Thursday, November 3, 2016

Maliszewski, Witold. (1873-1939) Orchestral Works.

New acquisition.
Bought in September 2016.
First listen: 2-11-2016.
Label: Dutton.
Recording dates: June 2015.
Recording venue: RSNO Centre, Henry Wood Hall, Glasgow.
Recording engineer: Dexter Newman.
Running time: 70:57.
Classical relevance: Considering the symphony, well worth your attention.

Works performed:
Symphony No. 3 in C minor, opus 14.
Piano Concerto in B flat minor, opus 27.

Works performed by:
Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Martin Yates.
Peter Donohoe, Piano.

We get a bit of Bruckner in the brass and strings, and certainly a hefty dose of Jean Sibelius, mainly for the magical dreamlike writing in the strings, and woodwinds alike. The symphony is a romantic work basically, but you only find this to be a good work after you left the first rather bombastic movement behind you. that is simply too much of a statement of capabilities. Modernity creeps in, but not at an alarming rate. The melodies are all very original, quite capable of charming and provoke by bold statements. Accessible it is anytime, and I rather enjoyed the symphony.
If you listen to the first movement of the piano concerto, the first predominant composer that springs to mind is Rachmaninov, but Maliszewski's introduction to this work strikes me as rather banal, although technically accomplished. Modernity is not only creeping in, but takes possession of the work, not in a way that it throws you out of the romantic mood, but still, rather bold and crude at times. I for one, rather take Rachmaninov. It feels overblown with its frontal brilliancy and at times steps into banality. Not really a work that will convince by its musical context, but tries to dazzle you with grand gestures of a primitive nature. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not my cup of tea altogether. There is too much eagerness to impress with notes instead of music. Those insistent dynamics, and the lack of elegance, no focus on a leitmotiv, a quick succession of ideas, and rather short on emotion, but not without passion. The man can orchestrate! The work as a whole did not do much for me, apart from some moments in the third movement. I just heard a few literal lines from Edvard Grieg's piano concerto!
Now as to the recording. It is rather good, with a good front to back, enough air around the orchestra, but the brass and strings harden up at climaxes, which is odd for I heard perfect recordings from this hall, and the engineer is also an experience veteran. Riddle!




Salvatore, Giovanni. (c.1610-1688) Works for Harpsichord and Organ, plus a Missa.

New acquisition. Date of purchase: November 2017. First listen: 22-11-2017. Label: Glossa. Recording dates: October 1998 & June 1999...