Showing posts from May, 2020

Somervell and Beethoven CD reviews

NORMAN STINCHCOMBE'S RAVE REVIEWS OF SOMERVELL AND BEETHOVEN CDS SOMERVELL: Williams / Allan (Somm Recordings SOMMCD 06150 ★★★★★ Mention Come into the garden, Maud and most music lovers will groan and grimace, with memories of amateur tenors warbling Michael Balfe's cringingly twee setting. Here we have the version by Sir Arthur Somervell in his setting of thirteen lyrics from Lord Tennyson's narrative poem Maud. While Balfe trivialized, and re-wrote, Tennyson's crepuscular verse, Somervell embraces the darker elements. Roderick Williams brings to life the death-devoted narrator with utter conviction, his warm baritone caressing the songs' romantic ardour, but never letting the drama teeter into melodrama. Susie Allan embraces Somervell's full-blooded piano part – no Victorian front parlour tinkling here. Somervell's Maud demands a hearing by anyone interested in English song. Poems from Housman's A Shropshire Lad have been set may times but Some

CBSO's new Concertmaster

WHITE SMOKE AT LAST Press release sent to Christopher Morley City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra appoints Eugene Tzikindelean as Leader The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is delighted to announce that Eugene Tzikindelean has been appointed as its new Leader, taking up his role at the start of the orchestra's 2020-21 season. Born into a musical family in Romania and educated in Bucharest and Paris, Tzikindelean won top prizes in international competitions including the Enescu Competition in Romania, the Carl Nielsen International Competition in Denmark and France's Long-Thibaud-Crespin Competition. After holding a position with the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, he has been Leader of the Odense Symphony Orchestra in Denmark since 2012. He also keeps a busy schedule as a soloist, chamber musician and guest leader with ensembles around the world including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Trondheim Symphony

Thwaites and Alwyn CDs reviewed

NORMAN STINCHCOMBE ENTHUSES OVER NEW RELEASES OF MUSIC BY PENELOPE THWAITES AND WILLIAM ALWYN THWAITES: Sampson, Gilchrist, Dazeley, Thwaites, Ex Cathedra (Somm Recordings SOMMCD 0162) ★★★★ Penelope Thwaites (b.1944) is best known as a concert pianist and an advocate, both as author and performer, of Percy Grainger's music. She's also had a parallel career as a composer – including a West End musical Ride! Ride! – and this disc gathers together choral music and songs inspired by her travels. The major work here is a fifteen minute Missa Brevis; its open-hearted vitality, joy and simplicity – the art that conceals art – works in a similar way to the popular works of Rutter and Goodall. There's a lovely performance by Ex Cathedra under Jeffrey Skidmore – the Gloria, with Carolyn Sampson (soprano) and James Gilchrist (tenor) is irresistible. The Five Shakespeare Songs are individually characterized; When Icicles Hang on the Wall, with Thwaite's opening cool, cre