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!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 


Buy through MusicWeb for £12 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

 

Carl Philipp Emanuel BACH (1714-1788)
Concertos for Cello, Strings and Continuo:-
Concerto in a minor, Wq170 (H432) (1750) [24:17]
Concerto in B-flat major, Wq171 (H436) (1751, rev. early 1770s) [24:09]
Concerto in A major, Wq172 (H439) (1753, rev. early 1770s?) [19:14]
Raphael Wallfisch (cello); Scottish Ensemble/Jonathan Morton
rec. Caird Hall, Dundee, 21 April 2008. DDD.
NIMBUS NI 5848 [67:48]

Experience Classicsonline



I hadn’t heard Raphael Wallfisch in such early music before, though Rosemary Westwell’s description of his recent performance of J.S. Bach’s Cello Suites as ‘a unique and splendid event’ (see review) led me to have high expectations - expectations which, by and large, were not disappointed.

A small initial black mark to Nimbus for giving only the Wotquienne numbers of these concertos, without also giving the equivalent H catalogue numbers. Small matter in this case, since these are C.P.E.’s only three works of their kind. The concertos also exist in versions with solo flute and solo keyboard, but that’s a topic for another day, except to note that there is no clear evidence which came first.

They have hitherto been represented in the catalogue by an excellent performance on BIS by Hidemi Suzuki and the Bach Collegium of Japan, best known for their recordings of Bach senior’s cantatas (BISCD807) and at budget price by a recommendable Naxos recording with Tim Hugh, the Bournemouth Sinfonietta and Richard Studt (8.553298). There’s also a good super-budget 2-CD set on Virgin Veritas, a Radio 3 Building a Library Choice with Anner Bylsma, the OAE and Gustav Leonhardt (5 61794 2, coupled with five Symphonies Wq182/5 and 183/1-4).

If you just want one example of C.P.E.’s Cello Concertos, look no further than the CD of Concerti Brillanti, featuring a performance of Wq172 (H439) with works by Graf, Hasse and Michael Haydn which I made Recording of the Month last year (BMG/Sony 88697 11997-2, Jan Vogler; Munich Chamber Orchestra/Reinhard Goebel - see review).

I compared the Vogler/Goebel performance of the A major concerto favourably with an older recording by Miklós Perényi and János Rolla, finding him much more sprightly in the first movement, where direct comparison could be made, and equally lively in the other movements where choice of cadenzas partly clouds the issue. Vogler takes 6:12 for that opening Allegro, a speed which I still find absolutely right, Perényi a much more sluggish 6:51. Like Bylsma on Virgin, Wallfisch on the new recording falls exactly between the two at 6:31. Heard on its own, his tempo makes excellent sense, sounding a little deliberate only with the Vogler recording in one’s mind.

I still prefer Vogler’s slightly brisker tempo for this movement; Hugh and Studt would seem to agree - they even shave a second or two off his timing, but I thought them just a little too fast here. Not having Hugh’s version to hand, I downloaded it in lossless (flac) format from passionato.com. At £5.99, that’s comparable with the price of the CD, but it’s also available for £1 less in very good 320k mp3 sound from passionato or from classicsonline.com.

For many listeners, the slow movements of these concertos will be decisive, since C.P.E. was the exponent in chief of the emfindsamer Stil, the affective style, having emphasised in his Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen, written almost exactly contemporaneously with the first versions of these concertos, that the chief aim of music was to touch the emotions. Tim Hugh certainly goes for the emotions in his account of the Largo middle movement: perhaps he’s just a little too inclined to wring out every last drop of Empfindsamkeit, but I found him both affective and effective. Wallfisch also brings out the emotional content of this movement very effectively; I found little to choose between his performance and Hugh’s.

Vogler takes the movement at a rather faster pace than either of them and employs a shorter cadenza, thereby subtracting a little from the work’s emotional heart, but not to an extent that I found at all disconcerting. Reinhard Goebel is, of course, noted for fast tempi and it was probably he who made the pace in the Largo. All three follows their accounts of the slow movement with a virtuoso performance of the finale.

I could happily live with any of the three versions of the A major, then - Wallfisch, Bylsma or Hugh - but Perényi now goes off to the charity shop, while Vogler retains pride of place, chiefly for the couplings, all world-premiere recordings.

Wallfisch also offers more lively tempi in the a minor than Perényi - the opening movement considerably faster at 9:07 against 11:07, with Hugh finding the middle ground at 10:12. Only in the B-flat concerto does he take a little longer over the opening movement: 9:14 against Perényi’s 8:20 and Hugh’s 7:33. Wallfisch does sound a little leisurely in this movement, heard directly after Perényi or Hugh, but I never found him as sluggish as Perényi frequently sounds elsewhere.

The new Wallfisch/Morton CD is directly competitive with the Hugh/Studt version on Naxos. There’s very little to choose between the performances apart from the slightly greater weight which the Naxos version places on the slow movements. Both are well recorded - the Nimbus slightly more fully than the Naxos which, at least in my download transfer, needed a slight volume boost to sound well. The Naxos has the price advantage but the Nimbus is available at a special price direct from MusicWeb International and it has slightly more to recommend it in other respects. Both offer over an hour of attractive music; though I must admit to a degree of listener fatigue after hearing two and-a-third recordings of them, each heard on its own is a delight. The notes which accompany the Nimbus recording are very good.

I can’t conclude this review without referring you to another, equally effective recording by Raphael Wallfisch, of very different music. I made the reissue of his recording of the Martinů Cello Concertos and the Concertino the Reissue of the Month in my September, 2009, Download Roundup: an excellent bargain on Chandos CHAN10547X in whichever format you choose.

Brian Wilson 
 


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
 


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.