One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


Buy through MusicWeb for £11.00 postage paid World Wide. Try it on Sale or Return
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Purchase button

Ernest John MOERAN (1894-1950)
Sinfonietta (1944) [23:16]
Symphony in G minor* (1937) [44:24]
Overture for a Masque (1944) [10:36]
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult
New Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult*
rec. 1968, 1970, 1975. ADD
LYRITA SRCD.247 [78:55]

This will do well and fully deserves to. Although the circumstances that kept most Lyrita originals out of the CD catalogue since 1983 remain a matter of historical frustration the fact is that the long delay has simply intensified the market. The log-jam is now cleared and appetite-whetted sales in a market dry for these long hidden recordings deserve to be phenomenal.

The bass amplitude is phenomenal in the Sinfonietta. Listen to 7:31 in the middle movement. Despite the age of the tape there is no trace of pre-echo or print-through on the startlingly imperious rushed opening of the last movement; neither is there an unearthly silence. That hushed pizzicato 1:10-1:34 in the finale is the most sumptuous ever. Ending with the burbling string crescendo. All very immediate, lapel-grabbing and gorgeously larger than life.

Then we move to the Symphony which is recorded in much broader and deeper ambient conditions. It is resplendently lively, resonant with detail and full-lipped in romantic address. Lissom woodwind voices reach out to seduce the listener. There is also a chesty grunt to the many active ostinati including those set aggressively running in the first movement. The woody tone of the double basses at 8:23 in the first movement positively groans with character. Those squat and fruity French Horns providing a prominent contralto boost to the shattering chords that explosively punctuate the exuberant close of the first movement. You will look in vain for quite the same splendour in the other versions – and that applies also to the Heward reborn in Pristine’s historic reanimation on Divine Art. Much the same applies to the marine swell and cross-currents of the second movement at 6:32 onwards with its rapturous harp and woodwind slashes (7:42 onwards) running through the swathed texture of the strings. Boult takes the scherzo (III) at daredevil speed but is matched by the NPO’s oboist. Then at 3:05 there is one of the most magical passages in all classical music where the harp and French horn and flute and pizzicato strings serenade – it is not quite as effective as Neville Dilkes’ unfairly derided EMI Classics recording given that the pace of Boult’s scherzo, while full of exhilaration, is too fast for my complete liking. The French horns at 4:20-4:35 in the finale are every bit as good as LP stalwarts will have recalled or imagined in their best dreams – not a scintilla of distortion just the glorious burred and rolling roar of the breakers. The irresistible trudge of the strings as we move into the section so clearly influenced by Sibelius’s Tapiola at 7:20 forward is also notable.

Never mind Boult’s Elgar this recording shows Boult at his most stirringly impressive. This is his finest recording in much the same way as Groves EMI recording of Bliss’s Morning Heroes is Groves’ finest – his testament. Both Lloyd-Jones and Handley come close but cannot displace this version of the Symphony; it bears the crown with eager majesty. Of course the Pristine-Divine Art version has great historic significance catching the conductor of the premiere only a handful of years after the first performance. And in the case of this version making the thorny 78s sound better than ever.

One oddity now removed in the case of this Lyrita disc: on the LP the orchestra was named as the New Philharmonia Orchestra of London. The words of London have now been removed.

The Overture for a Masque is as explosive and recorded as grippingly as the Sinfonietta – a work with which it shares a youthful optimistic spirit. Its jocund, effervescent and romantic high spirits place it with Randall Thompson’s Second Symphony and Copland’s Outdoor Overture.

The March 2007 issues from this label include SRCD.248 Moeran Rhapsody no.2; Violin Concerto; Rhapsody in F sharp for piano and orchestra (LPO/Boult, Georgiadis/LSO/Handley and McCabe/New Philharmonia/Braithwaite).

The notes are taken from the original LP sleeves: Michael Williamson, Geoffrey Crankshaw and Frank Howes.

The CD cover holds firm to the Lyrita virtues of victory in simplicity and forthright sincerity. There is however nothing Spartan about these majestic recordings. Shout it from the rooftops!
Rob Barnett

The Lyrita Catalogue

NOTE: Hear the Moeran Symphony live with the Ealing Symphony Orchestra/John Gibbons on Saturday 12 May 2007 at 7.30pm in St Barnabas Church, Pitshanger Lane, Ealing. London W5. John Gardner Half-Holiday Overture Moeran Symphony in G minor Rachmaninov Piano Concerto 3. Tickets from Richard Partridge, Hon. Secretary 020 8567 4075
Comparative reviews



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus



Return to Review Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.