£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Some items
to consider


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Prťalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallť
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 

Available from

Pristine Classical

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Symphony No.3 in E flat Op.55 Eroica (1803) [45:05]
Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op.67 (1807) [31:18]
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Arthur Nikisch Ļ
Berlin State Opera Orchestra/Oskar Fried ≤
rec. Berlin November 1913 (No.5) and 1924 (No.3)
PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 310 [76:21]

Experience Classicsonline



Arthur Nikisch made a series of recordings before the First World War with the newly formed LSO, as well as the Berlin Philharmonic. Of them the most famous and discographically pioneering was the Fifth Symphony of Beethoven. Actually ďpioneeringĒ should be qualified because there was an earlier traversal of the symphony by the Grosses Odeon-Streich-Orchester directed by Friedrich Kark made in 1910. Kark was a kind of German Landon Ronald. Iíve seen this announced on Wing, an exploratory Japanese label, but have never heard it but it has more recently been released on the Historic Recordings label (review). Kark was an important figure in the early history of the gramophone and it would be good if his other large-scale recordings were represented more fully for us now.

But letís return to Nikisch (1855-1922) whose 1913 recording of the Fifth triumphantly survives the relatively primitive sonics as one of the greatest examples of malleable, expressive romanticism in action. Trenchant and powerful, it exhibits the arch-hypnotistís art and cogently and, one assumes faithfully, reflects its conductorís spirited, rich impulses in the canon. There are many examples of his flexible approach to tempo relations, and he and his engineers maintain a good balance between the small body of strings and the (audible) winds and timpani. †The performance has been reissued a number of times on LP and CD. The Dutton transfer [CDBP9784] is very smooth; maybe for die-hard 78 fantatics too smooth. Noise reduction has certainly taken off some treble frequencies but has promoted a homogeneity of sound that, to many, will be very acceptable. Symposium [1087-88] sounds radically different again, with a more straightforward, non interventionist approach. As a result, there is a rather tubby sound, and itís a bit muddy and distant. Pristine Audio retains some surface noise, but has boosted the sound spectrum ó these extensions give a greater sense of density. Where the horns are apt to blare in other transfers, with this latest release they donít. Itís a far more radical piece of surgery, thatís for sure.

The Kark recording was coupled by Historic Recordings with Henry Woodís very, very abridged 1922 recording of the Eroica. The discís title was īBeethoven ó The Premiere Recordingsí. Pristine has taken the same route, coupling the Fifth with the Third, in their case Oskar Friedís 1924 Berlin outing. Their disc title is `Beethoven ó Historic Symphony Recordingsí. At least theyíre both heading in the right direction. Unlike Woodís, Friedís recording was complete. Itís a very impressive document, and the first complete recording of the work on disc. He pipped Frieder Weissmann to the wire by about a year or so. Single movements had also been recorded by such as Leo Blech and Fritz Busch.

When he was making the epic acoustic recording of his Second Symphony, Elgar had the use of 50 players from the Royal Albert Hall Orchestra. Fried would have had fewer, maybe 30-35. Thatís not inappropriate for what is a most compelling, almost chamber-scaled reading of great intensity, control and nuance. The distinctive Berlin Opera winds and their trenchantly contributing brass colleagues ensure that colour is freely distributed. The string players sound emboldened to vary and increase the speed of their vibratos in the Funeral March. Fried ensures that an excellent balance is maintained throughout, that dynamics are apposite, and that rubato, whilst often pronounced, is expressively justified. The contours of the performance differ little from Hans Pfitznerís 1929 electric recording on Polydor, though there are innumerable points of difference interpretatively. The Fried performance has been issued by Music & Arts on CD1185, back in 2006 but Iíve not heard it so canít comment on their transfer.

These two recordings offer an important ó and in Nikischís case, fundamental ó insight into performance and recording practice at the time. Friedís recording is much less well known, which makes its reinstatement that much better.

Jonathan Woolf



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


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.