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
 

Availability
Pristine Classical

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Violin Concerto in D major Op.61 (1806) [40:35]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Violin Concerto No.5 in A major K219 Turkish (1775) [26:50]
Josef Wolfsthal (violin)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Manfred Gurlitt (Beethoven)
Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Frieder Weissmann (Mozart)
rec. 1928-29 (Mozart) and 1929 (Beethoven), Berlin
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC239 [67:21]

Experience Classicsonline

Josef Wolfsthal (1899-1931) was one of the rising crop of inter-war German fiddle players, and one of the leading students of Carl Flesch. His early death ended a career of rising potential and one that, discographically speaking at any rate, had already witnessed two recordings of the Beethoven Concerto, the first a truncated acoustic but the second, as heard here, a complete electric made in 1929.

Wolfsthal had a quite tightly concentrated core sound. His tone is neither big nor especially variegated, but it is very sweet and is applied intelligently throughout. He largely abjures noticeably expressive portamenti but characterises with exemplary commitment, and brings a sense of spruce modernity to the Beethoven. That’s true of those passages in the first movement where older practitioners habitually slowed down; Wolfsthal is not inflexible here, but he does keep the tempi flowing relatively quickly, and he avoids wholly the trap of sentimentalising. His cadenza – here and in the companion Mozart Concerto, all the cadenzas are Joachim’s – is played with real dash and bravado. There’s a swift lyricism in the slow movement and a playful, controlled vitality in the finale, where, once again, he excels in the cadenza. It helps, that he plays with the Berlin Philharmonic, directed here by Manfred Gurlitt, a conductor and composer of perception.

Earlier in his career Wolfsthal had been concertmaster of the Berlin State Opera Orchestra, and for the Mozart he joins his old orchestra, and the conductor Frieder Weissmann. One admires Wolfsthal here for his bright, pellucid sound. His phrasing is alert and alive, with an electric vivacity; and his trill is ringing and tight. He varies and deepens his vibrato width for the slow movement to considerable effect, as he does in the finale’s cadenza (with a brisk slide or two), but whilst there’s no great sense of a presiding personality at work, the playing is highly musical and impressive – and stylistically apt, for the time. I don’t have this 78 set, so can’t be sure, but the strong rallentando at 3:44 in the second movement sounds very much like a preparation for a side turn, which was a recurring feature of recordings on 78 and one not often enough singled out for comment.

You may well have come across Wolfsthal’s name in relation to Strauss; his solo in the Bourgeois Gentilhomme recording is still famous, as is his playing in Strauss’s first Ein Heldenleben traversal. Some of his recordings have been reissued, as here, but things such as Tartini’s Devil’s Trill, with Liachowsky, remain resolutely untransferred, so far as I’m aware. The acoustic Beethoven was released by Biddulph. This Pristine transfer of the electric version reminds collectors of Pearl’s release on GEMM CD9387 which, in addition to the two concertos, included a Beethoven Romance in a 1925 recording conducted by Thierfelder, the same conductor who directed the acoustic concerto. Mark Obert-Thorn’s transfers successfully eclipse the older Pearl, by virtue of their cleaner surfaces and greater detail.

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.