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!


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones
and printers



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
 

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
Overture A Midsummer Night’s Dream [13.17]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Symphony No.1 [46.36]
Sir Georg Solti on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra [5.08]
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Sir Georg Solti
Filmed at the Edinburgh Festival 1971
All formats
Picture format 4:3
Colour (Bonus track interview in black and white)
Enhanced Mono sound
ICA CLASSICS ICAD 5089 [68:00]

Experience Classicsonline


It a remarkable fact that this concert from the Edinburgh Festival in 1971 is of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s first tour away from North America since its foundation in 1891. At the time Solti was two years into his 22 year-stint as its eighth Music Director. When he took it on he was advised by one of its veteran players to regard it as ‘the best provincial orchestra in the world’. It certainly is one of the ‘Big Five’ in America and has always maintained its Germanic tradition and sound - which is why Solti, brought up on that very same tradition, felt so comfortable working with it - thanks to its first two Music Directors, Theodore Thomas and Frederick Stock, who between them directed it for its first half-century. As Solti himself put it, after the orchestra’s troubled years immediately preceding his appointment, he felt as Siegfried must have felt when he woke Brünnhilde from her long mountain-top slumber. He was its principal conductor 1969-1991, remarkably - and at the age of 59 - the first time in his career that he had his own symphony orchestra. When he resigned, he maintained his close links by becoming its Music Director Laureate from 1991 until his death on 5 September 1997. He last conducted it six months or so earlier in a programme which included Shostakovich’s Symphony No.15. Where Don Bradman’s batting average in Test Matches did not quite make 100 (99.94), so Solti’s last concert with the CSO on 29 March 1997 was his 999th and he did not quite make his 1000th.
 
This tele-recording (directed by Anthony Craxton for BBC2) is dated by the ghastly dress sense of the audience and those dreadful late arrivals who march across the hall to their rows and then disrupt the seated audience while the applause for the overture they have just missed continues unabated. What also sits uncomfortably today is the almost total absence of women in the orchestra. There is just one who sits on the fourth desk of the first violins and there are two cellists. In that regard they were shadowing their European counterparts in Berlin and Vienna. As always with music on film, you are in the hands of, or rather at the mercy of, the television director. Just when you want to watch the conductor manoeuvre an orchestra through a tricky junction, the camera crudely cuts away to whoever plays the tune next. On the other hand Solti is an uncomfortable conductor to watch. His arm movements make him jerk puppet-like, he is continually whisking his players into a lather, his face often contorted into lop-sided grimace. There is however wonderful clarity and energy to fuel the pulse of the music. The overture is thrilling, the violins skate like water-boatmen through those pianissimo string passages, the wind players achieve impeccable ensemble thanks to the flautist’s subtle direction (like a sub-conductor) of his seven surrounding confrères. In the Brahms - in which all four wind pairings are doubled - Solti’s tempi are extreme at both ends of the spectrum, the trio in the third movement Allegretto so rushed the players hang on to their conductor’s coat-tails to keep up. The finale is magnificent with Dale Clevenger’s Alpine theme on the French horn emerging bell-like from the sinister gloom of the introduction. With 46 years having elapsed since he joined in 1966, Clevenger still occupies that principal’s chair. Solti’s long baton continues to carve his way through the work which, if you listen to it with your eyes shut, has all the warmth, romanticism, love and tenderness which those gestures belie. That’s why I always enjoyed Solti at his best in the opera pit - in the opera house you didn’t need to look but do no more than listen to his wonderful music-making.
 
Christopher Fifield 

Masterwork Index: Brahms Symphony 1

 

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


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.