Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

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

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW

Plain text for phones
and 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
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
 

Support us financially by purchasing this disc through MusicWeb
for £10.50 postage paid World-wide.

Leo ORNSTEIN (1893–2002)
Piano Music, Volume One
Four Impromptus, S300A (1950s–76) [17:02]
Piano Sonata No. 4, S360 (c. 1918) [22:16]
In the Country, S63 (1924) [7:06]
Cossack Impressions, S55 (c. 1914) [25:16]
Arsentiy Kharitonov (piano)
rec. 20-22 Dec 2011, Margot and Bill Winspear Performance Hall, Murchison Performing Arts Center, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA. DDD
TOCCATA TOCC0141 [71:40]

Experience Classicsonline




 
Long-lived composers are not unheard of though perhaps they are eclipsed by the dazzle of those who died early with promise only partly fulfilled.
 
Ornstein had a strikingly long life: 109 years. He was seen as one of the bad boys of modernism in early maturity through to the 1920s. In this he paralleled his fellow American, Henry Cowell but Ornstein’s disappearance from the repertoire was deeper still. His smaller-scale music has not been completely neglected in recent years. There is a Naxos disc of one early (No. 4) and one late (No. 7, 1988) piano sonata (review review), a New World CD of the music for cello and piano (review) and a general piano solo collection including the sonata No. 8 (1990) from Marc-André Hamelin on Hyperion (review).
 
The Four Impromptus accommodate a variety of styles: there’s a soulful panorama of bell-chimes encasing a noble Rachmaninovian idea; a lugubrious Medtner-like meditation; an icily dissonant impressionistic portrait; and finally there’s an almost Hispanic collage of quickly changing ambience and rhythms. I have not been able to compare Kharitonov’s account of the Fourth Sonata, which dates from the Great War years, with Janice Weber’s version on Naxos. This is a grand hyper-romantic essay in four movements, full of Rachmaninov DNA and lovely inventive touches. You hear this especially in the cocktail of hesitation and plangency that is the third movement. It keeps threatening to turn into a blues. The euphorically hammered rhythms of the finale serve to emphasise both excitement and Asiatic-Russian exoticism. This reminds us that Ornstein was born in the Ukraine and only immigrated to the USA in 1906.
 
More Russian vignettes can be heard in the sequence of five little pieces grouped under In the Country – miniature landscapes and mood impressions, some quite dark. We end with a style-consistent but longer cycle this time of 13 pieces under the title Cossack Impressions. These are variegated in mood from the gentle passivity of Maidens at the Mountain, to the sturdy Mazurka and Dance (made for the pianola one would have thought) to a gorgeously smooth Nocturne. The Rachmaninov influence becomes signally apparent in The March while the Méditation references the tentative graces of Chopin. At the Festival derives its recreation from aristocratic Chopin and rhetorical Tchaikovsky. Across s63 and s55 there is an unsurprising commonality of mood – rather like MacDowell’s suites but as voiced through Ornstein’s mediation of impressionism and Russian romance.
 
Arsentiy Kharitonov seems fully in command of the technical and emotional demands and the sound is nothing short of gorgeously close and warm.
 
In splendid Toccata style Malcolm Macdonald contributes a substantial and highly readable liner note. It is in English only and runs to nine pages.
 
While there is a dash of awkward cuss dissonance this slice through a largely unexplored catalogue presents Ornstein as a master of Russian romance both grand and gentle. If you have discovered and enjoyed Bortkiewicz, Rozycki, Bowen, Melartin, Giannini, Feinberg or Madetoja then put this on your shopping list. I am pretty sure you will, with me, be looking out for volume 2.


  Rob Barnett

Support us financially by purchasing this disc through MusicWeb
for £10.50 postage paid World-wide.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.