Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

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
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
 

 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Canto Oscuro
Johann Sebastian BACH
(1685-1750) / Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924)
Ich ruf zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ BWV 639 [3:39]
Sofia GUBAIDULINA (b. 1931)
Chaconne [11:45]
Paul HINDEMITH (1895-1963)
“1922” - Suite für Klavier [18:26]
Johann Sebastian BACH/ Ferruccio BUSONI
Nun komm’ der Heiden Heiland BWV 659 [5:31]
Chaconne (from the Partita for violin solo, BWV 1004)[16:20]
Johann Sebastian BACH/ Alexander SILOTI (1863-1945)
Prelude in B minor [3:39]
Anna Gourari (piano)
rec. May 2011, Historischer Reitstadel, Neumarkt
ECM NEW SERIES 2255 [59:45]

Experience Classicsonline



Wikipedia has the quote, “Gourari is regarded as a non-conformist. Her playing has some kind of mysticism, but is most notably very accurate.” Well thank heavens for that. This is Anna Gourari’s debut for ECM and a very fine recording it is too, presented as a set of Canto Oscuro or ‘dark songs’, and this is indeed a full-fat recital which will make you think again about works both familiar and less so.
 
J.S. Bach’s chorale prelude Ich ruf zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ is moving in almost any context, but Busoni’s added pianistic depths are applied with such poetic restraint in this recording that we are on our knees and praying at full faith straight away. This is the kind of atmospheric, romantic Bach which we’ve learned not to love too much of late, but I have to admit a weakness for this kind of treatment, and I admire Anna Gourari’s gorgeously gentle touch, which sets us up for the rest of the programme… and heightens the shock as we are jumped out of our reverie through the explosive opening of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Chaconne. This is by no means as scary as some contemporary pieces for piano, with the spirit of Bach very much present. Gourari takes her time with this piece, making it a good 11:45 when compared to the more usual 8:40 brought to us by Béatrice Rauchs on BIS-CD-853. The added weight given to the piece tells in features such as the repeated notes and ostinato, which in no way dance as they do in Rauchs’ performance. This is presumably part of the ‘dark’ aspect of this recital’s concept, and turns the Chaconne into something more symphonic than we’ve come across before. This is a powerful interpretation and, like many of the other performances here, sweeps away preconceptions about how certain pieces should normally ‘go’, and this is no bad thing.
 
I last came across Hindemith’s “1922” - Suite für Klavier in Boris Berezovsky’s big box from Teldec (see review). Berezovsky doesn’t pull any punches, but if anything Gourari is more extreme, for instance pulling the Shimmy into a beefy 3:42 to Berezovsky’s 2:50. You’d be forgiven for not recognising it as the same piece, but Gourari knows what she’s doing - exploring Hindemith’s grim ironies with a more artful touch, and giving the quicksilver changes of mood and pace a chance to speak. Her dance can be George Grosz grotesque, but this is a powerfully argued and valid point of view. Similar things can be said about the Nachtstück movement, which at times approaches a kind of Varklärte Nacht passion in this recording. Hindemith’s Suite has more often than not been deposited in the amusing ‘jazz influenced’ category, but Anna Gourari shakes us out of such superficial labelling and gives us the full drama and at times even horror in the work.
 
The final three tracks are more Bach, with deep shadows cast by the sonorities of Nun komm der Heiden Heiland in another Busoni arrangement. His version of the Chaconne from the BWV 1004 violin Partita is probably the best known one for piano. At 16:20, Gourari’s reading is on the longer side of average but not by much - there are no shocking extremes or quirks in operation here, just a very satisfying and involving performance of a timeless masterpiece. Gourari’s restraint is in evidence all over the place here, and even where the temperature rises she maintains transparency and a feeling of power in reserve - grown-up Bach rather than with everything thrown into the pot all at once.
 
A Russian pianist’s Bach programme wouldn’t be complete without something from Alexander Siloti, and his transcription of the Prelude in B minor concludes this superb recording in a mood of meditative reflection. This is a very well-considered and beautifully executed recital, and one which deserves a place in any collection. Romantic Bach and the challenging worlds of two more or less contemporary masters provide a stimulus rather than a reason to shy away, and this ‘dark song’ is one which resonates in the mind and haunts long after the sounds have stopped.
 
Dominy Clements


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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.