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

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Burleske for Piano and orchestra in D minor, AV85 [20:19]
Duett-Concertino for Clarinet, Bassoon & Strings, AV147 [18:37]
Romanze in E flat Major for Clarinet and Orchestra TRV 80 [8:30]
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, TRV 110 [29:24]
Michael McHale (piano), Julie Price (bassoon), Tasmin Little (violin), BBC Symphony Orchestra / Michael Collins (clarinet)
rec. 2018, St. Lukes, Old Street, London, (Burleske, Romanze, Concerto); Studio 1, Maida Vale, London (Duett-Concertino)
CHANDOS CHAN20034 [76:53]

I have a problem with Richard Strauss. While I enjoy his music for smaller forces, his large-scale works have never really done much for me. So why am I reviewing a disc of his orchestral works, given that I have tended to find them overblown and self-indulgent? One work in particular has always left me cold and that is Eine Alpensinfonie, which for me is thirty minutes of music made to last for an hour. However, I have been re-evaluating Strauss of late, spending more time to get to know his music and seeing it in a new light, and this review is part of that process. Happily, the Alpine Symphony is not here, as no matter how I try, for me the moments of inspiration are still outweighed by the dull padding. I know that this will lead to derision, but we all have problem works and that is mine!

My reappraisal of this music began with revisiting the classic Kempe EMI box set (CZS 5 73614 2), which contains three of the works featured here, only the Romanze being missing. Indeed, this is the only work of which I don’t have a recording - except for the transcription for clarinet and piano played by Karl-Heinz Steffens and Wolfgang Sawallisch on Brilliant Classics (9231). Although I enjoy the chamber version, this new orchestral recording, that gives the solo part a greater voice, certainly brings more colour to the work, with the six-voice fugue coming through a lot better and Michael Collins giving a far stronger and passionate performance of this early work.

Of the other three concertante works, each is given a bright and engaging performance, with Michael McHale’s playing being particularly sparkling. His performance is strong and well-figured, surpassing both of the performances I have, and although he is slower that both Malcom Frager for Kempe and Jean-Yves Thibaudet for Herbert Blomstedt (475 6550), he never seems to drag. I particularly like the performance of the Duett-Concertino, especially the way that Julie Price and Michael Collins weave their respective parts around each other, while Price certainly makes more of her solo than Wolfgang Liebscher for Kempe, or, for that matter, Michael Werba for Previn (453 4832) and Alan Pendlebury for Schwarz (AV2071).

Of all the works featured on this disc, it is probably the Violin Concerto which has gained the greatest popularity and certainly garnered more recordings. Again, I have a couple of other recordings to stand alongside that of Ulf Hoelscher for Kempe: mainly Tanja Becker-Bender in Hyperion’s Romantic Violin Concerto series (CDA68044) and the somewhat disappointing ASV recording by Xue-Wei (CDDCA780) - mind you, I got that recording for the Headington. On listening anew, I find this new recording by Tasmin Little a bit driven and hard-edged for my liking, if I just wanted this work, I would opt for the Hyperion disc, which also offers the benefit of the Busoni. However, Little’s account is not far behind Becker-Bender’s, and certainly better than my other two recordings - and, it is ideally partnered with the other three concertante works.

So, has this recording done anything to change my view of Strauss and his orchestral music? It is hard to say, as three of the pieces are early and the other is hardly typical of the composer’s lush - dare I say? – over-indulgent, later orchestral style. I can only say is that I greatly enjoy this disc and have played it repeatedly, so much so that the performance is more and more growing on me with every listening. I therefore heartily recommend this disc to anyone seeking a recording of the concertante works of Richard Strauss. The solo performances are very good and more than matched by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Michael Collins’ control of the orchestra is masterly as he drives on the performances, especially in the Romanze where he acts as both soloist and conductor. I hope that his is not a fleeting appearance as a conductor and that Chandos asks him to record more works, even if the clarinet is not involved. The recording is blessed with the usual, detailed, Chandos recorded sound as well as fine booklet notes.

Stuart Sillitoe



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