Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  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


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

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

 

 

 

 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline


Pigs Could Fly
Howard SKEMPTON (b.1947)
Pigs could Fly (1983) [1:18]
Alice is One (1982) [1:08]
Benjamin BRITTEN (1913 – 1976)
Corpus Christi Carol (1934) [2:29]
Ronald CORP (b.1951)
Give to my eyes, Lord (2007) [3:52]
Richard Rodney BENNETT (b.1936)
The Aviary (1965) [8:35]
John TAVENER (b.1944)
Notre Pere (1996) [2:27]
Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872 – 1958)
Dirge for Fidele (1922) [2:56]
Peter MAXWELL DAVIES (b.1934)
Shepherds of Hoy (1993) [2:07]
Bob CHILCOTT (b.1955)
The lily and the rose (2003) [3:28]
Benjamin BRITTEN
May (1934) [1:21]
Ronald CORP
Flower Songs (1982) [5:57]
Arthur BLISS (1891 – 1975)
A widow bird sate mourning (1968) [2:29]
Tansy DAVIES (b.1973)
Oven in the underworld (2006) [4:15]
John WOOLRICH (b.1954)
No hiding place down there (2006) [1:03]
John RUTTER (b.1945)
For the beauty of the earth [3:20]
Ronald CORP
Spring [1:55]
Richard Rodney BENNETT
The Insect World (1965) [6:46]
Ronald CORP
At day–close in November (2004) [1:55]
Philip GODFREY (b.1964)
Day by day (1996) [1:51]
Nicholas MAW (b.1935)
Calico Pie (excerpts) (1976) [6:57]
New London Children’s Choir/Ronald Corp
Alexander Wells (piano)
rec. 11 and 24 March 2007, All Hallows Church, Savernake Road, South Hampstead, London. DDD
NAXOS 8.572113 [66:07]
Experience Classicsonline

This very enjoyable collection of fairly recent music for children’s voices is most welcome, not least because it restores to the catalogue Richard Rodney Bennett’s two small cycles from the 1960s. These works are quite delightful, ranging in style from slow and dreamy to fast and racy. Bennett, perhaps more than any other composer of recent times, has inherited Britten’s easy approachability when it comes to writing for children. He never writes down to his performers, always giving them something to work at and creating memorable tunes and harmonies. Also welcome is this recording of five, of the eleven, songs from Maw’s cycle of nonsense rhymes Calico Pie.
 
Tavener’s setting of the Lord’s Prayer has a Gorecki–like sheen to it, with an angelic sound in pure simple harmonies. Vaughan Williams’s Dirge for Fidele has always struck me as a rather weak setting of Fear no more the heat o’the sun; the words deserve a stronger approach, and more incisive accompaniment. No matter how good the New London Children’s Choir they cannot hide the failings of this piece. Maxwell Davies’s Shepherds of Hoy is another of his many setting of George Mackay Brown and it’s in his popular style. It could almost be another setting by VW were it not for the little quirks of melody – and it’s pleasant but rather repetitive. Bob Chilcott’s The lily and the rose is a wonderful setting of The Bailey Berith the bell away, with real mystery in the accompaniment and some gorgeous, and very effective, two part writing. It is all moulded together in a verse and chorus, pop song, style, but never resorting to the kind of banality one expects from such composition. This is a real winner.
 
Britten’s two contributions are well known but, even so, it came as a shock to me to hear May, after many years, and to discover it to be full of fa–la–las and a boisterous piano part! Bliss’s setting of Shelley’s poem A widow bird sate mourning strikes me as being too fussy for the simplicity of the words. It misses the tragedy and pathos which Howells found in his great setting of the same words for voice and piano.
 
The notes tell us that Tansy Davies’s Oven in the underworld sets a macabre poem by Jane Taylor. It’s obvious from the piano part that something not nice is happening, but as I cannot hear the words I have no idea – is it about making stew out of children? Woolrich’s No hiding place down there is real fun, full of jokes growing easily from the words and being snuffed out without ceremony. For the beauty of the earth brings a welcome change of pace. It’s typical Rutter and absolutely lovely, but I am not so sure that the piano is quite right for the accompaniment – the smooth vocal lines really call for the sustaining quality of the organ rather than the somewhat percussive piano.
 
Corp’s own contributions are all gratefully conceived for children’s chorus and are very enjoyable. They are all written in a simple and easy-going language which is pleasant on the ear and, no doubt, very enjoyable to sing. The real finds are the two pieces by Howard Skempton, one of this country’s most thoughtful and subtle composers; but don’t expect that from these pieces, they are both a real hoot.
 
As I stated at the start this is an enjoyable collection of recent pieces, and so it is, but there are a few drawbacks. First, too many of the pieces lack a really individual voice. Although this helps to highlight the really good compositions, it does lead to monotony if you want to sit through the whole CD in one go. Also, good though these performances are, and they are well rehearsed and very well executed, there is little tonal variety from the choir. This makes the ear very tired after quite a short time. This is more for those interested in the variety of work being created for children to perform rather than the general listener, and it is for dipping into, as opposed to general listening. Very good recording and notes.
 
Bob Briggs
 

 


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.