Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider


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

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

Howard HANSON (1896-1981)
Symphony No. 1 Nordic (1922) [29:23]
The Lament for Beowulf (1925) [19:11]
Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Chorale/Gerard Schwarz
rec. Seattle Opera House, 10 September 1988 (symphony), 16, 18 February 1990 (Beowulf)
Previously released on Delos (DE 3073; DE3105)
Sung texts available here
NAXOS 8.559700 [48:34]

Experience Classicsonline




The BBC’s Rob Cowan once had a slot called The Innocent Ear (and before that Robert Simpson, ed.), in which listeners were invited to sample music without knowing quite what to expect. To some extent the same principle applies in this review, for apart from some recordings conducted by Howard Hanson I’ve not encountered his compositions before. Although this Delos disc was released long before Gerard Schwarz’s recent Naxos offerings – all of which have garnered rave reviews from my colleagues – I’ve fond memories of his spectacular Delos version of Alan Hovhaness’s Mount St. Helens Symphony, also with the Seattle band. More recently, I much admired his disc of camp and ghetto songs, as both conductor and composer (review).

Hanson, the first American to win the Prix de Rome, subsequently spent two years in Italy studying with Ottorino Respighi. Still ensconsced in the warm south he composed his first symphony, subtitled Nordic, which certainly looks north for its inspiration. That said, nothing prepares one for the generous Romanticism of this work, from the noble string theme at the start to the Sibelian grandeur that follows. Perhaps one also needs to look east, to Charles Ives, for the stranger harmonies; in any event, Schwarz fuses these disparate elements into a compelling whole that never flags or succumbs to empty rhetoric.

Both the playing and recording are beyond reproach, the climactic moments growing majestically in this warm, sympathetic acoustic. As for the idyllic interludes of the Andante solenne, they’re phrased with the utmost sensitivity and care, this movement ending – somewhat peremptorily – with Ivesian suddenness. That abiding generosity of spirit informs the Andante teneramente as well, Schwarz’s expansive reading allowing the music to breathe most naturally. The level of invention is never in doubt, and there’s not a redundant bar in sight. And what a radiant close; goodness, what open-hearted music this is, and how affectionately played.

Thankfully, Schwarz doesn’t hug the score too tight, the Allegro con fuoco clean of limb and clear of eye. That admirable clarity extends to the recording, the contrasting woodwind trills and pulsing timps – not to mention those muted bass-drum thwacks – very well rendered. Perhaps there’s something of Respighi’s Roman trilogy in the music’s sonorities and Appian weight, but taken in toto this piece speaks with its own, very distinctive voice. A deeply felt performance of a work that surely deserves more than the handful of recordings it’s received thus far. Concert planners would do well to include it in their programmes too.

Equally mystifying is the neglect of Hanson’s early choral work, based on the eighth-century epic, Beowulf. From its dark introductory landscape through to its simple melodies and quiet singing this is a piece of remarkable restraint and power. Hanson uses his forces sparingly, and to maximum effect, the Seattle Chorale crisp and refined throughout. As for Schwarz, he catches the ebb and flow of this piece to perfection, so that even in the subdued moment there’s no hint of impending stasis. But, more than anything, it’s the inexhaustible flow and freshness of musical ideas that keeps one gripped to the very end.

To paraphrase Fitzgerald, this disc has increased my store of enchanted objects by one. Indeed, this could be my first Record of the Year 2012, such are the rewards offered here. And then there’s the exemplary sound; really, what more could one ask for?

Dan Morgan
http://twitter.com/mahlerei

See also reviews by Rob Barnett (this release) and Ian Lace (Delos)

Naxos resources
An American Champion – Gerard Schwarz interviewed by Jeremy Siepmann
Gerard Schwarz’s Naxos interview – interviewer Stephen Schafer

The Complete Schwarz Hanson symphony series (not all released as yet)
Vol. 1 - Symphony No. 1; The Lament for Beowulf Naxos 8.559700
Vol. 2 - Symphony No. 2; Lux aeterna; Mosaics Naxos 8.559701
Vol. 3 - Symphony No. 3; Merry Mount Suite Naxos 8.559702
Vol. 4 - Symphonies Nos. 4 and 5; Elegy; Dies natalis Naxos 8.559703
Vol. 5 - Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7; Lumen in Christo Naxos 8.559704


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.