52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
(currently suspended)


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Bruno Monteiro (violin)

More Preludes to Chopin
Kenneth Hamilton (piano)

Gloriæ Dei Cantores


Recordings of the Month


Beethoven Piano Concertos

Stradal Transcriptions

LOSY Note d’oro

Scarlatti Sonatas Vol 2



Feinberg Piano Sonatas

Schoenberg Violin Concerto

Early Keyboard

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God


Haydn Scottish Songs

Choral Music

Liszt Sonata

Renaissance Bohemia



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

David DEL TREDICI (b. 1937)
Gotham Glory (2004) [34.55]
Aeolian Ballade (2008) [13.05]
Ballad in lavender (2004) [14.05]
Ballad in yellow (1997) [5.18]
S/M Ballade (2006) [12.13]
Marc Peloquin (piano)
rec. L Browning Recording, New York, 6-7 November, 14 November and 11 December 2009

Experience Classicsonline

David Del Tredici is probably best-known for his series of works based on Lewis Carroll. In recent years he has moved away from this neo-romantic style - of which he was one of the pioneers - into the more controversial field - in America, at least - of gay rights. His earlier works often overwhelmed the listener with the sheer joy of the sound he conjured from a large romantic orchestra. One wondered how his style would adapt to the smaller medium of the solo piano. This disc is billed as the first in a series of three which will cover the whole of the composer’s piano music.
The answer is, excellently. Del Tredici continues to write in a bold romantic style, and his sense of humour has not deserted him. There is nothing here as overwhelmingly beautiful as the Acrostic Song which brought Final Alice - not the final piece in his Alice cycle by any means, as it happens - to such a powerful conclusion. There is plenty of red meat for the performer and the listener to sink their teeth into. The S/M Ballad is described by del Tredici as a “pianistic terror”, and it is indeed clearly extremely difficult to perform; but the pianist is no sadist, and the listener does not need to be a masochist either.
The earliest piece here is the Ballad in yellow, which is actually a transcription of a song setting of Garcia Lorca. It flows along nicely, with plenty of idiomatic piano figuration, and the tune of the song is lovely. The Ballad in lavender is a more extrovert piece in which the composer quotes both from Schumann’s Kreisleriana - which he acknowledges in his booklet note. He also draws on his own beautiful Carroll setting In memory of a summer day - which he does not acknowledge. The reminiscence may be unconscious on del Tredici’s part, but it fits nicely with the Schumann.
The Aeolian Ballad is a beautiful modal piece with more than a suspicion of Vaughan Williams in the opening section. This develops into a fully-fledged prelude and fugue of much more chromatic character. It opens the disc most enticingly.
The main work on this collection consists of the ‘four scenes of New York City’ entitled Gotham glory. The first three movements comprise an atmospheric prelude entitled West Village morning, a fugue entitled Museum piece and a ‘perpetual canon’ entitled Missing towers. The latter is a lament for the terrorist attack on the New York Trade Center on 11 September 2001. The latter is a brief movement - only just over four minutes long - but it packs a lot of feeling into its short duration. It is also the only piece here which uses avant garde techniques on the piano. At the end the pianist is instructed to play directly on the strings inside the piano itself. This is a not a new invention, but only once before - in Ronald Stevenson’s Peter Grimes Fantasia - have I heard it used so effectively. The result does not sound at all like a gimmick, but produces an impression of distance which is most atmospheric.
The final movement of Gotham glory is longer than the other three movements put together, a ‘grand fantasy’ on the Skater’s waltz by Waldteufel entitled Wollman rink. Here del Tredici poses a direct challenge to Liszt’s fantasias on the music of his day, with all the bravura virtuosity that his model implies. He brings it off, nearly. There is plenty of variety, plenty of light and shade, and plenty of invention; but in the end one feels that he spoils the effect by carrying on rather too long. In the concert hall the sheer enjoyment might carry off the continual development of the theme, but on disc one finds the attention wandering after ten minutes or so. The sheer exuberance of del Tredici’s music is part of its charm, and one accepts a certain prolixity as part of the mix.
Marc Peloquin sounds understandably taxed by the sheer virtuosity of the piano writing, but he rises to the challenge and gives a series of towering performances. One looks forward with anticipation to later volumes in this series, which will presumably also include Virtuoso Alice, which is a stunning improvisation around the main theme of del Tredici’s own Acrostic Song. In the meantime this first instalment is thoroughly enjoyable. Even if you don’t think you like modern music, try this: you will be amazed.
Paul Corfield Godfrey 

see also review by Dan Morgan



















































































































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


      Composer surveys
      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

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


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

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



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

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
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
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
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.