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: AmazonUK

Memorial Tribute to Toscanini
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Brandenburg Concerto No.2 in F major BWV1047 (1717-18) [12:12]
Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor for organ BWV582 (orch. Respighi) [11:51]
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
L’estro armonico; Concerto grosso in D minor RV.565 [14:40]
Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868)
Sonata a quattro (String Symphony) No.3 in C major (c.1804) [14:22]
Rehearsal extracts with commentaries by Marcia Davenport
Mozart - The Magic Flute - overture [2:48]
Beethoven - Symphony No.9 - finale [12:09] .
Verdi - La Traviata - Acts 1 and II [28:44]
NBC Symphony Orchestra/Arturo Toscanini
rec. 1938 (Bach), 1947 (Bach-Respighi), 1952 (Rossini) and 1954 (Vivaldi) Rehearsals: Mozart November 1947, Beethoven March 1952, Verdi November 1946
GUILD GHCD2364-65 [52:05 + 59:25]

Experience Classicsonline


This is a somewhat unusual two disc release. The first CD is devoted to baroque repertory, recorded over the years between 1938 and 1954, whilst the second re-releases a limited edition LP of 1960 devoted to Toscanini’s rehearsals. In fact everything here was first issued via the authorisation of the conductor’s son, Walter, and the booklet includes photo reproductions of the relevant LP sleeves and vinyl labels.
 
I’m never defensive about reviewing older recordings or broadcasts of baroque works. This is how it was done or, rather, these are the ways in which it was done. Leopold Stokowski did it, Henry Wood did it, even Hamilton Harty did it - but they all did it differently, whether it was Bach or Handel or Frescobaldi. The current habit of apologising, or cringing, at the massive sonorities engendered by conductors such as the trio above has always struck me as bizarre. In any case the counter-attack, and a more subtle one, as practised by wily critics such as Mortimer Frank (a Toscanini specialist) is to play off Toscanini against Stokowski, holding the latter up to retrospective ridicule in the light of the former’s more temperate, indeed stylistically more ‘modern’ sensibility. But then, wasn’t Anthony Bernard in London with his chamber orchestra in the late 1920s doing the same thing as Toscanini, and wasn’t Adolf Busch too with his, only rather better?
 
I enjoy Stokowski’s Bach and Toscanini’s, and do so differently. One doesn’t have to choose. Toscanini’s Brandenburg Concerto is deftly motored, textually clear and has plenty of brio and bite. It has splendid contributions from trumpeter Bernard Baker in particular, but also from John Wummer the flautist, elite oboist Robert Bloom, and concertmaster Mischa Mischakoff, whose name is misspelled in the booklet. Unmentioned there as well is the audible harpsichordist, who is none other than Erich Leinsdorf. This lightly textured, finely conceived, small-scale reading was recorded with the NBC in a 1938 broadcast and is a credit to all concerned.
 
More massive is the hyphenated Bach-Respighi Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor. The regular pulse of its progress, and the enveloping sonorities create a truly engulfing sound, during which you can just make out the conductor’s moaning encouragement. Vivaldi’s D minor Concerto grosso completes the baroque trio in good style, whilst the Rossini String Symphony is heard in its American premiere performance in this November 1952 broadcast. The genial, rather Schubertian writing comes most alive in the Allegro finale. Keep on your toes in these last two, as they’re mis-tracked. If you think Vivaldi sounds like Rossini, that’s because it is - and vice versa.
 
The second disc is the rehearsal one. The excerpts come from 1946, 1947 and 1952 and the works are the overture to The Magic Flute, the finale of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony and Acts I and II of La Traviata. The commentary is by Marcia Davenport, patrician sounding daughter of the singer Alma Gluck, and it takes up 16 minutes of the side’s hour or so length. Commentary is extensive at the beginning and is then interspersed throughout the rehearsal extracts. You will note the wearying references to ‘Maestro’ - the familiar genuflectio that Americans reserve among conductors only for Toscanini. It’s not because there is an absence of watch-stomping, score-tearing, baton-breaking and chair-kicking that I found these rehearsals less than engrossing. After all they were, I suspect, chosen precisely to debunk the idea of Maestro as a rehearsal dictator - which he was, or could be. What’s left is scrupulous, professional, collegiate, and rather dull. One doesn’t really learn much, other than the questions of balancing, articulation, dynamics and the like, and these are surely familiar to all rehearsals by all, or most, conscientious conductors. When Toscanini sings the parts, that gives one an indication of his idea of line, but I can’t say I was riveted.
 
So, whilst I appreciate that the theme of these two discs is that the material derives from Walter Toscanini’s limited edition LPs, I don’t know whether that in itself is enough to warrant a thorough recommendation. I will say this however; Toscanini’s intimate and astute way with Bach is well worth hearing, and admiring.
 
Jonathan Woolf
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.