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
 

Buy through MusicWeb
for £13.50 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Four Pieces (from Ten Pieces from 'Cinderella', op.97) (1943) [7:30]
Piano Sonata no.6, op.82 (1940) [29:27]
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Piano Sonata no.2, op.36 (1913/1931) [21:00]
Leopold GODOWSKY (1870-1938)
Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes from 'Die Fledermaus' by Johann Strauss II (1907) [9:46]
Vivian Choi (piano)
rec. St Catherine Lutheran Church, St Petersburg, 14-20 February 2009. DDD
NORTHERN FLOWERS NF/PMA 9985 [67:46]

Experience Classicsonline



 
This is Korean-born Australian pianist Vivian Choi's first solo CD. She warms up with the first four movements from Prokofiev's 10 Pieces, op.97 from his own ballet Cinderella - not to be confused with his 3 Pieces, op.95 or his 6 Pieces, op.102, all arranged by Prokofiev for piano from the same work.
 
Then it is straight into the mighty Sixth Sonata, the first of Prokofiev's so-called 'war' sonatas, written in the depressing days of 1939 and 1940. With the literally pounding first movement Choi shows fine muscle development in the upper arm and wrist. After the rowdy jack-the-lad of a second movement, the waltzy third brings a rare opportunity for Choi to switch to more lyrical mode, if not to venture much below forte. Much has been written about the anguish and sinister elements of Prokofiev's Sixth Sonata, and the 'Northern Flowers' authored liner notes continue this trend with abandon. But there really is no "cruel onslaught of enemy" in the first movement, nor "a storm [...] at the door" at the end of the fourth - Choi demonstrates with considerable insight that there is very little torment or darkness, even in the hell-for-leather Vivace finale. Despite the war, Prokofiev is in fact in exuberant, sometimes even sensual mood in this work - in a twisted/ghoulish kind of way without doubt, but nonetheless teasing and extravagant. And uproariously exciting.
 
By contrast, Rachmaninov's Second Sonata, though just as virtuosic as Prokofiev's Sixth, sounds more refined, more beautiful, and is certainly more inward-looking. The revised 1931 version is shorter than the original, but in some ways more difficult to play. Yet Choi copes admirably, and is particularly appealing in the beautiful slow movement, which still, however, has dozens of notes per second in places.
 
Choi winds up her well-chosen recital with a wind-down, sort of: Godowsky's lilting, exacting Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes from 'Die Fledermaus' - not 'Die Fliedermaus', as the CD booklet states three times, turning Johann Strauss's 'Bat' into a 'Lilac-Mouse'! This is the second of four Symphonic Metamorphoses Godowsky wrote transforming Strauss's delightful waltz tunes into a piano virtuoso's crowd pleaser. A discful of such works played by Marc-André Hamelin was released by Hyperion in 2008 - see review. Choi does not yet have Hamelin's panache or technique, but who does? Nonetheless she makes light once again of all technical demands, keeping control of the torrent of notes that threatens to spill off the pages of the score.
 
Sound quality is very good, although for those that might have wished for it, there is very little church atmosphere. The CD booklet is informative, even if the variety of English used is slightly strange in places. The biographical notes on Choi also go into perhaps a bit too much detail, listing even what Australian radio station her recital debut was broadcast on in 1997!
 
But a fine disc, in any case.
 
Byzantion

Collected reviews and contact at reviews.gramma.co.uk
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.