Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




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

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


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

 


 REVIEW


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
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS


A Musical Journey - France
To the music of Piano Concerto No 1 in E minor, Op.11 by Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849)
Idil Biret (piano); Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra/Robert Stankovsky
No recording date or venue given but taken from Naxos 8.554540
Dts Digital Surround Sound. Dolby Digital. Aspect ratio 4:3
NAXOS 2.110247 [77.56]
Experience Classicsonline

Chopin was the son of a French father and a Polish mother. He spent his early life in Poland before leaving in 1830, setting up home in Paris the following year where he died in 1849. His so-called first piano concerto is the second of two the composer wrote. It was premiered in Warsaw at the last concert Chopin gave in the country of his birth. Following the example of other distinguished composer-pianists of the period, Chopin provides a work in which the orchestra, after an opening extended orchestral exposition, serves as a supporting background to the solo piano.  

The playing of the Turkish pianist Idil Biret is a pleasant well-recorded background to this tour of several French regions. If she lacks the élan of Pollini or the fire of Argerich, hers is a technically and artistically ideal accompaniment to this venture that is more concerned with displaying the visual glories and the diversity of France than the composer’s music. The opening (CH.1) is, inevitably, concerned with the Paris. It opens with the architecturally glorious Opéra Garnier as a fine starter before a journey down the Champs Elysées and on to the Châtelet. The Jardins du Luxembourg has the tombs of Chopin and Haussman. The latter did so much to develop Paris in the Second Empire with its grand boulevards around the Opéra Garnier. One of the grandest which bears his name as well as the frontage for the renowned Galerie Lafayette, not featured, and its magnificent dome.

The journey then goes southward to the vineyards of Burgundy with an opening view of the great, and magnificently located, basilica at Vezelay (CH.2) whose ornate interior also features. As well as the vineyards the unusual patterned roofs as well as the interior of the Hospice de Beaune are a glory here. Chapter 3 moves us further south taking in Arles on a fête day with the Roman Arena, smaller than that at Nimes, being featured as well as the Roman Pont du Gard aqueduct. A visit to the Camargue takes in the black bulls that also appear fearlessly in the amphitheatre. They are as likely to exit by jumping over the doors to their quarters as gore any picador. The nearby eroded bauxite rocks that harbour the Théâtre des Images are shown but not that particular feature.

Chapter 4 moves the viewer north to the Comté taking in its characterful countryside as well as the unusual features of the Arc et Sénans and the salt lakes before moving on (CH.5) to the region of the lower Loire and its bastides and châteaux. These include the famous ones at Azay le Rideau and Chenonceau. This is where the lack of any narrative on the screen is an even greater disadvantage to those who do not know the sites. Of value too would have been a brief comment on the special history of Chenonceau as the boundary between ‘free’ or ‘Vichy France’ and ‘occupied or German-controlled France’ in the Second World War.

The concluding Chapter (7) takes in Brittany and Normandy. St Malo and La Baule are shown; also the saltpans near Le Croisic. Inevitably, the tourist honey-pot of Mont Saint Michel features whilst the landing beaches at Arromanches, Omaha and Utah do not - a pity.

The photography is excellent but France and Chopin? There is no visit to the Limousin and particularly the characterful village of Gargilesse-Dampière where the composer conducted his affair with the novelist Georges Sands and which drew many painters including Claude Monet and Théodore Rousseau.

Robert J Farr


 
 


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.