Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

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

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


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 AmazonUK
BIS Downloads available from eclassical.com

Frank MARTIN (1890-1974)
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (1966) [24:18]
Arthur HONEGGER (1892-1955)
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, H.72 (1929) [15:10]
Othmar SCHOECK (1886-1957)
Concerto for Cello and String Orchestra, Op.61 (1947) [32:06]
Christian Poltéra (cello)
Malmö Symphony Orchestra/Tuomas Hannikainen
rec. January 2006 (Schoeck), June 2007 (Martin, Honegger) Malmo Concert Hall, Malmo, Sweden
BIS BIS-CD-1737 [72:39]

Experience Classicsonline



 
This BIS release comprises three twentieth-century cello concertos by composers with strong connections to Switzerland. All three Poltéra recordings have been released previously on BIS. I know and much admire Christian Poltéra’s work as a member of the outstanding string ensemble Trio Zimmermann with violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann and violist Antoine Tamestit.
 
Frank Martin was born in Geneva, Switzerland but resided in several European cities before settling in Holland in 1946 which remained his home until his death in 1974. Undoubtedly Martin’s best known composition is his Mass for Double Choir (1922, rev. 1926). Martin wrote a number of concertante works and the one I know best is the Petite Symphonie Concertante for harp, harpsichord and piano and two string orchestras (1944/45). Martin’s substantial three movement Cello Concerto from 1966 - premièred in 1967 by Pierre Fournier - deserves to be better known. Curiously a pastoral mood that could easily be a Vaughan Williams depiction of early morning mist in Norfolk fen country suffuses the opening and closing of the first movement Lento - Allegro moderato - Lento. In the central section dominated by tarantella rhythms chromatic writing features strongly. A mood of reflection irradiates the Adagietto together with more chromaticism. The highly rhythmic final movement mixes a range of techniques, tempi and moods. More cerebral in design than emotional one can understand why this rather technical score has not entered the general concerto repertoire.
 
Born in Le Havre, France to Helvetian parents Arthur Honegger maintained Swiss citizenship throughout his life. He wrote three concertos starting with the Piano Concertino in 1924 and concluding with a Concerto da Camera for flute, cor anglais and string orchestra in 1948. Positioned in-between is the relatively short Cello Concerto from 1929 from a period during which he was strongly focused on writing scores for the theatre. It was Maurice Maréchal who gave the première in 1967. This superb score is cast in three movements that are played continuously. On many recordings it is divided into three tracks but for some reason but not here. The brief cello melody against muted strings in the opening movement Andante is one of the most engaging moments in the whole cello repertoire. Sultry and nocturnal, there is a distinct Coplandesque open air feel underlying the writing. At 1:04-1:33 the cello adopts a swinging jazzy persona abruptly interrupted by an explosion of sheer aggression at 1:33-1:49. I could easily imagine at 3:37-4:11 a seedy pre-war Berlin nightclub scene. At 4:34-5:38 the glorious opening melody is revisited in the orchestra with the woodwind having much opportunity to shine. To conclude the Andante the jazzy cello passage returns. Soft and gentle sounds that evoke the break of dawn best describe the cello part in the Lento. In a central section at 7:51-9:07 the mood becomes one of agitation with a harsh wailing tone to the already intense cello line. In the concluding Allegro marcato brisk and rocking music gambols along in a rather aimless and harmless fashion. Honegger is certainly adept at creating a colourful atmosphere that is both varied and fascinating. At 14:26 the glorious Copland-like quality from the first movement is restated. 

It is rare to encounter music by the Swiss composer Othmar Schoeck. Briefly a pupil of Max Reger in Leipzig, Schoeck moved to Zurich keeping the Swiss city as his base. It was in Zurich during the First World War that he became friendly with Ferruccio Busoni who for a time became his mentor. Schoeck was best known for writing a very substantial quantity of lieder and some choral music and stage works including operas. In the early 1930s Schoeck embarked on a cello concerto but abandoned it. It was in 1947 that Schoeck composed his four movement Concerto for Cello and Strings that was premiered the next year by Pierre Fournier in Zurich. At over fourteen minutes in length the opening movement rather outstays its welcome. The writing never seems to settle on a particular mood conveying a sense of uncertainty and restlessness. Predominantly intimate and moody the slow movement drags for its lack of memorable material with the very short third movement Presto providing a welcome contrast of tempo. The thickly textured finale varies considerably in tempi and weight. Never seeming to settle on one thing or another it is difficult to categorise a particular mood yet probably the closest I can get is the word ‘reflection’. As I stated of the Frank Martin concerto the same lack of sticking power and uniqueness of inspiration applies to the Schoeck.
 
Admirably recorded at the Malmo Concert Hall, Christian Poltéra performs throughout with style and sensitivity. His playing never sounds self-conscious. He delivers bold playing that he projects extremely well. Under Tuomas Hannikainen the Malmö Symphony Orchestra is highly responsive and cannot be faulted. I remain an admirer of the Honegger’s concise yet marvellously melodic Cello Concerto and find Poltéra’s firmly focused and expressive performance slightly superior to Johannes Moser’s 2010 Kaiserslautern account on Hänssler Classic CD 93.276. Although well played by Christian Poltéra try as I might I can’t get inspired by the Martin and Schoeck scores.
 
Michael Cookson 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.