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


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

 

 

 

 

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
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples and Downloads

Paul SCHOENFIELD (b.1947)
Six British Folk Songs (Jack Tar, The Basket of Eggs, The Gypsy Laddie, The Parting Kiss, The Lousy Tailor, A Dream of Napoleon) (1985) [22:11]
Peccadilloes (Allemagne, Fughetta, Rag, Waltz, Shuffle, Boogie) (1997) [16:10]
Refractions (Toccata, March, Intermezzo, Tarantella) (2006) [24:05]
James Tocco (piano), Paul Schoenfield (piano), Yehuda Hanani (cello), Alexander Fiterstein (clarinet)
rec. March-May 2008, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Oberlin, Ohio (Folk Songs, Peccadilloes); January 2008, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati, Ohio (Refractions). DDD.
NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559380 [62:26]

Experience Classicsonline

What does the innocent shopper read on the back of the disc cover? Six British Folk Songs, a tribute to Jacqueline du Pré … Each of the six Peccadilloes is to be enjoyed as a guilty pleasure … Refractions are based on music from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Sounds sweet, doesn’t it? Songs, pleasures and Mozart. Think twice, O innocent shopper! Under these pretty masks there be dragons! The music is tonal – but sharp and untamed. It is intelligent – coming more from the mind than from the heart – and also aimed at the mind. Each movement is based on a germ – a motif, a rhythm, a style – which is then vigorously developed, often to the point of being unrecognisable. It is interesting to follow the flight of the composer’s imagination – interesting, if not necessarily fascinating.

In the Six British Folk Songs for cello and piano, the piano part is played in turns by James Tocco and the composer himself. Each pianist acquits himself excellently in this dense and demanding score. The cello of Yehuda Hanani is deep and luscious. It sings out beautifully every little note - yet can be raw and rough when needed. This is wonderful cello playing and it is beautifully recorded. The piano is recorded more distantly. The lasting impression left by the music is somewhat heavy and somber, even though it’s mostly in the major key. This mood is lightened only in the last halves of The Parting Kiss and of the Napoleon song, where the music is allowed to be heartfelt and lyrical. Elsewhere, there is dark sarcasm and quirky, choleric joy, reminiscent of Charles Ives.

In the insert note, Paul Schoenfield tells of his inspiration for Peccadilloes. The name nods towards Rossini’s Sins of Old Age. Each movement is based on a particular “bad taste” motif, and “was inspired by and is enclothed within an element of what is generally considered bad taste or inferior culture”. The composer is not ashamed of it – on the contrary, he invites us to share his “large chocolate sundae”, and appeals to his fellow “serious musicians” not to be afraid of occasionally being a bit more lightweight. The work is a tour de force for a virtuoso pianist. It is impressive technically, if less so musically. The transformations are skilled, but it comes across more or less as a set of academic exercises. This has nothing to do with the “bad taste” of the underlying motifs. But, for such music, it is surprisingly lacking in surprises: the first ten seconds of each part tell you what it will be, and then the piece just goes on.

Refractions for cello, clarinet and piano are much, much more Schoenfield than Mozart. Actually, the remaining similarity to Mozart’s music is minimal: it’s like taking all the words of a poem and rearranging them to create a new one. The lexicon is vaguely recognizable – but it’s difficult even to prove the origin. In the opening Toccata, Figaro is definitely having a Chassidic wedding, with much ado about it. March is the development of the rhythm of Non più andrai. Its middle part occupies itself with “contorting and parodying music from various recitatives”. This movement is dark and potent. Intermezzo is a complete deconstruction of Dove sono i bei momenti, a gloomy dirge leading us somewhere into the black mists of the other side of life. The last two minutes are gripping. The Tarantella is busy and noisy, without a clear aim, but with some interesting moments. The four movements fit well together, and form a defined chamber work, not a superficial mosaic. It is indeed a valuable addition to the chamber repertoire, and of all the music here it merits the label “American Classics”. The cello of Yehuda Hanani is again the majestic centerpiece; the other two instruments serve to accompany.

The music on this disc is sometimes extravagant, sometimes grotesque, sometimes serious. I can’t say I was persuaded entirely: at times it is frenetic without reason. However, I can definitely imagine a mood that will call for exactly this type of music: energetic, cerebral, with a mischievous grin. At some points the music speaks of the archetype choleric temperament. The first two works seem to me more academic fun, but the Refractions are rewarding.

Oleg Ledeniov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.