Classical Music Home

The World's Leading Classical Music Group

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?
Keyword Search
in
 
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews



 
See latest reviews of other albums...

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2007

Back in the days of acoustic recordings the great artists of the time where expected to record trifles of music, Casals seemingly less than impressed with the whole concept, his playing so slapdash as to give little credit to a gifted amateur, and at times, as in the Hinkson, sounding bored as he just plays the notes. Intonation was never his strong point, and in this period his personal life was in difficulty. Shortly after making the first three tracks in 1920 he collapsed through fatigue. By the time we reach 1923, and the recording of Kol Nidrei, he had got his act together and from therein this disc moves to a much higher level. He remained with his original record label, Columbia, through to 1925 when for unexplained reasons he moved to the Victor Talking Machine Company, the last two tracks coming from them, the sound and Casals attitude towards recording then takes another major step forward. With their technical advances he was able to move to electric recordings shortly after these two tracks, which at last allowed the beauty of his tone to be faithfully captured. In sum this is a disc primarily for those interested in Casals.



Jonathan Wolf
MusicWeb International, June 2007

This is a great series for lovers of mouthful titles. And the longer it proceeds – to all our musical benefit – the more complicated it gets. Firstly it falls under the rubric of Naxos’s Great Cellists series. Then it also represents the fifth volume of the Casals Encores and Transcriptions run, as noted on the booklet cover. Turn to the back of the jewel box and you can see it’s also the third volume in Casals’ Complete Acoustic Recordings series. Confused? Over-complicated? My advice is not to worry; just make sure you note which particular volume takes your eye and don’t mix up your Encores with your Acoustic series numbers and then you’ll be fine.

The fact is that as technology improved companies sought to re-record morsels from their catalogues. You’ll find a number of such examples here – where earlier 1915-16 recordings were reprised in better studio conditions or similarly a number of these late or late-ish acoustics were themselves superseded by later early electrics. Since a complete Casals concerto performance was still some years in the future American Columbia and for two tracks here, Victor, issued a varied selection of items ranging from romantic staples to Irish song, encore pleasers, the slow movement from Haydn’s Concerto in D and other such things.

His Chopin-Popper is vibrantly romanticised – it was a favourite recital and disc encore for him. The Irish songs encroach on McCormack territory accompanied by an orchestra of tenuous commitment. The Moore is especially elastic in phraseology. The Elgar is more Salut vitesse than Salut d’amour. Tully Potter is right to draw attention to its good taste – by which I infer he means questions of portamento and style – but that doesn’t include tempo or phrasing in my book. But listen to the viola-like tonal qualities, Casals displays in the higher positions in the Rubinstein Romance – a rather shop-spoiled piece even then but one that takes on new and vibrant life in his hands. He lightens his tone to touching effect in the Haydn and there’s rich lyricism in the Brahms Sapphische Ode. His approach to Handel as ever is one of buoyant romanticism. The Cui is graceful and elegant – the slides are perfectly graded and stylistically apt; a most sympathetic performance. Naturally the Victor Bach performance is saturated in great nobility. He also plays the Granados Intermezzo in the arrangement by his erstwhile pupil Gaspar Cassadó, on whom Casals was later to pour such unbridled contempt.

The transfers are sympathetically done.



Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb International, June 2007

This is a great series for lovers of mouthful titles. And the longer it proceeds – to all our musical benefit – the more complicated it gets. Firstly it falls under the rubric of Naxos’s Great Cellists series. Then it also represents the fifth volume of the Casals Encores and Transcriptions run, as noted on the booklet cover. Turn to the back of the jewel box and you can see it’s also the third volume in Casals’ Complete Acoustic Recordings series. Confused? Over-complicated? My advice is not to worry; just make sure you note which particular volume takes your eye and don’t mix up your Encores with your Acoustic series numbers and then you’ll be fine.

The fact is that as technology improved companies sought to re-record morsels from their catalogues. You’ll find a number of such examples here – where earlier 1915-16 recordings were reprised in better studio conditions or similarly a number of these late or late-ish acoustics were themselves superseded by later early electrics. Since a complete Casals concerto performance was still some years in the future American Columbia and for two tracks here, Victor, issued a varied selection of items ranging from romantic staples to Irish song, encore pleasers, the slow movement from Haydn’s Concerto in D and other such things.

His Chopin-Popper is vibrantly romanticised – it was a favourite recital and disc encore for him. The Irish songs encroach on McCormack territory accompanied by an orchestra of tenuous commitment. The Moore is especially elastic in phraseology. The Elgar is more Salut vitesse than Salut d’amour. Tully Potter is right to draw attention to its good taste – by which I infer he means questions of portamento and style – but that doesn’t include tempo or phrasing in my book. But listen to the viola-like tonal qualities, Casals displays in the higher positions in the Rubinstein Romance – a rather shop-spoiled piece even then but one that takes on new and vibrant life in his hands. He lightens his tone to touching effect in the Haydn and there’s rich lyricism in the Brahms Sapphische Ode. His approach to Handel as ever is one of buoyant romanticism. The Cui is graceful and elegant – the slides are perfectly graded and stylistically apt; a most sympathetic performance. Naturally the Victor Bach performance is saturated in great nobility. He also plays the Granados Intermezzo in the arrangement by his erstwhile pupil Gaspar Cassadó, on whom Casals was later to pour such unbridled contempt.

The transfers are sympathetically done.






Famous Composers Quick Link:
Bach | Beethoven | Chopin | Dowland | Handel | Haydn | Mozart | Glazunov | Schumann | R Strauss | Vivaldi
3:48:51 PM, 23 July 2014
All Naxos Historical, Naxos Classical Archives, Naxos Jazz, Folk and Rock Legends and Naxos Nostalgia titles are not available in the United States and some titles may not be available in Australia and Singapore because these countries have copyright laws that provide or may provide for terms of protection for sound recordings that differ from the rest of the world.
Copyright © 2014 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy
-212-
Classical Music Home
NOTICE: This site was unavailable for several hours on Saturday, June 25th 2011 due to some unexpected but essential maintenance work. We apologize for any inconvenience.