Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


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

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
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: Crotchet
Download: Classicsonline


Robert Riefling (1911-1988) - Great Norwegian Performers 1945-2000: Volume IV
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
CD 1
Piano Sonata in E major, Op. 109 (1820) [20:07]
Piano Sonata in A flat major, Op. 110 (1821) [18:37]
Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 111 (1821-22) [26:28]
CD 2
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major Op. 58 (1805-06) [35:06]
Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major Op. 73 Emperor (1809) [40:16]
Robert Riefling (piano)
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Karsten Andersen (No.4)
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Gabriel Chmura (No.5)
rec. concert, Hakonshallen, Bergen, May 1979 (sonatas); concert, Oslo Konserthus October 1981 (Concerto No.5), September 1986 (Concerto No.4)
SIMAX PSC1833 [65:12 + 75:22]

 

Experience Classicsonline


Robert Riefling (1911-1988) is the subject of the fourth volume in Simax’s Great Norwegian Performers 1945-2000 series. He studied with Nils Larsen and with Karl Leimer in Hannover, later taking summer courses with Fischer and Kempff in Potsdam. His career grew in the mid-1930s and he reached the finals of the Queen Elizabeth competition in 1938, at which event Gilels won first prize.

On records he is perhaps best remembered for his Berwald, and for Grieg – the concerto and an LP of one of the violin sonatas. This makes the focus on Beethoven for this two disc set the more valuable. Simax’s notes concentrate on the philosophic underpinning of Riefling’s musico-aesthetic life, all of which makes for occasionally over-demanding reading. The same notes however do touch on some adverse criticism Riefling received, and this relates mainly to a certain cool quality in his playing. These radio broadcasts, from 1979, 1981 and 1986, two years before his death, offer some answers, and some amplification too.

The Concertos were taped in the 1980s. The Fourth, with Karsten Andersen directing the Oslo Philharmonic, is intellectual if, to use the word, cool. The winds are finely punctuated; Riefling’s tone is a touch glassy, and though it’s not quite as gaunt as late Serkin it inhabits a similar kind of sound world. He’s sparing of pedal and his avowedly unsentimental take and treble-oriented sonority lend the slow movement an aloof but not unattractive profile. Strong accents and rhythmic security underpin the finale. The Emperor again shows a – or a combination of his and the engineers – proclivity for bright tone. There’s some metrical plasticity in the first movement especially but with the piano rather too much in front of the orchestra balances are a little problematic. Chugging left hand pointing is a distinctive feature of the finale.

The sonatas come from a recital in May 1979. Here the recording is not truly flattering to Riefling’s tone but we can certainly hear quite enough detail to amplify the points made in the discussion of the two concerto performances. There’s a heavyweight but uningratiating quality to his playing that commands respect. One may find him tonally light, especially in the bass, in these works – especially in Op.109 - but the reserved nobility is avowed. His honest, if sometimes clangourous sonority doesn’t quite evoke enough in the Adagio introduction to the finale of Op.110. There is something anti-Romantic about aspects of his playing; the austerity is controlled, sometimes almost chiselled; occasionally it’s remote but never quite cold. The digitally refined treble trills in the Arietta of Op.111 are evidence of his tremendous touch, but this is not playing of obviously expressive largesse or reach. It posits a different awareness of the mechanics of the music and its external expression.

Given the foregoing this is a somewhat problematic release, but it is very well documented and revealing of Riefling’s musical ethos in this repertoire. 

Jonathan Woolf



 

 
 


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.