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


CD REVIEW

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

 

alternatively
CD: Crotchet AmazonUK AmazonUS


Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840)
Violin concerto no.1 in D major, op.6 (1817) [40:14]
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
Introduction and rondo capriccioso, op.28 (1863) [10:05]
Jules MASSENET (1842-1912)
Meditation from Thaïs (1894) [5:58]
Mariusz Patyra (violin)
Sinfonia Varsovia/Johannes Wildner
rec. S2 Studio, Polish Radio, Warsaw, Poland, May 2004
DUX 0654 [56:18]
Experience Classicsonline

In 2001 Mariusz Patyra won the prestigious international Paganini Competition for violinists held in the eponymous composer’s Genoa birthplace.  Given that past winners have included such well-known – and frequently recorded - soloists as Salvatore Accardo (1958), Jean-Jacques Kantorow (1964),  Gidon Kremer (1969), Ilya Kaler (1981), Leonidas Kavakos (1988) and Ilya Gringolts (1998), we ought clearly to expect a great deal from him in this repertoire.
 
On the evidence of this new CD, the technical challenges of Paganini’s exceptionally taxing score, which allegedly left some of his contemporaries so amazed that they accused its composer/performer of forging a pact with Satan, certainly hold no terrors for Patyra.  He sails right through them with apparent nonchalance – but, at the same time, he invests his playing with intensity and real heart.  This is by no means a grandstanding account of the concerto but rather one of those rare traversals that combines both breathtaking virtuosity and real and intelligent musicality.
 
After a slightly portentous account of the opening bars, Wildner and the Warsaw players turn in a sprightly, well-balanced account of the orchestral introduction before Patyra enters compellingly and confidently at 3:08.  Paganini himself would no doubt have approved of the fact that the soloist is placed well-forward here, although the orchestral contribution still comes through effectively, if in a rather generalised way, in the radio studio’s very natural acoustic. 
 
Dux’s engineers have captured the violin with exceptional realism.  Patyra’s tone is sweet in his instrument’s higher registers and beautifully warm and mellow in the lower ones.  He adopts a purposeful and generally flowing tempo throughout the first movement, though slowing quite markedly for one or two of the more lyrical passages.  It is, moreover, apparent that he possesses a full and very impressive battery of technical skills and, as one would expect, they are on particular display in the pyrotechnics of the long cadenza: Patyra need fear comparison with no-one here; how one would have loved to hear Heifetz in this concerto – but sadly he never recorded it!  
 
As in virtually all accounts, the second and third movements – far less substantial and clocking in here at just 5:16 and 10:25, as opposed to the opening movement’s 24:33 - are something of an anticlimax.  Nevertheless, Patyra maintains his exceptional standards.  The Adagio is notably lyrical and, once again, flowing but also incorporates some strikingly passionate climaxes (at, for example, 2:16).  The subsequent finale is light-footed and witty, skipping along nicely as Patyra shows off his secure technique, while Wildner is again an attentive and sensitive accompanist whenever the score offers the orchestra scope to do more than mark time and rum-ti-tum along.
 
The soloist is again placed well to the fore in the Saint-Saëns, but that is certainly no drawback when the performance is as idiomatic and atmospheric as this one, combining rich lyricism with more than the merely requisite degree of virtuosity.  The well-known Meditation from Massenet’s little-known opera Thaïs showcases Patyra’s sweet tone as he plays with the greatest sensitivity and, just as in the Paganini slow movement, with an innately musical sense of where to inject the passion. 
 
This is, then, clearly a very fine disc and I have been delighted to add it to my collection.  It doesn’t, however, displace my preferred modern version by Salvatore Accardo – not the usually-recommended Deutsche Grammophon recording where he is supported by Charles Dutoit and the London Philharmonic Orchestra but, rather, the frequently overlooked version in which Accardo was both soloist and conductor of  the tremendously enthusiastic and authentic-sounding Orchestra da Camera Italiana (EMI Classics 5 57151 2).   Lovers of the concerto will also need no persuasion to turn to the classic – and intensely involving - recording set down by the young Yehudi Menuhin in 1934 with the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris under Pierre Monteux (EMI Classics Références 5 65959 2).
 
My one reservation is with the short measure offered.  I fail to see any excuse these days for discs that clock in at under, say, 60 minutes and the producers could surely have encouraged Patyra to delight us with another lollipop or two. 
 
In the early 1930s, Universal Pictures used to head their movies’ final cast lists with the words: A good cast is worth repeating.  As many composers have realised, that premise can easily be modified into: A good tune is worth repeating.  The Paganini concerto is especially full of attractive and memorable melodies: is it too much to hope that one day a soloist will couple it with two of its several fascinating spin-offs?  I calculate that you could just about fit not only the concerto itself (about 40:00) but also its inventive adaptations by both August Wilhelmj (roughly 20:00) and Fritz Kreisler (about 18:00) onto a single disc.  Now that would be really fascinating!
 
Rob Maynard


 


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
 


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.