One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


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

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Brahms Symphony 3
Dvorak Symphony 8
Vivaldi
9 cello sonatas
Dussek
Piano Music

Clara Schumann
piano concerto

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley n/a
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!


Quite splendid


Winning performances


Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc


a huge talent


A wonderful disc


Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!


Roth’s finest Mahler yet


Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones & printers

We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Alphonse HASSELMANS (1845-1912)
Harp Works
Chanson de Mai, Op. 40
Conte de Noël, Op. 33
Rêverie
Nocturne Op. 43
Gnomes, Op. 49
Ballade
Confidence for harp and cello, Op. 24
Valse de concert, Op. 4
Gitana, Op. 21
Prière for harp and cello
La Source, Op. 44
Rachel Talitman (harp)
Noé Nathorp (cello)
rec. no details supplied
HARP & COMPANY CD505034 [56:00]

Harp and Co are a small but very productive company and their speciality is unsurprisingly clear. At the heart of their catalogue of thirty-plus CDs is the harp and the harpist Rachel Talitman. This Belgian company, based in Brussels, is immersed in the repertoire of France and the Pays-Bas. They do however make forays further afield. Standing to one side from the more popular mixed recital of miniatures approach they will, as here, concentrate on one composer, as often as not. In this case we have eleven works by Alphonse Hasselmans, a nineteenth century Liègois. All but two are for harp alone.

The lively Chanson de Mai flows pleasingly along. Conte de Noël is, as the title suggests, more in the nature of a fantastic fairytale narrative as is Ballade. Reverie may be a dream but it is a melancholy one. The Nocturne is more tuneful than suggestive and there is even a hint of Spanish sultriness about it. Gnomes has charm and bass-deep grotesquerie about it. These Gnomes are cousins to Grieg's trolls from Peer Gynt. Valse de Concert resounds with delicacy and commandingly grand statements. Gitana plays with Iberian shadows and ancient courtly dances - coal black and glinting silver points. Talitman is joined by Noé Nathorp (cello) for Confidence and Prière. Each spins a long and toastily soulful legato over the harp's plangently decorous tracery. Prière is a touch sentimental. The disc ends with another harp solo, La Source. This has strong forward drive: urgency as well as romantic afflatus.

The music enjoys a very close-up recorded perspective. It's an agreeable effect and has unblushing impact. Talitman's harp positively basks in such microscopic attention. The supportive liner-note which sketches in the composer's life is in French and English.

The Harp & Co catalogue would be well worth exploring. I have not heard the following discs but if I get the opportunity to hear them I will report further: Jean-Michel Damase harp concertos (CD 5050-06), Andres harp concertos (CD 5050-09), Damase chamber music (CD 5050-18) and Jean Cras (CD 5050-24).

Rob Barnett