Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


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
 

cover image

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples and Downloads

Johan Helmich ROMAN (1694-1758) Drottningholmsmusiken (1744)
see end of review for track listing
Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Manze
rec. Helsingborg Concert Hall, Sweden January 2010
BIS BIS-CD1602 [70:04]

Experience Classicsonline

Court composers - or those with connections at court that might just be good enough - must have been at least as excited about the prospect of a royal wedding as the gossip columnists of the tabloids, or the editor of Hello, are in our own day. They hoped a rewarding commission was in the offing - for a celebratory opera or cantata, some ceremonial music to accompany the service, or some dances or ‘party music’ to show off the cultural splendour of the host court. There was also the chance to make a good impression on other potential patrons. While the court poets polished their flattering epithalamia, in the vernacular and/or Latin, the court composer(s) prepared the musical offerings. Such was the scenario at one Italian or French court or another right though the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (and beyond). And, for that matter, at the Swedish court in the eighteenth century.

In August of 1744 the marriage of Crown Prince Adolf Fredrik of Sweden to Louisa Ulrika of Prussia was the occasion for multifarious celebrations at the palace of Drottningholm. The court composer who wrote the music for these celebrations was Johan Helmich Roman, approaching his fiftieth birthday and perhaps already affected by the deafness that would occasion his retirement soon afterwards. But there are no signs of such difficulties in the witty, vigorous and melodic music which he wrote for the wedding. The twenty five movements which make up the so-called Drottningholmsmusiken can hardly have been intended to be performed as a single sequence from I-XXV, any more than they were designed to be listened to in a modern living room or on an iPod. Doubtless different movements were performed at different points in the several days of celebration. But in the suite as we have it, Roman - it was presumably the composer who was responsible - has disposed the music in a coherent succession, contrasts and connections of rhythm and tempo adding a larger grace to the elegance of individual movements.

The forces of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Manze, give an attractively characterised performance of the suite. There are moments when the sound - this is, by the way, a modern-instrument orchestra - is perhaps a little bigger than it might be, but for the most part there is an attractive fluency to things, an avoidance of the extremes of pomposity on the one hand or excessive informality on the other, so that an accommodating dignity emerges, respectful but welcoming. It is, perhaps ultimately futile, to speculate as to the occasions on which particular movements were to be played - some are clearly processional, some are evidently for dancing. With others - such as the graceful first andante - it is harder to know. Best, perhaps, to simply listen and enjoy.

This suite has now been recorded several times. The first recording was, I think, that by Claude Génetay and the Chamber Orchestra of the National Museum, made in 1982; a 1993 version by Nils Erik Sparf and the Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble has a rhythmic vivacity not always evident in this new version, though Manze’s reading of the slower movements is perhaps preferable; they sound very Handelian - and Roman was, as we know, an admirer of Handel. I haven’t heard the version on Naxos by Anthony Halstead and the Uppsala Chamber Orchestra.

The recorded sound is excellent - but then it is rarely anything else from BIS. This isn’t so special a performance as to supersede all earlier recordings - but it has charm and delicacy enough to be very listenable.

Glyn Pursglove

Track listing
Allegro assai [3:10]
Allegretto [2:23]
Andante [5:49]
Non troppo allegro [5:27]
Andante [2:53]
Poco allegro [1:38]
Allegro [1:27]
Lemto [3:41]
Allegro [3:36]
Allegro assai [2:25]
Allegro [2;27]
Presto [2:29]
Tempo di Menuetto [1:29]
[Trio - Menuetto da capo] [2:37]
Grave [3:07]
Presto [1:41]
Lento [2:21]
[Andante] [2:09]
Allegro molto [0:57]
Allegro [3:40]
Allegro [1:44]
Allegro [3:55]
Vivace [1:10]
Allegro [5:42]
Vivace [da capo] [1:20]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.