One of the most grown-up review sites around

2021
55,603 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements



TROUBADISC

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


FOGHORN Classics


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Falckenhagen Flute Concertos
www.emecdiscos.com


www.emecdiscos.com

new releases


 


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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb 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
Ph. 020 8418 0616
jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

 


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

June

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Louis SPOHR (1784-1859)
Die Letzten Dinge (The Last Judgement) (1826) [74:26]
Sally Matthews (soprano); Katharine Goeldner (mezzo); Jeremy Ovendon (tenor); Andrew Foster-Williams (bass)
Salzburger Bachchor
Mozarteumorchester Salzburg/Ivor Bolton
rec. live, 6 June 2013, Salzburger Mozarteum Grosser Saal
German text included
OEHMS CLASSICS OC438 [74:26

Spohr's The Last Judgement was first performed in German in 1826 in Kassel and in English at the Norwich Musical Festival in 1830. The translation of Friedrich Rochlitz's original German text was by Edward Taylor, who sang the bass solos in Norwich. It was published by Novello and became a mainstay of English choral societies right into the early twentieth century. Anyone who frequents secondhand bookshops which stock sheet music will discover well used copies of it in piles as high as "Messiah" or "Elijah". They will be much less likely to encounter a live performance of the work, despite the confident assertion in the booklet with this disc that "it has now returned to churches and concert halls during the past decades". Indeed it is just because that statement is incorrect that this disc is an especially valuable chance to get to know what our grandparents - or at least great-grandparents - regarded so highly.

The text is drawn from the Bible and falls into two parts. The first relates the power of God as an all-powerful ruler and judge, and the second the last judgement itself, leading to a new heaven and a new earth. Each part is preceded by a substantial instrumental introduction full of the dotted rhythms redolent of a French Overture. That is especially the case in this performance where the neo-baroque signature of the music is matched by a playing style clearly derived from that currently the norm in genuine baroque music. It is interesting to speculate as to how these movements might have sounded in performances in the middle of the last century but for me at least what we have here works very well. I do not know what instruments they play, but the pungent sound of the Mozarteumorchester Salzburg is very akin to that of period instrument orchestras. Right from the start the open orchestral textures draw the listener in, and even where the music is less than inspired ensure continued attention.

The soloists and chorus form a well chosen if not outstanding team and there are no obvious disadvantages to this being a live recording. I find it difficult to imagine a more sympathetic performance but for all the patent sincerity, variety and craftsmanship I must admit to some disappointment with the work itself. There is a curious lack of material that is melodically and textually memorable and I remain puzzled as to its one-time popularity. Others may feel differently and for anyone with an interest in choral music this disc provides an admirable opportunity to get to know it.

John Sheppard