£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Some items
to consider


BRAHMS Complete Edition
58CD £95.22


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

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
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Anton Stepanovich ARENSKY (1861-1906)
Piano Trio No.1 in d minor, Op.52 (1894) [29:25]
Piano Trio No.2 in f minor, Op.73 (1905) [28:46]
Rachmaninov Trio Moscow (Mikhail Tsinman (violin); Natalia Savinova (cello); Victor Yampolsky (piano))
rec. no details supplied. DDD.
Also available as a download from classicsonline – here – and eMusic – here – (both mp3)
TUDOR CD7152 [58:42]

Experience Classicsonline




 
I am reviewing this recording as a download from eMusic, where it was released as a download prior to its issue on CD, due in December 2010. As with the Tudor recording of Jonathan Nott and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in Bruckner’s Third Symphony (Tudor SACD7133), I originally intended simply to include the review in my next Download Roundup but quickly decided that it deserved and needed the greater space of the main Musicweb International pages.
 
We already are well provided with versions of Arensky’s Piano Trio No.1, from the Nash Ensemble, coupled with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Quintet on CRD 3409, the (Vovka) Ashkenazy Trio on Naxos 8.550467 with Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece Piano Trio, or the Borodin Trio on Chandos CHAN8477 with Glinka’s Piano Trio. Couplings of the two Arensky trios, however, are much rarer: the only current competitor to the new Tudor recording comes from the Borodin Trio again, on a budget-price Chandos release, CHAN10184X, available on CD for around £7.00 in the UK: the Philips Beaux Arts Trio coupling seems to be no longer generally available in the UK. The Chandos price represents a considerable saving on the price of the new Tudor CD (likely to be around £12), though the Tudor is more economical as a download (£7.99 from classicsonline or £3.36 for eMusic subscribers). Can the quality of the new performances justify the difference?
 
The First Trio with its unmistakable echoes of Arensky’s teacher Tchaikovsky, though with a nod to other romantic composers and an overall style all his own, is understandably the better-known work. Its coupling with his mentor’s Piano Trio is probably the most apt, and certainly the most generous in terms of playing time of those under consideration, at 78:47. The Naxos price advantage is clearly a consideration.
 
In my May 2009 Download Roundup, I marginally preferred that Naxos recording of the wonderfully attractive First Trio, but there is very little wrong with the less emphatic, more lyrical Nash performance or the darker, more moody Borodin Trio. The Borodin are not lacking in power when the movement takes off, but the more powerful Naxos is rather more to my liking, taking just 9:46 for the first movement. The Borodin take 11:53 over that opening movement, as against 11:27 on the new Tudor CD.
 
Despite being closer to the overall timing of the Borodins than to the Naxos performers, the Moscow players get the movement underway from the start as effectively as the latter. You may miss the Borodin’s intensity at the opening, as I do, but we can’t have it both ways and I think it’s best to keep up the momentum here. If you find the Naxos performers just a little too forceful, the new recording probably represents the best blend of the power, lyricism and moodiness of its three rivals. I’m sure that I shall want to return to it: indeed, I would never have gone to the expense of downloading it, had I not already listened to the streamed version from the Naxos Music Library and enjoyed what I had heard. Try it there first if you are a subscriber.
 
The scherzo second movement on the new recording is as free-wheeling as you could wish, at 6:16 against the Borodin’s slightly slower 6:25 – actually the difference sounds greater than the simple timings suggest, especially when the Naxos version looks – but doesn’t sound – slower still at 6:27. The Nash Ensemble are a little faster than any other version, at least on paper, but the Moscow performers are quite fleet enough for my liking: you’d be hard pressed to make a case for them sounding slow or heavy.
 
The Elegia is affective in the hands of the Rachmaninov Trio, without wearing its heart too much on its sleeve; it and the allegro non troppo opening of the finale, its andante and allegro sections and its briefly boisterous conclusion also come off very well. The new recording becomes, on balance, my preferred version. If you want the two trios together, the new recording is almost mandatory, with only the Borodin on Chandos as rivals.
 
The Second Trio is less immediately appealing but has its own charms and doesn’t deserve the neglect which it has suffered. Once again the Rachmaninov Trio present a very good case for it, while making less heavy weather than the Borodins and never making the music outstay its welcome, yet without downplaying any of the emotional content.
 
The second movement is an affecting Romance: as with the Elegia of the First Trio, the performers’ collective heart is not too overtly worn on sleeve – after all, it’s marked andante, not adagio, and the performance moves at the right pace. By contrast the Borodin Trio are just a little too languid. The scherzo third movement is light and airy in both performances.
 
The finale consists of a theme and variations – it’s not the equal of the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio, nor anything like as long or intense, but presumably consciously modelled on it. Once again, it receives an emotionally telling, though not over-passionate performance – Arensky varies the sentiment with lighter passages – on the Tudor recording. In the closing bars the Rachmaninov Trio convey the sense that all passion is spent and the rest is silence. There isn’t a great deal to choose between the two performances here, except that the Borodin Trio are apt to squeeze a drop or two more sentiment or portentousness out of the more emotional passages.
 
I don’t wish to convey the impression that the Borodin Trio performance of the Second Trio is poor – until I heard the new recording, I had no quarrel with it – but I did find that the new version has raised the work in my esteem, not greatly, but significantly.
 
Theclassicalshop.net offers the Chandos booklet with the Borodin Trio download. There’s none with the Tudor, but that Chandos booklet is available to all comers, so the notes on the music are equally applicable to the Rachmaninov Trio recording – except that their performance of the Second is not more expansive than that of the First Trio, as the booklet states. Without a score I can’t be sure, but I suspect that’s because the Rachmaninov Trio omit a repeat or two in the outer movements – no great hardship if that is the case.
 
The Borodin Trio versions come as mp3 and lossless downloads from Chandos’s own theclassicalshop.net, as well as on CD. It’s a little unfair to be comparing the Chandos in lossless sound with the Tudor in mp3, especially when the bit-rates of the eMusic download range from an acceptable 224 kb/s to the maximum 320 kb/s. As yet there is no available download in lossless sound – wait for Passionato.com to provide that in due course – but I had no complaints about the eMusic mp3. At £3.36 – even less to long-term subscribers still on the old 50-track for £11.99 rate – it’s less than half the price of the classicsonline version, though all the tracks on the latter are at the full 320kb/s. The quality of the eMusic download suggests that the CD will sound very good, though it doesn’t appear that it will be available in SACD, as many recent Tudor releases have been.
 
Brian Wilson
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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






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.