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

Anton Stepanovich ARENSKY (1861-1906)
Piano Trio No.1 in d minor, Op.52 (1894) [29:25]
Piano Trio No.2 in f minor, Op.73 (1905) [28:46]
Rachmaninov Trio Moscow (Mikhail Tsinman (violin); Natalia Savinova (cello); Victor Yampolsky (piano))
rec. no details supplied. DDD.
TUDOR CD7152 [58:42]

Experience Classicsonline



Arensky's First Piano Trio is among his most famous works, while his Second is all but unknown. Listening to the works back to back on this disc, it is difficult to account for the disparity. Both tick all the right boxes for a popular chamber work: they are melodic, dramatic, well structured. They are not masterpieces by any means, but I can't help the feeling that the Second Trio deserves at least some of the attention that the First has attracted over the years.

Anton Arensky, much like Sergei Taneyev, is a composer who suffers disproportionately through comparison to Tchaikovsky. True, both Arensky and Taneyev actively sought to emulate, or at least continue, Tchaikovsky's musical project. So often in these sorts of popularity contests it simply comes down to who can write the best tunes, and by that measure Tchaikovsky wins hands down, with Arensky and Taneyev tying for a very distant second place.

Tchaikovsky was a Classical composer in a Romantic age, and both Arensky and Taneyev inherited his classical outlook. Arensky in particular was a composer who depended heavily on traditional formal designs (with rigorous repetitions) and a sense of scale that belonged firmly in the 18th century. The positive side of this classical outlook is an emphasis on craftsmanship, and the sense of symmetry and balance in these works is one of their greatest assets.

Tchaikovsky's influence could also be framed as a dialogue between the cosmopolitan and the nationalist traditions in late 19th century Russian music. But while Tchaikovsky manages to embrace both, Arensky is much more of the cosmopolitan school, always looking westward for his models. Dance movements here are courtly affairs rather than folk episodes, and the music's Russian flavour, while often apparent, is very difficult to pin down.

These Russian performers are keenly aware of the music's Russian but non-nationalist character. Their performing style is Russian to the extent that the music plays out in broad, bold strokes. On the other hand, there is always a classical sense of restraint here too, which gives impressive clarity to Arensky's formal plans. The string players both have quite a woody tone, which is satisfyingly visceral, although it can sometimes impede the cantabile quality of the melodies.

One aspect of the performers' restraint that puzzles me is the almost complete absence of dynamics or accents. Arensky was prescriptive to a fault on both issues, filling his scores with dynamic markings, hairpins and various accents. That can often be seen as a licence to ignore some of the more obvious markings, but these players seem to ignore them all. That said, the phrasing is excellent, and is elegantly articulated through some very subtle rubato. On the whole, the Rachmaninov Trio Moscow do Arensky justice by creating passionate and energetic performances of his works while always working within his self-imposed aesthetic constraints.

The sound quality is good, although not quite up to the standards set recently by some of Tudor's SACDs. The sound treats the three players as equals, and perhaps that is the way the musicians themselves work, but whichever way, it means that the piano rarely dominates and is often relegated to an accompanying role. The sound is surprisingly homogeneous for a piano trio recording, yet it never lacks clarity. All round, this is a good introduction to the music of Anton Arensky. It isn't the only way to play this music, not by any means, but the interpretations are coherent and engaging, and repay repeated listening.

Gavin Dixon


See also review by Brian Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.