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


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

 


 
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: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline


Bohuslav MARTINU (1890-1959)
Overture, H. 34 (1953) [56:30]
Concerto for piano and orchestra No. 2, H. 237 (1934) [21:13]
Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca, H. 352 (1955) [19:05]
Concerto for piano and orchestra No. 4 Incantation, H. 358 (1956) [18:33]
Robert Kolinsky (piano)
Sinfonieorchester Basel/Vladimir Ashkenazy
rec. Musiksaal Stadtcasino Basel, 29-30 October 2005 (live), 23 January 2007. DDD
ONDINE ODE 1158-2 [65:54]

 

Experience Classicsonline


 
Fifty years ago last year Martinu died in Switzerland. Such temporal landmarks provide concert promoters, conductors, radio companies and record labels with some impetus to celebrate; as if an excuse was necessary in the case of Martinu. The fruits of various 2009 projects will continue to find their way onto the record scene way into 2011. Who knows, perhaps Brilliant Classics will issue one of their gargantuan boxes for Martinu. That would be quite feasible if they could secure licences principally from Supraphon.
 
Ashkenazy’s emergence on Ondine has been an unalloyed success. His Ondines include a Suk Asrael that stands as the best among modern recordings. Here he turns to Martinu.
 
Ondine enters the Martinu lists with this disc and does so in exemplary style. Aside from a touch of muddiness in the bass this is a very good recording. Its technical qualities are matched by Ashkenazy’s creative values which are sympathetically turned to Martinu’s music. Ashkenazy accommodates its neo-classical aspects as well as its later wings-spread tragic-romantic exuberance.
 
The Overture is the epitome of the Martinu style of the 1950s with vivacity matched with a small insurgency of Stravinskian neo-classicism. The Second Concerto is a memento of the pre-war Paris years. Robert Kolinsky appears to revel in the pummelled power of the first movement and the sweet intoning of the second. The finale threads manic neo-classicism with desperation. In the hands of these forces Les Fresques glows with the neon intensity of the northern lights and pants with Mediterranean heat. It’s the best version I have heard – superb! Unswerving concentration holds the mood tight. This is great Martinu playing kept on a taut rhythmic leash. In the second movement the solo viola lines reaching out in needy tendrils. In the final fresco one can feel the heat of war in a turbulence also experienced in RVW’s 4th Symphony. However the overwhelming signature is a supernal shining light akin to the ‘true light’ that dazzles the listener at the apex of Howells’ Hymnus Paradisi. This is great music emerging from the chrysalis of neglect. It has the sense of rightness captured by Ansermet on Cascavelle but in modern sound. The Second and Fourth piano concertos are on a 2 CD BMG set played by Firkusny who is the dedicatee of the Fourth. Those two works will no doubt appear before too long to complete the piano concertos set begun by Naxos and Koukl on 8.572206 with concertos 3 and 5. For now though the Fourth Concerto, a very late piece, is far from a conventional adversarial work. Rather like Bax’s Symphonic Variations it has a mystical and hieratic quality. This is a vision for piano and orchestra and as such has much in common with the similar atmosphere of the Sixth Symphony and the more enigmatic and awed episodes in Martinu’s Epic of Gilgamesh.
 
The disc is very well documented and there are some well picked and fresh photographs courtesy of the Bohuslav Martinu Centre in Policka. The Centre’s director Aleš Brezina provides the adept and extensive liner-notes.
 
If you are looking for a single recently recorded disc to represent Martinu then look no further. When you want to move onwards then go for Turnovsky version of the Fourth Symphony on Apex.

Rob Barnett
 

 


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.