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

 


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


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


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 AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 (1854/58) [43:42]
Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Andante con Variazioni in F minor, XVII: No. 6 (1793) [9:15]
Fantasia in C major, XVII: No. 4 (1789) [5:23]
Johannes BRAHMS
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83 (1878/81) [46:25]
Joseph HAYDN
Sonata No. 52 in E flat major, XVI: No. 52 (1794) [14:55]
Wilhelm Backhaus (piano)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Karl Böhm (Concerto No.1); Carl Schuricht (Concerto No.2)
rec. June 1953, Grosser Musikvereinssaal, Vienna (Brahms Concerto No.1); 25-26 May 1953 (Concerto No.2); live, 1959, Vienna Festival (Andante con Variazioni, Fantasia, Sonata No. 52). ADD
HÄNSSLER PROFIL PH11051 [58:22 + 61:22]

Experience Classicsonline


These recordings reissued on the Hänssler Profil label feature the playing of eminent Leipzig born pianist Wilhelm Backhaus (1884-1969). He was admired as a great Brahms interpreter and the two piano concertos were mainstays of Backhaus’s repertoire. He played them regularly throughout this career. A real inspiration for Backhaus occurred in 1895 when aged ten he met Brahms who was conducting a concert of his two piano concertos with soloist Eugen d’Albert. Backhaus toured extensively and left a considerable legacy of recordings. These accounts of the Brahms piano concertos were recorded by the sixty-nine year old Backhaus in 1953 at the Grosser Musikvereinssaal in Vienna. We are given the date of 1959 and the Vienna Festival as the venue for the three live Haydn recordings for solo piano. The re-mastering has been carried out by Holger Siedler at the THS Studio in Dormagen, Germany. Over time my ears managed to adjust to the fifty year old sound which certainly isn’t perfect. It contains some distortion and considerable brightness in the forte passages but is generally satisfactory for its age. An improvement over the Brahms the sound quality of the Haydn scores was well detailed and extremely agreeable.
 
Brahms commenced his three movement Piano Concerto No. 1 in 1854 around the time of the suicide attempt by his friend and mentor Robert Schumann. I was impressed with the sheer dramatic sweep of Backhaus’s playing. Demonstrating considerable power and passion in the outside movements Backhaus conveys a heartbreaking feeling in the Adagio playing with a blend of poetry and tenderness. I felt an authentic sense of drama in the stormy Rondo - Finale. It was some twenty-four years later when Brahms commenced his Piano Concerto No. 2. Cast in four movements it was completed in 1881. In this 1953 interpretation Backhaus combines grandeur with telling sensitivity. I loved the bravura ending of the towering opening movement and the fire and drama of the Scherzo. Opening with a glorious cello melody the heart of the work is the reverential Andante with Backhaus laying bare a calm and haunting introspection. I enjoyed the exuberant and energetic playing in the Finale with uplifting urgency well to the fore. Across both concertos the playing of the orchestra offers sensitive support.
 
These performances are most impressive with a distinct sense of effortless virtuosity. However, my benchmark recordings of these Brahms concertos remain those from soloists Leon Fleisher and Emil Gilels. Best of all is Fleisher’s commanding and highly dramatic accounts with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra under Georg Szell pleasingly recorded in 1958 and 1962 at Cleveland’s Severance Hall on Sony Classical ‘Masterworks Heritage’ MH2K 63225. Gilels accounts are strong, poetic and thoughtful. They were made with the Berlin Philharmonic under Eugen Jochum and were extremely well recorded in 1972 at the Jesus Christ Church, Berlin on Deutsche Grammophon 447 446-2.
 
The three Haydn scores, recorded live in concert, make for appealing listening. The first score is the Andante con Variazioni in F minor from 1793 and was possibly intended as the first movement of a sonata. It was later renamed as Sonata - Un piccolo Divertimento. Generally regarded as Haydn’s greatest piano work for piano the Andante con variazioni is seen as a highpoint of his entire output. In 1789 Haydn wrote to his publisher about his FantasiaCapriccioin C major, “In a moment of most excellent good humour I have written a quite new Capriccio for the pianoforte whose tastefulness, singularity and special construction cannot fail to win applause from connoisseurs and amateurs alike.” Completed in 1794 Haydn’s Sonata No. 52 was his final piano sonata and is often acknowledged as his finest in the genre.The score was composed for Therese Jansen, a leading London pianist. These performances are both lucid and sensitive with light and shade adding to the allure. Declining to inflate the emotions Backhaus follows a middle course that really pays dividends.
 
Michael Cookson
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.