MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

2021
56,451 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 







Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer

International mailing


 
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

Jonny-Bradley-handmade-knives
Johnny Bradley
Handmade Kitchen Knives

 


 


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

 

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

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
The Complete Original Piano Duets
Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow (piano four hands)
rec. St. John the Baptist Church, Alkborough, North Lincolnshire, 1998 (CDs 1-3), 1999 (CDs 4-7)
Originally released on the Olympia label.
DIVINE ART DDA21701 [7 CDs: ca 9 hrs]

I have long enjoyed the piano duets of Schubert, a form he excelled in throughout his life, with his earliest surviving work being the Fantasie D.1, from 1810 when he was just thirteen years old, until the masterpieces in the genre of his final years. Here, at last, we have a reissue of the only fully complete version of Schubert’s works for piano duet, I remember with fondness the original release on the long lamented Olympia label, and here Divine Art must be thanked for resurrecting these fine recordings. I did have two or three of the original releases, which have disappeared over the years, borrowed and not returned, so it is good to have the chance to reacquaint myself with this wonderful set. The original recordings followed a mammoth concert series in which the complete works were performed over seven concerts, with the discs following the program of the concerts and concluding with a Polonaise that Schumann had been inspired to compose as an eighteen year old by Schubert’s example, as an encore. These are intelligently conceived and performed recitals, ones that bring the music Schubert to life.

The first disc opens with the Polonaise in F D599 No. 4, but there is no doubting the star work on the disc, the ever popular Grand Duo (Sonate) in C, D.812. Here some might find the performance of Goldstone and Clemmow too brisk, 36:18 compared with the 47:21 of Eschenbach and Frantz (CZS 569770 2), or the 43:24 of Barenboim and Lupu (download), but there is no doubting the sense of excitement in this performance, with the quicker tempo not overtly detracting from the music.

Disc two opens with the Overture in F minor / Major, D.675, but again the major work steals the show, the Fantasie in F minor Op. 103, D.940, has long been a favourite of mine and here it is given an insightful performance, one that ranks along with the best. That being said, I recently came across the performance by Andreas Staier and Alexander Melnikov on a copy of a Graff fortepiano (HMM 902227), the sound of which is a real eye-opener.

Starting with one of Schubert’s most popular works for piano duet, the Marches Militaires, D.733, disc three also includes Anthony Goldstone’s realisation of the Polonaise in B flat Major, D.618a. Here Goldstone has taken the sketches Schubert composed in 1818, when he worked as a teacher for Count Esterhazy in Hungary, and woven them into a believable and accomplished work whilst completing the trio section. The Schubert section of this disc ends with a rousing and wonderful performance of the Divertissement à la hongroise, D.818.

The fourth disc begins with the remarkably mature work that is the Fantasie D.1, the longest work on this disc, it shows a mastery of the medium that shows a skill that belies Schubert’s teenage years. I particularly enjoyed the performance of the Grande Marche et Trio in D, D.819 No. 4, and the Grande Marche Funèbre in C minor, D. 859, but it is the Variations on an Original theme in A flat Major, D.813 that shines here. Goldstone and Clemmow’s performance is wonderful here.

Disc five begins strongly with a spirited performance of the Grand Marche héroique, D.885, before ending with one of the composer’s most popular works for piano duet, the Duo in A minor ‘Lebensstürme’, D. 947. Here Goldstone and Clemmow are particularly persuasive as in a performance of great style and élan.

Disc six has at its heart a persuasive performance of the Grand Sonate in B flat Major, D.617. This piece dates from 1818, although it was not published, as his opus 30, until five years later; it is central to this concert with the other works seeming to radiate from it. Although the disc ends with sparkling performance of the Grande Marche et Trio in B minor, D.819 No.3 and a thoughtful and well measured performance of the Variations on a Theme from Hérold’s opera Marie, D.908.

The final disc opens with the early Fantasie in C minor (Grand Sonate) D.48, composed between April and June of 1813, the last Fantasie of his school days. This is also an incredibly mature work, a work that shows more than just promise, this is the work of a consummate composer, one who uses the piano to great effect. The final work by Schubert is the Divertissement sur des motifs originaux français, D.823, this is a relatively large scale work which lasts nearly half an hour. Here Schubert takes the French themes and makes them his own; this work is reminiscent of the Divertissement à la hongroise, especially in the way that the composer weaves his own music around the original themes. This is an entertaining work of great colour and imagination and a fitting one to conclude the set with.

Each disc contains an ‘encore’ in the form of a Polonaise by Schumann, and in the case of the final disc, two. Schumann idolised Schubert and is said to have wept inconsolably when he heard of his death. These polonaises occupied the eighteen year old Schumann during August and September of 1828 and were composed in a style that was inspired by Schubert, the resulting eight polonaises only being published in 1933. They are strong works which, whilst showing the influence of Schubert, could only be by Schumann; that being said they do make a fitting set of encores for the discs and the set as a whole. My only other recording of these works is by Peter Frankl and Andras Schiff (CD3X 3001), which whilst it is a sparkling performance, the nearly forty year old Vox sound is beginning to show its age in comparison to this set.

This is a most enjoyable set, one in which Goldstone and Clemmow seem to be totally in tune with each other, which results in excellence throughout the set. The set comes with very good sound and a detailed 40 page booklet (in English only), in which each work is gone in to in detail, this is based on their original notes for the Olympia releases. Whilst editing these a few months ago for this release Anthony Goldstone sadly died, with this set marking his untimely passing as a fitting tribute and memorial to his name and his prowess as an editor and performer.

Stuart Sillitoe


Contents
Disc 1 [78:09]
Polonaises in F Major Op. 75, D. 599: No. 4
Polonaise in F Major, D824 No. 2
Marches héroïques D602 No. 3
German Dance (with two trios and two ländler) D618
Rondo for piano duet in D major, D608
German Dance (with two trios and two ländler) D618
Grande March et Trio D819 No. 6
Grand Duo Sonata in C major, D812
Disc 2 [76:51]
Overture D 675 in F major for piano duo
Grande March et Trio D819 No. 5
Grande March et Trio D819 No. 1
Variations in B flat major, D968a D603
Polonaise in B flat Major, Op. 75, D. 599: No. 2
Polonaise in B flat Major, D824 No. 3
Fantasie in F minor for piano duet, D940
Disc 3 [79:22]
Marches Militaires (3), D733
Rondo for piano duet in A major, D951
Polonaise in A Major, D824 No. 5
Grande March et Trio in G minor, D819 No. 2
Ländler D814 Nos. 1 & 2, combibed with German Dance D783 No. 8
Polonaise in B flat, from D. 618a sketches (realised by Anthony Goldstone)
Divertissement à la Hongroise D818
Disc 4 [77:22]
Fantasie in G major for piano duet, D1
Polonaise in D major, D824/4
Grande March et Trio in D Major, D819 No. 4
Ländler D814 Nos. 3 & 4
March in G major, D928 'Kindermarsch'
Grande Marche Funèbre in C minor, D859
Variations in A flat major on a original theme, D813
Disc 5 [77:37]
Grande Marche héroïque in A minor, D885
Fantasie in G minor for piano duet, D9
Polonaise in E major, D824 No. 6
Polonaise Op. 75, D.599 No. 3
Eight Variations on a French song, in E minor D624
German Dance D783 No. 9
Marches caractéristiques (2), D886
Duo in A minor, Allegro ‘Lebensstürme', D947
Disc 6 [75:26]
Overture D 668 in G minor for piano duo
16 German Dances D783
Polonaise in D minor, D824 No. 1
Polonaises in D minor, Op. 75, D. 599: No. 1
Grande Sonata in B flat major, D617
Marche héroïque in B minor, D602 No. 1
Fugue in E minor D 952
Grande March et Trio in B minor, D819 No. 3
8 Variations on a Theme from Herold's "Marie", Op. 82, D. 908
Disc 7 [75:39]
Fantasie in C minor for piano duet, D48 'Grande Sonate'
2 Ecossaises, D783
Allegro moderato in C major and Andante in A minor, D968
Marche héroïque in C major, D602 No. 2
Divertissement sur des motifs originaux français, in B minor,D823

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
8 Polonaises for Piano Four Hands

 

 



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

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

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

December
(short month)


Orphic Moments


Metamorphoses Books I & II

November


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali


Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4


French Cello Concertos

 

October


Shostakovich