£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


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
 

AVAILABILITY

Buywell.com

Opera’s Greatest Choruses
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Vedi! Le fosche (Anvil Chorus) from Il Trovatore [2:56]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Va’, pensiero (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves) from Nabucco [4:36]
Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945)
Regina coeli laetare (Easter Hymn) from Cavalleria Rusticana [6:48]
Dominique Fegan (soprano)
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
O welche Lust (Prisoners’ Chorus) from Fidelio [6:42]
Bernard Wheaton (tenor); Sam Hartley (baritone)
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)
Humming Chorus from Madama Butterfly [3:12]
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Treulich geführt (Bridal Chorus) from Lohengrin [4:06]
Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1857-1919)
Din, don, suona vespero (Bell Chorus) from Pagliacci [3:05]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Patria oppressa (Chorus of the Scottish Refugees) from Macbeth [5:54]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
O Isis und Osiris, welche Wonne! (Chorus of the Priests) from The Magic Flute [2:33]
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858-1924)
Gira la cote (Turn the grindstone!) from Turandot [2:37]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901)
Gloria all’Egitto (Triumphal March) from Aida [12:11]
Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881)
Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov [6:01]
Robert Harrington (tenor)
Opera Queensland Chorus/Richard Lewis
The Queensland Orchestra/Johannes Fritzsch
rec. 11–14 February 2009, ABC Studios, Brisbane.
ABC CLASSICS 476 3489 [62:08]

 

Experience Classicsonline


 
The title of the disk says it all – Opera’s Greatest Choruses – a subjective title, and I’m sure we all have our own favourites which are not represented. What we do have is a disk containing many of the usual contenders from the 19th to early 20th century, mainly from Italian operas - the exceptions being two German and one Russian.
 
The first thing to say is that the chorus is relatively free of the overwhelming vibrato evident with some opera-house choruses. With just over a dozen people per line (55 members in total) they make a good solid sound.
 
To go quickly through the music on offer, we start with a rousing Anvil chorus – very brashly delivered. This is followed by the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, given with an appropriate downtrodden weariness.
 
The Mascagni I enjoyed because the choir inside the church does sound like a church choir with the vibrato pared down. However the solo soprano’s vibrato borders on a wobble. All the solo parts are taken by members of the Opera Queensland Chorus. The orchestra play the postlude to this extract which, to my mind, gives it an anticlimax – better to leave it at the end of the final choral outburst ‘Signor’.
 
The Fidelio Prisoners’ Chorus is well presented by the men. The sopranos and tenor take on the Humming Chorus but it sounds like they are singing to some sort of vowel sound, not humming at all. I understand that this makes it easier - having sung this myself I know how difficult it is - but it robs it of the other-worldly, dreamy sound it should have.
 
Wagner’s Bridal Chorus is probably the most delicately sung I have heard, and the Bell Chorus from Pagliacci is full of joy - probably the only bit of real joy in this particular opera. This is followed, in contrast, by the Chorus of the Scottish Refugees from Macbeth. This most haunting chorus just misses the absolute desperation which should be felt by these people. Perhaps on stage and in character, it would be there.
 
The Mozart is played a little faster than I am used to, but it flows better at this pace. We are then thrown into the frenzied chorus from Turandot, where the ensemble slips a little in places, but given the tempo changes in this section it is not surprising.
 
From China we go to the pomp and ceremony of ancient Egypt in the Triumphal March from Aida. We get a substantial extract which includes the trumpet march and the ballet between the two choruses. This allows us to see how good the orchestra is and they acquit themselves with style and panache.
 
Finally we get the Coronation Scene from Boris Godunov. A public acclamation of a ruler, but it is in a completely different sound-world from Aida. This is the only item sung in English; the rest are all in their original language. It is a marvellous peroration to Boris, but it lacks the Russian timbre as it is in English. ‘Slava’ has much more impact than the English ‘Glory’. But it rounds off the disk in grand style.
 
This is a good showcase for this particular group and anyone who knows them will not be disappointed. Anyone who wants a well presented and performed set of opera choruses will find much enjoyment here.
 
There is an excellent booklet with information on each opera; texts and English translations; and information about the chorus, orchestra and conductor.
 

Arther Smith
 

 


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.