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


 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Violin Concerto Op.15 (1939) [34:52]
Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963)
Violin Concerto (1939) [30:43]
Arabella Steinbacher (violin)
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin/Vladimir Jurowski
rec. 2017, Haus des Rundfunks, RBB, Berlin
Reviewed in surround
PENTATONE PTC5186625 SACD [65:47]

Britten's early Violin Concerto is rather neglected compared to many other 20th century violin concerti yet it is an absorbing and often moving work which rewards repeated listening. It does not present undue difficulties for the listener despite being full of virtuoso demands on the soloist. Arabella Steinbacher takes the dreamier sections more slowly than some of the competition, notably James Ehnes on Onyx (Bournemouth Symphony/Karabits) who is altogether tougher in his approach and for this reason, and because the orchestral details are recorded closer, makes a stronger impression.

Coupling the Britten with another rarely played concerto, that by Hindemith, is a good idea because neither work need be viewed as a makeweight alongside some much more famous piece. The Hindemith, written in the same year, 1939, is very characteristic of the composer. It contains the typical blocks of brass-heavy orchestral sound encountered in the opera Mathis der Maler, the E flat Symphony, Concert Music for Brass and so on. The violin does do some weaving through the textures but mostly it has either to compete with the orchestra or provide contrast, resulting in a craggy, dramatic and eventful composition. Here Steinbacher, whilst impressive in the quieter passages, chooses, perhaps unwisely, to tone down the drama by offering less resistance to the powerful orchestral part. Compared to the faster and more urgent Leonid Kavakos on Chandos (BBC Philharmonic/Tortelier), she seems rather too restrained. She is also slower than André Gertler on Supraphon (Czech Philharmonic/Ancerl) who has the advantage of offering Hartmann's glorious Concerto Funebre as an even rarer coupling than the Britten.

Jurowski's Berliners offer the most refined accompaniment in both works and are recorded with spaciousness and clarity, though at quite a low level. The whole disc sounds very well indeed but perhaps too relaxed and beautiful, particularly in the Hindemith. The booklet contains extensive and useful notes along with a curiously misty-looking publicity photo of Ms Steinbacher on page 3. A glance at her website shows this is intentional, though to my eyes it looks like a mistake.

Dave Billinge

Previous review: Michael Cookson

 

 



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

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

September 2022

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Medtner-melodies-Ang.htm
Nikolai Medtner

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/schubert-symph-8-&-9-blomstedt-DG4863045.htm
Herbert Blomstedt

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Tarrodi-elements-DBCD204.htm
Tarrodi Four Elements

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Verdi-falstaff-57951.htm

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2022/Sep/Letters-secret-4860462.htm
Secret Love Letters
Lisa Batiashvili