£16 post free World-wide

 


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


 


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

Search
What's New
Previous CDs
Concerts
Jazz
Nostalgia
Composers
Resources
Announce
Labels index


Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


CD REVIEW



Some items
to consider


Shostakovich 14 Petrenko


Rachmaninov #3
Prokofiev #2

 


Dunedin Consort

Peter Grimes

Hymn of Jesus: Sea Drift

Complete Mozart Edition
Mozart complete edition

Vaughan Williams Symphonies 5 & 8 £11

Weiner, Klepper, Bloch, Schulhoff £12 post free


Available again


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

Elizabeth MACONCHY (1907-1994)
Overture, Proud Thames (1952) [5:58] *
Symphony for Double String Orchestra (1953) [21:50] **
Serenata Concertante for Violin and Orchestra (1962) [21:37] **
Music for Strings (1983) [18:21] ***
* London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley
** Manoug Parikian (violin)
London Symphony Orchestra/Vernon Handley
***London Philharmonic Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth
rec. 1970, 1979, 1977. ADD
LYRITA SRCD.288 [67.50]


 

This is the only CD of Maconchy's orchestral music although it seems that Lorelt have one in the works. It makes for compelling if sometimes stern listening.

The overture Proud Thames was written in 1952 as Maconchy’s entry in a London County Council competition. It is bright-eyed and magical. Like Smetana's Vltava it traces the Thames from bubbling source to the Capital. It's a work of singing and sighing beguilement and of regal nobility. It made me think of John Veale's Panorama, broadcast earlier this year on BBC Radio 3.

A year later, in Coronation year, came something altogether more serious in the shape of the Symphony for Double String Orchestra. A fandango pizzicato in the first movement leavens the mix. After a torridly poignant even searing heartfelt Lento comes the buoyantly sanguine Allegro scherzando again with an Iberian accent. The concluding Passacaglia recalls the more sombre string writing of William Alwyn.

The solo violin contributes prominently to the Symphony. In the Serenata Concertante it is centre-stage. Not a full blown concerto, the title prepares us for the mildly astringent yet smoothly troubadour romantic style. It is as if Walton on the one hand were meeting Frankel on the other. The Serenata was a Feeney Trust commission premiered by Manoug Parikian and the CBSO conducted by Hugo Rignold in October 1963. For all the ‘Serenade’ stem of the title the music is ambivalent as evidenced by the Kodaly-like luxuriance of the pinnacle of the first movement. The scherzo flickers with accessible rhythmic interest part-coloured by Bartók. The andante is magically and majestically slow of pulse. The pecking hunting motif adumbrated by solo violin, horns and others recalls Shostakovich and then swings back to Kodaly again. The work closes by sinking into a warm Bergian dream.

The Serenata and Symphony were made in association with the RVW Trust.

Music for Strings is fresh to commercial recording. It is in four movements like it substantial companions here. It was a commission for the 1983 Proms. The recording possesses a warmer halo around the strings by comparison with the analogue recordings of 1972 and 1982. The textures are romantic and sumptuous, you could warm your hands by them on a cold day. This is a work by turns playful (Scherzo; Allegro) and melancholy yet reticent (Mesto). It has the pliable buoyancy of the Dag Wirén Serenade for Strings and the jazzy syncopations of Leonard Bernstein.

Let us hope that Lyrita or others will oblige with a recording of Maconchy's Symphony for full orchestra and the large-scale cantata Abelard and Heloise.

Rob Barnett

see also Maconchy String Quartets

Lyrita Catalogue

 


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
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter
 

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.