One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
Google seem to have closed down local search engines. You can use this FreeFind engine but it is not so comprehensive
     
  
You can go to Google itself and enter the search term www.musicweb-international.com followed by the search term.
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider


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

simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin


Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive


Cantatas for Soprano

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing
this through MusicWeb
for ú12 postage paid world-wide.

Josef Otto af SILL╔N (1859-1951)
Violin Concerto in E minor (1920s?) [33:39]
Symphony No. 3 in E minor (1937) [28:54]
Christian Bergqvist (violin)
Gńvle Symphony Orchestra/G÷ran Nilson
rec. September 2001, Gńvle Concert Hall, Sweden
STERLING CDS1044-2 [62:33]

I suspect Josef SillÚn is a new name to many of you, as it was to me, so some biographical information is appropriate here, especially as it appears there is no Wikipedia entry, not even one in Swedish, for him. He was born outside Stockholm, and was a classmate of the future king Gustav V and prime minister Hjalmar Branting. He joined the army as a volunteer (a reservist?) after leaving school but worked in insurance for much of his life. It was in the military that he first received musical instruction, and began to compose. He wrote to his daughter that “if I had independent means, I would devote myself in earnest to composition”. He was chairman of the New Philharmonic Society for a number of years, and after retirement from commerce, wrote a considerable number of orchestral works, including five symphonies and the concerto presented here.

The violin concerto, apparently his only concertante composition, was dedicated to his daughter, who studied the instrument under Leopold Auer. The work was not performed until this recording. The booklet notes suggest Wieniawski and the Sterling website Mendelssohn, but for me, Bruch is a stronger influence, especially the G minor concerto, though alas without the memorable themes or the passion. The slow movement does have its moments of real beauty. The solo violin part is not as virtuosic as in many Romantic concertos, and soloist Bergqvist was probably not too taxed.

The symphony did get a public performance, under the baton of Adolf Wiklund, whose piano concertos were recorded by Hyperion and Caprice (CAP21363). It was described as a “novelty” in the press at the time, but that can only have been due to the composer, rather than the music, which is very much informed by the fourth and fifth symphonies of Tchaikovsky, though again without the passion and drama. Like the concerto it's pleasant but quickly forgotten.

The notes are quite compendious, given how slight SillÚn’s profile was. Recording quality is perfectly adequate, and the orchestra, which has a number of recent recordings for Naxos under its belt, does a good job with what it has.

This is really only one for the devotee of the unsung.

David Barker



 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


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