One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
  • Mozart Flute Quartets
  • Schubert complete piano works
  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
 
Tudor



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this from
Alexander SCRIABIN (1871-1915)
The Poem of Ecstasy (1907-08) [19.16]
Fikret Dzhamil AMIROV (b. 1922)
Azerbaijan Mugam (‘Kyurdi Ovsgari’) (1948) [13.40]
Houston Symphony Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski
rec. Houston, Texas, March 1959
EVEREST SDBR3032 [32.56]

The mix of Scriabin’s super-rich over-indulgence and Stokowski’s brilliance would seem to presage a sure-fire album. In fact, the colouring of the supporting Amirov programme — a composer of whom I had never heard before — impressed me more.
 
First a little about this not over-generous Everest reissue. Everest Recordings were made using then state of the art Ampex recording equipment and the master tapes were used in the digital transfers for these new CD reissues. The sound quality is amazing: such silken smoothness on the strings and such brio and clarity from the brass.
 
Scriabin was an oddity: an eccentric mystic with some far-out ideas about living and philosophy. He was not quite either Pantheist or Theosophist but held a somewhat personal creed combining elements of the two. His indulgent Poem of Ecstasy is a fanciful, hedonistic concoction in three parts: 1) ‘His soul in the orgy of love’; 2) ‘The realisation of a fantastical dream’ and 3) ‘The glory of his own art’. The Poem celebrates the ecstasy of achieving success in life. The principal theme of the main section is associated with “the soaring flight of the spirit”, a second theme, with solo violin for “Human love” and the trumpet figure dominating the work with “the Will to rise up”. The work, as can be imagined, passes through many moods with Stokowski not holding back through any of them. There is tempestuous and passionate music through life’s stresses with snarling and grating brass and conversely sweet almost perfumed music for romance and passion. The solo violin and the sort-of glissandi strings are of the type one used to associate with old ‘Hollywood weepies’. It’s all wrapped up by a tremendous crescendo.
 
The Amirov work is a delight. The catchy music is strongly melodic and rhythmic. It reflects the folk music and dance traditions of Azerbaijan. There is a mix of Turkish, Armenian and Persian cultures. The sound-world is Middle Eastern, Arabic and the music might conjure up visions of the Thousand and One Nights. Then quite suddenly it changes into syncopation and one is struck by the similarity to George Gershwin in Rhapsody in Blue mode. By turns the music is tender, joyous and mysterious as drums pound across the sound-stage.
 
Short measure again from Everest; but very much worth the investment, especially the Amirov.
 
Ian Lace

Survey of Everest releases