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
RECORDING OF THE MONTH



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
 

cover image

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Hans OTTE (1926-2007)
Das Buch der Klänge (The Book of Sounds) (1979-82): Parts I-VII [67:24]
Ralph van Raat (piano)
rec. Haitinkzaal Amsterdam 11-12 August 2009
NAXOS 8.572444 [67:24]

Experience Classicsonline

This work precedes Hans Otte’s later piano masterpiece Stundenbuch (Book of Hours) with which I was much impressed in Roger Woodward’s recording (see review).

The Book of Sounds has been recorded by modern music champion Herbert Henck on ECM 1659, but Hans Otte’s own 1984 recording from the Kuckuck label and now also available on Celestial Harmonies has a luminous, magical quality which comes across even from the few samples I’ve managed to catch, so any new recording will have to meet a pretty high standard.

Dutch pianist Ralph van Raat is building up a respectable discography with the Naxos label, focusing on modern composers such as John Adams, Frederic Rzewski and Magnus Lindberg. This welcome familiarisation with the music of our time might well be embarked upon by newcomers with this new recording of Hans Otte’s Book of Sounds. This is immediately approachable music, based on tonal sonorities, and exploring textures and moods through the familiar sounds of the piano. The initial impression is like a moment of Debussy snatched from the air and extended, or a fragment of Erik Satie, compressed or filtered to create something new.

The composer wrote, “This ‘Book of Sounds’ rediscovers the listener as a partner of sound and silence [and] rediscovers the piano as an instrument of timbre and tuneful sound …” Contemporary music aficionados are more than likely to regard such essays in mellifluous sonority with a suspicion of superficiality, but Hans Otte’s music stands up far better to tests of quality and content than most examples which fall under this category. There is far more going on here than any kind of flabby new-age flim-flam. The subtle use of variation creates a restless momentum of changing harmonic relationships and melodic inner worlds, and there is always a sense of communication - not sound for sound’s sake, but sound carrying a world of emotion and landscape for the imagination.

The twelve parts of The Book of Sounds create enough contrast to maintain interest, as well as a kind of spiritual awe if you are open to that kind of suggestion. Quiet can be contrasted with drama, even some explosive bell-like accents in IV. There can even be some cinematic associations, with the sort of mystery atmosphere created in a piece like VII, or the sheer loneliness of IX. The longest part is nearly nine minutes in this recording, the shortest an almost aphoristic three. There are associations which arise through the harmonies and arching structures used, and composers such as American minimalists - perhaps Terry Riley or John Adams - and even Wagner, Messiaen and Ravel are understandably mentioned as forebears to some of these pieces. What is certain is that The Book of Sounds didn’t just appear on a whim, but was the result of years of personal exploration and technical perfecting by Hans Otte, of music which was the essence of this side of his wide-ranging creativity.

Ralph van Raat’s sensitive and technically refined performance has been captured very nicely on this CD, and while Hans Otte’s own recording may ultimately be preferable I can’t imagine anyone having any complaints about this disc at budget price. If you want something to take you to places way beyond the daily grind, or are seeking an open door into contemporary music, this is a fine place to start.

Dominy Clements



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.