to this much loved soloist.  
 
Rob Maynard
 
Reviews of other Moiseiwitsch recordings on Naxos Historical

 


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.