Hungarian cello concertos



Emma Johnson

Newest Releases


Walter Leigh
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider


Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra


British composers

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo


String Quartet 1 & 2
Pavel Haas Quartet


RECORDING OF THE MONTH
Dvorak Opera Premiere
BEST SELLER


Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas


REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & 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
Altus
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

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb
Classical Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

Frederico de FREITAS (1902-1980)
The Silly Girl’s Dance (1941) [22:18]
The Wall of Love (1940) [13:41]
Medieval Suite (1958) [25:49]
Ribatejo (1938) [8:27]
Royal Scottish National Orchestra/Álvaro Cassuto
rec. 16-17 August 2012, Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
NAXOS 8.573095 [70:15] 

Frederico de Freitas was a witty, colorful composer of programmatic music with titles that translate weirdly into English. The Silly Girl’s Dance is a twenty-two minute ballet about a bashful girl, the village outcast, who does a very peculiar dance which reveals herself to, in fact, be the prettiest girl of them all. I’m not sure how exactly this works, but it’s an ugly duckling story made good in music with truly clever music: off-balance orchestration, wacky harmonies, topsy-turvy dance segments that crash into each other. There’s an evocation of the villagers’ laughter on a par with the laughing scene in Daphnis et Chloé. Towards the end, as her beauty is revealed, we get more sweeping, romantic episodes that still retain the ballet’s exuberant bounce.
 
The Wall of Love is another picture-postcard with a delightfully splashy score. There’s more overtly Iberian character here, with the fair represented by a folksy trumpet tune that sounds straight out of the ballets of de Falla. There’s a hokey plot: all the marriageable girls by the fair loiter around the churchyard wall, waiting for boys to chat them up; one is left behind before the very last boy walks up and they fall in love.
 
Next up we have a Medieval Suite which I don’t mind telling you sounds not at all medieval. It’s fun, there’s no doubt about that, especially the slow song movements and the dancing finale, but if Freitas intended to evoke medieval musical sounds, he missed the mark by a long way. The final piece on the program, Ribatejo, is an exuberant dance with major solos for almost every instrument as well as grand gestures, ripe tunes, and splashily orchestrated climaxes. It closes out 70 minutes of pure fun.
 
The sound level can and should be turned up a little higher than normal, but it is very good and very clear. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra really brings off the luxuriousness and sheer joy of the scores, under Álvaro Cassuto. He knows them better than anybody in the world and writes the booklet notes. Only once, in the middle section of Ribatejo, did I hear the brass sounding timid and insecure in their playing. Many soloists deliver with great panache, though. I can’t blame them. This music must be as much fun to play as it is to hear, which is a lot.
 
Brian Reinhart