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


Tudor 7188


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

 

 

 

 


DOWNLOAD 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
 

 

AVAILABILITY

Classicsonline


Alberto GINASTERA (1916-1983)
Glosses sobre temes de Pau Casals (for orchestra), Op. 48 [17:34]
Variaciones concertantes, Op. 23 [23:47]
Glosses sobre temes de Pau Casals (for string quintet and string orchestra), Op. 46 [16:06]
London Symphony Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra/Gisele Ben-Dor
rec. July 1994, Mann Auditorium, Tel Aviv, Israel (Variaciones); January 1995, Abbey Road Studios, London (Glosses)
NAXOS DIGITAL 8.572249
[57:47]
Experience Classicsonline

Alberto Ginastera’s Variaciones Concertantes are a series of variations scored primarily for very small groups of instruments, with the full orchestra only entering for a brilliant malambo folk-dance finale. As a result the piece sounds like a richly varied chamber epic, and the different textures and colours never grow old. I found the Variaciones very easy to enjoy, and you will too: the lovely thematic material is presented first by the solo cello and harp, then in a sequence of delectable solos for flute, clarinet, viola and horn with spare orchestral accompaniment, plus a surprising appearance by the double bass. This colorful but exceedingly simple orchestration demands a clear, intimate sound picture and superb first-chair playing, both of which are manifest here. The various soloists of the Israel Chamber Orchestra are not intimidated by the spotlight, and Uruguayan-born conductor Gisele Ben-Dor keeps the music flowing well. This is a work which adventurous (and virtuosic) ensembles ought to consider programming into their concerts, and the present performance has me quite excited for a live performance of the Variaciones scheduled for my hometown next spring.

There are three recordings of the Variaciones Concertantes readily available. This Naxos release is in fact a reissue of an old Koch recording; another, featuring the Richmond Sinfonia from Virginia, is available in America on the Elan label. The Richmond group certainly plays well, but its sound is not as idiomatic, lacking a certain Latin-ness; moreover, a few of the solos (particularly the cello’s) are less than appealing. I have not heard the third recording, featuring the Europa Symphony on Arte Nova, but cannot see how it would preclude a recommendation for this excellent, and very modestly priced, reissue.

The rest of the music on this album is not as immediately appealing, but makes for interesting close listening. The program begins with the orchestral version of the Glosses sobre temes de Pau Casals and, after the Variaciones, concludes with the original instrumentation of those Glosses, for string quintet and string orchestra. The full version is genuinely creepy music, often sounding as if it arrived from another planet. There are ruggedly atonal sections here, whirlwinds of fierce and bizarre orchestral colors, and snatches of the lyrical tunes Pau (better known as Pablo) Casals originally wrote. The opening moments are the first and almost the last passages of lyrical repose; the “Sardane” is particularly hair-raising. The final movement, marked “Conclusio delirant,” is a wild ride, but rather fun. This orchestral version was, interestingly, premiered in 1978 under the baton of Mstislav Rostropovich.

Originally, however, these Glosses were scored for string quintet and string orchestra. If you are not one for repeat listening to the same work, rest assured that these two renditions make for rewarding comparison. They sound like two different pieces (and were published under two different opus numbers.) If anything, the original, pared-down version is even more engaging, with the soloists presenting the Casals material while the orchestra buzzes about them like a swarm of wasps. Even in the delirious final movement, I never really missed the greater color and variety of the full orchestra.

In sum, the repetition in this program will be cause for hesitation for some buyers, who might be intrigued by the more substantial coupling on the Elan disc (a phenomenal performance by Santiago Rodriguez of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s First Piano Concerto). Even so, I did enjoy playing this album straight through. Moreover, since this is an MP3 download, programming is basically a non-concern. The Variaciones Concertantes are an immense pleasure; consider the Glosses a welcome bonus.

As a part of the Naxos Digital imprint, this album is currently only available for download at the website Classicsonline, where it sells for rather less than the price of a physical compact disc.

Brian Reinhart

 
 


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.