Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  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

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
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, KV 216 (1775) [25:31]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Violin Concerto in D major, Op.77 (1878) [39:46]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Violin Concerto in D Op 61 (1806) [43:19]
Isaac Stern (violin)
NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo/Kurt Wöss (Mozart, Brahms) Jean Martinon
rec. September 1953 (Mozart, Brahms) and October 1953, Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya Public Hall
KING INTERNATIONAL KKC 2003-04 [66:04 + 43:19] 

Experience Classicsonline

King International Inc. - which sounds like a firm of monarchical speculators (but isn’t) - has begun to release a series of highly exciting concert performances given in Tokyo in the 1950s and 60s and beyond. The resident NHK orchestra, in this case, is conducted by Kurt Wöss, known to the LP collector via his work on Remington and other smaller labels, and by Jean Martinon. The main focus of interest here is Isaac Stern.
 
The three concertos were part and parcel of his concert and studio life but to hear performances taped during a Japanese tour adds quite some spice to the proceedings. His Mozart G major is deftly pointed, and well characterised, but I wouldn’t cite Stern as the Ideal Mozartian. His slow movement is sweetly sung, but it’s very slow and drifts elastically until things positively droop at phrase endings. If you can cope with this sluggish approach - very beautifully done but still somewhat precious - then you will enjoy his playing. There are ancillary ‘noises off’, as one might expect of a concert performance, and the orchestra is really only adequate, however adeptly directed by Wöss. The 1953 tape sound is quite brittle.
 
The Brahms was performed at the same concert, and is by some distance the better performance; albeit the same orchestral frailties are evident - the NHK is a wholly improved band these days, immeasurably superior now in all respect. Stern’s well known strengths in Brahms, as evidenced in his studio recordings, are reprised here. He plays with a communicative classicism that embraces romanticised rubati - which elongates but never breaks the line - and which vests the music sometimes with a heartbreaking sense of pathos. Try 9:45 into the first movement for his most acutely perceptive thoughts on the balance between externalised vigour and intimate expression. There are a few very minor intonational slips, but the chording is princely, the portamenti, when used, discreet and highly effective expressive tools, as they should be. The orchestra remains rather bluff; the brass make a bit of a hash before the first movement cadenza; and the oboe principal is hardly the world’s finest, phrasally or tonally. But never mind, it’s Stern’s show and Wöss accompanies admirably.
 
Even better accompaniment is provided in the second disc by Martinon in the Beethoven. This was performed just over a month later. The introduction is well sculpted and dramatically presented; the basses come into their own here. Once again there’s plenty of rubato, but the plasticity of phrasing is both revealing and persuasive. Stern comes out of the cadenza slowly, benignly, but with a full complement of feeling, and he plays the slow movement with seraphic intelligence. Aspects of the finale are subverted by the rather crude percussion and the glassy recording, which magnifies it, but the solo playing is attractive.
 
These concert performances are clearly ancillary to Stern’s commercial discography. For the Mozart there’s Szell as well as the self-conducted Columbia Symphony. For Brahms there’s Beecham and Ormandy in preference to Mehta. Ormandy, Bernstein and Barenboim directed Beethoven for Stern over the years. It would be foolish to suggest that these NHK versions are in any way preferable, but they do reflect a hitherto patchily represented example of his world touring in the 1950s. That said, you must accept subpar orchestral performance and recording quality. The booklet notes are only in Japanese.
 
Jonathan Woolf  

Masterwork Index: Beethoven Violin concerto ~~ Brahms Violin concerto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.