Magazine article Gramophone

'Oblivion': Bernstein West Side Story-Somewhere

Magazine article Gramophone

'Oblivion': Bernstein West Side Story-Somewhere

Article excerpt

'Oblivion'

Bernstein West Side Story--Somewhere (a) Brahms Hungarian Dance No 6 Dinicu Hor di Mars (The Clock) Enescu Rhapsodie roumaine Godard Berceuse (b) Janoska Musette pour Fritz (Hommage a Fritz Kreisler) Kreisler Caprice viennois. Marche miniature viennoise. Schon Rosmarin Kreisler/ Reinhard/Janoska Presto Fight Piazzolla Oblivion Saint-Saens Danse macabre J Strauss II Pasman Csardas Various Cpsrs K&K Rhapsody (Medley)

The Philharmonics with (a) Patricia Petibon sop (b) Piotr Beczata ten

DG (F) 481 0273 (69' * DDD)

Novelties as jazzers meet Berlin and Vienna Phil players

A fun disc and nearly--but not quite--a terrific one. The Philharmonics are an instrumental ensemble (not the African American vocal quintet of the 1950s and '60s)--a string quintet with clarinet and piano. Four members are from the Vienna Philharmonic, one from the Berlin Philharmonic, with the addition of the two Janoska brothers Roman (second violin) and Frantisek (piano). They begin with a medley called K&K Rhapsody, a kind of'spot the tune from the Austro-Hungarian Empire' (with the odd snatch of Verdi), and follow that with some wonderfully spirited Kreisler (a Marche miniature viennoise to match the gemutlich charm of the composer's recordings), Brahms, Dinicu and Johann Strauss ft. The acoustic is my fin de specie spa hotel.

Then it all goes a bit odd. The delightful French soprano Patricia Petibon sings 'Somewhere' from West Side Story (why?) unconvincingly, three further Kreisler numbers are given the jazz treatment unpersuasively and Polish tenor Piotr Beczala sings Godard's gende Berceuse in an uncomfortably high tessitura. …

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