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The Classical Explorer

October 2009 Archives

Little-Known Elgar

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Naxos 8.570166

Edward Elgar
(1857-1934)

Sonatina in G Major (1887, rev. 1930)
Dream Children, Op. 43 (1902)
Une Idylle, Op. 4 #1 (1884)
Carissima (1913)
May Song (1901)
Rosemary (1883)
Sérénade Mauresque, Op. 10 #2 (1899)
Enigma Variations, Op. 36 (1899)
The Sanguine Fan: Echo's Dance, Op. 81 #7 (1917)

Ashley Wass, piano
Naxos 8.570166 66:58

This CD mostly represents some of Elgar's lighter music, either written originally for the piano or arranged from orchestral or chamber works. Apart from the shorter pieces, it's useful to have a piano version of the Enigma Variations which highlights details the listener may not have noticed from the more familiar orchestral version. Ashley Wass has also recorded for Naxos quite a lot of music by such English composers as Alwyn, Bridge and Bax.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - Musicnotes.com ]

English Music Revivalist

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Lyrita SRCD.252

Geoffrey Bush
(1920-1998)

Overture "Yorick" (1949) 1
Music for Orchestra (1967) 2
Symphony #1 (1954) 3
Symphony #2 "The Guildford" (1957) 4

1 New Philharmonia Orchestra/Vernon Handley
2 London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley
3 London Symphony Orchestra/Nicholas Braithwaite
4 Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth
Lyrita SRCD.252 79:07

This CD of works by the English composer Geoffrey Bush, not to be confused with Alan Bush or William Busch, contains his only two symphonies. There are strong similarities to the music of Walton in terms of rhythm, and there are also traces of Elgar and Arnold. Music for Orchestra has more austere orchestration. The disc demonstrates the excellent engineering that is typical of the label.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

Entartete Musik

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Capriccio 10539

Erwin Schulhoff
(1894-1942)

String Quartet in G Major, Op. 25 (1918) 1
Sonata for Solo Violin (1927) 2
Duo for Violin and Cello (1925) 3
String Sextet (1924) 4

1,2,4 Conrad Muck, violin
1,3,4 Gerhard Süssmuth, violin
1,4 Friedemann Weigle, viola
1,3,4 Hans-Jaokob Eschenburg, cello
4 Rainer Johannes Kimstedt, viola
4 Michael Sanderling, cello
Petersen Quartet
Capriccio 10539 76:45

The Czech composer Schulhoff's compositions show a variety of styles, sometimes within the one work. His early influences were Dvořák, Brahms and Schumann, evident in the string quartet. Later he turned to the influences of the Second Viennese School, to folk elements and jazz. He tried to emigrate to flee the developing World War II but was arrested, and succumbed to tuberculosis in a German concentration camp. His other music for string quartet has been recorded by the Petersen Quartet on another Capriccio CD.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - Musicnotes.com ]

An Englishman in Florida

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Naxos 8.553535

Frederick Delius
(1862-1934)

Florida Suite (1887-89)
Over the Hills and Far Away (1895-7)
Idylle de Printemps (1889)
La Quadroöne (1889)
Scherzo (1890)
Final Scene from Koanga (1895-7) 1

1 Susannah Glanville, Susan Lees & Irene Evans, sopranos
1 Sandra Francis, Sue Pearce & Shirley Thomas, mezzo-sopranos
English Northern Philarmonia/David Lloyd-Jones
Naxos 8.553535 79:05

The first two works on this CD are well enough known but these may well be the only recordings of most of the others. The Florida Suite was inspired by Delius' experience with an orange plantation. None of the latter works runs more than about ten minutes but all are worth hearing, especially on a budget-priced and well-filled CD.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - Musicnotes.com ]

On Sjølund's Fair Plains

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BIS CD-339

Niels Gade
(1817-1890)

Symphony #1 in C Minor "Paa Sjølunds fagre sletter", Op. 5 (1844)
Symphony #8 in B Minor, Op. 47 (1869-71)

Stockholm Sinfonietta/Neeme Järvi
BIS CD-339 58:08

The Danish composer Gade's eight symphonies have quite a lot in common with those of Mendelssohn. Despite the fact that they were written over a period of 25 years, they are stylistically very similar. All have been recorded for BIS, and there are other versions on Da Capo and Chandos.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - Musicnotes.com ]

Not That Franck

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Audite 97.487

Richard Franck
(1858-1938)

Piano Trio in B Minor, Op. 20 (1893)
Piano Trio in E Flat Major, Op. 32 (1900)

Christoph Schickedanz, violin
Thomas Blees, cello
Bernhard Fograscher, piano
Audite 97.487 62:57

Franck is one of a German musical family which boasts several interesting composers, including his father, Eduard. Despite their late nineteenth-century dates, these trios are strongly influenced by Schumann.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

Lady Godiva and the Nymphs

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Chandos CHAN9821

Vítězslav Novák
(1870-1949)

Lady Godiva, Overture, Op. 41 (1907)
Toman and the Wood Nymph, Op. 40 (1906-7)
De Profundis, Op. 67 (1941)

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Libor PeŇ°ek
Chandos CHAN9821 66:22

Novák is one of the less well-known Czech composers and his reputation rests largely on symphonic poems, orchestral suites and a handful of chamber music. This CD offers an overture and two symphonic poems which are infrequently recorded. The music is powerful and dramatic, and will appeal to anyone who likes Richard Strauss' symphonic poems or Gustav Mahler's symphonies.

[ Available on CD: Amazon - UK - Germany - Canada - France - Japan - ArkivMusic - CD Universe ]

[ Sheet music by this composer: Sheet Music Plus - Musicnotes.com ]
Trumpet