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

Josef Otto af SILLÉN (1859-1951)
Violin Concerto in E minor (1920s?) [33:39]
Symphony No. 3 in E minor (1937) [28:54]
Christian Bergqvist (violin)
Gävle Symphony Orchestra/Göran Nilson
rec. September 2001, Gävle Concert Hall, Sweden
STERLING CDS1044-2 [62:33]

If you imagine, as the notes suggest, a musical axis somewhere between Bruch and Wieniawski you’ll have the emotional tenor of Josef Otto af Sillén’s Violin Concerto about right. Add a dash of Tchaikovsky and a serving of salon and you’ll be even closer. The erstwhile managing director of an insurance company, as well as a military man, he also pursued a parallel musical career.

His Violin Concerto was dedicated to his daughter Greta, a student of Leopold Auer, but she never performed it and in fact the work lay unperformed until this recording. Its date of composition seems to be in some doubt, though conjecturally one could say the early 1920s. It’s robust enough though thematically lacks real memorability and the solo line often seems to skim the surface of the music. The elegant but somewhat salonesque slow movement is indicative of a lack of passionate conviction to the music-making. Though it’s certainly amiable enough and the finale has a relaxed feel with a lengthy cadenza, there’s a strange feeling of uninvolved lassitude for much of the time. Nothing quite grips. The slight backward placing of soloist Christian Bergqvist doesn’t help but he plays communicatively. The problem is inherent in the composition, not the performance.

First performed in 1937 the Symphony No.3 is another smoothly organised but ultimately non-committal affair. The ceremonial introduction, cast in solid sonata form, leads to a pleasantly lyric Andante which, despite lightly burnished wind solos, never reaches (or seeks, one feels) any great expressive depth. Imagine Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and, again, you’ll be near the mark. The Allegretto’s pastoral dance is followed by a furrow-browed and rather serious finale. This late-romantic symphony is unaffected, robust, spirited, clean-limbed and wholesome. It’s not troubled, introspective, expressive or deep.

It’s certainly well played even if opportunities for ardent advocacy are in short supply in a work that so rigorously avoids sentiment. Fine notes do the best they can, supporting the enterprise with excellently sourced biographical information. Even so I’d place this disc quite low on the ‘must have’ Sterling wants list.

Jonathan Woolf

Previous review: David Barker

 

 



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