Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  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

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873 - 1943)
Symphonic Fantasy: The Rock, op.7 (1893) [14:18]
Symphony No.2 in E minor, op.27 (1906/1907) [60:19]
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda
rec. 24 November 2008 (The Rock); 11-12 November 2009 (Symphony), Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, DDD
CHANDOS CHAN10589 [74:52]

Experience Classicsonline


Arnold Bax might have called himself a brazen romantic, but he never created a work quite as brazenly romantic as Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony - a work for which the word ‘brazen’ might have been invented. Certainly here is a piece which seethes with emotion in every bar, is designed to tug at the heartstrings, and give a general feeling of satisfaction by the end.
 
All Rachmaninov does in this Symphony is write his own music and that’s enough to captivate us. Korngold has exactly the same effect. I am always happy when a new recording of this work appears for in our contemporary world of calamities and disasters it’s good to have something one can rely on to keep one sane. This new version of the work has, perhaps, the best recorded sound I have ever heard. This disk has allowed me to hear touches of orchestration which have passed me by in other recordings, and some even in the concert hall, and the sound is clear and bright, very alive and full-bodied. However, even with stunning orchestral playing from the BBC Philharmonic, the interpretation doesn’t complement the sound.
 
Noseda is a fine conductor, we’ve heard his performances often on the radio and in the concert hall, and he has impressed me with his clear thinking and ability to carry the musical argument even in the biggest pieces - I remember a performance of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony at last year’s Proms where, although his tempi were questionable, he understood how the music worked and where it was going. He shows the same musical intelligence in this performance but I cannot help feeling that he isn’t really in sympathy with the music.
 
Without a strong hand at the helm, Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony can lose its way - and make one understand why it was performed for so many years in a version which was brutally cut - and that is what happens here. No movement has one set tempo, the pace fluctuates as the various sections reveal themselves and on several occasions Noseda’s decision to simply, and abruptly, change tempo, instead of creating a relaxation - it was almost always from faster to slower music where this happened - jolted the flow. Noseda is at his best in the second half of the slow movement where Rachmaninov spends some time reflecting on what has gone before - the climax coming early in this movement - and Noseda enjoys its romantic warmth. Elsewhere, I found a lack of tension and real fire, the three fast movements being fast, but failing to grab one by the shoulders and give one a good emotional kicking. By the end I want to be gasping for having been put through the wringer not just pleasantly entertained.
 
The early Symphonic Fantasy: The Rock is a very generous filler - well done Chandos for sensibly placing it first for you don’t want anything to follow this Symphony - and Noseda is more at home here, for the music causes no problems. It can simply be played without worries for it is a simple piece and it’s here played as such.
 
For the Symphony my recommendation remains with the fabulous three CD set of Rachmaninov’s orchestral works by Mariss Jansons and the St Petersburg Philharmonic (EMI 500885) and although The Rock isn’t in this set, a magnificent Isle of the Dead is.
 
Bob Briggs

see also review by Raymond Walker 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.