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

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
  • Mozart Flute Quartets
  • Schubert complete piano works
  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
 
Tudor



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Availability

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907)
Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 16 (1869) [27:38]
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Piano Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op.25 (1831) [19:03]
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Carnaval, Op.9 (1835) [27:55]
Ania Dorfmann (piano)
Robin Hood Dell Orchestra of Philadelphia/Erich Leinsdorf
rec. July 1953, Academy of Music, Philadelphia (concertos) and September-October 1958 and September 1959 (Carnaval), Town Hall, New York
PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM066 [74:26]

The recordings of Ania (not Anita) Dorfmann (1899-1984) have had a pretty thin time of it; not for them multiple reissues. She seems to have slipped the net almost completely. This disc of 1950s mono recordings is all the more valuable for that reason and but for its existence I am fairly sure I would not have heard of her. This is a shame as she is clearly an estimable talent.

Associated for some years with Toscanini, recordings of her with him in Beethoven's First Piano Concerto, Triple Concerto and Choral Fantasy have, I am told, been issued at various times. She is well accompanied here by Leinsdorf who allows no slack. The orchestra is never permitted to treat these sessions as routine. The gritty bite and rock-hammer blows of the first movement contrast with the warm playing of the second movement which cosies up rather well in this coaxing acoustic.

The playing in the finale, as in the first movement, is right on the button, with plenty of power and definition. It works very well with Leinsdorf's tempest and tension. Mendelssohn's compact First Piano Concerto flashes along like a summer squall with lightning. It's all quite Beethovenian - those fanfares are redolent of Beethoven 5. I have recently been reminded by BBC Radio 3's Composer of the Week about the piano concertos of William Sterndale-Bennett. Hearing this performance of the music of Sterndale-Bennett's contemporary and friend, Mendelssohn I am sure that Dorfmann would have made an elite interpreter of the Englishman's piano concertos (review ~ review ~ review) but in the 1950s they might as well have never been written. I was introduced to this Mendelssohn work courtesy of a 1960s(?) RCA LP where the pianist was Joseph Kalichstein. Kalichstein alo seems to have dropped out of the light although I see he later recorded Mendelssohn's concertos 1 and 2 for Nimbus with Jaime Laredo.

It's a shame Dorfmann, who was born in Odessa like several other musical luminaries, did not record the Schumann concerto. Instead we have this Carnaval which is shot through with playing that is full of forceful, mercurial fantasy - a veritable hall of mirrors. One quibble: really quiet playing seems not have been on the menu. Whether this is down to the microphones or Dorfmann I am not sure. That said, the sound is nothing short of assertively handsome - perhaps a shade hard in Carnaval but very listenable.

Rob Barnett

Previous review: Jonathan Woolf



 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger