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

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Benjamin GODARD (1849-1895)
Symphonie No. 2 Op. 57 (1879) [29:09]
Trois Morceaux.op. 51 (1874?) [19:56]
Symphonie Gothique Op. 23 (1890) [19:38]
Munchner Rundfunkorchester/David Reiland
rec. Studio 1, Bayerisches Rundfunk, Munchen, 17-19, 28-29 Sept 2015.
CPO 555 044-2 [69:11]

Not exactly a full-blown resurgence but there are now quite a few orchestral Godard entries in the catalogue. The prime contributors are Dutton Epoch, Hyperion, Naxos and now CPO. If we look to his mélodies and violin sonatas Aparte have recently swelled the ranks with AP123 and AP124 and Timpani have added his string quartets.

Godard proves to have had an ingenious and fertile imagination. The four-movement Second Symphony is a lively affair drawing cogently enough on the fantasy elements of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Weber. The first and third movements are quite Tchaikovskian in the Russian composer's fairy-tale mode; perhaps the lighter moments in the Manfred symphony. We are back to Schumann as a reference point for the two flanking movements. It's all very engaging, even when Godard aims at being stirring.

The Trois Morceaux range from cloudily earnest reflection to eldritch skittishness to what seems to be an evocation of a sultry Spanish evening. The three pieces end with a crashing Massenet-style climax.

Godard loved his exotic pictorial titles. His symphonies include a Symphonie Orientale and a Symphonie Légendaire. The shorter Symphonie Gothique starts darkly. It proceeds among solemn Brahmsian groves but soon finds an equally Brahmsian levity. The whole work has the air of something veering between Brahms' Haydn Variations and Second Symphony. It has the air of a suite rather than a brow-knitted symphony.

We are not told who wrote the liner essay but it is a good example of its kind: approachable and logically laid out section by section. It's difficult to tell without a performing tradition but the performances feel convinced and convincing. As for the recording quality this is sturdy but with room for detail in a warm acoustic. I trust that we will hear more from Reiland and the Munich Radio orchestra.

Rob Barnett



 

 




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