One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
 

 

International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger              Founding Editor: Rob Barnett              Contact Seen and Heard here

Some items
to consider

  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
  • Mozart Flute Quartets
  • Schubert complete piano works
  • Sammartini: 6 Concerti grossi
  • Henze Kammermusik 1958
 
Tudor



CD and Blue-ray Audio


CD and Blue-ray Audio


CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation


Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it


Jonathan Dove


Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music


Organ Fireworks


Highly Entertaining


A triumphant performance


Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard


A most joy-inducing recording


A winning partnership


A Lohengrin to treasure.

 

REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH

Plain text for smartphones & printers


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical



Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

Philip GLASS (b.1937)
Suite from The Hours (arr. Riesman) [24:10]
Symphony No. 3 [24:28]
Michael Riesman (piano) (Hours)
Manitoba Chamber Orchestra/Anne Manson
rec. live, 17 September 2011, CBC Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto
ORANGE MOUNTAIN MUSIC OMM 0086 [48:38]

This fantastic new Philip Glass album features two of the composer’s best instrumental scores. The soundtrack to The Hours has here been arranged by pianist Michael Riesman into a piano concerto, with brief orchestral introduction and outer movements which build to climaxes of real emotional power. As a concerto, it’s terrific, something any fan of minimalism should appreciate. There is a sense of dramatic momentum which is remarkable given that the piece was originally incidental music to a film. One shouldn’t be surprised by Riesman’s authenticity as an arranger or effectiveness as a pianist: he has arranged for Glass many times in the past, joined the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1974, and produced the original soundtrack to The Hours.
 
The Symphony No. 3 has now received three major recordings, and it fully deserves the attention. The first movement makes an enigmatic introduction, but the real genius lies in the work’s second half. Before a finale which absolutely screams James Bond thriller music we have a ten-minute slow movement of staggering beauty. It’s a black pearl, which I’ve sometimes referred to as Pachelbel’s Canon’s evil twin or spiritual opposite. From a beginning of a few repeated chords for violas and cellos, Glass adds new ideas in careful layers: underpinning double bass and then one violin, two violins, all the violins blooming together in slow motion. This is one of my favorite moments from any living composers. If all the music Philip Glass ever wrote was in a burning building and I could only save one thing, I would instinctively reach for the slow movement of the Third Symphony.
 
As I said, the symphony’s now appeared on three discs; Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra with Dennis Russell Davies, Bournemouth Symphony with Marin Alsop, and this one. In some ways the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra’s performance is the one to get: it’s more sharply etched than Bournemouth/Alsop, more closely miked and with a properly-sized chamber orchestra that brings every line into close focus. Anne Manson conducts like an expert. Russell Davies is the other chamber orchestra recording, and its first movement is more pointed and assertive, but it pretty clearly cedes to this newcomer in the two last parts, which are also my two favorites: the sharp detailing of the new recording really pays off, as does the strong drive Manson brings to the finale.
 
Only after I’d listened several times did I realize this was a live concert broadcast. Now my hat is off to the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, truly an unlikely ensemble to play this music so incredibly well, and I have to give this the highest possible praise. This is now an essential part of my Philip Glass collection. This is the kind of album that can win converts over to a great composer.
 
Brian Reinhart