£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    



Some items
to consider


BRAHMS Complete Edition
58CD £95.22


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again

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
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Czeslaw MAREK (1891-1985)
Songs and Choral Music

CD 1
Six Lieder Op.1 (1911-13) [13:19]
Five Lenau Lieder Op.17 (1915-17) [12:12]
Two Lieder Op.12 (1914) [7:11]
Rural Scenes - seven songs for high voice and orchestra Op.30 (1929) [14:55]
Village Songs - seven songs for high voice and orchestra Op. 34 (1934) [16:32]
Annemarie, Fox-Trot Op.38 (1937) [6:52]
CD 2
Rural Scenes - seven songs for high voice and orchestra Op.30 (1929) [20:25]
Village Songs - seven songs for high voice and orchestra Op. 34 (1934) [18:41]
Polish Hymn (1975) [1:51]
Death Melody Op.23 (1924) [7:19]
Greeting Op.6 No.2 (1912) [2:42]
The Alps Op.5 (1912) [6:59]
CD 1: Elzbieta Szmytka (soprano); Jean Rigby (mezzo); William Dazeley (baritone); Krysztof Smietana (violin); Iain Burnside (piano)
CD 2: Elzbieta Szmytka (soprano); Philharmonia Chorus and Orchestra/Gary Brain
rec. May 1997, Abbey Road, London (CD2), 1998, St. George’s Chapel, Bristol (CD2)
No texts
GUILD GMCD 7366/67 [71:39 + 59:04]

Experience Classicsonline

Guild has faced a dilemma when it comes to their repackaging of ex-Koch Swann recordings devoted to Czeslaw Marek. Their answer has been to consolidate this material into four twofers, dedicated to the piano music, chamber and more piano music, orchestral music and – as here – the songs and choral music. The sessions were made towards the end of the 1990s, so it’s well and good that it’s made available in this fashion, albeit there are certain collateral considerations to ponder.
 
Foremost in this volume is the matter of duplication. As the head-note indicates, there are two especially lovely cycles in this twofer – Rural Scenes, Op.30 and Village Songs, Op.34 – but they are heard twice. On the first disc we hear Elzbieta Szmytka sing them with the accompaniment of Iain Burnside, and on the second she is accompanied by the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Gary Brain. This, then, is already stretching toward specialist territory as I doubt many will particularly wish to hear both the piano and the orchestral versions, no matter that they do reflect a different aesthetic and are independently very attractive.
 
However, if one leaves this issue to the potential purchaser, one can certainly suggest why you should want to listen to Marek’s music. Even as early as the Op.1 Songs we can hear attractive things in both the vocal and piano lines, the latter indeed steering toward the sound world of his compatriot Szymanowski in the very first setting. These 1911-13 settings are playful, confident but stylistically aware and are parcelled out to Jean Rigby and William Dazeley who both due them justice. The Op.17 songs reflect similar qualities, though the mood deepens. There’s a wistful, melancholy, Schubertian air alongside the geniality of some of the settings, the mood lightening in true narrative fashion as it progresses. For the fourth song Marek introduces a violin part, finely played by Krysztof Smietana.
 
The Rural Scenes consist of seven settings and were composed in 1929. They are fresh, outgoing and extremely winning songs. The piano accompanied versions are obviously the more compact, as the orchestral arrangements are necessarily more languorous. Several names come to mind, if one wants to summon up their ethos. Other critics have pointed to Canteloube, whose influence seems to permeate the first setting, Chmiel - especially noticeable in the orchestral version - though it seems doubtful that Marek could have known Chants d’Auvergne, which was completed at around the same time. Madeleine Grey’s recording didn’t emerge until 1930. But there is also, perhaps more pertinently, the dual influence of Bartók and Janác(ek. The ethnographic work of both seems clear, and the third setting sounds distinctly like one of Janác(ek’s lighter Moravian folk settings, the fifth like one of Bartók’s Hungarian or Slovak ones. The Village Songs date from 1934, and are a touch more suave, and ‘classical’. Harmonically more sophisticated, they’re correspondingly a touch less earthy, but still delightful and well worth getting to know.
 
The other works fall to the Chorus. There’s a most beautiful late, 1975 Polish Hymn, composed with moving simplicity and directness. Death Melody is an impressively constructed early work. The choral works in general show some influence of Richard Strauss and perhaps a touch of late Brahms. There’s one hybrid song that shows Marek’s cabaret side. This is the Annemarie, Fox-Trot, which suffers from a dual problem: it’s not as good as similar works by Ježek or Schulhoff, and it also can’t decide if it’s a song or a piano solo. So it decides to be both.
 
There are no texts or translations of the songs but if you go to Guild’s website you can find the original Polish texts with English and German translations. Guild’s notes are good ones by Jürgen Schaarwächter. Try to make Marek’s acquaintance if you enjoy his late-Romantic-cum-folkloric ethos. These excellent performances will help no end.
 
Jonathan Woolf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.