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

Reger Violin Sonatas
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
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

Support us financially by purchasing this from

A Gramophone Tribute to Erling Blöndal Bengtsson: Complete HMV Solo Recordings 1950-1961
Erling Blöndal Bengtsson (cello)
rec. 1950-61, Copenhagen
DANACORD DACOCD738 [75:19 + 75:14]

Danacord continues its celebration of the art of Erling Blöndal Bengtsson with the first appearance on CD of his complete HMV recordings. Shortly before his death he authorised the release which was compiled by his wife, Merete.

Bengtsson’s Brahms is one of the highlights of this twofer. The Sonata in E minor was recorded in 1950 whilst that in F major followed in 1954. With a lean, tautly centred tone he and Victor Schiřler keep the E minor anchored securely without drifting off into expressive indulgence. Inflexions are subtly deployed, and there are no gestural rubati, or overt portamenti. The approach remains nobly conceived and the partnership sounds rock solid. That is equally true of the F minor where the pianist is Herman D. Koppel. The balance is a touch less sympathetic here, at least as far as the piano spectrum is concerned, but musically the pulse is splendidly realised. There is elegance of phrasing and an authoritative assurance throughout. It’s not sweeping playing, in the grand manner, but has other, particular virtues of scale and tone. Over half a century later he re-recorded the Brahms sonatas with Nina Kavtaradze, on a Danacord CD.

When the 1954 F major was released on HMV KALP9 it was coupled with Beethoven’s Op.69 sonata. One can hear a few sniffs from the cellist, and Schiřler’s piano sounds a touch brittle here and there, but the performance is extremely authoritative, managing to fuse aristocracy of phrasing with a sure awareness of the expressive peaks of phrases. The remaining item on disc one is a 1960 stereo take on Beethoven’s Variations on a theme from the Magic Flute which has plenty of playful wit. The two Baroque items are the only non-HMVs in this two-disc set. The Vivaldi Concerto, with the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra Copenhagen and Henrik Sachsenskjold is in excellently recorded 1961 stereo – soloistically rich of tone and technically athletic in the faster movements. The little Boccherini Sonata, beloved of cellists and indeed violists, is also in stereo. The lithe passagework is a joy to hear. The remainder of the recordings are all accompanied by Koppel and date from 1951-52. They include a showpiece in the shape of Popper’s Elfentanz, in Cassadó’s arrangement, dispatched with great style, Piatigorsky’s transcription for cello of Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne – the highlight of which is the Serenata – and Koppel’s own Ternio, Op.63, which reveals his debt to Stravinsky even as it also explores energy, and vitality in a finale brimming with enjoyment. The remaining small pieces – Grieg, Sibelius, Rubinstein, Saint-Saëns, Boccherini and Milhaud mix the expected with the unusual, always to the benefit of the listener. There are no unusual insights here, just first-class musicianship and a good mono sound.

The restorations sound very sympathetic and the booklet notes rightly salute this outstanding musician.

Jonathan Woolf

Full track listing
CD 1
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Cello Sonata in A major, Op. 69 [21:40]
7 Variations on a Theme from Mozart's Magic Flute [9:01]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Cello Sonata in F major, Op. 99 [22:14]
Cello Sonata in E minor, Op.38 [21:52]

CD 2
Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741)
Concerto for cello and strings in E minor [13:09]
Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805)
Cello Sonata A major [7:49]
David POPPER (1843-1913)
Elfentanz, (arr. Cassado) [2:20]
Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Suite Italienne, (arr. Piatigorsky) [18:13]
Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907)
An den Frühling, (arr. Bengtsson/Koppel) [2:56]
Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Valse triste, (arr. Bengtsson) [3:38]
Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) Romance, op. 44 No. 1 [3:24]
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) The Swan [2:24]
Darius MILHAUD (1892-1974) Elegie [3:54]
Herman D. KOPPEL (1908-1998) Ternio, Op. 53B [12:44]

Other performers
Victor Schiřler (piano: Beethoven, Brahms Sonata in F major): Herman D. Koppel (piano: Brahms Sonata in E minor, Boccherini Rondo, Popper, Stravinsky, Grieg, Sibelius, Rubinstein, Saint-Saens, Milhaud, Koppel): Georg Vásárhelyi (piano: Beethoven Variations, Boccherini Sonata): Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra Copenhagen/Henrik Sachsenskjold (Vivaldi)
All mono except Beethoven Variations, Vivaldi Concerto, Boccherini Sonata


 

 



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