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

 


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Paul REALE (b. 1943)
American Elegy (2008) [4:42]
Hextet (2017) [13:46]
Caldera with Ice Cave (Piano Concerto No. 3) (2002/12) [22:47]
Dancer’s Dream (2018) [11:56]
Concerto Grosso (2015) [16:17]
American Elegy with Chimes (2008) [4:46]
Christopher Guzman (piano)
Yordan Tenev (violin), Daniel Moore (viola), Sonya Nanos (cello)
Lynn Philharmonia/Guillermo Figueroa, Jon Robertson
rec. 2019, World Performing Arts Center, Lynn University, Boca Raton, USA
Premiere recordings
MSR CLASSICS MS1703 [73:18]

My colleague Jonathan Woolf has reviewed a number of other recent releases by American composer Paul Reale on the MSR label (review ~ review). They piqued my interest somewhat, and when this disc of music for string orchestra remained unchosen on the review list, I thought I would take a chance.
 
I think I was hoping that Reale’s music would prove as enjoyable as that of his fellow American Barbara Harbach, whose music MSR Classics has championed for more than a decade. Unfortunately, that hasn’t proven to be the case. Looking back at Jonathan’s reviews, I now see references to Britten and Stravinsky, and they would have been enough for me to steer clear. They should be your primary indicators – if you like those composers as well as Prokofiev, you will like this music. It is dynamic and always on the move, but for the most part, cold, spiky and unengaging for this reviewer. Jonathan mentioned Reale’s use of humour, as does the composer himself in his notes in the booklet. I’m sure it’s just me, but it eludes me.
 
I know I’m giving the impression that I didn’t like this at all, but I can see the quality in the writing, and each piece had elements that were appealing. My favourite was Dancer’s Dream which had a greater degree of warmth than the others. The notes reference Ravel’s La Valse, which I can see, and Mahler, which I can’t. The work that opens and closes the disc – American Elegy – Reale describes as a homage to Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. I preferred the version for strings only, finding the chimes something of a distraction. Hextet was written for Halloween, and it is intended as a cinematic experience of horror movies, with movement titles like Zombies and Walpurgisnacht. It is successful in achieving that, but not in engaging this listener. The two concertante works have their moments, but for me were the least successful.
 
The orchestra is based at the Florida university from which it takes its name, and as far as I can tell from the photographs on its webpage, is comprised of students. Don’t let that deter you - they play very well, and the engineers have recorded them very naturally. The recordings are described as “world premieres”, but in this global era, is that really a meaningful term?
 
Len Mullenger, MWI’s founder, recently asked the reviewing team to request some releases that would be outside their normal “comfort zone”. This fits into that category for me, but I’m afraid it hasn’t succeeded in expanding that zone.
 
David Barker
 



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