One of the most grown-up review sites around


Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

in the first division


extraordinary by any standards


An excellent disc


a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.


Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now
RECORDING OF THE MONTH


A Garland for John McCabe


ABRAHAMSEN Quartets


DIETHELM Symphonies


The best Rite of Spring in Years


BACH Magnificat


Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26


Just enjoy it!


.
La Mer Ticciati

Eriks EŠENVALDS

Detlev GLANERT

Jaw-dropping

 

 

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers


Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount


Special offer 50% off

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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
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
Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Rienzi overture [11:48]
Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934)
In A Summer Garden [13:58]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Symphony No.9 in C major, D.944 [49:53]
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham
rec. Royal Festival Hall, December 1956 (Wagner, Rienzi), Usher Hall, Edinburgh, August 1956 (Delius) and Royal Festival Hall, December 1955 (Schubert)
SOMM RECORDINGS SOMM-BEECHAM 29 [75.38]

Perhaps the most intriguing facet of this disc in Somm’s “Beecham Collection” series is the artists it includes. As well as Sir Thomas Beecham as conductor with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, we are treated to Dennis Brain as principal horn in Wagner’s Rienzi Overture which opens the disc. Delius’s following In A Summer Garden features Gwydion Brooke - the son of composer Joseph Holbrooke - as the principal bassoon.
 
The disc as a whole is well-presented, with interesting anecdotes in the booklet notes by Graham Melville-Mason, which enliven the context.
 
Both Rienzi and In A Summer Garden receive good, sympathetic readings with the Delius being particularly evocative. In Schubert’s Symphony No.9 there’s an admirable dynamic range and thrust. The contrast between the Scherzo and Trio sections of the third movement is especially notable, with a pleasing lilt in the latter complementing the more martial feel of the former. The balance is also good, giving the wind motifs prominence where necessary. It is all too easy for these to be lost in the overall texture but here the strings’ sound is not too massive, thereby allowing these musically important figures to be sufficiently forward.
 
This recording presents music from live performances dating from the 1950s, so the sound quality is therefore not necessarily of the highest order. It is still reasonably good and does not detract from the extremely high standard of music-making featured.
 
On the whole, these are fine performances, full of vitality and commitment, making this a very pleasing release strong in historic interest.
 
Em Marshall-Luck 

Previous review: Jonathan Woolf