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

2021
56,451 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

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

Jonny-Bradley-handmade-knives
Johnny Bradley
Handmade Kitchen Knives

 


 


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

Availability

Marin MARAIS (1656-1728)
Five Old French Dances [6:37]
Suite in D minor [17:53]
Louis de Caix D’HERVELOIS (1677-1759)
Suite No.1 in A minor [13:57]
Suite No.2 in D minor [9:55]
Paul Doktor (viola)
Fernando Valenti (harpsichord)
rec. c. 1953, Vienna
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1088 [50:26]

Once again Forgotten Records restore a Westminster LP made during the days of seemingly endless recording sessions in 1950s Vienna. The relative cheapness of their studios had something to do with it, as did the hiring of the hard-worked Vienna Symphony – who were equally cheap - but there were plenty of opportunities for American-based musicians to travel to the city to record as well, whether it was Albert Spalding soloing with the VSO or, as here, two instrumentalists teaming up on Westminster WN18088 – violist Paul Doktor (1919-1989) and harpsichordist Fernando Valenti (1926-1990).

Valenti was a prolific recording artist of the time, setting down volumes of Scarlatti, and specialised in Baroque music. Paul Doktor, whom some will know because of his association with Adolf Busch, was an important presence on the North American scene, recording Piston’s Viola Concerto and premiering Quincy Porter’s Concerto.

Together they tackled dances and suites by Marin Marais and D’Hervelois in this LP and did so with a robust and characterful sense of communicative enjoyment. The Five Ancient French Dances show Marais at his succinct best and Doktor and Valenti relish the rhythmic vitality of La Provençale. Doktor takes La Musette solo, and brings out the drone effects through his rich, warm, somewhat cellistic tone. There is equal breadth of tone, and expressive pointing, in La Matelotte. He reserves his most vivacious bowing for the one piece in the set that offers him the opportunity – Le Basque. The suite offers more overt opportunities for legato phrasing. It’s the Couplets des Folies d’Espagne, a theme and variations that provides the most large-scale playing. There’s a particularly telling pizzicato variation and a fine lute imitation – rather than specifically the viol. Valenti’s dynamism is rooted in an acute control of dynamics – very soft, seemingly under-recorded early in in this piece – and then infectiously extroverted. The wittiest playing comes in L’Américaine, the most playful and delightful movement in the suite.

Louis de Caix d’Hervelois is represented by two finely characterised suites, though they’re still less well-known even today than the more popular Marais. By turns melodically titillating – the Sarabande - and vivacious, as in the Tambourin, the first suite offers great listening pleasure. Given Doktor’s refined elegance and Valenti’s stylistically aware support the movements are brought to life with verve and sympathy. Even the registral demands for the viola in the concluding Gavotte are well met. The more succinct second suite contains the Pleinte, set down on 78s by Maurice Maréchal in one of the most beautiful string recordings ever made. Doktor can’t match Maréchal’s beauty but he is certainly affectionate, in a stately kind of way.

The excellent LP transfer – no ticks, no pops, no rumble, no blasting – comes without notes, but admirers of the two instrumentalists will relish this disc’s restoration.

Jonathan Woolf



 

 



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

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

December
(short month)


Orphic Moments


Metamorphoses Books I & II

November


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali


Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4


French Cello Concertos

 

October


Shostakovich