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


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



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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   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


AmazonUK AmazonUS

Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
Violin Concerto No. 2 H 293 (1943) [29:59]
Serenade No. 2 for strings H 216 (1932) [7:20]
Toccata e due canzoni H 311 for strings and piano obbligato (1947) [24:30]
Isabelle Faust (violin); Cédric Tiberghien (piano)
Prague Philharmonia/Jiří Bělohlávek
rec. June 1996, Rudolfinum, Prague. DDD
HARMONIA MUNDI HMC901951 [62:54]
Experience Classicsonline

The appearance of new Martinů CDs is very much more common these days. Three of the four CDs of works for violin/viola and orchestra from Hyperion and Matousek  works are already out (see reviews: 1, 2, 3). That admirable set will soon be completed. What can this disc add? 

For years the Second Violin Concerto was known only from the Josef Suk recording on Supraphon. Since then the historic recording by Louis Kaufman (see review) has appeared alongside several other newer ones including that by Jennifer Koh on Cedille (see review). Faust and Bělohlávek are not going to make your choice easier by turning in a poor version. This is in fact vibrant and taut music-making and Faust is tense, emotive and ardent. She reveals Martinů, the latter-day Bruch, in the lissom, nostalgic and poetic andante. Some of the sensational angst of the first movement carries over into the spark-flittering excitement of the cantabile finale. Like so many of his works of the American years this is a superb piece. It was commissioned by Mischa Elman (1891-1967) after he heard Martinů's First Symphony in 1943. The concerto was composed in New York the same year and premiered by Elman in Boston on 31 December 1943. 

The Serenade No. 2 for strings moves panther-like with harkings back to Haydn and Mozart. It's a touching work of concise expressiveness and while broadly neo-classical remembers that music should have a heart. It is no surprise to learn that it is a product of the Paris years and was composed in 1932. 

It is so welcome that we now have the Toccata e Due Canzoni restored to easy circulation. I still hanker for a reissue of Zdeňek Hnat's Supraphon LP (SUP 110 1619) of this work coupled with the Sinfonietta La Jolla. However this version is outstanding. Bělohlávek and Tiberghien communicate tension bordering on hysteria in the first movement. In that sense it is rather like the best performances – for example, Sejna - of the Double Concerto for Two String Orchestras, Piano and Timpani is there. Also a presence is lyrical liberation. Indelibly memorable is the repeated piano figure in the second movement. Despite references to neo-Baroque style the final Canzona is touching and communicatively humane - not at all perfunctory. Indeed the Toccata e Due Canzoni deserves much more attention than it has had. It is one of Martinů's strongest works. This work was commissioned by Paul Sacher (1906-99) and was premiered by him with the Basler Kammerorchester on 21 January 1947 in a  concert alongside Stravinsky's Concerto in D and Honegger's Symphony No. 4.

Harmonia Mundi's artistic values have always been high and the good long gap of silence between works shows impeccable taste. 

This is a powerful and valuable Martinů anthology and one I would commend as an introduction to the composer alongside the magnificent Warner Classics reissue (see review) of Martin Turnovsky in the Fourth Symphony.

Rob Barnett


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 Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

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

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Chopin Bruce Liu

Ingeneri Volume 2

Mondonville - Titon et L'Aurore

Telemann - French Cantatas 1


March 2022

Brahms Symphony 4
MacMillan Larghetto for Orchestra

Bruch Violin Concertos

Debussy Preludes Book 2

Jan-Peter de GRAAFF
Cello Concertos

La Nuit étoilé
Berlioz. Holmes




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.