2020
53,454 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



£11 post-free anywhere
Normal service resumed


TROUBADISC

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


 

Recordings of the Month

June


Beethoven String Quartets


Produzioni Armoniche


Seven Symphonic Poems


Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons


Vivaldi Violin Concertos

 

May


Beethoven Piano Concertos


Stradal Transcriptions


LOSY Note d’oro


Scarlatti Sonatas Vol 2



Support us financially by purchasing this from

Richard STÖHR (1874-1967)
Suite for Flute, Violin, Cello and Piano, Op. 76 (1942) [32:06]
String Quartet No. 2 in E flat, Op. 86 (1942) [29:42]
String Quartet No. 3 in A minor, Op. 92: II Serenade (1943) [4:49]
Conor Nelson (flute)
Mary Siciliano (piano)
Velda Kelly, Priscilla Johnson, Judith Teasdle (violin)
Susan Schreiber (viola)
Stefan Koch (cello)
rec. 2014-19, Brookwood Studio, Plymouth, Michigan
TOCCATA CLASSICS TOCC0536 [66:39]

This is now the fourth volume in Toccata’s series devoted to Richard Stöhr’s chamber music (see Volume 1 ~ Volume 2 ~ Volume 3) and it focuses on music written in the early years of his American exile following his escape from Vienna. A noted teacher, while at Curtis some of his many students included Leonard Bernstein and Eugene Istomin – there’s a reprinted photograph in the booklet showing members of his class, among whom stands Bernstein.

The Second String Quartet was composed in 1942, some three decades after the First. In four movements lasting half an hour in this performance it shows great charm and an abundance of Dvořák-like influence. This easy-going, sometimes rustic quality permeates the entire quartet, though one can add a Mendelssohnian vitality and joviality in the larky Scherzo. The slow movement is not especially laden, rather having a country feel irradiated by light pizzicati. The finale meanwhile offers bright and bushy energy, with a village band ethos, and a droll pizzicato episode. If you’re not expecting the kind of quartets that Toch, his fellow Viennese exile, was writing at the same time, you won’t be disappointed.

From what’s written in the notes, Toccata will not be recording in full the Quartet No.3, written in 1943, as they present just its Serenade second movement. The whole manuscript is extant. The Serenade reveals yet again the Dvořákian influences that permeated so much of Stöhr’s writing.

Written in the same year as the Second Quartet, the Suite for flute, violin, cello and piano is another in the long line of Stöhr’s lyrically generous, well-proportioned backward-looking works. If a pervasive nostalgia seems inherent in his writing, it’s one that is almost always lively and affirmative. There are warmly solemn moments in this work alongside genial dance motifs, a joyful waltz, a thanksgiving panel and religioso elements too. Stöhr invariably returns to a refined chromaticism, adding generous lashings of expansive melody and topping the whole work with a gypsy-lite dance.

It’s certainly a more varied work than the Second Quartet, and perhaps the combination of instruments drew from the composer a wider range of emotions and textures.

The performances are attractive and dedicated. Perhaps the piano’s treble is a little bright, but that might also be an acoustical question. Recorded over a five-year period, the location remains constant.

As is invariably the case with Toccata, the notes are excellent and two of the three mini essays are written by the performers involved, which allows an insider’s viewpoint.

Jonathan Woolf



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



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