Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

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

 


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


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

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Britten's Orchestra
The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1946) [17:14]
Sinfonia da requiem (1940) [19:26]
Peter Grimes: Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia (1945) [24:33]
Kansas City Symphony/Michael Stern
rec. 5-6 June 2009, Community of Christ Auditorium, Independence, Missouri, USA.
REFERENCE RECORDINGS RR-120 [71:13]

Experience Classicsonline

I had to remind myself of the dates of these works. In the process one catches oneself wondering at the mastery of a composer who during the second world war wrote this music between the ages of 27 and 33.

The Young Person's Guide is done with wonderful grandeur and clarity. One might however have wished that each of the thirteen variations had been separately tracked. It would have aided the use and enjoyment of the disc. While it is the norm to offer the Guide in a monolithic slab it’s a pity that the recreative thought that went into interpolating the Passacaglia as the penultimate movement of the Interludes sequence – not something done previously - had not been applied in this regard also.

This is a doughty and deeply satisfying contender in the Britten stakes. These works have never received such a sumptuous and transparently communicative recording before. If I prefer Previn by the slightest margin it’s because the breaking strain tension in the Previn-EMI is just that shade more zingingly taut and thrummingly tight. Even so the Passacaglia has never sounded so intense – just listen to the searing serrated emotional ‘razor’ at 2:01. It’s superb. The plangent iron soul of the bell is also heard as never before in Sunday Morning in the hands of Stern and the Kansas orchestra. The Sinfonia is amongst Britten’s strongest works and heard now suggests a stronger linkage with the symphonies of Harris, Schuman and Mennin than with anything going on in the UK at the time.

Interesting to note that Peter Grimes was premiered at London’s Sadler’s Wells on 7 June 1945 and that the Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia from Peter Grimes entered the world at a Cheltenham concert six days later. The Sinfonia da Requiem was a commission by the Japanese Government for the 2600th anniversary of its ruling House. When the titles of the movements (drawn from the requiem mass) became public knowledge Japan rejected the Sinfonia. The dedication is ‘In memory of my parents’ and Barbirolli premiered the piece in New York with the NYPSO on 30 March 1941. If I recall correctly a recording of that event is available on VAI. The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra – also known as Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Purcell – was premiered by Sargent in Liverpool on 15 October 1946. Sargent later appeared as king-pin – what else? – in a Crown Film Unit educational short in which he talked the audience through a performance of the YPG. It has been reissued on a Beulah DVD. That short film kept doing the round of UK schools well into the 1960s.

This is a generous classic Britten collection recorded in stunning sound typical of the label. As such it makes a fitting successor to their even stronger release of the Sibelius and Sullivan Tempest music. This orchestra and conductor are well worth watching but I do hope that they will avoid the accustomed path of standard orchestral spectaculars and keep treading the little trodden paths. How about Arthur Farwell’s Rudolph Gott Symphony?

Rob Barnett

Note
The HDCD (High Definition Compatible Digital) format is compatible with normal CD players, but the improvement in sound quality can only be heard with players with the appropriate decoding hardware or PCs using Windows Media Player. For further information, see the Wikipedia entry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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






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.