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

 

 

 


Availability

Vitězslav NOVÁK (1870-1949)
Pan, Op. 43 [54:43]
Dimitri TCHESNOKOV (b. 1982)
La Neige – Deux Études [11:48]
Patrick Hemmerlé (piano)
rec. Temple Saint-Marcel, Paris, 2016
INDÉSENS INDE097 [66:34]

The tone poem Pan, or to be more accurate “poem in tones”, is the most important and longest piano work by the Czech composer, Vitězslav Novák, and one of the most prominent of all Czech piano works of the twentieth century. Composed in 1910 when the composer was forty and at the height of his popularity, it has passages within its five movements that are quite thick in texture and even orchestral in nature. This led Novák to orchestrate the work two years later. I must say that of the four versions I now have I prefer the orchestral version least of all.

The five movements of Pan are a late romantic evocation of the countryside and nature, a theme to which Novák was no stranger especially with works such as V Tatrách Op 26. Here for example in the second movement Hory, we once again see Novák communing with nature in his favourite place, the mountains. This is a complex and ambitious work for both composer and performer. At 55 minutes is difficult to program and is therefore unlikely to be heard live, especially outside Novák’s homeland.
 
František Rauch’s recording for piano on Supraphon (SU 37442 113) remains the benchmark for me, despite its age. It is closely followed by Margaret Fingerhut’s version on Chandos (CHAN 9489), although it is the slowest. Especially in the Hory section she lets the music breathe, Hers is a thoughtful and best-recorded performance. In this respect I find Patrick Hemmerlé’s recording a little too brash and aggressive at times. I also feel that he puts too much emphasis on the Debussian passages—an influence in the music that Novák flatly denied—making something of the work that it is not; it is an interesting approach nonetheless.  
 
Dimitri Tchesnokov is a name new to me. He is a Franco-Ukrainian pianist and composer born in Russia. La Neige or The Snow, two etudes or “fantastic studies for piano”, were composed in 2003. They evoke nature, reminding me of Debussy’s The Snow is Dancing, but the influence of Chopin is strongly felt. These charming and well-played miniatures—despite their nod to the past—are attractive and worthy pieces. Let us hope for more Tchesnokov in future releases.

Stuart Sillitoe 

 

 




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