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


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

alternatively
CD: Crotchet AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

 

From the First Night of the Proms 1943
Announcements [2:59]
National Anthem [1:06]
Paul DUKAS (1865-1935)

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (1897) [11:43]
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)

Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor Op.22 – second movement omitted (1868) [17:42] ¹
Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)

Acis and Galatea – Love in her eyes sits playing (1718) [7:27] ²
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)

Symphony No. 5 in C Minor Op. 67 – first movement only (1807) [6:40]
Lamar STRINGFIELD (1897-1959)

A Negro Parade (1931) [9:29]
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)

Theme and Variations from Suite No.3 Op.55 (1884) [19:58]
Moura Lympany (piano) ¹
Heddle Nash (tenor) ²
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Henry Wood
rec. live, Royal Albert Hall, London, 19 June 1943. ADD
SOMMCD 076 [77:17]
Experience Classicsonline

This totally unexpected disc arrives with perfect timing to coincide with the opening of this year’s Proms. It enshrines the opening concert – or parts of it – of 1943’s Prom season, the forty-ninth. It was the last complete season under Wood’s direction as he was die the following year. That perilous season saw premieres of symphonies by Vaughan Williams (his Fifth), Goossens and Lennox Berkeley.

The complete broadcast programme has not survived or has survived in poor estate. The concert opened with the National Anthem (preserved) and continued with Bax’s London Pageant. In his notes Robert Matthew-Walker states that it’s been impossible to obtain a "suitable copy" of this. By which I infer he means that a copy in poor condition has survived. So the concert proper opens with Dukas’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and is then followed by Moura Lympany’s performance of two movements of the Saint-Saëns G minor concerto – the middle movement is apparently, like the Bax, preserved in poor shape. The Heddle Nash Handel aria is intact. There is only the opening movement of Beethoven’s Fifth. This is followed by a real novelty, the American composer’s Lamar Stringfield’s A Negro Parade. The last item in the Prom was Tchaikovsky’s Theme and Variations from the Suite No.3, preserved in its entirety.

The patrician tones of BBC announcer Stuart Hibberd gets things underway as he notes the leaders of both the LPO and LSO, who were to undertake the season; Jean Pougnet of the former, Paul Beard of the latter. Good to know that Proms announcers have always indulged in some pre-concert waffle. "Here is Jean!" says Hibberd as if Pougnet were a schoolboy tennis champion "tall, slim, fair…" In period intonation he notes the "vo-ciferous welcome for Sir Henry." Then Wood ushers in a nice and slow National Anthem and leads an engaging performance of the Dukas, one that reflects well on the war-depleted LPO. It’s certainly no Stokowski performance; his fellow Londoner Wood was a more placid communicator all round. Wood had recorded a snippet from this on Columbia back in 1917.

It’s a shame that one movement of the Saint-Saëns is in such imperfect condition because Lympany plays with flair, power, and considerable imagination in the two outer ones – once past a very brief pitch lurch in the opening. This is eloquent playing and exciting too, swashbuckling in the finale. Merited applause breaks out. Heddle Nash reigning British lyric tenor gives one of his party pieces from Handel. He recorded Love in her eyes sits playing with Maurice Miles and the young Philharmonia two years later – a rather quicker performance. Wood also speeds up between verses, unlike Miles who is steady. . The broadcast catches Nash rather fuller of voice than in his commercial disc though very slightly less steady in shaping the line. Splendid to hear his mistrelsy though.

We know from Jessie Wood’s book how fed up Henry Wood had become of Beethoven’s Fifth by now. He’d recorded it for Decca in 1935 [Dutton CDAX2002]. There’s a bit more prominent surface noise in this opening movement of the symphony than elsewhere. It’s of a piece with his earlier recording. Stringfield was born near Raleigh, North Carolina, and his works seem to have ranged over Black, Appalachian and Blue Ridge topographies. A Negro Parade was given a programmatic note by its composer but stylistically it’s a dash of Stravinsky and an overdose of La Valse with some gospel and Blues elements. The March effects are atmospheric and the blues cadences on clarinet in the central section similarly. It makes for diverting if somewhat repetitious listening. Tchaikovsky was a Wood speciality and a real strength. He’s aided in the Theme and Variations by Pougnet’s luscious, rich viola-like solo; a good performance throughout.

Releases like this come as amazing surprises. Britain’s recorded heritage from the war years is rather sparse so survivals such as this one satisfy a real desire to hear more – and also stimulate curiosity as to what else is out there.

As a special plea, when is someone going to do the right thing and release Robert Soetens’s British premiere broadcast performance of Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto (he gave its world premiere) conducted by Henry Wood?

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
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.