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Wallace: Chopinesque (Rosemary Tuck; Tait Chamber Orchestra; Richard Bonynge) (Naxos: 8572776)

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

Price: £7.97 & FREE UK Delivery on orders dispatched by Amazon over £20. Delivery Details
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Wallace: Chopinesque
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Audio CD, 3 Sep 2012
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Product details

  • Conductor: Richard Bonynge
  • Composer: William Vincent Wallace
  • Audio CD (3 Sept. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B008N66K5M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 343,212 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Polonaise De Wilna - Rosemary Tuck/Richard Bonynge
  2. Nocturne Melodique
  3. La Sympathie Valse
  4. Le Zéphyr Nocturne Souvenir de Cracovie Mazourka
  5. Woodland Murmurs Nocturne
  6. Le Chant des Oiseaux Nocturne
  7. Valse Brillante
  8. Au Bord de la Mer Nocturne
  9. Varsovie Mazourka pour le piano Three Nocturnes, Op. 20, No. 1
  10. Souvenir de Naples Barcarolle
  11. La Brunette Valse Brillante de Salon
  12. Innocence Romance
  13. Victoire Mazourka
  14. La Grace Nocturne
  15. Grande Fantaisie La Cracovienne (orch Jeremy Silver)

Product description

Product Description

The scintillating virtuoso pianist and composer William Vincent Wallace wrote a sheaf of memorable compositions for his instrument. He met the huge demand for sheet music by producing a series of waltzes, nocturnes, mazurkas, barcarolles, and other works dazzling in their variety, invention, wit, humour and charm. Their tone ranges from Latin American to Spanish and from seascape to melancholy reflection. Widely admired exponents of Wallaces music, Rosemary Tuck and Richard Bonynge are joined by the Tait Chamber Orchestra for the brilliant Grande Fantaisie La Cracovienne.

Review

This latest piano collection is perhaps the best of all... Rosemary Tuck dispatches all with admirable grace and aplomb... Wallace s piano compositions are of real appeal and this generous and inexpensive collection is well worth investigating alongside Naxos s previous issues of his Opera Fantasies and Celtic Fantasies. --Andrew Lamb, Gramophone December 2012

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The Irish composer William Vincent Wallace was obviously an accomplished pianist, and it is good that these early/mid-Victorian pieces have been brought to light and recorded by someone who specialises in this music. The title, relating the works to Chopin, is a little misleading, as the inspiration is eclectic, and not much of this music stands comparison with Chopin's mature works. But the melodies are good and the invention varied, and the music is well worth hearing. One piece (track 12, a barcarolle) is even vaguely familiar, as it was used by John Lanchbery in his music for the ballet The Tales of Beatrix Potter. The final piece, an accompanied Grande Fantaisie, is hilarious and over the top, but very entertaining.

The solo piano music was recorded in a rather boomy acoustic, which I'm not sure quite suits this salon-style music, but otherwise this disc can be recommended.
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I agree absolutely with Stephen, the previous reviewer, except that I didn't pick up Stephen's point on the acoustic, but my ears aren't what they were. The music is not "great", but it is certainly very good, and thoroughly enjoyable by all levels of musical "brow" bar the very highest or lowest. Same for the performance, by both soloists and band.

I would agree also with Stephen's four stars if this were a standard-price CD, but at the price, this is an unmissable purchase -- it will give far more pleasure than you will ever get from one twelfth of a tank of petrol. The value for money earns it the final star.
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Outstanding. Wonderful music! Its a great credit to Rosemary Tuck and Richard Bonynge and it really warms the heart. Buy it without a smidgeon of regret!
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Interesting, surprising, tuneful, delightful - we really need to look at home-grown musicians more often. Thank you Naxos adn the artists
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In all fairness 3 July 2013
By Laszlo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you expect Chopin's quality because of the title, you'd be a fool, I am sorry. You know well that there is a reason why Chopin is in the patheon of great ones and William Wallace (which one is this?..ah, William Vincent) not. This composer was born in Ireland, went to Australia, crossed to Chile, Peru (survived earthquakes), arrived in New Orleans (Gottschalk's birth town!) became a US citizen and ended up dying a bit of a destitue, in Paris, 1865, at 53. Now, tell me if this is not a story worth pursuing! Any biographies please?
This CD abounds in charm and is superbly produced. First of all, Ms Tuck plays with wonderful taste and articulation, making the most of the music. Secondly, the piano sounds beautiful, the liner notes are superb and so is the recording. If anything, this has motivated me to explore WVW operas 'Maritana' and Lurline' (both released by this beloved label). Likewise, there are two additional keyboard releases with Ms Tuck playing Wallace. Kudos.

So ok: to the music. The connection with Gottschalk seems to be more than quite coincidental. Both peripatetic, almost contemporary piano player/composers who had written mostly salon piano music (with some catchy titles) almost demonstrating where they had been at. The piano styles are not very different, very revealing of what "society" was listening (or playing) in their music rooms. If you imagine yourself in one of those salon gatherings looking at the composer playing the piece, you might certainly forget its 'superficiality', the lack of harmonic novelty, depth and transcendence, and stick to the moment and its charm.

For the price of a Naxos CD, it would be sad that this would go unnoticed when there are so many other items that have come my way that were boring or interminable to listen to. This 79+ minutes went by rather quickly for me. So if you like Gottchalk, try this!

Perhaps it is me, then? Of course it is me! I did not expect much, yet I enjoyed and learned quite a lot.
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Banality Writ Large 4 Nov. 2012
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
William Vincent Wallace (1812-1865) was an Irish composer who, as far as I had known, was a one-hit wonder; he wrote the opera 'Maritana' which had great popularity, particularly in Britain, through the middle years of the 19th century. I gather that he was a touring piano virtuoso cum composer rather in the same mold as Louis Moreau Gottschalk or Sigismund Thalberg. He apparently wrote reams of piano music which in its time was popular, particularly in its ability to supply music for the salon. But until this CD I had never heard any of piano music. There is good reason for that. This music is banal in the extreme. It is indeed virtuosic (at least for the right hand) in that there is endless mindless filigree, most often accompanied by stereotyped oompah or Alberti bass. Melodies are predictable, unmemorable and almost entirely diatonic.

The name of this disc, surely primarily as a selling point, is 'Chopinesque.' I hear little here that comes within a country mile of anything by Chopin whose melodic, harmonic and contrapuntal mastery is not even hinted at by Wallace. It strikes me as cynical that the disc borrows Chopin's name to make it more attractive to an unsuspecting CD-buying public. There is little here that I would willingly listen to again.

That said, the performances are much better than the music they present. The first cut, 'Polonaise de Wilna', is played, surprisingly and very well, by the noted Australian conductor of bel canto opera, Richard Bonynge. The pianist for the rest of the CD is Rosemary Tuck, an Australian who was unfamiliar to me. The disc consists primarily of solo piano pieces but concludes with a new orchestration of the 'Grande Fantaisie La Cracovienne'. This work had originally been a piano-and-orchestra work but that score was lost and a solo piano reduction was all that had survived. It has been reorchestrated cleverly by Jeremy Silver. Bonynge conducts the Tait Chamber Orchestra, a group made up of Australian musicians resident in Britain. (The Australian connection arises from the fact that Wallace spent 1835-1842 in Australia where he was a founding father of classical music in the young colony.)

I cannot recommend this disc for any but the most indefatigable, omnivorous collectors.

Scott Morrison
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