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
Sound Samples & Downloads

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Le Sacre du Printemps
(1913) [38:21]
Francis POULENC (1899-1963)
Les Biches
* (1924) [32:45]
BBC National Chorus of Wales*
BBC National Orchestra of Wales/Thierry Fischer
rec. live, 19 June 2009, St. David’s Hall, Cardiff. DDD
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD205 [67:48]

Experience Classicsonline



 
Thierry Fischer and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales have already released recordings on the Signum Classics labels of Firebird (SIGCD165) and Petrushka (SIGCD195). I’ve not heard those discs but if they’re up to the same standard as this, the final instalment of Stravinsky’s ‘Diaghilev troika’, they will be pretty good.
 
The BBC NOW gives a very good account of itself inLe Sacre. The playing is precise - as is emphasised by a very good and clear recording. For example, the rhythms are crisp in ‘Dances of the Young Girls’ and ‘Dance of the Earth’ is tremendously incisive. There’s great power in ‘Spring Rounds’ while the brutal, propulsive rhythms of ‘Glorification of the Chosen One’ generate considerable excitement. The ‘Sacrificial Dance: The Chosen One’ is suitably explosive.
 
There’s a good deal of subtlety to admire in this performance also. The subdued and fascinating textures of the Introduction to Part II are expertly balanced by Thierry Fischer and his players and they’re just as successful in ‘Mystic Circles of the Young Girls’ which follows. This is, in fact, a successful all-round performance of Le Sacre and most certainly not one that’s merely fuelled on testosterone. The colour, bite, drama and savagery of Stravinsky’s ground-breaking score are all very well realised and so is the fantasy. It must be a huge challenge adequately to convey the sound of this complex and often tumultuous score, which requires a vast orchestra. It must be still more challenging to convey the myriad detail of the often-teeming orchestration without recourse to egregious spotlighting of individual instruments or sections. It seems to me that engineer Mike Hatch has done an excellent job in presenting a convincing and musically satisfying representation of the performance.
 
On the face of it Les Biches and Le Sacre are poles apart and it may seem incongruous to pair them on a CD, let alone in concert as Thierry Fischer did in June 2009, when I suspect the two works were heard in the reverse order to that on this disc. Actually, there are some common threads. The most obvious is that both ballets were composed for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. In his booklet note, entitled ‘The Rites of Women’ Daniel Jaffé suggests another one, namely that “both focus on the role of women in the rituals of sex and sexual attraction.” You may or may not agree with that thesis but the beauty of a CD is that you don’t have to listen to both works in conjunction. What I can assure collectors, however, is that another common thread - and, for our purposes perhaps the most important one - is that Fischer and his musicians turn in very good performances of both works.
 
An important plus for this disc is that Fischer plays the full ballet score of nine movements rather than the five-movement orchestral suite that Poulenc subsequently fashioned and which is more usually heard in the concert hall and on disc. This explains the involvement of the BBC National Chorus of Wales for three of the movements feature a choir - male voices only are heard in the often lusty third section while the fifth and eighth movements call for SATB chorus. To be honest, I don’t think these choral movements are the strongest music in the ballet - turn to the more familiar numbers for that - but it’s both valuable and interesting to hear the full score and the BBC National Chorus of Wales makes a fine contribution. We are told in the notes that Poulenc set “some 17th-century texts”. I don’t know what these were and Signum provide neither texts nor translations. My suspicion, however, is that this is one of those occasions where the text is relatively unimportant and, possibly, inconsequential.
 
The familiar orchestral movements contain some delicious music and the present performance is a spirited one. The sophisticated ‘Rondeau’ is done well and the infectiously gay sections of the ‘Rag-Mazurka’ are invigoratingly delivered. The ‘Andantino’ is delightful while the vivacious ‘Final’ has plenty of bounce and life. Poulenc’s score is a wonderful example of French ’chic’; it may not be the deepest thing that came from his pen but it certainly falls into the ‘naughty but nice’ category. I thoroughly enjoyed this performance.
 
There is applause at the end of each work - vociferous in the case of the Stravinsky - but otherwise I was not aware of any distracting audience noise.
 
This disc demonstrates imaginative programme planning. The BBC orchestra is on fine form under the baton of a conductor who is, seemingly, thoroughly at home in both of these very different scores. All in all, this disc is an attractive proposition.
 
John Quinn
 
Masterwork Index: Le Sacre du Printemps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.