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

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
Buywell.com

Folk Song Arrangements by Ludwig van BEETHOVEN ((1770-1827), Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) and Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826)
See end of review for full list
Edith Mathis (soprano); Julia Hamari (mezzo); Alexander Young (tenor); Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone); RIAS Kammerchor; Andreas Roehn, Helmut Heller (violins); Georg Donderer, Irmgard Poppen (cellos); Aurèle Nicolet (flute); Karl Engel (piano); rec. Berlin, February 1961, March 1970. ADD
AUSTRALIAN ELOQUENCE 4800385 [58:22 + 64:17]

 

Experience Classicsonline


 
A fascination with all things Scottish dates from before Sir Walter Scott’s wholesale invention of much of the genre. Purcell’s Theatre Music includes several examples of imitation Scottish Tunes and Songs and in the second half of the eighteenth century composers of all nationalities turned out songs and instrumental pieces in large numbers in a similar vein. The pieces on these discs are however not newly invented tunes in the Scottish style but genuine Scottish and other folk tunes arranged by three great masters, none of whom, as far as I am aware, ever visited Scotland. The figure behind this was George Thomson (or Thompson according to the booklet with these discs), an Edinburgh civil servant and publisher, who commissioned them along with new words by such poets as Robert Burns, James Hogg and (of course) Walter Scott. Curiously he never brought the words and music together before publication, so that as far as I am aware Beethoven and the others arranged the music without knowing what the words were about - although given the dialect often adopted they might have had difficulties even if they had been supplied. Not surprisingly this does lead to some odd mixtures which can cause difficulties for singers who must decide whether to follow the words or the music where the two diverge in character. Eloquence make this less obvious here by omitting not only the texts but any clue as to what the words are about, leaving the listener in the same position as the composers were in. It is possible to catch some of the words, but dialect poems in what is not the first language of most of the singers involved here do mean that the listener frequently is able to grasp little more than the gist of the text.
 
The result however is still well worth hearing. Given the talents involved it would be surprising if it was otherwise, although critics used regularly to refer to these songs in very dismissive terms. Admittedly not all of Beethoven’s lesser works are masterpieces, and some are best left in relative obscurity, but surely many of these arrangements are amongst the most imaginative responses to folk music before Bartók or Britten. They are not idiomatic in their use of the tunes but they do show the way in which Beethoven was able to react to what must have seemed to him exotic turns of phrase and unlikely rhythms. Bearing in mind that they date from the composer’s maturity the sheer range and imagination which he shows in this task are unsurprising.
 
Fortunately in recent years they have at last been given the recognition they deserve, and several complete recordings of the whole series – nearly 180 songs – have been made. Most of the recordings on these discs date from 1970, the three hundredth anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, at which time few had been recorded. DGG employed a starry set of singers - Edith Mathis, Julia Hamari, Alexander Young and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau – and offered the kind of presentation necessary for such material. The present reissue lacks that presentation but does add earlier recordings by Fischer-Dieskau of songs arranged by Haydn and Weber as well as Beethoven. Although some of the latter duplicate those chosen in 1970 the earlier versions are sung in German. The differences in performance and in the versions of the works themselves are minor.
 
I am sure that none of these composers would have expected anyone to listen to more than a few of these songs at a time. It is indeed inadvisable to do so as certain mannerisms and tricks in the arrangements and the performances become very noticeable. Better to savour half a dozen and stop, wanting more, as you will given performances which combine exuberance, elegance and beauty of tone as required. Maybe at times Fischer-Dieskau does work rather too hard for this listener’s comfort so that you might even describe it as hectoring, but I am more than willing to ignore this given his wonderful ability to characterize each song individually. The contributions of the other soloists and choir are no less admirable, and the variety of voices in itself adds much to the listener’s pleasure.
 
The German versions of the Beethoven arrangements and the arrangements by Haydn and Weber are all sung just by Fischer-Dieskau although Karl Engel continues valiantly and imaginatively with the frequently busy piano parts. His ability to point Beethoven’s varied rhythms and phrasing gives immense pleasure. The other instrumentalists also contribute with great panache and, where required, beauty of tone. I have to admit to finding the Haydn arrangements at times dull in this company, but those by Weber have a quirky charm that distinguishes them from the frequently more muscular versions by Beethoven.
 
Between them these discs contain forty-six songs and over two hours of delightful and often neglected music. Taken a few at a time I find that they lift the spirits and open the ears delightfully. Certainly this is not the greatest music of any of these composers, but in performances like these it is well worth hearing and bringing hours of pleasure.
 

John Sheppard
 

 
 
CD1
Beethoven
“Music, Love and Wine” Op 108/1 [1:20]
“The Highland Watch” Op 108/22 [3:43]
“Once more I hail thee” WoO152 [3:37]
“Bonnie Laddie, Highland Laddie” Op 108/7 [1:41]
“Behold my Love how green the groves” Op 108/9 [3:12]
“The Pulse of an Irishman” WoO154 [2:03]
“Constancy” WoO155 [2:36]
“The Elfin Fairies” WoO154 [2:52]
“Ye Shepherds of this pleasant Vale” WoO156 [1:56]
“Sunset” Op 108/2 [2:13]
“He promis’d me at parting” WoO154 [2:20]
“Enchantress, farewell” Op 108/18 [4:13]
“Put round the bright wine” WoO154 [2:29]
“Since all the vows” WoO157 [2:41]
“O how sweet were the hours” Op 108/3 [4:20]
“Duncan Gray” WoO156 [1:57]
“Faithful Johnie” Op 108/20 [4:09]
“Could this ill world have been contrived” Op 108/16 [3:02]
“Highlander’s Lament” WoO157 [3:56]
“Farewell Bliss and Farewell Nancy” WoO152 [3:16]
 
CD2
“The Miller of Dee” WoO157 [2:02]
“O Sanctissima” WoO157 [2:02]
“Oh! Had my Fate been joined with thine” Op 108/12 [4:25]
“Charlie is my Darling” WoO 157 [1:46]
“To the Blackbird” WoO 155 [4:58]
“The Return to Ulster” WoO 152 [4:11]
“Come fill, fill my good Fellow” Op 108/13 [2:09]
“Lochnagar” WoO 156 [4:11]
“Sion, the son of Evan” WoO 155 [1:20]
 
Haydn
“Schläfst oder Wachst Du?” Hob.XXX1a/229 [1:09]
“Heimkehr” Hob.XXXIa/31 [1:37]
“Maggy Lauder” Hob.XXXIa/35 [2:17]
“Dort, wo durchs Ried das Bächlein zieht” Hob.XXXIz/178 [1:18]
“Fleiss leise, mein Bächlein” Hob.XXXIa/253A [2:23]
 
Beethoven
“Horch auf, mein Leibchen” WoO 158a [1:00]
“Da brava, Catina” (Canzonetta Veneziana) WoO158a [1:48]
“O köstliche Zeit” Op 108/3 [4:03]
“Trinklied” Op 108/13 [2:03]
“Die treue Johnie” Op 108/20 [4:07]
“Kommt, schliesst mir einer frohen Kreis” WoO 152 [1:14]
 
Weber
“Ein entmutigter Liebender” J295-304 [3:51]
“Ein beglückter Liebender” J295-304 [1:50]
“Bewunderung” J295-304 [2:30]
“Glühende Liebe” J295-304 [1:41]
“Trinklied” J295-304 [1:12]
“Weine, weine, weine nur nicht” J231 [1:36]

 


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.