One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


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

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin

REFERENCE RECORDINGS

Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Anderson Choral music


colourful and intriguing


Artyomov
Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble


one of Berlioz greatest works


Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances


An attractive Debussy package


immaculate Baiba Skride


eloquent Cello Concerto


tension-filled work


well crafted and intense


Laangaard
another entertaining volume


reeking of cordite


Pappano with a strong cast


imaginatively constructed quartets


the air from another planet


vibrantly sung


NOT a budget performance


very attractive and interesting


finesse and stylistic assurance

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 50,400 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


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
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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

Sample: See what you will get

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

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942)
Concertino for flute, viola and bass (1925) [14:50]
Flute Sonata (1927) [12:21]
Susi, Fox Song for flute and piano [3:24]
Leo SMIT (1900-1943)
Trio for flute, viola and harp (1926) [12:14]
Quintet for flute, harp and string trio (1928) [20:43]
Flute Sonata (1943) [11:53]
Virginie Reibel-Escoffier (flute): David Haroutunian (violin): Florent Bremond (viola); Béatrice Petit (cello): Philippe Noharet (bass): Valeria Kafelnikov (harp): Romain Descharmes (piano)
rec. February and April 2011, Eglise Evangélique Saint-Marcel, Paris
SAPHIR LVC 1128 [75:14]

There are parallels between the lives of Erwin Schulhoff and Leo Smit, though they are not advanced too dogmatically in a release that conjoins their works for flute. Smit, not to be confused with the American pianist of the same name who was so distinguished an interpreter of the music of Copland, was a Dutchman and Schulhoff a Czech. Smit died in Sobibor in 1942, Schulhoff the following year in Wülzburg. Musically speaking there was, at this time in their compositional arcs - arcs that were brutally cut short - somewhat in thrall to the French tradition of wind writing, and gratifyingly so in fact.
 
Schulhoff’s 1925 Concertino is a four-movement affair that roams quite widely, stylistically. The instrumentation is flute, viola and bass and there is, for Schulhoff, some subtly voiced Jewish liturgical influence, though as ever it is part of the fabric of the music and not its determining feature. The second movement Furiant, for example, is explicitly Czech and evokes a village band with its ‘piccolo’ vitality. A contrapuntal slow movement is followed by a Carpathian sounding finale, full of light-hearted energy and dance motifs. His Flute Sonata was written two years later and is lightly rooted in French Impressionistic influence, albeit there’s a bittersweet, proto-Poulenc feel to the beautiful Andante. The Czech vogue for hot dance music is evoked in Susi, a ‘fox song’ for flute and piano. It completes Schulhoff’s contribution to this disc in fine style.
 
Smit’s aesthetic was far more diaphanous than Schulhoff’s. His own Trio for flute, viola and harp is imaginative and fluid and very Debussian, and its three defined sections (in a one-movement work) offer rhapsodic continuity spiced with a light dissonance or two. His 1928 Quintet for flute, harp and string trio is suffused with languor but it also has an effervescent freshness and some distinguished timbral conjunctions that make it a most appealing affair. Its finale is the highpoint, being both ingenious and exciting. The 1943 Flute Sonata was his last completed work but one would not guess the circumstances of its composition, since it retains rhythmic brio and vibrancy and a lyrical invention in the slow movement that is never mordant.
 
With sympathetic and sensitive performances, and a well-judged church acoustic, this disc presents both composers’ works in highly recommendable fashion.
 
Jonathan Woolf