One of the most grown-up review sites around

Apollo's Fire

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 for two flutes and orchestra



A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin


World Premiere
Weinberg’s Concertino (cello)!


Irish-Appalachian Celebration


Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review

an inspirational performance

An indispensable acquisition

The finest we have had in years

bewitching sound

Simply amazing

A splendid addition

One of the most enjoyable

quite superb!

utterly essential

A wonderful introduction

An outstanding CD


One of the finest versions

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Boris PAPANDOPULO (1906-1991)
Piano Concerto No. 3 (1959) [29:32]
Violin Concerto (1943) [45:49]
Oliver Triendl (piano)
Dan Zhu (violin)
Rijeka Opera Orchestra/Ville Matvejeff
rec. 2016, HNK Ivan pl. Zajc Rijeka
CPO 555 100-2 [67:31]

Papandopulo’s father was a Russian aristocrat whose name discloses his Greek ancestry, whilst his mother was a famous Croatian singer, Maja Strozzi, admired by Thomas Mann for possessing what he called ‘perhaps the most beautiful soprano voice of our time’. His family was profoundly cultured and steeped in the artistic milieu of Croatian creative life. His music is tremendously exciting and invigorating and draws on a wide corpus of influences, as the two concertos show.

One of his most devoted contemporary exponents on disc has been Oliver Triendl, one of the world’s hardest working and yet under-appreciated recording artists. The 1959 Piano Concerto No.3 opens with some insinuating impressionist elements but these are soon dismissed in a welter of lilting melodies played first orchestrally and then extrapolated by the garrulous soloist. The ethos is droll, the mood filmic, with giocoso freedom pervasive. There is much made of the mock-brass attacks, the opening movement ending with the solo piano reflecting on earlier material. The central slow movement’s lyric poetry and generous warmth is interrupted on occasion by Gershwinesque paragraphs, though perhaps the model was the similar central movement in Ravel’s Concerto. With a Boogie start, the finale ensures the concerto continues to cover stylistic bases – there’s some more Gershwin in the solo passages – which makes the rather madcap cadenza all the more acceptable, as well as the very brash final furlong. This headlong, whimsical, pan-stylistic concerto has a great deal of heat and attractive, if necessarily derivative features. It’s a bizarre joy to listen to.

The companion concerto is very different. For one thing it was completed in 1943. It’s a much bigger structure, though once again crafted in thee movements, full of texture and colour. It opens with a threnodic hymnal introduction and introduces a quasi-cadential passage for the soloist, whose throaty tone down in the lower strings is balanced by fluty upper voicings. There’s some lovely contrapuntal writing for the winds and a vein of deep nostalgia running throughout over the extended span, as well as orchestral grandeur. The slow movement is a sweetly gentle fantasy on a Croatian song – beautiful, softly textured, the orchestra supplying a supportive tissue for the fiddle’s spinning lied and its elfin, almost otherworldly elegies. The buoyant folk-inclined finale is bright and exciting.

These concertos are full of infectious rhythmic brio and exciting melodic and lyric panache. They have outstanding advocates in Triendl, Dan Zhu and the ever-perceptive marshalling hand of Ville Matvejeff, whose orchestra plays with intense commitment throughout in a well-judged acoustic. Documentation is excellent too, so if you fancy something fresh and zesty, lend an ear to this disc.

Jonathan Woolf

Previous review: Rob Barnett



Advertising on

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: 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
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger