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


16th-19th November


Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 

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

Support us financially by purchasing this from
Christopher BALL (b.1936)
Cor Anglais Concerto; Clarinet Quintet; Recorder Concerto 'The Piper of Dreams'; Scenes from a Comedy for Wind Quintet; Caprice on a Baroque Theme for solo recorder
Paul Arden-Taylor (cor anglais) Emerald Concert Orchestra/Christopher Ball (Cor Anglais Concerto)
Leslie Craven (clarinet), Andre Swanepoel and Lowri Porter (violins), David Adams (viola) and William Schofield (cello) (Clarinet Quintet)
Paul Arden-Taylor (recorder), Adderbury Ensemble/Christopher Ball (Recorder Concerto)
Adrian Brett (flute/piccolo), Paul Arden-Taylor (oboe), Leslie Craven (clarinet), Peter Harrison (bassoon) and Anthony Gladstone (horn) (Scenes from a Comedy)
Paul Arden-Taylor (recorder) (Caprice)
details not supplied
MUSICAL CONCEPTS MC151 [77:52]

While Musical Concepts are not alone in acting as advocate for the melody-affluent music of Christopher Ball they are certainly the most generous (MC142 and MC143). Their other two discs are well worth running to ground if you hanker after indefatigable English pastoral lyricism. Ball is a class act in this genre and no doubt there will be much more to come.
 
The Cor Anglais Concerto is quite light and approachable. There are three movements which together establish the case for a cleanly sung solo and lyrically stabbing strings. Amongst Ball's spiritual kindred - Finzi, Howells - there's a touch of serene Binge in the mix. After a plangent central movement we end with more joyous music in the manner of Finzi's Bagatelles and RVW folksongs for cello and piano.
 
The Clarinet Quintet is accorded a warm recording and as a work encompasses flighty and silkily smooth melody, bubbling lyricism and gutsily mellifluous dancing. Its mood recalls Geoffrey Bush's Summer Serenade.
 
The Recorder Concerto is an old friend making a welcome and singing return. The middle movement is particularly magical. Listen out for the sound of John Barry and Howard Blake on their good days. Again there's a Binge-like antiquity to this music; even a touch of Warlock's Capriol.
 
The Scenes from a Comedy would make a meet companion to the lighter brass ensemble music of Malcolm Arnold's and Joseph Horowitz. It's six witty movements along the way take in a very sentimental mood ( la Dr Zhivago) and some fruity Rossinian japes. This generously timed disc finishes with a bubbly solo Caprice on a Baroque Theme.
 
If you would like to explore yet further beyond the other two desirable Musical Concepts collections then don't miss the collections on Quantum and Pavane but it will involve some duplication.
 
Heart-lifting music in performances and recordings to match.
 
Rob Barnett