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

2021
67,048 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

MusicWeb - "A Beacon of Probity and Integrity" - Ralph Moore

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 







Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing


 
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

 

 


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

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 Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

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

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

April2022


Chopin Bruce Liu


Ingeneri Volume 2


Mondonville - Titon et L'Aurore


Telemann - French Cantatas 1

 

March 2022


Brahms Symphony 4
MacMillan Larghetto for Orchestra


Bruch Violin Concertos


Debussy Preludes Book 2


Jan-Peter de GRAAFF
Cello Concertos

La Nuit étoilé
Berlioz. Holmes

 

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Dimitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Symphony No. 1, Op.10 [33.37]
Cello Concerto No. 1, Op.107* [27.34]
Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Sinfonietta, Op.1 [14.53
Steven Isserlis* (cello)
Mahler Chamber Orchestra/Teodor Currentzis
rec. Concertgebouw, Bruges, 2013
EUROARTS DVD 2059818 [82.00]

The links between the music of Shostakovich and Britten have long been recognised. These include not only their indebtedness to the style of Mahler — at the time far from the universally respected figure that he became during the 1960s — but also their close personal friendship reinforced by their positions as members of the intellectual elite. Simultaneously, for different reasons, they were each outsiders in the musical life of their respective countries. Shostakovich, recognising this affinity, dedicated his Fourteenth Symphony to Britten. The booklet notes by Francis Maes which accompany this issue seem to imply that the series of concerts of music by the two composers from which this DVD derives included more works than we are given here. This selection serves to represent the similarities – and the differences – between two of the pivotal figures of mid-twentieth century music.

Unfortunately the well-meaning inspiration behind this release is effectively set at nought by the horribly close microphone placement to which everybody involved is subjected. We get almost no sense of the acoustic of the hall, and the engineering reduces every single instrument to a one-dimensional sound which seems to reflect the ethic of a ‘pop’ production rather than anything one might reasonably expect to encounter in a live performance. The Britten Sinfonietta, with its chamber scoring, suffers least from this, and the actual playing is as excellent as one would expect from these instrumentalists. The Shostakovich symphony sounds like one of those old Melodiya recordings with each and every instrument subjected to a microscopic examination. No cellist could possibly expect to survive unscathed from the close observation to which Steven Isserlis is subjected. Every rasp of bow on string is brought unnaturally forward in a manner that could never represent the sound produced in the concert hall. Isserlis was a late substitute for Jean-Guihen Queyras who was originally scheduled to appear in this concert. One would love to hear Isserlis perform this concerto in a more natural perspective, since he clearly understands and loves the work. Indeed Hyperion have scheduled a recording with Paavo Järvi and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra for release in 2015. Those who would like to hear him in the concerto would be well-advised to wait for that CD.

For the rest, the performances under Teodor Currentzis are excellently played and excitingly conducted. However, the sound as recorded cannot be recommended for comfortable listening, with a feel that is almost monophonic. Only those who are attracted by the physicality of a live performance need venture further.

Paul Corfield Godfrey

Britten discography & review index: Sinfonietta