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!


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

Jörg WIDMANN (b. 1973)
Messe (2005)a [40:10]
Fünf Bruchstücke (1997)b [8:42]
Elegie (2006)c [18:43]
Jörg Widmann (clarinet)bc; Heinz Holliger (piano)b
Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken/Christoph Poppenac
rec. Congresshalle, Saarbrücken, June 2008 (Messe); SR Studio 1, July 2008 (Elegie); Klaus-von-Bismarck-Saal, WDR Funkhaus, Köln, May 2009 (Fünf Bruchstücke)
ECM NEW SERIES 2110 4763309 [67:57]

Experience Classicsonline



Trained as a clarinettist Jörg Widmann made quite a name for himself as a brilliant performer particularly of contemporary works for clarinet. I remember him performing a rather long clarinet quintet by Wolfgang Rihm during an Ars Musica festival in Brussels. However, over the last few years he has also made quite a reputation as a most distinguished composer with a pretty substantial output to his credit. His status as a composer has also been emphasised by a couple of discs entirely devoted to his music. Some of his chamber works are available on Wergo WER 6555-2 whereas his five string quartets (so far) are available on MDG 307 1531-2. The present disc is mostly devoted to two recent orchestral works and to a somewhat earlier chamber piece. It thus allows for a good, if inevitably sketchy appraisal of his musical progress so far.

Fünf Bruchstücke for clarinet and piano is an earlyish work displaying a number of modern playing techniques. These five short, epigrammatic pieces are obviously designed to display both the compositional imagination of the composer and the technical assurance of the performer, who in this case are a one and same. As already mentioned these short movements explore a number of new techniques while imbuing them with some unquestionable expressive strength. By the way, the present performance is Heinz Holliger’s debut as pianist!

The quite imposing Messe for large orchestra is the third part of a large-scale symphonic trilogy in which the orchestra is treated as if it were singing. The other parts are Lied (2003) and Chor (2004). I wish that these were available on disc too. This is a wordless mass that Paul Griffiths compares to Britten’s Sinfonia da requiem or Henze’s own instrumental Requiem (actually a series of chamber concertos) to which one could add Tiensuu’s second clarinet concerto Missa (2007 – available on Ondine ODE 1166-2 that I reviewed here a few months ago). The weight of this large-scale work clearly rests on the long Kyrie playing for more than twenty minutes and falling into a number of sub-sections of which the first Introitus Monodia (Sequenza a una voce) is by far the longest. The rest of the movement alternates shorter sections (Interludium I, II and III) and two contrapuntal sections (Contrapuntus I and II). Introitus opens with a massive, rather ominous chiming that eventually dissolves into a lonely solo violin. A distant trumpet launches the main body of the movement (Monodia) in which a long line moves from one instrument or group of instruments to another. It encompasses all the orchestral registers from deep bass sounds to high violins and piccolos. The rest of the movement consists of an alternation of short interludes and contrapuntal sections. The Gloria is somewhat simpler in structure since it falls into two fairly short sections Antiphon (Echo-Choral) and Contrapuntus III. The last movements Crucifixus and Et Resurrexit, too, are structurally simpler. Crucifixus is a single movement sort of tone-poem suggesting rather than depicting Golgotha. The final movement opens with Contrapuntus IV and moves on to the closing section Exodus, a powerful crescendo bringing this impressive work to its equally impressive conclusion. Messe is, no doubt about it, an imposing achievement. I suppose that some might find it either a tad too long for its own good or somewhat uneven. While some of these criticisms might be true, this is a deeply sincere and strongly expressive work that clearly deserves wider exposure.

Elegy for clarinet and orchestra may seem modest by comparison, but this is yet another work in which one hears a composer who obviously has things to say and knows how to say them best. The work opens and closes in clear elegiac mood, but the core of the work is tense and troubled. It, too, makes quite an impression in spite – or because – of its comparative concision. The music makes its point directly without any undue fuss. I find it fairly gripping and it deserves to be heard more often.

All three works receive authoritative performances that have been nicely recorded. Paul Griffiths’ excellent notes also deserve special mention. In short, this superb release is clearly up to ECM’s best standards. It is also the best introduction possible to Widmann’s sound-world and the one to begin with if you are still unfamiliar with his music.

Hubert Culot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.