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
 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline


Lewis SPRATLAN (b. 1940)
In Memoriam (1993) [52:06]; Streaming (2006) [16:18]
Sharon Hayes, Melinda Spratlan (sopranos), Jon Humphrey (tenor), Donald Barnum, Nathaniel Watson (baritone), Yvonne Lam (violin), David Kim (viola), Christian-Pierre La Marca (cello), Xiang Zon (piano)
The Amherst College Choral Society/Jonathan Hirsch
The Valley Festival Orchestra/Lewis Spratlan
rec. 3 April 1993, Buckley Recital Hall, Amherst College, Amherst MA [1-4] and 23 June 2004, Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, IL, USA. DDD
NAVONA NV5810 [68:31]

 

Experience Classicsonline

 
This well-presented disc also comes with study scores as PDF files, a useful way for a composer to present himself to musicians of all kinds. The main feature of the disc is In Memoriam, a four-movement work lasting almost an hour. Scored for orchestra, choir and solo singers, this was written to commemorate the victims of Columbus’s conquests, and in particular, the Mayans. Spratlan sets Mayan texts, along with poems by Neruda and Vallejo.
 
The opening Prologue establishes an expressive atmosphere, with a commanding solo tenor line from Jon Humphrey. Spratlan’s scoring is carefully balanced, with instrumental lines adding colour to the tenor part. The Prophecy which follows is more chaotic, with strong rhythms and the orchestra dissolving into a frenzy of panic. Other sections contrast with unisons, which seem to dissipate some of the dramatic tension. The tone is dark, predicting an invasion and the loss of the Mayan society. The second section is entitled The Hero, and explores a fantasy view of a hero, modelled on the conquistadors. Here the scoring becomes muddier in the mid-range, and I felt my attention starting to wander. Part Three, Death and Lives of a Revolutionary opens with an imperious vocal solo, with pitched notes combined with some wonderful Sprechgesang. This is one of the highlights of the work and is performed magnificently. The final section is a setting of Neruda’s Mexican Serenade and a Mayan Prayer to the Sun, both associated with the survival of the Mayan people. A South American Festival feel takes over momentarily, but the dark influence of the invasion is still ominously present.
 
This is an ambitious project, which has appeal. The recording has some high points, most notably Jon Humphrey’s singing. The plot is more a collection of related texts rather than a story as such, and the link to Columbus is not always immediately clear, especially in the central sections. The lack of clarity that is sometimes present in the orchestral scoring may in part be down to the recording acoustic. Both works on the disc were recorded live and that might also have some bearing on the sound. Overall, though, this is a piece with much to offer, and one that would benefit from repeated hearings. Spratlan’s writing is imaginative and at times adventurous, particularly in the vocal writing, and the large forces used here are handled well.
 
Streaming is scored for violin, viola, cello and piano. A toccata-style opening is accompanied by bouncing quavers, with the string parts contained within the same pitch range for the opening of the work. A more static section follows, with a greater sense of space and solo lines emerging from the harmonies. After a further brief outburst, the music becomes lyrical, reminiscent of a 1920s music-hall. The fast material maintains the direction and momentum, while the momentary lapses into different styles are distractions along the way. This is a successful compositional approach, with the fast material providing a sense of unity while the other sections serve as contrast.
 

Carla Rees

 


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.