Richard Blackford



a new Lyrita
Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Nimbus on-line




Piano Trios
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


DVD REVIEW

Some items
to consider


Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra


British composers

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo


String Quartet 1 & 2
Pavel Haas Quartet


RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Dvorak Opera Premiere
BEST SELLER


Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas



alternatively AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869)
Symphonie fantastique

Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI/Sergiu Celibidache
Filmed in Turin, 1969. All formats. Picture format 4:3. Black and white. LPCM Mono sound
OPUS ARTE OA0977D [58:00]



Itís good to have the recording-reticent Celibidache on film, but couldnít we have had the rehearsal? In performance he is far less impressive, his negative style of conducting, always exhorting players to play quieter in his quest for perfect balance and ideal acoustic, his left arm stiff, his long index finger always pointing at someone. His face has two expressions, the one frowning and pain-etched, making him for all the world look like a Red Indian whoís lost yet another battle with John Wayne, while the other carries a smug smile of satisfaction as he occasionally achieves a nuance here or a detail there.
 
The television direction is appalling; how any director could omit any sort of shot of the E flat clarinet playing the Witchesí Sabbath finale of the Sinfonie fantastique is totally incomprehensible; not even the piccolo gets a look-in. In the slow movement ScŤne aux champs the cor anglais player is overshot, itís just not that interesting, but with no hint of where the echo oboist might be and no shot of Celibidache here. Thereís nothing else for it, it has to be this rather po-faced (occupational hazard) gentleman. Celibidacheís tempi might raise some eyebrows, the Marche au supplice (March to the Scaffold) is a slow one, whilst the Bacchanale only lets rip coming down the final furlong. Itís all performed in a Blakeís 7 style hall with the conductor on a stepped podium on which he seems to be trapped - no opportunity to join in the waltz with the two lady harpists in Le Bal. The players of 1969 look fairly miserable and ill at ease. Celibidache himself has clearly had a bad hair day, indeed when he returns for his ovation he appears to have gone through a car wash using Brylcreem instead of water and without the drying programme.
 
Itís a valuable record and I can probably answer my own question posted at the start of this review. Given his demanding requirements for rehearsal time, it would probably have run to three DVDs if they had filmed that instead, but how much more interesting it would have been.
 
Christopher Fifield



 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Altus
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb
Classical Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger
 

Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.