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

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24, Spring [21:54]
Violin Sonata No. 9 in A Major, Op. 47 Kreutzer [34:10]
Susanne Lautenbacher (violin)
Reinhold Lampart (piano)
rec. mid-1950s
Mono
FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR1459 [56:28]

Years ago I had a Turnabout LP of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons performed by Susanne Lautenbacher (b. 1932) with the Wurttemberg Chamber Orchestra under Jorg Faerber. As I recall, at the time I found Lautenbacher's sound very one-dimensional and even bland. I no longer have that LP to reevaluate my opinion, so I approached this release from Forgotten Records with some misgivings. There's an interesting note included with this Beethoven issue. Apparently the French edition of the recording derives from a Club Mondial du Disque (CMD 370) LP in which Lautenbacher is named Thérèse Herzog. In Germany, the recordings appeared on an Orpheus LP (6424), with the violinist identified as Renate Lautenbacher. Both LPs are utilized as source material for this release. The explanation in the added note is that different names were given for contractual reasons, whatever that means. Lautenbacher's discography is substantial, with the lions share consisting of Baroque music. She's also recorded the Beethoven and Brahms Violin Concertos.

Beethoven's Spring and Kreutzer Sonatas are a favourite pairing, with the catalogue boasting several distinguished versions, including those by Szeryng, Perlman, Zukerman and Milstein. I have to say, from the outset, that I do have reservations about Lautenbacher's efforts, and it would have been interesting comparing them with a later remake she made with pianist Rolf Reinhardt.

Of the two sonatas, Lautenbacher's Spring is preferable. The performance conveys the joy, anticipation and hope that the season brings. The opening movement is suffused with a relaxed lyricism, with the slow movement soused with nostalgic tenderness. The brief offbeat Scherzo is witty and playful, with much being made of the syncopations. The Rondo is spirited and imparts an air of optimism.

If you like your Kreutzer Sonata opening movement stormy and with plenty of tension, you need to look elsewhere, I'm afraid it all seems too manicured and calculated for my taste. Perlman and Askkenazy get it just right. The second movement does fare better, with the variations nicely characterized.  The finale is missing a bit of oomph and excitement.

It has to be said that Lautenbacher doesn’t command a very wide colouristic range. She possesses a woefully slow vibrato which is unvaried, rendering her tone, for the most part, monochrome.

Forgotten Records’ remasterings are exemplary, and the recordings emerge with renewed freshness and life yet, as I said, I have my reservations about the performances. There are no notes included, but pointers to relevant websites are included.

Stephen Greenbank 
 


 




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