MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

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



Benjamin GODARD (1849-1895)
Violin Concerto No.2 Op.131 (1892) [25:00]
Concerto Romantique Op.35 (1887) [23:27]
Scènes Poétiques for orchestra Op.46 (1879) [17:26]
Chloë Hanslip (violin)
Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra, Košice/Kirk Trevor
rec. The House of Arts, Košice, June 2007
NAXOS 8.570554 [66:03] 
Experience Classicsonline

Mention the name Benjamin Godard to an old time fiddle player and you’ll be met by two words – Jocelyn and Canzonetta. The first is the Berceuse from Jocelyn and a much leaned upon encore staple. And the second is the Canzonetta from the Concerto Romantique, which was frequently extracted form its accustomed place and used as a sweetmeat on disc and in café.
Certainly the Concerto Romantique was quite widely performed in the last years of the nineteenth century and the first couple of decades of the twentieth. But it was never recorded in full – only the Canzonetta. The Second Concerto is certainly not unknown but it is so seldom performed that most people must be making a first acquaintance with it in this performance. The Scènes Poétiques are charming little orchestral pictures written when Godard was thirty.
The Concerto Romantique was written in 1887 eight years before Godard’s early death. I’ve only ever heard two other performances. Aaron Rosand taped it with the Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg and Louis de Froment, now on Vox CDX 5102 in a two disc set. But we’ll reluctantly have to discard Hugh Bean’s traversal on a very obscure LP as it’s really only of academic interest given its unavailability. Rosand and newcomer Chloë Hanslip take rather different vies of the concerto. Rosand is the more thrustful and dashing and is three minutes quicker. He lays greater stress on the Allegro than the modifying moderato in the first movement and tends toward a greater range of expressive devices to keep things ticking over – note his expressive finger position changes for instance and doesn’t slow as much as Hanslip at those comma points in the first movement. He’s also far more forwardly balanced, taking centre-stage, whereas Hanslip is more naturally placed just in front of the orchestra. Problematically however she has been accorded a rather boomy and less than ideally focused recording, made in The House of Arts, Košice.
Still, Hanslip brings her own strong stamp to bear – she is good at the oddly troubled passages in the opening, is warm and certainly communicative in the slow movement, clearly enjoys the rather salon confection that is the Canzonetta with its viola counter-theme and fine sense of caprice. So too in the finale where she treats the material on its own terms, neither inflating it nor skating over it.
The Second Concerto followed five years later. Though the earlier work certainly lacks for little in post-Mendelssohnian virtuosity the Second Concerto announces its credential from the start with a pulsing scalar run for the soloist. Godard though always manages to balance strong technical demands – he’d been a violin prodigy – with ingratiating lyricism. And this is certainly served up here – the tunes have a real charm to them, and an enviable facility as well. If only Godard hadn’t unleashed a far-too-early cadenza in the first movement – always a sign of problems. Hanslip relishes the cantilena of the slow movement, which she plays with adroit lyricism and well distributed tonal resources – excellent dynamics toward the end as well as tonal breadth.
The Scènes Poétiques are picture postcard sweet, pastel shaded and a touch generic. This is Light Music of course but it does afford some excellent opportunities for the wind principals of the Slovak State Philharmonic to shine, especially in the second sketch, Dans les champs. The pick of the four is the beautiful third – Sur la montagne - with its effulgent tune, excellent and evocative horn writing and stirring tune.
Despite the rather unhelpful acoustic this is still an enjoyable disc and it restores the two violin works in particular to wider prominence than has perhaps been the case for a century or so. Godard didn’t run to great profundity and some of his orchestral accompanying figures tend to churn along without doing anything much but he was a melodist of real charm and these three works attest to a virtue too often overlooked.
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 Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

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

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




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

Past 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.