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AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE: May/June 1999

Beethoven: Triple Concerto

Mozart: Quintet in D, K 593

Eudice Shapiro, Susan Suh, violins, George Taylor, Ariel Rudiakov, violas; Michael Rudiakov, violincello; Shoshana Rudiakov, piano; Manchester Festival Orchestra, conducted by David Gilobert.

Eroica 3011 (Jem) 59 minutes

These are concert recordings from the 1993 Manchester Festival, founded in 1974 by the musical team of Eugene List and Carroll Glenn, both deceased. But their festivala goes on Ý quite well if these recordings are any indicator. Given the capriciousness of major companies in recording or not recording any but the biggest of box office attractions, the idea of musical organizations like this one producing their own recordings is gaining in acceptance. This disc should further the process, since it is an attractive job in all prospects.

Beethoven’s Triple Concerto—that strange but compelling hybrid of piano trio, solo concerto, concerto grosso, and symphony—gets an attractive, sensible performance. I’m not sure I would set aside my Oistrakh-Rostropovich-Richter/ Karajan (EMI) or even my old monaural Bruno Walter (Sony) in its favor, but it is quite enjoyable on its own terms and maintains its interest with repeated hearings. The three soloists are an admirable team, and they and the orchestra complement each other nicely. The (chamber) orchestra plays handsomely, and conductor Gilbert (Greenwich Symphony, Manhattan School) sets a logical pace and keeps the work on track from start to finish.

The Mozart Quintet is also a very attractive performance, with both power and grace. The music is Mozart at his best: bold, lyrical, powerful. The lovely slow movement is played with lyric beauty and attractive tone. The minuet is done at a sensible tempo, unhurried and graceful. The lively finale brings the work to a satisfying conclusion.

Sound in both works is clean, balanced, and fully listenable, with only applause at the end of each piece to remind us of the presence of the audience. The packaging is attractive. The notes cover the festival and the artists, but say nothing of the music—a mistake when the disc will presumably be offered to future festival goers, many of whom will not be seasoned music goers with shelves of reference material to draw on. A final quibble: no bands between movements. But I enjoyed the program despite these minor reservations, and I recommend it to you.

MC CLAIN


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