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


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


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 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
 

Buy through MusicWeb
for £12 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

Sound Samples and Downloads

Sounds from Within
Frank MARTIN (1890-1974)
Ballade for flute and piano (1939) [7.23]
Simon HOLT (b. 1958)
Maiastra (1981) [10.24]
Béla BARTÓK (1885-1941)
Suite paysanne hongroise (1914-17) [13.13]
Wissam BOUSTANY (b. 1960)
Improvisation I [7.42]
Bohuslav MARTINU (1890-1959)
Flute Sonata (No. 1) (1953) [19.07]
Wissam Boustany (flute): Stefan Warzycki (piano)
rec. St George’s, Brandon Hill, Bristol, 6-7 Sept 1990
NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6166 [58.13]

Experience Classicsonline


 
Having welcomed Wissam Boustany’s recordings of modern works for flute and orchestra on Nimbus NI6168 I must admit that I find this recital rather less immediately attractive. Nothing wrong with Boustany’s playing, nor Stefan Warzycki’s. The recording in an ideally warm church acoustic is fine, even if the piano is set rather far back so that the sound is slightly clouded. The problem comes with the music itself.
 
Frank Martin’s Ballade is more familiar in its version with orchestra – one of a series of works in this form that he wrote over a period of years. Although the version with piano is the original, written for a flute competition, it works better in its fuller guise. Boustany plays it well, but it inevitably sounds rather miniature.
 
The Simon Holt piece for solo flute enters rather abruptly after the end of the relatively short Martin piece. Although it gives the flute a good ‘work-out’ there is really very little of substance here. The booklet note tells us that Maiastra is “a magic golden bird in Rumanian folklore noted for its marvellous song”. The music is based on a sculpture of the same name by Constantin Brancusi which is now in the Tate Modern. I can’t say that the rather handsome bronze pictured on the Tate Modern website (why not in the booklet?) gives any clue as to the nature of the music itself. One is left with the uncomfortable feeling that if the song of the maiastra really sounded as violently extravagant as this it is perhaps not so surprising that there was such a fashion for shooting songbirds in southern Europe. The work was written for Boustany, who delivers it with all the excessive virtuosity required.
 
The Bartók piece is given in an arrangement by Paul Arma, who for some unstated reason omits the third movement Ballade from the original and makes a number of other alterations. As pieces they are typical of Bartók’s folksong arrangements. They are very nicely delivered with a wry touch of humour where required by Boustany and Warzycki; but the mutilation of Bartók’s original score makes them decidedly unrecommendable.
 
The basic notes and duration of Boustany’s Improvisation, he states in his own booklet note, “change each time I perform this work” – which rather begs the question of why the work is given the additional number I. In it, he says, he tries with reference to his Lebanese homeland to “express the hopeless tragedy of a beautiful people and country that has been destroyed.” In fact there appears to be no audible sound at all from the flute for the first minute, and then it explodes with a series of chuffing noises and doesn’t really get going until nearly two minutes have passed. What it then plays is pleasant and expressive enough, and indeed rather attractive; but there is no detectable element of tragedy here although the dying fade is very effective.
 
The most significant work on this disc is Martinu’s late Flute Sonata written after his final departure for America. This is a piece of real substance, a sort of meditation on the sort of musical material that the composer used in The Greek Passion from the same period. In the first movement the flute part is delivered with delightful insouciance by Boustany with perfect syncopated rhythmic touches from Warzycki. Here the slightly backward piano balance is not troublesome. The slow movement is one of Martinu’s mysterious nocturnes, a beautiful meditative piece which Boustany delivers with ideal poise. The more troubled middle section building to a declamatory climax (for the piano alone) only briefly disturbs the reverie. In the finale birdsong is once again an influence, since the music is supposedly derived from the song of the American whippoorwill which sings all night long. The bird in question is a relation of the European nightjar, which is hardly renowned for the beauty of its song, a sort of monotonous churring, but it sounds more varied here. Martinu gives an object lesson in the creative use of birdsong and spins a fine gossamer scherzo from his material. Boustany enjoys himself hugely both in the bravura passages and the more introspective interludes. There doesn’t appear to have been a second Flute Sonata - despite the numbering - which is a great pity.
 
Paul Corfield Godfrey
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.