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!


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

alternatively
Crotchet

 

František Ignác Antonín TŮMA (1704-1777)
Sonata a quattro in A minor [5:43]
Partita a quattro in D minor [13:24]
Sinfonia a quattro in B flat major [10:31]
Sinfonia a tre in B flat major [10:29]
Partita a tre in C minor [14:02]
Sonata a quattro in E minor [11:03]
Sonata a tre in A minor [4:58]
Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini
rec. October 2006, Auditorio de Gonfalone, Rome
NAÏVE OP30436 [70:25] 
Experience Classicsonline


František Tůma is one of those interesting figures who seem to embody, musically speaking a key period of transition in the history of music. He was
born in Kostelec nad Orlicí, where his father was organist. In all probability the younger Tůma studied at the Jesuit Seminary in Prague, where his teachers would have included Bohuslav Matěj Černohorsky (1684-1742), the widely travelled organist and teacher, with whom both Gluck and Tartini also studied, and who was a major influence on the development of music in Bohemia. We know for certain that Tůma later (from 1722) studied with Fux in Vienna. He went on to become kapellmeister to Count Franz Ferdinand Kinsky, High Chancellor of Bohemia who had probably been responsible for making it financially possible for him to study with Fux. On the Count’s death in 1741, Tůma went on to work for the dowager Empress Elizabeth, widow of Charles VI, as musical director of her private chapel and court composer. He held these posts until 1750 and, until choosing to spend his last years in a monastery in Geras, he continued to live in Vienna.

As Rinaldo Alessandrini observes in his notes to the present CD, “the most striking feature of Tůma’s instrumental writing is undoubtedly the heterogeneity of styles”. His training with Fux, and his earlier, youthful musical experiences - in which we should probably include the influence of his father’s example - made him thoroughly competent in the quasi-Bachian use of counterpoint and fugue. But his ears and mind were open to newer, more ‘modern’ influences too. If, in some movements, one hears echoes of Bach and Fux one also hears elsewhere some more distinctly galant movements and more than a few Italianate elements too. Vivaldi was in Vienna at the end of life and Tůma would assuredly have been familiar with his music much earlier than 1740 – as well as with that of many other Italian masters, both in person and on paper, as it were.

Out of all this comes some music which eludes most of the easy categories of modern music historians and which produces some of its best effects by juxtaposition – the heterogeneity of which Alessandrini speaks. Not everyone will like Tůma’s eclecticism but I have to say that I find it exciting and stimulating. Much as I admire the work of Rinaldo Alessandrini, I am not entirely sure that he here proves himself the ideal interpreter of Tůma. Some of these works – particularly the two sinfonie – seem to cry out for larger forces than the two violins, one viola, one cello, one double bass and one theorbo which, along with Alessandrini’s harpsichord, constitute the Concerto Italiano on this recording. One misses the fuller string sound which the music seems to invite -  indeed require. Nor does Alessandrini always seem to come up with quite the elegance that Tůma’s more proto-Haydnesque passages seem to demand. Where Alessandrini triumphs is in the more obviously ‘baroque’ and, more particularly, the most quintessentially Italianate movements. Much of Alessandrini’s conducting of Italian baroque works over the last few years has been genuinely revelatory – it has uncovered qualities in the works undiscovered by most previous interpreters but genuinely present in the scores and wholly appropriate in a modern period-instrument performance. But here, it is as if the Alessandrini ‘manner’ has been imposed upon material to which it isn’t always fully appropriate; has been ‘applied’ and added rather than being a process of revealing what was there and awaiting discussion. Alessandrini responds so much more forcefully to the Italian dimensions of Tůma’s music than he does to what one might call its more Germanic elements. For this reason the readings don’t quite do full justice to the creative stylistic tensions inherent in the music. An important tensional balance has been tipped a little too fully in one direction. Until Alessandrini and others came on the scene we didn’t always realise how much earlier German and English interpreters had made the great Italian baroque composers speak with a northern European accent. Now, in a kind of reversal, Alessandrini has made a Czech who worked in Vienna sound like a native Italian.

These remarks are meant only to suggest that Tůma presents some genuinely difficult problems of interpretation and musical style and that Alessandrini can’t be said to have solved them definitively. What I do not want to deny is that this CD makes for exciting and fascinating listening; indeed, I have never heard a performance directed by Alessandrini that wasn’t exciting. Those of us who think that Tůma is a composer who hasn’t yet had his just deserts can (and surely will) enjoy the present disc, without believing that the final word has yet been said.

Glyn Pursglove

 




 


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.