Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider
  • Brahms Symphony 4 Dvorak Symphony 9
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Sinfonie Concertanti
  • IL Carnevale di Venezia Clarinet with orchestra
  • Peter Aronsky (piano) Les Délices du Piano

Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!

Nothing but Praise

BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set

Telemann continues to amaze

A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition

Another Bacewicz winner

match any I’ve heard

An outstanding centenary collection

personable, tuneful, approachable

a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.

music that will be new to most people

telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded

hitherto unrecorded Latvian music


Classicsonline AmazonUK   AmazonUS


Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Piano Music
See end of review for track listing
Victor Sangiorgio (piano)
rec. 9-10 December 1991, St John’s Church, Loughton, Essex, UK
NAXOS 8.570377 [71:20]
Experience Classicsonline

Stravinsky didn’t write a great deal of piano music but he stayed faithful to the instrument, from the Tarantella of 1898 through to the Two Sketches for a Sonata (1967). This Naxos collection spans roughly four decades and gives the listener some idea of Stravinsky’s evolving musical character. The early works are heavily influenced by the likes of Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, the neo-classical ones by his interest in 18th-century forms. And then there are the pieces from the last 30 years of his life, which are not represented here.
This recording originally appeared on the now defunct Collins label and Naxos must be commended for returning it to the catalogue. The Italian-born pianist Victor Sangiorgio, who grew up in Perth, Western Australia, is a commanding performer. Despite his rather grim demeanour – the booklet photograph is very unflattering – he seems keenly attuned to the many moods of this music, from the frothy little Scherzo of 1902 to the more technically demanding Serenade and Piano Sonata Stravinsky wrote for himself in the 1920s.
The forceful opening of the F sharp minor Sonata of 1903-04 sounds remarkably like Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov at their most imperious. That said there is a startling clarity to the writing, which Sangiorgio captures very well indeed. He is helped in no small measure by the lucid recording, which brings out inner detail and articulation without ever sounding harsh or brittle.
The Scherzo benefits enormously from this acoustic, the cascading figures so deftly – yet charmingly – rendered. The more elegiac Andante finds Stravinsky in uncharacteristically reflective mood, Sangiorgio’s playing suitably expansive, even rhapsodic, at times. Surely this movement is the most Beethovenian in structure and weight, even though the thematic material is somewhat overworked. No matter, this is a substantial, varied and vigorous piece that only loses its way in the overextended Allegro – Andante.
The Op. 7 Etudes of 1908 hark back to their 19th-century predecessors but they are distinguished by an economy of style, especially in the second Etude. There is a restless energy in the first and fourth Etudes, Sangiorgio bringing out the rhythms with considerable flair. And although there’s a Bachian flavour to the florid second and fourth studies they have just enough character and verve to avoid becoming tedious.
No time for tedium in the bare-boned little Piano-Rag-Music (1919). This is concentrated Stravinsky, the ‘ragged time’ element distilled down to its very essence, the tune glimpsed beneath broken chords and meandering melodies. The irregular rhythms may hint at Le Sacre but the music’s underlying jauntiness is artfully maintained throughout.
The neo-classical formality of the Piano Sonata (1924) is unmistakable, veering more towards the baroque in the filigreed writing of the second movement and the Bachian two-part invention of the third. How like a harpsichord Sangiorgio makes the Adagietto sound, delicate yet crisply projected and tastefully proportioned. This is no mere pastiche, but a highly-skilled and individual homage to an earlier musical era.
Next to the Sonata the Serenade seems a little more relaxed. The opening of ‘Hymn’ evokes the peal of bells and although the rest of the movement has a baroque cast it’s all filtered through the prism of Stravinsky’s own imagination. Ditto the Romanza, which is outwardly calm and unruffled yet rhythmically unsettled. Once again Sangiorgio’s playing is a model of precision and proportion, especially in the highly-ornamented Rondoletto and the free-flowing Cadenza. A lesser piece than the sonata, perhaps, but eminently satisfying nonetheless.
Dance was an essential part of Stravinsky’s musical make-up and some of the latert piano pieces – Tango (1940) and the Circus Polka (1941-42) – confirm that. Tango most resembles Piano-Rag-Music in its pared-downed structure, yet this and the polka are cleverly sustained by their distinctive dance rhythms. The latter, originally an orchestral piece written for Barnum & Bailey, even has a modicum of humour in its awkward, tramping gait. Sangiorgio plays this a little faster than usual but it’s a showpiece in its own quirky way.
This collection is a near duplication of Peter Hill’s earlier survey (Naxos 8.553871), criticised in some quarters for being much too dry. Arguably Sangiorgio goes to the other extreme, offering a blend of warmth and clarity. This won’t suit all tastes, but when essayed with such intelligence and style it seems churlish to complain.
Dan Morgan
Track listing
Piano-Rag-Music (1919) [3:12]
Circus Polka (1941-42) [3:32]
Piano Sonata (1924) [10:29]
I. Crotchet = 112 [2:50]
II. Adagietto [5:20]
III. Crotchet = 112 [2:19]
Serenade in A major (1925) [11:52]
I. Hymn [3:32]
II. Romanza [3:40]
III. Rondoletto [2:25]
IV. Cadenza [2:14]
Tango (1940) [4:04]
Four Etudes, Op. 7 (1908) [8:01]
I. Etude No. 1 in C minor [1:33]
II. Etude No. 2 in D major [2:41]
III. Etude No. 3 in E minor [1:54]
IV. Etude No. 4 in F sharp major [1:53]
Scherzo (1902) [2:14]
Piano Sonata in F sharp minor (1903-04) [27:57]
I. Allegro [10:53]
II. Scherzo [4:52]
III. Andante [5:43]
IV. Allegro – Andante [6:29]


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

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.