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
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

Nikolai KAPUSTIN (1937-)
Trio, Op 86 [19:12]
Philippe GAUBERT (1879-1941)
Pièce romantique [7:41]
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Adagio and Allegro in A flat, Op 70 [9:02]
François BORNE (1840-1920)
Fantaisie Brillante sur Carmen [11:13]
Louise FARRENC (1804-1875)
Trio Op 45 [24:59]
Astor PIAZZOLLA (1921-1992)
La Muerte del Ángel [3:32]
Emanuel Ensemble (Anna Stokes (flute); Louisa Tuck (cello); John Reid (piano))
rec. 17-18 August 2010, and 22 May 2011 (Borne), Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex, UK
CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD023 [75:37]

Experience Classicsonline

You’ve probably never heard much of this music, and you’ll probably enjoy all of it. The Emanuel Ensemble, a young trio comprising a flute, cello, and piano, have really put together a smart, adventurous, and totally pleasing program here, ranging from contemporaries Robert Schumann and Louise Farrenc to the 1990s jazz world of Nikolai Kapustin. In between we’ve got a Carmen fantasy, a serenade by the legendary flautist Philippe Gaubert, and a Piazzolla tango. What’s not to like?

Kapustin’s Trio begins the program. Nikolai Kapustin got his start in the early 1960s, as, in a way, the great hope of Soviet jazz: YouTube preserves fragments of his appearances on state television, including a jaw-dropping ‘Toccata’ for solo pianist and big band, which the composer dispatches with an ease and dispassion which make James Bond look neurotic. All of Kapustin’s music is totally jazzy to the ear, and most of it sounds improvised (his greatest influence is Oscar Peterson), but all of it is very carefully notated and written out, indeed as instruction-laden as a Mahler score. This paradox has been confusing critics ever since it started, but the composer, still alive, pays them no heed. His Trio, from 1998, is one of the composer’s first major chamber works, though he wrote it in his mid-fifties. The outer movements are jaunty and virtuosic showcases for his style of apparent improvisation but genuine development of central themes. The slow movement is, by contrast, much more sensitive than you’d expect. This is all wholly enjoyable, fairly compactly developed, and with very distinctive personalities assigned to each instrument. If you like the idiom, you’ll also love Kapustin’s brilliant string quartet.

We travel back in time for much of the rest of the program. Philippe Gaubert was a noted composer of quite a lot of flute music, as well as several well-executed ballets. The Pièce Romantique shows an equal sensitivity toward the cello, which ushers in the beautiful main tune; the seven-minute work really lives up to billing as a lyrical romance of great craft.

The center of the program shrinks the trio down to two players: Robert Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro, originally for horn and piano, here showcases cellist Louisa Tuck, while François Borne’s Carmen Fantasy does for the flute roughly what Sarasate’s Carmen piece did for the violin. In the Carmen fantasy there’s an engaging obsession with the opera’s dark “fate” motif, which brings out the flute’s lower, more expressive side. It’s a welcome change from the instrument’s stereotypically chipper persona.

The booklet rightly calls Louise Farrenc the best female composer of the 19th century, and I would venture to add that she was one of the best composers of any sex between the death of Beethoven and the rise of Brahms and Wagner. Her three symphonies (not two, as the essay misstates) are enormously impressive, and they’re also the Farrenc you’re most likely to know, since CPO recorded the full cycle. CPO also has a disc of her other piano trios (piano, violin, cello; piano, clarinet, cello) and a woodwind sextet.

The trio offered here begins with a melancholy main tune of Mendelssohnian build; the piano writing is a solid backbone to the music, and the tight construction of the opening allegro, with its really exceptional melodies and unerring dramatic pace, would have been a proud moment for Schumann or the young Brahms. It’s also another good place to admire the affinity the Emanuel Ensemble players have for each other; I thought, as I listened, that this had better be the first of many CDs from the group. Farrenc’s trio is in four movements, and the last three are almost exactly five minutes each, highlighted by a presto finale which poses great dangers to the flautist and very skillfully brings the music from E minor to E major with wit and ingenious style. I’m again reminded of how difficult it is to explain Farrenc’s neglect.

Everything is brought together by a Piazzolla encore, La Muerte del Ángel, vividly arranged (by whom?) to give each instrument a fiercely sexy moment in the spotlight. The booklet is a bit of a letdown, as there are no track timings of any kind and the biography of Farrenc is, as I’ve noted, not totally accurate. But this is such an exceptionally fine young ensemble, and such a marvel of a program, that I can’t possibly hold back from the highest recommendation. The sound quality, up close and personal but with plenty of warmth, is icing on a very fine cake.

Brian Reinhart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


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.