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


Tudor 7188


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



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
 

 

Availability
Pristine Classical

Johannes BRAHMS (1840-1893)
Violin sonata no. 1 in G major, Op. 78 (1879) [26:31]
Violin sonata no. 2 in A major, Op. 100 (1887) [19:41]
Violin sonata no. 3 in D minor, Op. 108 (1888) [21:09]
Albert Spalding (violin), Erno Dohnányi (piano)
rec. October 1951, New York City. ADD
PRISTINE AUDIO PACM 078 [67:21]

Experience Classicsonline



I’ve had occasion, fortunately, to write about the violinist Albert Spalding (1888-1953), a musician I much admire (review review). His Remington LP of the Brahms sonatas was recorded in 1951, two years before his death. Whilst it’s by no means rare, it – like so many Remingtons – has a certain cachet, despite the poky recording quality and pressing, making it pricey to buy on the second-hand market.

So, good news; here is an all-sonata disc, culled from two Remingtons; P-199-84 and R-199-49. In addition to listening to Spalding we have the added advantage of the pianist, none other than Ernst von (Ernö) Dohnányi. Mark Obert-Thorn’s restorations are fortunately excellent, mitigating the limitations of the originals.

Spalding was a great classicist, and less prone to romanticised expression. That said, he could be a highly effective performer of the repertoire. I like his Brahms Hungarian Dances set – which I did manage to get on a 10” LP - for its sheer vitality, and he recorded the same composer’s Concerto, in Vienna - somewhat patchily, it must be admitted.

The recording quality for the Brahms sonatas is dry, the performances patrician, aristocratic, and gently aloof. This is not effusive Brahms playing but nor is it too cool either. The most contentious performance is that of Op.108, where Spalding’s phrasing takes on a rather prissy quality I’ve seldom encountered from him. This, allied to his very fast vibrato with its uneven intensity, vests the music with a decidedly uneasy quality. Both men take time to settle here, and they are relaxed in the scherzo, withdrawn in the slow movement. Spalding’s portamenti are subtle and discreet, but by this stage in his life, there is not overmuch width to the tone, and its variation is within a relatively tight compass.

He and Dohnányi take a fine, flexible tempo for the first movement of Op.78. Again Spalding’s fast vibrato limits colouration, but his rubati are admirable; Dohnányi’s too. The phrasal assurance of the slow movement is notable, though many will perhaps find the response muted and a touch off-hand. I happen to like it, whilst appreciating a contrary point of view. Spalding is at his most ‘feminine’ sounding in the Andante tranquillo of Op.100. Insignificant pianistic fluffs in the finale are subordinate to the feeling that the rapid fluctuation of Spalding’s vibrato has led, once more, to a lack of tonal breadth.

I don’t normally go on much about smaller booklet details if I find them irrelevant or ignorable, but I must protest at Mark Obert-Thorn’s biographical note about Spalding. He calls him ‘America’s greatest native-born violinist’, which is actually a line long ago peddled about Spalding. Let’s be clear; it means he wasn’t a Jew. If it ever had any validity, and compiling league tables of musicians is a pernicious and useless occupation, then it has absolutely none now. Wasn’t Menuhin born in New York? This is all the more unfortunate as Spalding was a brave man – he put his career on hold in both World Wars – and the kind of man who would doubtless have despaired over the slur inherent in that miserable appellation, one that has been perpetuated here.

Jonathan Woolf

See also review by Guy Aron

In reproducing the description of Spalding as being "America's greatest native-born violinist" from the
original Remington LP notes, it was not my intention to slight Menuhin or make any anti-Semitic comment
in the least. Indeed, I am embarrassed to say that Menuhin had entirely slipped my mind when I quoted
that description. I had only wished to assert Spalding's standing during the peak years of his career to
modern readers who might not be familiar with his reputation.

Thank you.

Mark Obert-Thorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.


 

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.