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
  • Brahms Symphony 4 Dvorak Symphony 9
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Sinfonie Concertanti
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano


Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 


Availability

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Songs Without Words
Book One, Op. 19b (1829-30) [16:46]
Book Two, Op. 30 (1833-34) [18:01]
Book Three, Op. 38 (1836-37) 14:48]
Book Four, Op. 53 (1839-41) [17:06]
Book Five, Op. 62 (1842-44) [15:29]
Book Six, Op. 67 (1843-45) [14:50]
Book Seven, Op. 85 (1834-45) [13:11]
Book Eight, Op. 102 (1842-45) [13:09]
Boat Song, Op. posth [2:05]
Andante and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14 (1824) [6:44]
Ania Dorfmann (piano)
rec. 1955-56, Webster Hall, New York; January 1953, Town Hall, New York (Andante and Rondo Capriccioso, Op.14)
Mono
PRISTINE AUDIO PAKM069 [66:46 + 65:38]

This wasn’t the first complete recording of Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words. That honour fell to Ginette Doyen, whose Westminster LPs, whilst hardly enjoying the promotional backing of Ania Dorfmann’s RCA Victors, were nevertheless the first into the lists. Incidentally a number of Doyen’s recordings have been remastered for CD over the last few years though I’m still waiting for the appearance of the complete cycle of the Beethoven Violin sonatas made with her husband Jean Fournier. Back to Dorfmann (1899-1984), the Odessa-born pianist whose name on disc is almost inextricably linked to Mendelssohn and Beethoven; her recording with Toscanini of Beethoven’s First Concerto was for some time the most visible example of her studio recordings. Of late however it’s her studio inscriptions of Mendelssohn’s G minor Concerto that have garnered her most renown; firstly the pre-war 78 set with Walter Goehr and then the LP remake with the Robin Hood Dell Orchestra of Philadelphia and Erich Leinsdorf (on PAKM066).
 
So, it’s fitting that Pristine Audio should release her Songs without Words recording made between October 1955 and August 1956 in Webster Halll, New York. There are actually 49 Songs because the Boat Song, Opus posthumous is included. So too is the Andante and Rondo Capriccioso, Op.14 recorded in Town Hall, NY in January 1953 which was issued at the time along with two Songs without Words. These last two became, in effect, redundant when she brought out the complete cycle.
 
Each of the ‘48’ is warmly textured and richly characterised. Those elements that so informed her performances of the G minor Concerto – the play of dynamism and sentiment – are present here to a compressed degree. She brings sympathetic directness to Op.10 No.4, beautiful tone to Op.30 No.1, an athletic sweep to Op.30 No.4, and a deft awareness of the rivulet running of Op.30 No.5. The meditative, introspective qualities of Op.53 No.4 are honoured as are the witty voicings of Op.53 No.6. To the grave intimations of Op.62 No.3 she responds with equal gravity and she brings lightness to the famous Spring Song, Op.62 No.6. Her unveiling of the zephyrs in Op.102 No.4 is beguiling. She always brings textual warmth to the pieces and is never guilty of generic responses. The Andante and Rondo Capriccioso is controlled, elegant and eloquent; it’s not used as a vehicle for the demonstration of virtuoso élan.
 
These excellently engineered monos sound fine in Mark Obert-Thorn’s transfers. It’s rewarding to see Ania Dorfmann’s discography yet more widely available on CD.
 
Jonathan Woolf 

 

 




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