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
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990)
Arias and Barcarolles (1988)* [31.38]
Samuel BARBER (1910-1981)
The school for scandal (1931) [8.08]
David DIAMOND (1915-2005)
Elegy in memory of Maurice Ravel (1937) [7.16]
*Jane Bunnell (mezzo); Dale Duesing (baritone)
Seattle Symphony Orchestra/Gerard Schwarz
rec. 18 March 1990 (Bernstein), 5 January 1991 (Barber), 3 January 1990 (Diamond), Seattle Opera House, Seattle, USA
NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559709 [47.02] 

Experience Classicsonline



 
If one were to cite just one example of Gerard Schwarz’s devotion to American music it must be his Howard Hanson cycle; first released on Delos and now reissued by Naxos - as was this review disc - it’s been favourably reviewed by me and several others on this site. The playing of the Seattle orchestra is nothing less than excellent, as is the sound quality, so the Hanson box - which must surely follow soon - will be a mandatory purchase for anyone interested in this repertoire. 
Schwarz also gave the first performance of Bernstein’s Arias and barcarolles in 1989; originally written for two voices and piano it was subsequently orchestrated - under the composer’s supervision - by composer Bright Sheng. Regrettably - some might say thankfully - Bernstein’s lyrics aren’t printed in the liner-notes or on the Naxos website. Even the staunchest Lenny fans - and I’m one of them - would have to admit that he’s not at his best with his own words. These songs of love and marriage are no exception, the muscular music of the Prelude - more than a hint of West Side Story - somewhat undermined by the charmless vocal writing.
 
Bunnell and Duesing make the best of it, but the real problem here is that Bernstein is justtoo eclectic in his references; for instance, he often resorts to the jovial patter of a Broadway duet, but it tends to sound passionless without the pizzazz. As for the more operatic peaks of Little Smary, they’re just too overpowering. There are some tender songs - The Love of my life and Greeting come to mind - but they promise rather more than the score actually delivers. The disjuncts don’t end there; the dark tones of At my wedding find Duesing mired in a swamp of sentimentality, and I’m not at all convinced by the soloists’ attempts at comedy in the jaunty Mr and Mrs Webb say goodnight. That said, Nachspiel has a certain charm, Bunnell and Duesing at their entwined best.
 
After that rather pallid start it’s a relief to hear Barber’s feisty overture, The school for scandal. As Paul Schiavo points out in the booklet there’s no link to Sheridan’s play or to the characters therein; what we get instead is a lithe and propulsive little number, delivered with real panache by Schwarz and his orchestra. The upfront recording is pretty good too, the harp swirls, scything brass and bass-drum thuds delivered with equal aplomb. Not quite as attractive in terms of warmth and body as those Hanson issues, but certainly fit for purpose.
 
David Diamond’s music isn’t as widely performed as it should be, but until it is we have Schwarz’s Delos recordings - reissued by Naxos - to enjoy. Diamond studied in France in the 1930s and knew Ravel, for whom this elegy was written. It’s a startling piece - bright and angular, yet still very accessible - and the brass writing is very assured, whether it’s big and brazen or disarmingly quiet. Indeed, there’s plenty of the latter, with Schwarz coaxing nicely nuanced playing from his band. A most satisfying conclusion to an otherwise uneven programme.
 
Worth hearing for the Barber and Diamond; the Bernstein is eminently forgettable.
 
Dan Morgan
http://twitter.com/mahlerei 

see also review by Paul Corfield Godfrey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.