£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


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
Classicsonline  AmazonUK  AmazonUS

 

Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Péchés de vieillesse (1857-68)
Volume VII "Album de Chaumière" (complete) [99:20]: Gymnastique díécartement [7:18]; Prélude fugassé [5:17]; Petite polka chinoise [5:44]; Petite valse de boudoir [4:57]; Prélude inoffensif [10:18]; Petite valse "Líhuile de Ricin" [10:22]; Un profond sommeil [6:20]; Un réveil en sursaut [7:41]; Plein chant chinois [6:02]; Un cauchemar [12:01]; Valse boiteuse [6:01]; Une pensée à Florence [10:25]; Marche [6:53]
Volume IX "Album pour piano, violon, violoncelle, harmonium et cor" (excerpts) [23:37]: Mélodie candide [4:50]; La savoie aimante [7:49]; Chansonette [4:36]; Impromptu tarantellisé [6:20]
Alessandro Marangoni (piano)
rec. Auditorium di Mortara, Pavia, Italy, 29 October-2 November 2006. DDD
Booklet in English and German; pianist biography in English only
NAXOS 8.570590-91 [57.58 + 64.59]
Experience Classicsonline

Rossiniís decision abruptly to end his operatic career at the age of only thirty-seven has been the subject of many debates and copious articles over the years. His operas Ė of which Guillaume Tell (1829) was the last - tend to overshadow his later works, in particular his wonderful Péchés de vieillesse (Sins of old age). This could be one of the reasons why they are neglected. These Péchés comprise pieces for solo piano, for vocal and instrumental ensembles, songs, and the beautiful Petite Messe Solennele. They are organised in fourteen volumes, each with different names, containing various pieces. Rossini never intended them for publication though some were issued during his lifetime. Most did not come out until the 1950s, which is possibly another reason for their general neglect. However, I still find it difficult to understand why the songs do not appear more frequently in Mélodie and Lieder recitals. Rossiniís substantial quantity of piano music is hardly ever played by todayís greatest pianists. It is true that the composerís style advanced little in most of the works that form the Péchés de vieillesse and therefore their musical language is generally conservative. However quite the contrary can be said of the character of many of the solo piano pieces; they are clever, amusing parodies of fashions of the time, of other musicians contemporary of Rossini, and of himself and his own work.

Naxos and the distinguished, award-winner pianist Alessandro Marangoni, deserve to be congratulated for the decision to record the complete Péchés. This CD set is the first of the intended series, entitled "Rossiniís Complete Piano Music". The present set occupies two CDs and each is a delight from beginning to end though I preferred the first.

CD 1 contains the majority of the compositions that form volume VII of the Péchés, entitled Album de Chaumière (The Cottage Album), an ironical title if one bears in mind that Rossini did not like the kind of romantic oil painting the name invokes. Marangoni plays each piece with enthusiasm, loving care and dedication. His performance is humorous and joyful as well as precise without being dry. He is also capable of sensuous beauty in the more delicate, lyrical passages. In Gymnastique díécartement (Exercises for opening), he expresses well the caricature character of the piece but his style remains sober. It never slips into unnecessary exuberance, a "sin" that a lesser pianist might easily have committed. I particularly enjoyed Marangoniís interpretation of the second piece, Prélude fugassé (Fugal prelude), a strange title to say the least, as a composition cannot simultaneously be a prelude and a fugue. This is a piece evocative of J.S. Bach and of the mark his work left on Rossiniís own writing. The composer pays here an endearing and funny tribute to the great master of the Baroque era. Marangoniís rendition is suitably humorous and energetic, showcasing his classical brilliance while, in number 5, Prélude inoffensif (harmless prelude), a poetic little gem, he changes into an intentionally romantic, lyrical style, at times beautifully legato, as suits the piece. Undoubtedly this is a gentle tribute to Chopin both in the music and its title. From here, Marangoni easily moves to the charming little parody that is Petite valse "Líhuile de Ricin" (Castor Oil Waltz), and swiftly follows it with the final piece of this first CD. Rossini wrote this piece in two sections: one a deep sleep, Un profond sommeil, a quiet, meditative episode, and the other a brusque or sudden awakening, Un réveil en sursaut, which is lively, fast and joyful. The transition from peaceful meditation to rousing energy requires a poetic touch and a resilient, secure technique. These attributes are wonderfully displayed by Marangoni who seems to glide effortlessly across the keyboard in what is arguably the most virtuosic and dramatic piece of them all.

CD 2 continues with the remaining compositions from the Album de Chaumière, which are less attractive than the previous eight though no less demanding in terms of execution. These five pieces are then followed by four precious but little known gems extracted from volume IX of the Péchés, the album for piano, violin, cello, harmonium and horn. The first, Mélodie candide, is one of my favourites. As the name indicates, it is an innocent melody, beautifully modulated, almost naive in character, which made me picture children playing and echoed happy childhood memories. It is attractively and lovingly performed by Marangoni who again demonstrates his versatility in terms of style and his impeccably expressive technique. He moves through the final three pieces with equal ease, delivering a memorable performance of what is to me the "tour de force" in CD 2, the final piece, Impromptu tarantallisé (Improvisation in the form of the Italian dance tarantella). Marangoni revels in the glorious whirling attributes of the music, inviting the listener to stand up and joyfully dance around the room.

The whole work is a joy to listen to, touching and moving at times, humorous, ironic and dramatic in other instances. It requires virtuosity, sensibility and an excellent understanding of the composerís style. Marangoni demonstrates that he has all these qualities in abundance. He obviously delights both in the music and in the fabulous piano at his disposal Ė a Steinway from the collection of the famous Italian master technician, Angelo Fabbrini Ė and this delight comes across in his playing making it all the more attractive.

This CD set is undoubtedly an excellent recording of Rossiniís often neglected but wonderful piano music, finally being given the attention it deserves. I can hardly wait for the next volume in the series to be available.

Margarida Mota-Bull

see also review by Dominy Clements


 


 




 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Prťalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallť
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.