One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


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

Some items
to consider


16th-19th November


Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!


Nothing but Praise


BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set


Telemann continues to amaze


A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition


Another Bacewicz winner


match any I’ve heard


An outstanding centenary collection


personable, tuneful, approachable


a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.


music that will be new to most people


telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded


hitherto unrecorded Latvian music

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Piano Concerto No. 15 in B flat major, K. 450 [23:30]
Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major ("Alla Turca") K. 331 (K. 300i) [21:40]
Piano Sonata No. 17 in D major ("Trumpet", "Hunt"), K. 576 [13:44]
Solomon (piano), Philharmonia Orchestra / Otto Ackermann
rec. 7-8 September 1953 (K. 450); 2-3 December 1952 (K. 331); 9 June 1952 (K. 450) ADD mono
ARCHIPEL ARPCD0226 [59:58]

I had heard of Solomon but was unacquainted with his recordings before buying this remastered historical compilation of his recordings made in1952 and 1953. Along with Clifford Curzon, he was a doyen among British pianists, before a stroke in 1956 paralysed his right arm when he was still only in his early fifties.

The Romanian conductor Otto Ackermann is mainly associated with recordings of operettas written by his friend Franz Lehár but he also accompanied Schwarzkopf in her earlier “Four Last Songs” and frequently partnered his compatriot Dinu Lipatti; both were sadly short-lived, Lipatti dying at 33 at Ackermnn at 50.

Given that history of so much chronic ill-health, we must be all the more grateful for the recorded legacy. This recording remains eminently enjoyable as long as you are tolerant of the thin, clattery mono sound; you can certainly hear the verve, vivacity and dexterity of Solomon’s playing in a composer evidently highly congenial to his temperament, and the orchestral contribution is surprisingly prominent. K. 450 belongs to the first flowering of Mozart’s mature command of the medium and, like its ground-breaking numerical predecessor, K. 449, no. 14, provides a platform for the pianist to display technical prowess in trills and runs, The Andantino is tenderly played, orchestral phrases echoed by the piano prefiguring the opening statement in K.581, the Clarinet Quintet. The rumbustious good-humour of the finale is by no means underplayed, there is plenty of power in the left hand to balance the fluidity of the right.

By all accounts, Solomon had a reputation especially for the poetic delicacy of his pianism; that is immediately apparent from the opening of the first sonata, K. 331; I just wish that the sound were less hollow so we could appreciate the performance more completely; sometimes this sounds more pre- than post-war. The directness and unpretentiousness of Solomon’s playing are winning, however; the variations are all airy lightness and the famous “Alla Turca” tossed off with aplomb. The last and later sonata again provides the opportunity for a great pianist to demonstrate both sensitivity and technical strength; the Adagio is especially refined.

Despite its sonic imitations, this collation of three recordings certainly permits the listener to understand what it was about Solomon which made him so admired.

Ralph Moore




Advertising on
Musicweb



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

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
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger