MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

  2022
 58,121 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 from

Jānis IVANOVS (1906-1983)
Symphony No 15 “Symphonia Ipsa” in B-flat minor (1972) [32:11]
Symphony No 16 in E-flat major (1974) [30:30]
Latvian National Symphony Orchestra/Guntis Kuzma
rec. 2021, Great Guild Concert Hall, Riga
SKANI LMIC126 [62:11]

The Latvian label Skani has done much to promote the music of Jānis Ivanovs, and I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing several of his symphonies (review ~ review ~ review ~ review). Without doubt, Ivanovs holds the distinction of being the most significant and prolific Latvian symphonist of the second half of the 20th century, with twenty-one symphonies to his name (Symphony No 21 remained unfinished at his death and was completed and orchestrated by Juris Karlsons). He hailed from the Latgale section of Eastern Latvia that borders Lithuania, Byelorussia and Russia, an area that boasts a varied ethnic mix, from whose folk music he drew inspiration. When the First World War broke out his family fled to Russia, returning when hostilities ended. In 1924 he enrolled at the newly established Latvian Conservatory, studying conducting with Georg Schnéevoigt and composition with Jāzeps Vītols. He himself was a professor of composition there from 1944 until his death in 1983. He also worked as a sound engineer in the 1930s, and for many years was artistic director of Latvian Radio. His music is highly individual, a synthesis of late romanticism, folklore, and impressionism.

These late symphonies date from the early 1970s. No 15 was premiered on October 16 1972 by the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Eri Klas. The Symphony is titled “Symphonia ipsa” (symphony of itself). The high strings at the start of the first movement evoke an icy chill, and as the movement progresses the music becomes desolate and bleak. A Molto allegro follows which has a persistent tread. The slow movement is, without doubt, the emotional heart of the work. Introspective in character, it paints a landscape of stillness and deeply penetrating solitude. The final movement gradually opens out into one of drama and passionate intensity.

Two years later in 1974 Ivanovs composed his Sixteenth Symphony. The work defines a new direction in his music defined by musicologist Mikus Čeže as “portray(ing) a sense of the times during the decline of Leonid Brezhnev”. The first movement registers drama and intensity, with its moments of lyrical surrender. A brief angular allegro precedes an Andante. Pesante which features the wonderful rich string section of the orchestra. The mood is both brooding and contemplative. The finale forges a sturdy tread, all the better for Ivanovs’ impressive and vital orchestration.

The performances are riveting and emotionally charged, both involved and exciting, and complemented by sound that is well engineered. As befits these intriguing and imaginative scores, you’ll be won over by the felicitous razor-sharp precision of the playing, and orchestral colour. The Latvian National Symphony Orchestra under Guntis Kuzma is to be commended.

Stephen Greenbank

Previous reviews: Rob Barnett ~ David McDade



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