One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
50,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


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

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin

REFERENCE RECORDINGS

Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Anderson Choral music


colourful and intriguing


Artyomov
Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble


one of Berlioz greatest works


Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances


An attractive Debussy package


immaculate Baiba Skride


eloquent Cello Concerto


tension-filled work


well crafted and intense


Laangaard
another entertaining volume


reeking of cordite


Pappano with a strong cast


imaginatively constructed quartets


the air from another planet


vibrantly sung


NOT a budget performance


very attractive and interesting


finesse and stylistic assurance

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Availability

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Sonata No. 1 in G major for Violin and Piano, Op. 78 (1879) [25:09]
Sonata No. 2 in A major for Violin and Piano, Op. 100 (1886) [17:59]
Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op.108 (1886-88) [18:34]
Paul Makanowitzky (violin)
NoŽl Lee (piano)
rec. Paris, 1957-58
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR195 [61:45]

Both Forgotten Records and Meloclassic have released a select number of discs performed by violinist Paul Makanowitzky: the former studio inscriptions of long out of print LPs, the latter devoted to broadcasts. This example from FR restores the 1957-58 Brahms Sonatas, with long-term sonata partner NoŽl Lee, which were made for Lumen (a French label well worth exploring both for its repertoire and also for its artist roster).

Meloclassic’s restorations, which date from the early 1960s, have included live examples of the Opp.78 and 108 sonatas but so far we lack a broadcast of Op.100. The earlier studio cycle amplifies the strengths and sometimes weaknesses to be found elsewhere. The duo is an excellent ensemble, with a good distribution of weight and balance between the two instruments and the Brahms performances are communicative and strongly projected.

Makanowitzky’s taut, fast vibrato is in evidence as ever and the limitations in terms of tonal colour that are a feature of his art make themselves felt from time to time. But his essential machinery is powerful, with an unruffled technique and a propensity to keep rhythms alive sometimes by cutting short phrases. The duo brings out the introspective nature of the Adagio of Op.78 with discretion, Makanowitzky deliberately slowing his vibrato and its oscillation to convey the music’s inherent fragility. For Op.100 the duo takes a fast basic pulse. Whilst this is useful in the pithier moments of the central movement there are examples of clipped phrases that don’t always convince. Overall the approach here is somewhat unsettled and breathless and anyone familiar with the recordings of elite duos such as Goldberg-Balsam, Morini-Pommers, Shumsky-Hambro or Grumiaux-Sebők, to cite just a few of the best-known in this repertoire, will find the Makanowitzky-Lee approach unsympathetic.

Makanowitzky’s vibrato is at its fastest and leanest in Op.108 where he takes a more rapid tempo in the opening movement than was to be the case in the broadcast of 1961. There’s much to be said in favour of the duo’s sensitive phrasing and the dashing approach to both outer movements in particular. Strongly hewn is how I described their broadcast performance and that’s certainly the case here.

The restoration is excellent, with no LP rumble or surface noise audible.

Jonathan Woolf

Previous review: Stephen Greenbank

 

 




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