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

Availability

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58 [33:12]
Symphony No. 2 in D major op.36 [34:28]
Friedrich Wührer (piano)
Austrian Symphony Orchestra/Karl Randolf (Op. 58)
RIAS-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin/Georg-Ludwig Jochum (Op. 36)
rec. 1951, Vienna (Op. 58); 1950s, Berlin (Op. 36)
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1057 [67:39]

Browsing the catalogues, there’s not that much out there on CD featuring the artistry of the Austrian pianist Friedrich Wührer (1900-1975). Forgotten Records have previously released four CDs documenting the pianist’s work, this being the fifth. His recorded legacy centred mainly on the German Romantic repertoire, but he was also an enthusiastic champion of the Second Viennese School. His claim to fame was a Schubert piano sonata cycle that he made for Vox. It's desperately crying out for reissue.

It was with Vox that Wührer made a Beethoven piano concerto cycle in the 1950s, in what seems to have been a rather piecemeal affair, employing three different orchestras and four conductors. This can be found on a Tahra 4-CD set (Tah 704-707). There, the fourth concerto was assigned to the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Jonel Perlea. It was recorded in 1957.

The performance we have here is a heady mix of lyricism, drama, tension and relaxation. Wührer is not one to impose his personality but lets the music do the speaking. There are no idiosyncrasies, mannerisms or unwanted exaggerations. The slow movement is particularly effective, where Beethoven pitches the orchestral declamations against the more conciliatory piano line. All this leads, without a break, into a sprightly finale. Karl Randolf, who I’ve never heard of before, proves himself a fine collaborator.

It was helpful doing a head-to-head between this 1951 version, and the 1957 rerun with Perlea and the Bambergers. The sound-picture in the earlier version is too treble-focused, starved of bass and of front-to-back perspective. The piano sounds quite brittle and hard. In the later Vox recording there is greater depth of sound and the piano tone has more bloom and warmth.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Beethoven’s Second, as it was the first of his symphonies I ever heard, in a recording with L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Ernest Ansermet, on an Ace of Diamonds LP. Georg-Ludwig Jochum, younger brother of the more famous Eugen, leads his RIAS forces in a superbly inspirational performance, blessed with favourable sound. He includes the first movement repeat, which is a tick in the box for me. The slow movement is exceptional for its eloquence and graceful demeanour.

Stephen Greenbank
 


 

 



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