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

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews

 

 


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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

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

Gustaf BENGTSSON (1886-1965)
Violin Concerto in B minor (1941) [31:43]
Cello Concerto in A minor (1932) [27:33]
Tobias Ringborg (violin)
Mats Rondin (cello)
 Malmö Opera Orchestra/Mats Rondin (Violin Concerto); Tobias Ringborg (Cello Concerto)
rec. Palladium, Malmö, Sweden. 3-4, 8 June 2004 (Violin Concerto); 1-2 June 2004 (Cello Concerto). DDD
STERLING CDS-1063-2 [59:42]

A student of Paul Juon in Paris and Hugo Riemann in Berlin, Swedish composer Gustaf Bengtsson spent many years as a distinguished regional choral director, and not pursuing appointments in Stockholm. An organist as well as erstwhile violinist, his great debut as a composer arrived in a special 1912 concert when he, Kurt Atterberg and Oskar Lindberg all had works premiered.

These two concertos are the products of his mid-period as a composer. The earlier is the Cello Concerto, written in 1932 for, and premiered by, Gunnar Norrby. Its open-hearted lyricism is unfettered by any doctrinaire stylistic concern. From the sound of things Bengtsson seems to have assimilated certain models, cadences, harmonies and even chords from other works and allowed them to infiltrate, or infuse or indeed colonise, elements of his own work. There are Brahmsian figures in the first movement, notably in the cadenza where the shade of the Double Concerto for violin and cello hovers benignly. In the slow movement his gift for long-spun melodic distinction can be admired. It’s always a challenge to balance the solo cello against the orchestral tapestry but Bengtsson largely achieves this – the winds’ descants, the cello coiling with them, is an especially felicitous touch. The vigorous Rondo finale has the adventurous honesty of film music, a kind of romance in moonlight too in places, with orchestral chords summoning up Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, as one or two moments had in the opening moment too.

The Violin Concerto followed in 1941, though its premiere wasn’t to be until February 1944. The influences here seem to be Russian; formally classical and again uninterested in novelty, either structural or harmonic, this is another attractive piece. Its principal influence seems to have been Tchaikovsky from the sound of things, and there are a number of places when increasing orchestral rhythmic agitation, preparatory to a violin entry, very much puts one in mind of the Russian. A sweetly suggestive and lyrical second theme once more shows the composer’s succulent side. There’s Scheherazade-like warmth to the central movement, a rich cantilena sporting mountain top horn harmonies, the prevailing spirit one of Elysian simplicity. Terpsichorean matters dominate in the pithy, pirouetting finale leading to a spirited and triumphant end.

Tobias Ringborg is the attractive soloist in the Violin Concerto and is a man who has done much to further the cause of Scandinavian music on disc and in the concert hall. Mats Rondin is similarly sympathetic in the Cello Concerto. A droll conceit is that Ringborg conducts the Cello concerto and Rondin the Violin Concerto. After idly wondering whether Sterling couldn’t afford a conductor, I decided they could but, like Thibaud conducting Szeryng in the Beethoven Concerto, unexpectedly good results can follow when an instrumentalist conducts.

Jonathan Woolf

Previous reviews: Rob Barnett ~ Ian Lace

 



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

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk
Stanczyk Acousmatic Music

Oropesa

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus