Songs of the Great War
£9 post free World-wide





The Definitive Eric Coates
7CDs ~ 9 hours Only £21

Nimbus on-line




Bloch, Caplet, Ravel £12

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider


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
Plain text for smartphones & printers


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

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Giovanni Battista PERGOLESI (1710-1736)
Stabat Mater (1736) [48:03]
Thia Genova (soprano), Neli Bozhkova (mezzo)
Bodra Smyana Manécanterie/Lilyana Bocheva,
Studio Concertante/Vassil Kazandjiev
rec. 1994?, venue not identified
JADE 699785-2 [48:03]

The Pergolesi Stabat Mater is a justifiably famous choral work, if a little unusual in being scored for women’s voices only. This recording, interesting as it is, needs a bit of a ‘health warning’. The choir is a children’s choir from Sofia in Bulgaria - manécanterie being an old French word for a choir of this nature. Although their singing has a delightful freshness, it doesn’t have the weight of tone or the expressive range we normally expect in this music from adult choirs. Try as I may, I haven’t been able to trace any further details of where or exactly why this recording was made.
 
As I listened to the ponderous opening, with the strings of Studio Concertante under Vassil Kazandjiev, I feared the worst. Yes, this is a piece with a solemn, even tragic text - the feelings of Mary mother of Christ as she contemplates Him on the cross - but you really don’t want your audience to lose the will to live. However, things quickly improved with the entry of the fresh-voiced choir. These are seriously good choristers, though no doubt very young. Their singing in, for example, the chorus ‘O quam tristis’ is remarkably lovely, taking the high B flats with bright-toned ease. There is also some enjoyable solo singing, in particular that of mezzo Neli Bozhkova, though some will find the very Eastern European Latin pronunciation rather hard to decipher.
 
Other problems are as much the composer’s fault as anyones; the chorus ‘Inflammatus et accensus’, whose words invoke the flames of Hell, is a jolly little number, more ‘Nymphs and Shepherds’ than ‘Dies Irae’.
 
A very singular issue, then and ultimately disappointing. It’s not one to contemplate buying if you are simply after a recording of this charming if immature work, composed in the final year of Pergolesi’s very short life. There are some splendid accounts available, both on DVD and CD, in which format Abbado’s version with the LSO is particularly fine.
 
Gwyn Parry-Jones 


Experience Classicsonline