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


Tudor 7188


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

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
 

alternatively
CD: MDT

Kurt WEILL (1900-1950)
Die Sieben Todsünden – Ballet with songs (1933) [34:10]
Alban BERG (1885-1935)
Lulu-Suite - Symphonic pieces from the Opera “Lulu” (1934) [32:54]
Angelina Réaux (soprano): Members of Hudson Shad – Hugo Munday, Mark Bleeke (tenors), Peter Becker (baritone), Wilbur Pauly (bass)
New York Philharmonic/Kurt Masur
rec. live, Avery Fisher Hall, New York, December 1993
WARNER APEX 2564 68162-5 [67:43]

Experience Classicsonline

Full marks for imaginative programming. Two masterpieces written virtually simultaneously by great masters of twentieth century music, performed live (although with no audible evidence of it) with real understanding and in clear if somewhat close recordings. At budget price this ought to be a wonderful opportunity for listeners unfamiliar with them to get to know, understand, and enjoy both works. However Apex have greatly reduced their chance of doing this through lamentably poor presentation. All the listener gets is a bare list of track titles without any text or translations or the kind of programme notes which are surely essential for both works. This could have been a disc which could be recommended to those hitherto nervous of either work, or with a general interest in the music of the 1930s. Presented in this way I can still recommend it but only with the severe reservation that the listener will have to do much work on their own to get the most out of it.

Kurt Weill’s “Die Sieben Todsünden” is an utterly unique work. It was commissioned by Edward James as a ballet, and parts were to be provided for Tilly Losch, James’ wife, and Lotte Lenya, Weill’s wife. Bertold Brecht was persuaded to write the text in which the two soloists represent two sisters, both called Anna, from Louisiana who are trying to accumulate enough money for their family at home to build a little house. The Seven Deadly Sins of the title are encountered in turn by the sisters, with the family, sung by the male voice quartet (the bass sings the mother), offering advice. In each case the dancer is tempted to give in to the sin but is stopped by her singing sister who warns that this would reduce their earning power. Thus, for instance, pride would prevent the dancing Anna from earning money as a stripper, and gluttony would make her too fat to be hired as a dancer. Although neither the composer nor the librettist regarded it as a major work it has received many recordings and performances in recent years, and in a good performance it can make a big impact. What that impact is, however, does depend on how much of the text can be followed, especially when the dancing element cannot be seen. Otherwise it can come across as little more than a collection of attractive numbers in popular styles of the period. This is perhaps not the most convincing performance I have heard, and Angelina Réaux does tend at times to make use of that unattractive bark which some singers feel to be stylish in Weill’s music of this period. Nonetheless it has enough energy and commitment for Brecht’s savagely ironic text and the quartet are good. But for full appreciation you need to be able to follow the text. Auden and Isherwood’s translation would be more than adequate for this purpose but will involve you in a separate purchase.

It was also in 1934 that Berg completed the opera Lulu in short score. The Lulu-Suite derives from various scenes of the opera and was fully scored before the rest of the work as a way of promoting it in advance. Its five movements are varied and intensely inventive, ending with a wonderful set of Variations on a London street song and the final scene in which Lulu and her lover, the Countess Geschwitz both die at the hands of Jack the Ripper. The complexity of the music is considerable, and despite Berg’s careful marking of primary and secondary voices in the orchestra the actual sound and effect of particular passages can very greatly between performances. All the more reason to add multiple recordings of the work to your collection. Even if Angelina Réaux’s voice lacks the essential beauty of tone and innocence which the best singers on record have brought to the role there is plenty of life and understanding in the performance. The singer is however by no means as important in this work as in the Weill. Those of a nervous disposition will be pleased to know that the blood-curdling scream which Helga Pilarczyk gave in Dorati’s recording with the London Symphony Orchestra, through which I got to know the work, is omitted. It invariably had the neighbours asking what was going on.

If only Apex had presented this disc adequately this would have been a really recommendable bargain for anyone wanting to get to know these two works. As it is its inherent merits remain, but to get full enjoyment the purchaser does need to obtain the crucial texts and background information from elsewhere, especially for the Weill.

John Sheppard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.