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!

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
 


Hermann Scherchen - Westminster Archives: Volume VI
Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911)
Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
(1885) [28:56]
Kindertotenlieder
(1904) [16:11]
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Hungarian Rhapsodies (1850, for piano) S359/R441 (orch. comp. and Doppler) No. 1 [10:31]; No. 2 [10:05] No. 3 [11:39]; No. 4 [8:40]; No. 5 [10:33]; No. 6 [12:36]
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
Carnival of the Animals [29:21]
Lucretia West (contralto: Mahler)
Garry Moore (reciter): Josef and Grete Dichler (piano)
Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera (Saint-Saëns, Mahler), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Liszt)/Hermann Scherchen
rec. September 1954 (Liszt); May 1957 (Saint-Saëns); June 1958 (Mahler)
TAHRA WEST3011-12 [66:47 + 71:29]

Experience Classicsonline


The restoration of Scherchen’s Westminster recordings has now reached volume six. Mahler, Liszt and Saint-Saëns are the rather unlikely disc-fellows for this twofer whilst the conductor directs the Vienna State Opera orchestra, and also Beecham’s RPO in the Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies.
 
Scherchen was a convinced exponent of Mahler. He recorded symphonies 1, 2, 5 and 7 as well as the Adagio from the Tenth for Westminster. He seems to have conducted the song-cycles rather less often. There are three definitely known performances of the Lied von der Erde, five of Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and seven of Kindertotenlieder. For his Westminster recordings his contralto in the latter two cycles was Lucretia West, herself a distinguished Mahler exponent. I suppose that she is best known for her Mahler 2 with Scherchen (with Mimi Coertse) and her 8 with Mitropoulos, though this has now been augmented by Barbirolli’s Third [SBT1342].
 
Scherchen was a powerfully incursive conductor, one prepared to dig into the wrenching string lines of Nun she’ich wohl in Kindertotenlieder to strong effect. West was an equally vivid presence, her throaty, vibrato rich singing of Wenn dein Mütterlein matched by the searing cello line. Some studio spotlighting alters perspectives - the solo violin in Oft denk’ich for example is a particular example of a general practice, as is the very forward wind playing in the final movement - but the playing is certainly immediate and wholly committed. West’s most dramatic flaring depth of tone is reserved for In diesem Wetter though she lightens her tone appreciably as the song draws to its close.
 
Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen proves equally capable in respect of the association between singer and conductor. West gauges her tonal weight cannily, whilst Scherchen sculpts his orchestral forces with vivid declamation. The studio engineers again ensure that the front-on balance brings solo statements forward and the somewhat one-dimensional nature of this adds its own particular gloss.
 
The set of Liszt Hungarian Rhapsodies is something else. He recorded the set of six in stereo with the Vienna State in 1959 but here we have the London 1954 monos. They’re split between discs one and two but no diminution of tension-fuelled colour or pleasure results. The first is delightfully caprice-laden, whilst the second is full of blistering vitality, its solo violin line brandished with aplomb, the orchestra on genuinely energised and ultra-communicative form. Scherchen’s bass up sonority here pays rich dividends. The Royal Family of winds are a boon in circumstances and repertoire such as this, the folkloric fiddle excursions of the third equally so. The inclusion of a cimbalom in the Fourth provides an authentic dash of paprika whilst the trumpet’s rhythmic song in No.5 is augmented by some deft flute and dazzling harp to ripe effect.
 
To end we have Carnival of the Animals (Vienna, 1957, stereo) with reciter Garry Moore and pianists Josef and Grete Dichler. It utilises the words of John Burt not the more familiar and more entertaining Ogden Nash. One peculiarity of the recording is that overdubbed animal noises sit behind the reciter and the music. This even applies in the case of The Swan, where it intrudes into the cello solo, though it can be intrusive elsewhere, if you are sufficiently minded to resent the practice. The performance is however notably well put across by pianists and orchestra and Moore is a pleasing presence.
 
This is the last of the 1950-64 Westminster series licensed to DG that Tahra will be issuing. It’s been an invaluable series for Scherchen collectors - well transferred and covering interesting repertoire.
 
Jonathan Woolf
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.