MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around   2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World


all Nimbus reviews



all tudor reviews


Follow us on Twitter


Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Josef SCHELB (1894-1977)
Chamber Music with Clarinet
Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1947) [19:08]
Quintet for Clarinet and Strings (1954) [17:35]
Quartet for Clarinet, Viola, Cello and Piano (1955) [17:57]
Quartet for Clarinet, Violin, Cello and Piano (1965) [15:03]
Busch Kollegium Karlsruhe (Bettina Beigelbeck (clarinet), Yasushi Ideue (violin), Ayu Ideue (violin), Wolfgang Wahl (viola), Gabriela Bradley (cello) (Quartet); Bernhard Lörcher (cello), Manfred Kratzer (piano))
rec. 2015/16, Hans Rosbaud Studio, SWR, Baden-Baden.
TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0358 [69:46]

Martin Anderson's now firmly established label, Toccata Classics, knows no fear. Browse their catalogue and encounter one unfamiliar composer after another. Rarity has no intrinsic virtue but Toccata's choices are usually sound and offer plenty of valuable experiences to the time-challenged classical listener.

Born in South-West Germany, Josef Schelb became a pupil of Hans Huber in Basle and of Bernhard Stavenhagen in Geneva. Escaping armed service in the Great War, his career as composer and pianist was able to put down roots. He was less fortunate during the Second World War when the bombing of Karlsruhe destroyed his possessions including pretty well all of his manuscripts. These now reside at the city's Landesbibliothek and extend to some 150 pieces, some of which are orchestral. Amongst these can be found a concerto for violin, cello and orchestra and Music for Orchestra 1 and 2. There is also music for stage and for radio plays as well as a cantata De Sancta Trinitate for solo voices, choir and orchestra (1930).

Going by these four compact clarinet-centred works - each in three or four movements and well-performed - Schelb was a dignified yet far from glum presence. The 1947 Sonata is capricious, florid and affluent in melodic foliage. Schelb ploughed furrows in fields well distant from those beloved of the revolutionary fashionistas of his post-war time. He avoided the avant-garde and dissonance. That said, the enmeshed undergrowth and seething foreground activity of works like the 1954 Clarinet Quintet present a far from facile conquest. His music has a luxuriously active Gallic spontaneity with ideas unwinding and interacting in what feels like an instinctive rather than a mapped progression. Frequently this activity combines with plangent regret as in the Lento of the Clarinet Quartet from the year after the Quintet. The skimming and scurrying Presto that follows (tr. 10) returns the listener to Schelb's gift for dynamism although it draws breath for contemplation. A final Allegro non tanto takes up the baton and predominantly presses forward with urgency. Just occasionally, as in the trudging start of the irresistible Adagio of the 1965 quartet, we can hear an echo of Kurt Weill. Schelb is his own man but he is likely to appeal to those who appreciate a voice occupying the enigmatic ground between Rawsthorne, Alwyn, Howells and Poulenc. His style between 1947 and 1965 remained stable. He had found his metier and was not going to slacken his grip on it.

The site has already reviewed one Schelb CD so if you would like to progress further after this attractively recorded and vigorously performed Toccata entry then go for that Antes Edition disc.

Rob Barnett

 



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount