One of the most grown-up review sites around


2019
51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


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

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti


Bax Piano Music


Guillaume LEKEU


 


Superior performance


Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons
Notable


Verdi Requiem Thielemann


Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital


Arnold Bax
Be converted


this terrific disc


John Buckley
one of my major discoveries


François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3

........................................

Bryden Thomson


Symphonies


Vaughan Williams Concertos


RVW Orchestral

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

To gain a 10% discount, use the link below & the code MusicWeb10

Paul BÜTTNER (1870-1943)
Heroic Overture (1925) [14:07]
Symphony No. 4 in B minor (1918) [40:59]
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Gerhard Pflüger, Hans-Peter Frank (overture)
rec. 1965 (symphony), 1974 (overture), details of location not supplied
STERLING CDS10482 [55:50]

Dresdener Paul Büttner is another in Sterling's sequence of northern European Romantics whose name was completely unknown to me. Checking on Presto and ArkivMusic revealed that this is the only recording of his music currently available, so I don’t feel too bad about my ignorance of his existence.

He studied composition with Felix Draeseke at the Dresden conservatory. He also taught there for a long time, finishing as artistic director, before his opposition to the Nazis led to his removal in 1933. He wrote widely across the musical spectrum, and conductors such as Arthur Nikisch and Fritz Reiner included his works in their concerts.

This background was very encouraging, but alas, I found these two works rather uninspiring. Certainly, they are pleasant enough, the overture appropriately grand, the symphony intermittently stirring and melodic but each overstays its welcome, running out of steam well before the end. The overture, despite being written later, is a melange of Schumann and Brahms. As for the symphony, it is a far superior work, which shows a strong Brucknerian influence, but also that of Wagner, especially in the finale. This movement perhaps best illustrates the problems I had with these works. Drop in at any point and listen for thirty seconds, and you will hear a familiar voice, be it Wagner, Bruckner, even Beethoven. Where is Büttner’s voice among all this? This was his final symphony, and given that it was written mid-career, one might expect that it should be his best effort in the genre. If that be so, then it doesn’t raise much expectation for the first three.

Performances are, at the very least, adequate and in the case of the symphony, much better than that. Recording quality is likewise serviceable, but hardly the last word in clarity, although the densely orchestrated works themselves would have contributed to that. The booklet notes are as thorough as one could expect for such an obscure name.

Aficionados of the unsung composer will doubtless see this as a desirable release, but as so often is the case, there is a good reason why the composer has been forgotten.

David Barker

Previous review: Rob Barnett



 

 



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger