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
DOWNLOAD 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
 

Downloads from hyperion-records.co.uk

Olivier MESSIAEN (1908-1992)
Turangalîla-Symphonie (1946-1948)
Steven Osborne (piano)
Cynthia Millar (ondes martenot)
Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Juanjo Mena
rec. June 2011, Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway
Pdf booklet included
mp3 and 16-bit lossless
HYPERION CDA67816 [77:07]

Experience Classicsonline

 

 

 
Turangalîla, Messiaen’s sprawling mystico-spiritual odyssey, has been well served on record. At the top of the tree must be André Previn’s classic LSO account for EMI, by turns dreamily exotic and – thanks to the ondes – unashamedly erotic. More recently, Yan Pascal Tortelier’s Chandos version – review – may be less flamboyant but it has an inner strength and structural integrity that’s very impressive indeed. It’s a work that seldom fails to entrance or entertain, so when I saw this new Hyperion release I downloaded it at once. I was also curious to hear maestro Mena’s take on this piece, given his somewhat underwhelming Falla collection for Chandos. As for the Bergen band, they’ve done rather well in their recent Stravinsky series with Andrew Litton (BIS).
 
The soloists in this new Turangalîla are real thoroughbreds; Steven Osborne, a long-standing member of the Hyperion stable, is much respected for his fine Messiaen, and Cynthia Millar’s mastery of the ondes has garnered much praise in concert halls here and abroad. So, with everyone at the starting gate, let’s see how they run. Well, it only takes a few seconds to realise this is going to be an unforgettable race. Mena whips his steed into a veritable frenzy from the outset, the sound big, bold and formidably detailed. Frankly it’s a rude shock – albeit a bracing one – and those brazen textures and stomping rhythms are especially disconcerting.
 
Hyperion’s recording team, led by veteran Andrew Keener, have outdone themselves here. The fart and shriek of this weird score has seldom emerged with such clarity and impact; indeed, it makes Previn, Tortelier et al sound positively pallid by comparison. As expected Osborne and Millar play with great abandon, their contributions easily heard at all times. Any caveats? Well, the ‘Introduction’ gets a bit fraught in the final straight, but Mena brings out the sheer audacity of Messiaen’s conception better than just about anyone else I know.
 
The start of ‘Chant d’amour 1’ is simply astonishing, the music delivered with a crunch and weight that will take your breath away. Most illuminating, though, is the forensic detail of this recording. Every texture and timbre is caught in a thrilling – but entirely natural – perspective. Lest you think all this detracts from Messiaen’s impaling love music it really doesn’t; those entwining figures are as intoxicating as ever – perhaps even more so than most. The consummating crash of the percussion is simply overwhelming. By contrast the tranquil start and finish of ‘Turangalîla 1’ caresses the ear. Just listen to those gentle, descending pizzicati. Mena catches the mingled perfume and passion of this music to perfection.
 
The woodwind playing in ‘Chant d’amour 2’ is deft and characterful. The extended piano passages give plenty of shimmer and shine. Messiaen’s massive and very well proportioned tuttis are a terrific counterpoint to these fevered wanderings. As for Mena, he builds and sustains the drama with authority and skill. ‘Joie du sang des étoiles‘ is no less compelling and propulsive. The bass drum is as taut and terrifying as one could wish. Millar’s ondes playing is transported. Goodness, has this music ever been essayed with such abandon? Have the musicians ever been so eager to surrender to its mystic charms?
 
The moonlit landscape of ‘Jardin du sommeil d’amour’ is indescribably beautiful and profoundly moving – a matchlessly deep meditation. It’s a mark of this conductor’s skill and insight that even in these moments of near stasis the night flowers release their scents quietly and without cease. Really, Mena, his players and this recording team have conspired to create something very special. It is a performance that moves and breathes like no other Turangalila I’ve ever heard, either on disc or in the concert hall. Even more remarkable is that this is a humble Red Book recording, whose fearsome dynamics and tonal sophistication put many high-res recordings to shame.
 
In the short ‘Turangalîla 2’ Osborne’s fine, unerring pianism makes the strongest possible contrast with the exploding supernovae of the bass drum and assorted percussion. The ensuing ‘Développement de l’amour’ is equally surefooted. The astonishing extremes of this score are accommodated without any hint of compression or manipulated perspective. Again, Mena’s forceful – some might say headlong – approach pays dividends in that it adds enormously to the sense of an approaching, unstoppable apotheosis. Each orchestral peak is more precipitous than the last. As for the movement’s final peroration, it blooms and decays to magnificent effect.
 
The otherworldly character of ‘Turangalîla 3’ is superbly realised; what committed playing from all quarters. Far from piling Ossa on Pelion the Finale builds to a mighty, heaven-storming climax. I’ve not heard the like of this before; nor am I likely to hear its like again. If this were a live performance I’d expect an instant and vociferous storm of applause, for in the face of such glories nothing else would do.
 
For Hyperion this is another world-beater: a recording to rank alongside their unforgettable Gothic.
 
C’est vraiment parfait; this new Turangalîla sweeps the board.
 
Dan Morgan
http://twitter.com/mahlerei
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


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.