One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


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

Some items
to consider


Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free


we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases



The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation


such a success


An outstanding performance


make acquaintance without delay


Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc


Strong advocacy
for a British composer


Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted


Piano Music 5CDs


Consistently fine


Rare and interesting repertoire


An excellent introduction


A Celebration on Record


An issue of importance


Richard RIJNVOS
A splendid disc


both enlightening and rewarding
additional review

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Sonata for piano and flute in B-flat major, WoO Anhang 4 [22:33]
Adagio (2nd movement from Piano Concerto No 1 Op. 15 (publ. 1871) [9:08]
Serenade for flute, violin and viola Op. 25 (1801, Arr. for flute & piano, publ. 1802) [23:52]
Duo for two flutes WoO 26 [6:00]
Sonata for piano and horn Op. 17 (publ. 1801, arr. publ. after 1830) [13:56]
Duo FlautoPiano
Helen Dabringhaus (flute)
Fil Liotis (piano)
rec. 2018, Konzerthaus der Abtei Marienmünster, Germany
MDG 903 2135-6 SACD [75:29]

Much as Mozart notoriously noted his dislike for the flute, Beethoven similarly considered it had little to offer as a solo instrument. This would of course have been a different flute to the ones we see today, these being the result of the work of Theobald Boehm (1794-1881), whose mechanism brought it more into prominence and equality with other wind instruments.

There are only two works originally written for flute in this programme, the Duo, and the Serenade in D major. The Sonata for piano and flute in B-flat major has a publishing history that only dates back to 1906 and the manuscript source is dubious, but there remains the possibility that it might be a product of Beethoven’s early years in Bonn. Whatever the provenance, it is a delightful work in four movements with plenty of inventiveness in both parts, including facile melodies and the occasional harmonic surprise. Mozart would have to be cited as an influence, and the aria-like Largo third movement does have something of the operatic about it.

Theobald Boehm made the arrangement of the Adagio from Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 1 Op. 15, and it’s a bit of an oddity in this programme. The flute part takes on and embellishes the piano part of the original, and beyond the familiar opening there are more than enough points in which you would hardly recognise the original.

The Serenade in its arrangement for flute and piano is more interesting, the violin and viola parts transformed into a distinctive and idiomatic writing for piano. A bass line is added here and there and there is some filling-in of harmonies, but there is a feel of transparency in the whole thing which is directly attributable to the original string parts. Such an arrangement is indicative of the work’s popularity, being a move designed to ensure even further gain for the publisher. Mozart is once again the great example in this form, and Beethoven follows his predecessor’s lightness of mood and entertaining bravura. There are six movements, and there is more than enough contrast to keep the ball rolling for its substantial duration.

The Duo is a piece I’ve played many times in the past, and while it gets a very nice performance here it feels odd to hear the same player on both parts – something about which non-players need not be bothered. This is another light and pleasant piece, a ‘jeu d’esprit’ as Joachim Draheim describes it in his booklet note – highly inventive and entertaining.

The final Sonata for piano and horn Op. 17 was written for performance by Beethoven and the Czech horn virtuoso Johann Wenzel Stich. It has been arranged for cello, a version approved by the composer, and also for clarinet, violin and viola as well as flute. There are as you would expect several adaptations to suit the range of the flute, but the charm and essential directness of the piece is kept fairly intact, and the sheer energy of a composer relishing the virtuoso possibilities of both instruments is clear.

This is a very well recorded release, with plenty of spaciousness in both its stereo and SACD mixes. The content is largely supplementary rather than essential Beethoven listening, but enjoyable nevertheless. Helen Dabringhaus has a well-centred but fairly gentle tone which suits the period of the music very well indeed. Pianist Fil Liotis creates a great deal of colour and interest in the accompaniments, and if you are up for some up-beat chamber music then this is a nice place to be.

Dominy Clements
 



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage


a vibrant slice of life


BRITISH CELLO WORKS
stylistically assured


About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs


Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome


An inspired partnership
additional review


TOSCA
A valuable document



Musicweb sells the following labels

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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger