MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

CD: Crotchet

Jacqueline FONTYN (b.1930)
On a Landscape by Turner (1992) [14:50]
Au fil des siècles (2002) [13:28]
L'Anneau de Jade (1996) [12:26]
Quatre Sites (1977) [18:33]
 Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra/David Porcelijn
rec. Philharmonic Hall of the House of Culture, Ostrava, 30 November 2006 and 16-17 December 2006
 CYBELE 860.601  [59:19]
Experience Classicsonline

Unlike the other discs of Jacqueline Fontyn's music that I reviewed recently (see review), this one presents brand-new recordings of works hitherto unrecorded. However, like the other discs, the works featured here also span some twenty-five years of Fontyn's prolific composing career. The earliest was composed as far back as 1977 and the most recent in 2002. This provides for a fair appreciation of her stylistic and musical progress over the years while also emphasising the consistency of her music-making.
The substantial Quatre Sites of 1977 might well be seen as Fontyn's symphony in all but name. Although she has attached a subliminal programme to it, the music is neither programmatic nor descriptive. It may however suggest places and moods of the area of Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve for whose centenary the work was commissioned and where the composer lives. The first movement Molto lento opens mysteriously and later unfolds as a Pastorale although the music is not without sharper edges. The second movement is a vivacious Scherzo suggesting buzzing university life in Louvain-la-Neuve. In total contrast, the third movement Eterico does not adhere to any particular form, but rather confronts fragments tossed to and fro. The final movement is a sort of grand recapitulation of parts of what has been heard before. Quatre Sites was awarded the Arthur Honegger International Music Prize by the Fondation de France in 1987. Quatre Sites is one of Fontyn's most substantial achievements yet has been all-too-rarely heard. It is to be hoped that this superb recording will help triggering new performances.
On a landscape by Turner does not refer to any specific canvas by Turner, but the music nevertheless suggests the sort of evanescent colours Turner deploys in canvases such as Rain, steam and speed. It opens with tubular bells over shimmering motifs suggesting some ambiguity. The opening section leads into a somewhat more static episode in which melodic fragments attempt to break through the mist. They eventually do so, reaching a climax followed by a delicately scored section in which vibraphone, harp and celesta are prominent. Varied restatements of earlier motifs in turn lead to the work's second climax. The appeased coda then concludes with the sound of tubular bells.
L'anneau de jade opens with harp and piano evoking the sound of gong-strokes heard in the Temple of the Sky in Beijing. A long melodic line slowly begins to unfold, homophonic at first but rather intricately contrapuntal in later stages. Other instruments join in with their own music, and textures become more dense. The work ends with a peaceful restatement of the opening.
The most recent work here Au fil des siècles was commissioned to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Orchester des Staatstheaters Kassel. Again, the music mostly juxtaposes strongly contrasting episodes leading to an assertive rendering of a motet by Johannes Heugel. The motet was composed around 1570 for what was then known as the Landgräfliche Hofkapelle Kassel. This is eventually combined with some of the earlier material making for a somewhat surreal, almost Ivesian coda.
These often beautiful works give ample proof of Jacqueline Fontyn's highly personal sound-world and poetic vision, both of which she has painstakingly refined over the years. Here is a composer who has things to say and who knows how to say them.
These superb performances recorded in the composer's presence have an unquestionable ring of authenticity. David Porcelijn conducts vital and well prepared readings and the Janácek Philharmonic obviously relishes scores that must have been new territory to them. The recorded sound is excellent even when heard on a standard stereo set-up.
In short, this is a splendid release on all counts and one that does full justice to Fontyn's often complex but ultimately rewarding music.
Hubert Culot 

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




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


      Composer surveys
      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

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


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

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



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

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
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
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
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.