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 £12 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

Jan Jacub RYBA (1765-1815)
Czech Christmas Mass (1796) [34.50]
Dear Children – pastorella [2.46]
Song of Praise for the Festival of the Birth of Christ: Hej, hej, bratri [6.21]
Jan Václav Antonín STAMITZ (1717-1757) Sinfonia pastorale in D major Op. 4 no. 2 [13.24]
Václav PICHL (1741-1805) Sinfonia pastorlis in D [14.14]
Anna Hlavenková (soprano); Sylva čmugrová (alto); Jan Ondrejka (tenor); Roman Janál (bass); Pavel černý (organ/harpsichord); Czech Boy’s Choir Boni Pueri/Pavel Horák; Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice/Marek Štryncl
rec. Pardubice House of Music, 29-31 August 2011. DDD
ARCODIVA UP 0142-2131 [72.12]

Experience Classicsonline




 
Even in the UK this Mass has made several appearances on LP and CD. I recall a version or two in the 1960s. The notes for this CD by Bohuslav Vitek remind us that it is the most performed and is enjoyed by amateurs, professionals, children and street musicians. It clearly has something of an iconic status in its native land.
 
This recording goes back to the original sources from which the conductor has made his own edition. This is an attempt to render something approaching an authentic version. There are numerous versions and copies of the Mass but this recording reflects conductor Marek Štryncl’s decision to use the oldest existing score dating from 1827. This has parts for a trumpet and bassoon with boys’ voices which Ryba would have had at his disposal. One can say that it is “stylistically informed” with its care for the original articulations and expression marks.
 
Štryncl writes a fascinating essay entitled, ‘Notes on the Performance of Czech Pastoral Compositions’. In this he remarks that this recording “made it necessary to give the solo parts to strong adult voices”. He also says - much to my relief - that “wide vibrato goes against the grain”. Well, that holds true for the strings but sadly not for the soloists or at least not consistently. He comments too on speed intriguingly pointing out that Adagio might be marked to run concurrently with Prestissimo! This shows that the “tempo markings often concern not so much speed but expression”.
 
The two shorter pieces by Ryba are ‘Pastorellas’. He wrote many such. Some are for solo voice but using two or more voices in a dialogue. These might have grown into larger-scale works. So the Song In Praise of the Festival of the Nativity, subtitled charmingly ‘Hey, Hey, brothers’ is for baritone and chorus. The simple and attractive ‘Dear Children’ is a duet - part of a set of ‘Six Songs of Praise for the Festival of Christmas’. The functional harmony is clearly folk-based and the melodies are very quickly assimilated. I cannot give you any clear or further ideas about the texts - which for these pieces may well have been written by the composer - as the nicely presented booklet contains no texts whether in Czech or in translation. For my money this is a major drawback and the many attractive photos of the performers do not compensate,. Even so, I have enjoyed this Mass and indeed the performances more than any other version I have ever heard. For a ‘Brit’ like me, the language and style will never quite gel. Even so, the word that constantly comes to mind is charming. It’s all quite seasonal in its happy disposition.
 
There are two attractive Sinfonias. One is by a significant master Johann Stamitz who was one of the founders of the Mannheim school who developed the symphony in its earliest pre-Haydn days. Stamitz begins with his trademark crescendo. The first movement is quite dramatic. There are three other movements: a Minuet and Trio and a Rondo-form Presto finale with many attractive orchestral ‘effects’. It’s difficult to describe this piece as ‘Christmassy’. The same goes for the Sinfonia by the once very famous Václav Pichl. This also is in four movements. Its opening idea is based around a bagpipe–like drone - the pastoral element, I suppose. There’s a major role for the bassoon, with an oboe embedded into the texture and a timpani part providing underpinning. The fourth movement is a frankly joyous finale with the occasional earnest episode. Both of these pieces are played with vigour and clarity. They make out a good case for these composers.
 

 

Gary Higginson
 
Charming. It’s all quite seasonal in its happy disposition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.