One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


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

Some items
to consider

in the first division


extraordinary by any standards


An excellent disc


a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.


Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now
RECORDING OF THE MONTH


A Garland for John McCabe


ABRAHAMSEN Quartets


DIETHELM Symphonies


The best Rite of Spring in Years


BACH Magnificat


Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26


Just enjoy it!


.
La Mer Ticciati

Eriks EŠENVALDS

Detlev GLANERT

Jaw-dropping

 

 

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

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

 

Availability
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 32 in B flat major K454 (1784) [21:37]
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 34 in A major K526 (1787) [19:16]
Frederick Grinke (violin)
Kendall Taylor (piano)
rec. 1953, Decca West Hampstead Studios, London
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR870 [40:54]

In a previous review Stephen Greenbank has pertinently highlighted the salient features of the musical life of Frederick Grinke (1911-1987). Grinke was a stalwart of the Decca studios as a soloist and chamber player. As leader of Boyd Neel’s orchestra he was entrusted with a number of important studio responsibilities, a good few being premiere recordings. In recent years some of his sonata and chamber recordings have been transferred – Ireland, Vaughan Williams and Rubbra, majorly so on Dutton. There remains much work to be done in the established core repertory.
 
Part of that lacuna has now been addressed by Forgotten Records which reaches forward somewhat into the early LP market, as is its usual wont. Grinke recorded Mozart’s two sonatas in 1953 with that distinguished and long-lived pianist Kendall Taylor, who was active for Decca at the time. Back in 1945 Grinke had recorded Mozart’s Turkish Concerto, K219, and the other example of his Mozartean credentials are the two Duos, where he teamed with a frequent collaborator, violist Watson Forbes. All of Forbes’s recordings, almost all for Decca, sometimes with alternative takes or unpublished sides, have been made available privately and these inevitably include the sides he made with Grinke. However, until a mainstream release restores the Concerto and the Duos we shall be missing this important facet of his stylistic armoury.
 
Grinke was a superior soloist and a practised chamber collaborator, as he proves with Taylor in both sonatas. Unobtrusively stylish and without mannerism he has a well-equalized scale, a nicely sweet unplush tone with well-calibrated vibrato usage. He takes care to delineate passages where the violin is subordinate, as in the opening movement of K454 and the Deccas don’t unduly spotlight him. He vests the same sonata’s slow movement with appropriately ‘pathetic’ phrasing and takes a sensible tempo in the finale. Taylor is splendid in the opening of the companion A major sonata. He gives an infectious lilt to the finale, where there is sufficient time for phrases to breathe without retarding in any way the natural momentum of the music.
 
The transfer has been excellently realised and allows one unfettered access to these sane and sensibly musical performances, now sixty years old.

Jonathan Woolf

Previous review: Stephen Greenbank