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


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
RECORDING OF THE MONTH



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

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996)
Complete Piano Works - Volume 2
Partita, Op.54* [22:34]
Piano Sonatina, Op. 49* [6:39]
Piano Sonata No.4 in B minor, Op.56 [28:15]
*world première recordings
Allison Brewster Franzetti (piano)
rec. 23-25 November 2009, 25-26 June 2010, The Gene and Shelley Enlow Recital Hall at Kean University, NJ, USA.
GRAND PIANO GP607 [57:28]

Experience Classicsonline


What it was that sparked the interest in Mieczysław Weinberg in recent years I have no idea but am thrilled that it has happened. So many record companies seem to have made it their mission to record as much as possible and, as with this disc, world premières are still being made. There is a lot of discussion about who influenced whom, not to say borrowed from, at various times, between Weinberg and Shostakovich. I don’t see any value in such discussion because it may lead people to undervalue works by each of them if they’re deemed sometimes to be musical clones of each other’s works. The point for me is that they both had a similar musical language that came out of a shared experience both socially and politically. There is also that inherited understanding of Russian and Polish traditions that involves certain mutual features. In a recent review of Tcherepnin’s piano music I also spoke of similarities in his music with that of Medtner, Scriabin and Shostakovich due to what I feel is “an inherent and instinctive prism through which these composers naturally viewed things musical”.
 
What is important, however, is to view each composer’s works on their own merits. As such there is no conflict in my mind that when it comes to sheer musicality Weinberg is up there with the great composers of the last century. For many he would be a newcomer to such status but listen to the discs that have emerged in recent years and it shouldn’t be difficult to decide that he deserves such an accolade.
 
The first work on this disc, and one of the two world premières, is his Partita, Op.54 written in late 1953. He had been arrested in February and was only released in April, after Stalin’s death in March, following the intervention of Shostakovich and Levon Atovmyan who approached Beria the feared head of the MGB - later to become the KGB. This is in ten parts, lasting over twenty-two minutes. It is a monumental work of wonderfully contrasting movements, each one of which is an individual little masterpiece. The first five of these are gentle and reflective while the remainder are big-boned, even explosive at times. The whole work makes a huge impression. The opening Prelude is a wistful little tune which makes its mark despite a length of under a minute; the phrase ‘small but perfectly formed’ comes to mind. Each component embodies memorable elements that instantly enter one’s audio memory bank; at least that’s how it is with me. Listen to the March that marks the divide between the two sections with its ominous, even menacing, sound then try to imagine you will not remember it when next you hear it. I for one cannot believe I won’t experience an instant recognition however long a gap in time it is between hearings. I can only repeat the same sentiment when it comes to the other two works; they are outstanding memorable pieces that sparkle with a pianistic brilliance that makes you shake your head in wonder at a truly affecting experience. As the booklet notes by David Fanning state the prevailing expectation for Soviet composers at the time was to make music accessible “to the masses” and to incorporate folk elements into their music which references people would recognise and to which they would relate. This Weinberg and others did, but I believe it was second nature for them to do so, irrespective of any encouragement or feelings of coercion.
 
The short Sonatina and the second of the world premières here recorded certainly adheres to this and opens with a delightful waltz-like theme again echoing with similarities to piano works by Shostakovich to whom it is dedicated. As much as anything else, however, Weinberg incorporates Jewish folk melodies into much of his music. This is something Shostakovich also often did, though through admiration of Jewish folk culture and an identification with their plight rather than any inherited experience. Such melodies open the Piano Sonata No.4 and feature throughout its length.
 
I don’t feel motivated to try further to dissect the music on this disc but I do feel compelled to encourage people to listen for they will, I’m convinced, be bowled over by such powerful piano works. I’d not heard the name of Allison Brewster Franzetti before. Reading about her in the booklet I felt as if I should have since she is well known around the world and a recipient of a Grammy in 2008 for Best Instrumental Soloist without Orchestra for 20thCentury Piano Sonatas on Naxos Records (8.570401). Suffice to say that her faultless technique has enabled her to be a persuasive advocate of this endlessly fascinating and powerfully stated music by a composer whose works are emerging to take their rightful place in the annals of great piano works of the 20th century.
 
Steve Arloff 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.