Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




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

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

REVIEW


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

 


Buy through MusicWeb
for £11 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

 

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Violin Sonata no. 1 Op.105 [19:03]
Violin Sonata no. 2 Op.121 [29:52]
Violin Sonata no. 3 Op. Posth. [21:24]
Alberto Bologni (violin); Giuseppe Bruno (piano)
rec. Montevarchi, Tuscany, 2010. Stereo. DDD
SHEVA COLLECTION SHEVA 028 [70:12]

Experience Classicsonline

 
Schumann's violin sonatas are not among his most famous chamber works, but they certainly deserve to be. Given the consistent quality of the three, the neglect, particularly of the Third, which was only published in the 1950s, is astonishing. They all date from the early 1850s, one of Schumann's most productive periods, and the speed of their composition is reflected in the breadth of their melodic lines and in the regular moments of comfort between the more emotionally turbulent episodes.
 
Alberto Bologni and Giuseppe Bruno have the measure of these works. Their performances are engaging, varied and above all enjoyable. Bologni is at his best when he is performing those long, flowing melodies, and the opening of the First Sonata is a great example. Bruno is a modest accompanist; there is never any danger of his overpowering the soloist. That is just as well, as Schumann takes a fairly traditional approach to the relationship between the instruments, and the piano is very much the accompanist.
 
If I have a complaint about the performance, it is that there is an occasional lack of gravitas. There are a number of passages, the third movement of the First Sonata, for example, where the piano texture is dominated by very low notes and the violin also operates at the lower end of its range. Schumann is clearly looking for some menace here: dark tones and brooding passion. But that's not what we get. Both performers, and Bologni in particular, seem content to continue in the light, lyrical vein of the Sonata's opening theme. The fourth movement of the Second Sonata is another case in point. Again we have a melody that hovers around the G string of the violin and is accompanied by the piano in the lower register, but the lightness with which the main theme is played seems incongruous.
 
For all that, there is plenty of variety in Bologni's playing, and he is certainly able to articulate the structure of these, often very long, movements through subtle dynamic shading. And while these are very much Romantic readings, there is an impressive discipline about the violin playing. Bologni resists the continual temptations that Schumann puts in front of him to over-indulge in vibrato or rubato, and the clarity of line that results serves the music well.
 
The sound quality is less impressive. Both instruments are clear enough, but neither is presented at its best. There is a curious boxy quality to the violin sound, and I'm sure that it is not Bologni himself who is at fault. It is a real shame, because he is clearly a player who takes pride in the elegance of his tone. And the piano sounds very distant, with the textures of the accompaniment often indistinct. Perhaps the microphones have been set back in order to facilitate a better balance between the two players. If so, I'd rather they had organised that in the control room rather than the studio.
 
None of these are big complaints though. The disc retails at mid price, and as such this a competitive offer. Schumann is many things to many people, but to Bologni he is primarily a melodist. If you agree, then this recording might be well worth considering. On the other hand, if you're looking for some dark clouds and emotional turmoil, the full-price offerings from Gringolts, Widman or Isabella Faust may be better options.
 
Gavin Dixon
 
 


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
 


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




Return to Review Index

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.