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
 

 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
Piano Concerto No. 4, H358 Incantation (1956) [20:24]
Piano Concerto No. 1 in D major, H149 (1925) [29:20]
Piano Concerto No. 2, H237 (1934) [24:50]
Giorgio Koukl (piano), Bohuslav Martinů Symphony Orchestra, Zlin/Arthur Fagen
rec. 28-31 May 2009, The House of Arts, Zlin, Czech Republic
NAXOS 8.572373 [74:45]

Experience Classicsonline



The first instalment in this series – the third and fifth concertos – received a cautious welcome from BBr, who suggested it would appeal to newcomers rather than those familiar with earlier, more authoritative versions (review). This Czech orchestra and soloist are new to me, but on first acquaintance they make a fairly good impression. Not only that, the sound seems reasonably full and well balanced. I did wonder why Naxos chose to start with the fourth concerto, but I soon realised it’s simply the best of the three and hence a sensible opener.

This two-movement concerto starts arrestingly enough, Koukl’s playing – like that of the orchestra – perhaps less trenchant than one might expect from this composer. That said, there’s a breadth to this performance that’s most appealing, the piano sounding natural, the percussion well caught. There are some unexpected idylls in this restless mix, whose sonorities occasionally remind me of the composer’s Field Mass. The Poco allegro is a tad prolix though, with a hint of Hollywood B-movie about it, the Poco moderato a moody little number that blends lyricism and bite. This is an easy, unassuming performance, but is that enough?

The first is the weakest concerto here, from the rhetorical opening through to the close shadowing of orchestra and soloist. The declamatory writing comes across well, the simple, open passages reminiscent of Copland. In this performance at least one senses Koukl and Fagen are working hard to reanimate the music, as impetus and inspiration flag; the Andante is too ponderous for my tastes, a huge contrast to the Prokofiev-like quirkiness of the preceding movement. Still, Koukl is always engaging, the band attentive – if somewhat uncouth – in the final Allegro. There’s a momentary shift of perspective here, but it’s hardly a deal-breaker.

The second concerto suffers from the same excess of gesture, although the detail and point of Martinů’s scoring are well conveyed. There’s a freewheeling quality to the first movement too, bringing a sense of personality to what are otherwise po-faced utterances. What a pity the excitable tuttis are so crude and close. Everyone makes the most of this rambling Andante, which can so easily seem like an extended ‘doodle’. That’s certainly the case here, the lack of inspiration thrown into sharp relief by raucous climaxes. The final movement is rather more quixotic, although there’s a bluff quality to the writing that’s wearying after a while.

I’d like to echo BBr’s comments about these performances perhaps appealing to those unfamiliar with these concertos – they certainly seemed that way on first hearing – but subsequent auditions suggest they are much too variable to recommend.

Dan Morgan

See also review by Robert Cummings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.