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



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
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallť
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

 

alternatively
CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Complete music for cello and piano
Variations Concertantes, op. 17 [9:12]
Sonata no. 1 in B flat major, op. 45 [23:47]
Song without words, op. 109 [4:45]
Assai tranquillo [2:30]
Sonata no. 2 in D major, op. 58 [25:47]
Emanuel Gruber (cello); Arnon Erez (piano)
rec. Jerusalem Music Centre, 3-5 June 2009. DDD
DELOS DE 3415 [65:58]

Experience Classicsonline



Years ago I switched on my car radio in the middle of a work for cello and piano, and couldnít decide who the composer was. It sounded a bit like Beethoven; but then it didnít Ė too much frothy passage work. Maybe Mozart? No, a bit more oomph than that. It turned out to be one of the Mendelssohn cello sonatas.

Mendelssohnís cello and piano output comprises two Sonatas, the Variations Concertantes, an Assai tranquillo, and a late Song without Words. All this comes to about an hour of music, fitting nicely onto a CD. It is played here by a young Israeli cellist, Emanuel Gruber, with his regular duo partner Arnon Erez.

The current recording begins with the Variations. Where a grand piano is involved it will often overpower a cello, but with this duo it is the other way around. Emanuel Gruber seems reluctant to cede the melodic interest to his partner, even when the cello is clearly accompanying the piano. Arnon Erez compounds this tendency by the skill with which he recedes into the background. This is highly accomplished playing, but lacks the give and take that marks the best chamber music performance.

The first Sonata begins at a fairly brisk tempo, a little unyieldingly maintained. Again the playing of the duo is very clean, but together with the slightly rigid tempo there is a lack of dynamic variety. This gives a somewhat relentless feeling. There is a bit more dynamic shading in the Andante, where Emanuel Gruberís legato playing is eloquent; I felt he could have made more of some of the phrases. The final Allegro Assai opens in a placid mood, which soon gives way to brilliant episodes with plenty of interplay between the partners. Gruber and Erez perform this efficiently, but without much light and shade. I particularly felt that Gruber could have varied his tone production more by using different amounts of bow weight and varying its proximity from the bridge.

The Song without Words again receives a smooth and controlled performance; the mid-section could have been a bit more passionate. Technically, Gruberís legato is extremely impressive; his bow changes are beautifully smoothed over. Interpretively, however, I felt that he extends his phrases to the point of monotony. The second Sonata suffered from the same faults as the first, with the cello being over-dominant and the rhythms unyielding. The duoís sound is hampered by what sounds like a very dry acoustic, which robs Gruberís fine 1706 David Tecchler cello of tonal interest.

Christophe Coin and Patrick Cohen recorded these works in 1989 - released by Oiseau-Lyre in 1992. This was one of the earliest recordings of the Mendelssohn cello sonatas, and as far as I know the first to use a fortepiano. Coin and Cohen have a genuine chamber music partnership, each receding into the background to accompany the other as required. They also really dig into the works in a passionate way. Timings are slower, by almost 5 minutes in each of the sonatas; this suggests a more fleet but also more superficial approach on the part of Gruber and Erez. Although Coinís instrument is by an anonymous maker, he achieves far more tonal and dynamic variety than Gruber. A lot of this stems from his bowing, which concentrates less on achieving a perfect legato than on advancing the musical argument. Cohen and Coinís performances are more dramatic than Gruberís and Erezís, much better recorded and more musically satisfying.

I wish I could be more positive about this recording; both players are obviously considerable artists who have a feeling for Mendelssohn. Unfortunately their approach emphasises this composerís fluency and brilliance at the expense of his more substantial qualities. Gruber and Erez nail the notes with precision, but miss the soul behind them.

Guy Aron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.