Aureole etc.




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

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


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

 

 

 

 

alternatively
AmazonUK AmazonUS

 

Romantic Treasures
Antonin DVORÁK (1841–1904)
Four Romantic Pieces, op.75 (1887) [13:54]
Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949)
Violin Sonata in E flat, op.18 (1887) [27:37]
Claude DEBUSSY (1962–1918)
La plus que lente (1910) (arr. Jascha Heifetz) [4:28]
La fille aux cheveux de lin (1910) (arr. Arthur Hartmann) [2:33]
Camille SAINT–SAËNS (1835–1921)
Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor, op.75 (1885) [22:20]
Sergiu Schwartz (violin); Alec Chien (piano)
rec. May 2008, Kresge Hall, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. DDD
ROMÉO RECORDS 7263 [70:58]

 

Experience Classicsonline


After you get past the title, which is rather misleading – Strauss’s half hour Sonata could hardly be called a treasure – there is quite a lot to enjoy here. Dvořák’s four salon pieces make a good start, relaxed and tuneful - but then Dvořák is always tuneful; he was very generous with his melodic invention. Then again, the second piece is rather more virtuosic and less melodic, yet, as always with this composer, very approachable.
 

Strauss’s Violin Sonata is no lost masterpiece. It’s a competent piece of work, in three substantial movements. The outer movements rely a little too much on sequential progression to keep the argument going. Strauss seems to think this will heighten the tension and forward momentum of the piece. Sadly, the thematic material isn’t the most memorable or exciting. Even so, he manages to make the slow movement a rather pleasant experience. The two fast movements are overlong and the music simply isn’t strong enough to sustain the playing time required. They neither say anything nor go anywhere. I know that this is harsh but we know what Strauss is capable of, and his real modes of expression are the song, opera and the orchestral tone poem. Schwartz gives the work the big treatment, which it craves, but the ear tires of the forward sound and having the big gestures pushed right in your face. Let’s be honest, the duo Sonata is not this composer’s forte. 

The two Debussy miniatures are delightful, and help to remove the taste of the Strauss work. They’re both delicate little things, real salon pieces like the Dvořák. It’s interesting how the addition of the violin changes our feelings and understanding of these pieces. Both arrangements work very well for the fiddle. I feel sorry for Saint–Saëns for the majority of his music has been overshadowed by a handful of pieces, especially the Carnival of the Animals. This does him a grave disservice for there is much excellent music in his catalogue: concertos and chamber works especially. This Violin Sonata is cast in two movements, each in two parts. It starts with a very virile fast movement – full of tunes and with fine interplay between the two instruments. This leads into a very simple, and lovely, slow movement. The scherzo is light and the finale fantastic and quicksilver. It’s a very beautiful work, compact and full of good things, and it receives the best, most committed, performance on the disk.

This a rather nice recital, well planned, well played and very interesting. We should hear the Strauss even if it’s a failure as a composition. The recording is very up-front. There’s no space between performers and listeners. Instead of turning up the volume to get a good perspective you really need to turn it down otherwise the sound, due to the very close recording, is unpleasantly harsh.

Bob Briggs

 


 


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.