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


Tudor 7188


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
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download from eClassical

EndBeginning
Antoine BRUMEL
(c.1460-c.1515)
Missa pro defunctis [28:57]
Libera me, Domine (plainsong) [4:22]
Thomas CRECQUILLON (c.1505-57)
Lamentationes Jeremiæ [13:33]
Jacobus CLEMENS NON PAPA (c.1510-c.1555)
Tristitia obsedit me - Infelix ego [8:52]
Josquin DESPREZ (c.1450-1521) [attrib.]
Absalon fili mi [3:53]
In paradisum (plainsong) [1:15]
Jackson HILL (b.1942)
Ma fin est mon commencement [5:54]
New York Polyphony (Geoffrey Williams (counter-tenor), Geoffrey Silver (tenor), Christopher Dylan Herbert (baritone), Craig Phillips (bass))
rec. October 2011, Länna Church, Sweden
BIS BIS-SACD-1949 [67:58]

Experience Classicsonline


Taking on the legacy of other early music orientated but eminently flexible vocal groups such as the Hilliard Ensemble, the four members of New York Polyphony bring to their première BIS programme a sequence of works which explore themes of grief, loss and mortality. This review is pre-empted by Brian Wilson’s May Download Roundup #1, which sums up the contents of this disc admirably. The SACD surround element is something you will almost invariably sacrifice with downloads, so I can add that the sound quality with the physical disc adds an extra layer of spatial definition to an already very fine stereo recorded mix. Länna Church is not a vast sounding acoustic, but suits the unified voices of New York Polyphony very well indeed. Their sound is warmer than the Hilliard Ensemble, with the countertenor colouration far less of a defining factor in the overall impression. In fact, the rich bass lines from Craig Phillips are if anything a far more significant factor in this case, with the ear drawn towards juicy lines which support the harmonies and have their own expressive role to play in the counterpoint.
 
Most of the works included in this programme were composed by masters of the Franco-Flemish school of polyphony from the first half of the 16th century. Jackson Hill’s contemporary contribution is a clear exception, and the two examples of plainsong go back further in time, but the artistic conception of the whole can be considered a great success. Listening ‘blind’ it is true that the inexpert ear will probably witness a series of tracks which blend each to the other without too many defining stylistic features, but with a little attentiveness one can feel the greater intensity and dissonant density of Thomas Crecquillon’s Lamentationes Jeremiæ against the more direct but no less subtle harmonic language of Antoine Brumel’s substantial and magnificent Missa pro defunctis. Juicy clashes occur as well in Clemens Non Papa’s Tristitia obsedit me, ornamental vibrato used by the voices which adds spice to the sustained notes, allowing lines to emerge and recede without too much resorting to dynamic contrast alone. One of the most lyrically expressive pieces is that by Josquin Desprez, or might it have been Pierre de la Rue’s Absolon fili mi, the text of each section of which deals with the mourning of a father for their son.
 
With such a compact vocal ensemble there is no room for inaccuracy, and the tightness of the ensemble is evidenced by the short moments of plainsong, which show absolute accuracy of intonation and not a consonant out of place. This is very much a ‘single instrument’. The colour matching of the voices indeed makes one almost convinced it is one very rich voice one is hearing in the plainsong, and the impression throughout is of an ensemble which could be considerable larger. The final work by Jackson Hill works amongst the earlier pieces for these reasons, as well as due to its sympathetically conceived layering of lines and relative melodic restraint. Ma fin est mon commencement is, despite everything, something of a lonely orphan in this context, and I would seriously have considered putting at least one other similarly proportioned contemporary work elsewhere - probably as an opener - to balance things.
 
This is a beautifully conceived, performed and produced release, and I heartily recommend it to all comers. All texts are printed in the booklet, which has compact but useful notes by Ralph Buxton in English, German and French. Brian Wilson suggested that “surely, a better cover shot” might have been found. I tend to disagree, though my initial response was “that must have been one heck of an after-party…” We’re given a website for the source of the picture but some information in the booklet might have been useful, though I understand if the exact locations are meant to be kept secret. It is apparently an abandoned mid-19th century hospital in Belgium, of which the chapel is one of the few surviving relics. Just beyond that door is a space which appears still to be in use. Beauty in decay, loss and abandonment: highly appropriate given the content of the programme.
 
Dominy Clements
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.