MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs
 

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

CD REVIEW



Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World


all Nimbus reviews



all tudor reviews


Follow us on Twitter


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


Buy through MusicWeb for £11.00 postage paid World Wide. Try it on Sale or Return
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Musicweb Purchase button

William STERNDALE BENNETT (1816-1875)
Overture, The May Queen (1842) [6:27]
Overture, The Wood Nymphs (1839) [13:42]
Symphony in G minor Op. 43 (1863) [23:41]
Overture, The Naiades (1836) [12:32] *
Overture, Parisina (1835) [8:05]
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite
Philharmonia Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite *
rec. early 1990s? London. ADD
LYRITA SRCD.206 [64.35]


 

Hearing Sheffield-born and Royal Academy trained Sterndale Bennett playing his own First Piano Concerto Mendelssohn invited the young Briton to Leipzig not so much as a pupil but as a friend. From then onwards until Mendelssohn’s death in 1847 Sterndale Bennett was often in that city breathing in the atmosphere of the Schumann-Mendelssohn milieu. It shows in his music although it lacks nothing in freshness and does on occasion push the envelope. For example amid the bright, sparkling and pointillist ebullience of The May Queen overture there are some remarkably predictive touches anticipating Dvořk. The Wood Nymphs with its cooling woodwind zephyrs also has its own, at first slow-pulsed, magic then gradually gains velocity and a devil-may-care zest that parallels the work of Weber in the overtures to Oberon and Euryanthe. The auburn autumnal tones of Dvořk 7 and Brahms 2 are there again in the much later Rhine-inspired Symphony in G minor from 1863. It’s a work of considerable and enchanting delicacy with a sturdier tone asserted in the finale. It would make a pleasing counterpoise to Schumann’s Rhenish symphony without quite that work’s picturesque grandeur but with a more Weber-like chuckle. Another Rhenish work is The Naiades overture – an artefact of Sterndale Bennett’s journey up the Rhine from Düsseldorf to Mainz in 1836. His downy-light Mendelssohnian hand is in evidence again but so also are those dramatic Weberian flourishes. Parisina is an earlyish work inspired by Byron’s poem of the same name. Here a darkly Beethovenian hand can be discerned along with the usual pleasing Weber and Schumann stigmata. It is however more laboured than the other three overtures.

Lyrita have packed this enterprising disc with customary care and these otherwise unissued recordings are from late sessions in the early 1990s and are fully digital. Braithwaite draws smooth playing from his two orchestras. The notes are by David Byers. They are in English only and are a supportive complement to this German early romantic-influenced music from a desperately neglected era in England’s musical history. Lyrita have already provided us with the piano concertos and those two discs should not be forgotten: SRCD.204 Piano Concertos Nos 1, 3; SRCD.205 Piano Concertos Nos. 2, 5. The Symphony has some competition; this time from Douglas Bostock on ClassicO where the coupling is one of Cipriani Potter’s Beethovenian symphonies. The coupling dictates your choice and priorities. Fine un-clichéed music-making either way.

Rob Barnett

see also reviews by Steve Vasta and Raymond Walker

 


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews



all Bridge reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

 

 

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.