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



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

Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894 - 1942)
Five Pieces for String Quartet (1924) [13:12]
Anton WEBERN (1883 - 1945)
Langsamer Satz (1905) [8:59]
Jaan RÄÄTS (b. 1932)
Concerto for Chamber Orchestra Op.16 (1961, arr. Mihkel Kerem) [14:36]
Pēteris VASKS (b. 1946)
String Quartet No.4 (2000) [31:50]
Prezioso String Quartet
rec. Estonia Concert hall, Tallinn, October 2011 and January 2012
ESTONIAN RECORD PRODUCTION ERP 5912 [68:54] 

Experience Classicsonline


Schulhoff was a prolific and versatile musician equally at ease in jazzy works as well as in quite more serious ones throughout his all-too-short composing life that was cut off abruptly in Wülzburg concentration camp in Bavaria. He was also a fine pianist who composed a good deal for his instrument. Incidentally, it was he who gave the first performance of Elizabeth Maconchy's Piano Concertino just before the outbreak of World War II. He composed five works for string quartet including two substantial and fairly advanced string quartets, a Divertimento for string quartet and the Five Pieces for String Quartet that are probably among his best known and most popular pieces, and quite deservedly so, I would say, for this delightful piece is attractive, full of surprises and of unexpected twists and turns. Above all, there is a mild sense of irony, too, that makes this short work irresistible. 

Webern's Langsamer Satz of 1905 is probably the best known among his early works, were it only because it has been frequently recorded. The music may still be a far cry from what the mature Webern was to do but the composer succeeded in writing unusually lyrical music though held under strict control so that the music already manages to achieve some personal utterance without falling back on early models inherited, say, from Brahms. 

Jaan Rääts' Concerto for Chamber Orchestra Op.16 was composed in 1961. It is a very attractive work which is heard here in a deftly made arrangement for string quartet by Mihkel Kerem. I must admit that I had never heard the piece before either in its original scoring or its version for string quartet, so that I approached it unprejudiced. The piece is in five compact movements, more or less connected in pairs whereas the final one recapitulates material from the preceding movements. The music is full of energy, light hearted and unambiguous, going straight to the point without any undue fuss. I must suppose that the version for string quartet faithfully reflects the original and has probably got the composer's approval. Anyway, I enjoyed it enormously and I look forward to hearing it in its original guise as well as other works by Rääts. 

Pēteris Vasks' Fourth String Quartet is no stranger to the catalogue since it has been recorded by the Kronos Quartet that commissioned it and gave the first performance. It is an substantial work from the composer's mature years and, as such, it displays a number of characteristics that one has now come to regard as Vasks fingerprints, a.o. allusion to or borrowing from folk songs, bird songs (mostly stylised) and the like that often tend to reflect on what life has been in Latvia during the Soviet era. Vasks' music is often tense and troubled building to shattering climaxes although it allows for quieter, more reflective moments of great beauty that some might think redolent of Pärt, but I for one am not convinced by this rather too superficial judgement. Vasks' slow music has none of Pärt's Minimalism and possesses some obsessive tension often absent in Pärt's music. I of course admit that others may disagree. Anyway, Vasks' Fourth String Quartet is one of his finest achievements along some of his works for strings and his symphonies. All these works are deeply felt and honest and obviously expressing intimate and strongly personal feelings.
 
The Prezioso String Quartet was launched in 2006 by four young Estonian string players, all graduates from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre. All four members are currently playing in the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. This is their first disc ever and the varied programme undoubtedly convey a fair idea both of their technique and of their musicality. Their commitment is unquestionable in the four works that they chose as their “calling card”. I also found it a good idea to choose a fairly unusual programme for their début recording rather than some war horses that would have placed them in severe competition. I believe that they have plenty of time before committing great classical string quartets to disc, the more so that this first disc clearly displays their natural affinity with various aspects of contemporary music. 

So, in short, I most enjoyed both the programme and the convincing and carefully prepared performances by a young ensemble that clearly believes in what it plays. I look forward to hearing more from them soon. 

Hubert Culot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.