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

  2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews

 

 


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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus

September 2022

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Medtner-melodies-Ang.htm
Nikolai Medtner

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/schubert-symph-8-&-9-blomstedt-DG4863045.htm
Herbert Blomstedt

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Tarrodi-elements-DBCD204.htm
Tarrodi Four Elements

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Verdi-falstaff-57951.htm

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Letters-secret-4860462.htm
Secret Love Letters
Lisa Batiashvili


 

 

 

Availability
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1 in E minor, Op. 38 (1862-65) [26:03]
Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 2 in F major, Op. 99 (1886) [25:37]
André Navarra (cello)
Alfred Holeček (piano)
rec. Prague, 1961
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 939 [51:41]

I suspect that when ‘Brahms’ is in conjunction with ‘Navarra’ the constellation must be Suk-Ančerl, and the work the Double Concerto. Those with a more exhaustive mind might also consider the Campoli-Navarra-Barbirolli axis. That Navarra was considered for both these significant recording projects attests to the respect in which he was held in this repertoire; it wasn’t all Rostropovich, Fournier and Tortelier.

But in 1961 Supraphon recorded Navarra with local pianist Alfred Holeček in the two sonatas, and these performances saw renewed life on the Eterna label. They are now excellently restored by Forgotten Records. They could hardly have picked a more experienced string-sonata collaborator. Holeček had accompanied the leading Czech fiddler of his generation, Váša Příhoda, in numerous recitals but even before that, in the early to mid-1930s he had been the travelling accompanist of Jan Kubelík, the previous reigning Czech violinist. In fact they made a series of then-unpublished recordings in London around 1934, some of which have subsequently seen the light of day. So Holeček was a perfect artist to partner Navarra. When Decca sought out Suk for the Brahms Trios they teamed him with Starker and Katchen.

Back in Prague in 1961 the duo play with great control of dynamics and build phrases with resolution. They sculpt momentum splendidly in the E minor, ratcheting tension incrementally but never too soon, sweeping onwards through arcs - though they never fail to elide the more insistent aspects of the opening movement. The Allegretto is well characterised, not least the pianist’s assured playing in the trio, and the finale has requisite momentum, animated by fine rhythmic control and good ensemble.

The companion F major sonata is, if anything, even more vividly delineated, its architecture judged splendidly. The pizzicato episode in the slow movement and the associated stalking piano figures are well realised and altogether Navarra’s control of vibrato speed and depth ensures that the music is richly eloquent. This the duo ensures without undue tempo adjustments or gestures that feel in any way false. Natural phrasing is paramount, and elegance of phrasing, too, in the finale.

The balance rather favours the cello at the expense of the piano but the ear adjusts, though never quite manages to accommodate this slight miscalculation. It’s not something Forgotten Records could rectify in their excellent transfer. For a label that primarily restores LPs it’s remarkable, given they have not had access to master tapes here, how little LP detritus one hears.

Jonathan Woolf

Prevous review: Stephen Greenbank