One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here
Google seem to have closed down local search engines. You can use this FreeFind engine but it is not so comprehensive
     
  
You can go to Google itself and enter the search term www.musicweb-international.com followed by the search term.
 

 

International mailing


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

Some items
to consider


Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and we have not even reviewed it yet. Multiple copies sold.


.
La Mer Ticciati

Eriks EŠENVALDS

Detlev GLANERT

Jaw-dropping

simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin


Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive


Cantatas for Soprano

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Transcriptions for Solo Piano by Paul Klengel
Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano Op. 40 [28:48]
Clarinet Quintet in B minor Op. 115 [41:29]
Christopher Williams (piano)
rec. Wyastone Concert Hall, Wyastone Leys, England, 2016
GRAND PIANO GP749 [70:17]

This is an interesting, yet, at the same time, infuriating disc; on one hand, we have a different way of experiencing Brahms’s wonderful music, but on the other, there is an overwhelming sense of something missing.

In the cultured middle class drawing rooms of nineteenth century Europe with their pianos, it was not a new phenomenon to have your music for large ensemble arranged for the amateur pianist to enjoy, and Brahms himself was not averse to arranging his own music, as well as that of other composers, thereby ensuring their popularity whilst earning more money from editions other than those larger forms for which the pieces were originally composed. Brahms used two pseudonyms, G W Marks and Karl Würth, when publishing these pieces, some of which were original salon pieces that it seems Brahms did not feel worthy to be published under his own name.

Paul Klengel (1854-1935) was a composer in his own right, but is more associated with being a violinist, conductor and teacher, while his cellist brother Julius is remembered as the teacher of the likes of Emanuel Feurmann, Gregor Piatigorsky and William Pleeth. Klengel was just one of many musicians who specialised in arranging works by composers as diverse as Lully and Elgar for solo piano, although he seems to have specialised in the music of Brahms, with the composers blessing.

These arrangements are engaging and virtuosic, and I imagine that you would have had to be a more than competent pianist to do the music justice. Just listening to the Final: Allegro con brio of the Horn trio, you come to appreciate how complex and faithful to the original these arrangers were. The excitement of that movement is not lost despite the lack of instruments, although it took me a couple of listenings to stop hearing the horn in my head. This is a problem; I couldn’t help filling in the other instruments, even though that is not Klengel’s fault. I do the same with Liszt’s arrangements of the Beethoven symphonies or Zemlinsky’s arrangement for piano four hands of Mahler’s 6th Symphony, although in the case of the latter, that was made less for the home and more for the music societies of Vienna. The piano writing is ingenious; one fully experiences the spirit of the works performed here. The question, though, is whether capturing just the spirit is sufficient; I found myself returning to the originals, as I do with the Liszt and Zemlinsky.

Christopher Williams gives an excellent performance of both works, which, if you don’t know the originals, are very engaging and convincing, the problem being that I could not divorce the original compositions from these arrangements. The booklet notes are very good as is the recorded sound, the engineers using the usual reverberant acoustic of the Wyastone Concert Hall to the advantage of the recording. An interesting disc, therefore, rather than an essential one.

Stuart Sillitoe

 

 




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb



Donate and get a free CD

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Vacant
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger