£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    



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

REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH



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
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Edvard GRIEG (1843 - 1907)
Violin Sonata No 1 in F, Op. 8 [21:56]
Béla BARTÓK (1881 - 1945)
Sonata for solo violin (1944) [27:01]
Richard STRAUSS (1864 - 1949)
Violin Sonata in E flat op. 18 [29:27]
Vilde Frang (violin) Michail Lifits (piano)
rec. 17-20 October 2010, Queen’s Hall, Royal Library, Copenhagen. DDD
EMI CLASSICS 9476392 [78:49]

Experience Classicsonline


  Like so many other world-class violinists Vilde Frang started taking lessons very early and was invited by Mariss Jansons to make her debut with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of twelve. I heard her some years ago playing Prokofiev’s second concerto and was amazed, not only by her impeccable technique - which is something one takes for granted nowadays - but for her innate musicality and sense of style. Her debut disc for EMI with the Sibelius and Prokofiev’s first concerto received glowing reviews (review review) and this new disc only confirms that impression.
 
The programme is quite unusual. Do these composers have anything in common? Well, in fact they have. Grieg and Strauss were both fairly young when they composed their sonatas, Grieg was 22 and Strauss barely a year older. In both cases it is youthful, somewhat turgid music, full of vitality and promising well for their future. Grieg and Bartók have their folk music background in common, clearly discernible in both their works. Even though the link between Strauss and Bartók is weaker, it was when Bartók heard the Budapest premiere of Also sprach Zarathustra in 1902 that he decided to devote his life to composing.
 
The Grieg sonata flows with youthful freshness in the first movement with a Norwegian touch. The Norwegian element is far more assertive in the down-to-earth fiddling dance of the second movement, where Frang is tremendously assured and rhythmically alert. The third movement is full of thematic ideas and whirls forth with infectious flair. It’s a brilliant conclusion to an utterly stimulating work. The third sonata, more formally rounded, may be a greater master-piece but here, already, Grieg very distinctly shows his mettle.
 
With the Bartók sonata we move to a quite different world. Commissioned by Yehudi Menuhin and completed in March 1944 it is one of the composer’s last works. There are dissonances aplenty but also passages of immense beauty. The fugue is certainly tricky but fresher and more lively than most fugues. Balm is offered in abundance in the third movement, Melodia, which opens with a phrase that evokes memories of the slow movement of Brahms’ Double Concerto. Then it wanders down its own path - and very beautiful it is alternating brittle woodwind and rounded cello-deep melodies. The finale is the folk-dance equivalent of the Grieg sonata’s second movement, only even more uninhibited and unpredictable. The folk-music roots are never far away in Bartók’s music.
 
The first movement of Strauss’s sonata has the same exuberance as Grieg’s and an even more elaborate piano part. It’s the work of a young romantic where the blood pulsates wildly. The simplicity of the second movement is only temporary. Soon the music storms away, only to give way for what the title of the movement suggests: an elegant improvisatory excursion over arpeggio chords in the piano. The sombre opening of the finale is also a smoke-screen: this soon disperses and we are exposed to jolly caprices as well as a broad romantic canvas, painted with powerful brush-strokes.
 
Vilde Frang’s playing is overwhelming, natural, fluent and flexible. I wouldn’t say that charm is the first word that comes to mind when talking of Bartók’s solo sonata but Ms Frang’s playing has that elusive quality in whatever she approaches. Menuhin wrote in his autobiography, quoted in the liner-notes by David Nice: ‘when I saw it … I admit I was shaken, it seemed to me almost unplayable’ If ever Vilde Frang had similar thoughts there is not a trace of it. I have not made any comparisons for this review, simply because this coupling is, as far as I have been able to find out, unavailable anywhere else. But from the very first bars of the Grieg sonata and throughout this very well-filled disc, there is no doubt that we are listening to a master violinist. Michail Lifits at the piano seems to be her twin soul. With recorded sound out of EMI’s most exalted drawer this is a disc that goes to the top-ten-list of violin recordings. Give us more of Vilde Frang, please, EMI!
 
Göran Forsling
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






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.