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 from 14.30/15.10/15.60 postage paid.
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Musicweb Purchase button

Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942)
String Quartet Op.25 (1918) [19:16]
String Quartet No.2 (1925) [30:09]
Schulhoff Quartet
rec. Domovina Studio, Prague, May 2005 (No.2) and March 2006 (Op.25)
VMS 180 [49:51]

This is the second volume in VMS’s survey of Schulhoff’s music for string quartet; the earlier was on VMS 138 (see review). I was impressed by the performances given by the eponymous quartet and can find no reason here to modify that view. The Schulhoff Quartet has been taking this survey slowly and unlike many a quartet hasn’t gone hell for leather for complete surveys. Their earlier recordings were made in 2003 and in 2004. Here they reprise this clear aim. The Second Quartet was taped in Prague in May 2005; the earlier Op.25 Quartet followed nearly a year later. Fortunately all their recordings have been made in the Domovina Studios.

The Second Quartet was written fast in 1925. It bears the kind of folkloric influences one would expect at this time – Bartók principally and also Janáček. Compression is the name of the game in the fast movements, contrasting strongly with the more extended slow ones. The folkloric intensity is energised by the cello’s bass lines, the rhythm is springy and also at moments we find the harmonies flecked with late impressionism – though not enough to unsettle the consonance of the musical argument. The second movement has a Theme and variations dramatically animated by beer-hall pizzicato thwacking – all the while Schulhoff’s more syncopated instincts are peeping through. He reprises this device in the scherzo – he calls it an Allegro gajo – which is a pizzicato-laced Bohemian dance inseminated by Bartók’s fertile seed. The earthy finale has enough gritty unison figures and soliloquies to hold interest.

The earlier Op.25 quartet is really a student work. The last person it sounds like is Schulhoff; updated Mozart, maybe. It’s on a far bigger scale than the more compact, mature quartet, and only really sheds light on the composer’s developmental leanings at the relatively late age of twenty-four. There is something Wagnerian about the slow movement it’s true (if somewhat generic) but the Menuett is a decidedly rococo homage spiced with slightly mordant harmonies. The rondo finale is similarly inclined as to stylistic matters though it at least reveals some enthusiasm for the folkloric hues that so enriched Schulhoff’s writing later on in the 1920s. Otherwise it’s a work of surprising blandness and lack of invention.

These quartets have rather less meat on their bones than the works in the first volume but admirers of the composer’s chamber music will find these once more committed and thoroughly idiomatic performances very much to their liking. With first class Domovina sound adherents should not hesitate.

Jonathan Woolf



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.