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

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


Crotchet  AmazonUK   AmazonUS


Dimitris DRAGATAKIS (1914-2001)
Complete Piano Works
Nostalgia (before 1949) [3:42]
Butterfly (before 1949) [2:23]
Little Ballad (1949)* [5:57]
Piano Sonatina No. 1 (1961) [6:38]
Piano Sonatina No. 2 (1963)* [7:23]
Antiques (1972) [11:49]
Anadromés II (Retrospections II) (1977) [5:22]
Etude I (1981)* [4:08]
Etude II (1981)* [3:13]
Inelia (1997)* [6:59]
Monologue No.4 (2001)* [11:04]
Lorenda Ramou (piano)
rec. 3-4 September 2007, Athens Concert Hall, Athens, Greece
*World premiere recordings
NAXOS GREEK CLASSICS 8.570789 [68:39]
Experience Classicsonline

Once again Naxos have put the majors to shame with this collection, much of it recorded for the very first time. I imagine most listeners would nominate Skalkottas and Xenakis as the best-known Greek composers but for some reason Dimitris Dragatakis – with more than 130 works to his name – remains largely unknown outside his homeland. This is reflected in his meagre discography of two or three CDs at most.
Admittedly Dragatakis is new to me too and I was curious to discover what – if anything – makes him distinctively Greek. His musical education – save for a break during World War II and the ensuing civil war – may have centred on Athens but his music is not narrowly nationalistic; indeed, the later works on this disc show that like many of his contemporaries he was swept along by the tide of post-modernism.
His early works, simply categorised as those written ‘before 1949’, include Nostalgia, Butterfly and Little Ballad. They are memorable miniatures, the first of which is strangely hypnotic at times with its burbling figure in the left hand, yet with a hint of more turbulent waters before the gentle opening theme returns. With its staccato opening and delicate little figures Butterfly is as light and engaging as any of its more illustrious rivals. By contrast Little Ballad is very different, much more angular and extrovert.
Pianist Lorenda Ramou, a graduate of the Athens National Conservatory, specialises in contemporary piano music – and it shows. Even in these early pieces there is something very appealing about her unselfconscious pianism, which reminds me of Pierre-Laurent Aimard playing Ligeti. Ramou, who has in fact studied with Aimard, really allows this music to flow freely, even in the more rigorous Little Ballad.
The liner-notes mention ‘traditional Greek elements’ in these early works, though that may be a little difficult to quantify. The predominant impression is one of very late Romanticism, on the cusp of something more uncompromising. The two Sonatinas (1961 and 1963) definitely fall into the latter category, and if we’re looking for something specifically Greek perhaps the rhythms of the Moderato fit the bill. That said, this is firmly in atonal territory, even though the Larghetto has moments of quasi-tonal charm. The Allegro has a quicksilver quality, the spikier right-hand melodies well caught by the Naxos engineers. Indeed, the acoustic is generally fine, with just enough weight in the bass and a pleasingly natural treble.
I imagine the craggy second Sonatina could sound a lot less appealing in some hands, but as with Victor Sangiorgio’s Stravinsky disc (see review) Ramou brings an extra degree of warmth to the music that is most welcome. Certainly the Largo is a lovely piece of writing, surprisingly lyrical and inward in spite of its obvious dissonances. The concluding Vivo is much more concentrated, severe even, but thankfully Ramou prevents it from ever sounding arid.
Antiques is much denser in its textures and extreme in its dynamics. Dragatakis described these pieces as ‘eight miniatures that summarise human history’, a title that isn’t particularly illuminating. The Largo is spiky, making use of single notes and clusters, with fragmented phrases and staccato touches for both hands. The first Allegretto presents a series of contrasting figures and the Moderato is much quieter but is somewhat terse. Throughout there are rhythmic fragments – often repeated – that give the music a degree of dynamism, especially in the second Allegretto. As for the Presto, Ramou brings out the brilliant pointillistic effects very well indeed.
Anadromés II, written five years later and supposedly based on a series of musical ideas the composer had used in the past, is in much the same vein. There are moments that sound almost baroque in their ornamentation, alternating with flourishes and repeated notes. For someone who was not a pianist Dragatakis certainly knew how to exploit the instrument’s expressive possibilities. And even though Ramou manages to find some warmth here this clearly isn’t for the easy listening brigade.
In the Etudes, both written in 1981, listeners may discern a faint current of lyricism beneath the music’s choppy surface. And in the second Etude there are even a few flourishes that sound positively Lisztian, but these are merely glimpses. Inelia, dedicated to the Greek pianist Elena Mouzala, and Monologue No.4, premiered by Ramou after the composer’s death, are the two most substantial pieces here. For all its outward virtuosity Inelia strikes me as unusually affectionate, even witty;  by contrast Monologue No. 4 is musically much darker and emotionally more direct than anything we’ve heard thus far.
Piano lovers really ought to sample this disc, if only to remind themselves that worthwhile and interesting music for the instrument doesn’t only emanate from central and northern Europe. The early pieces are very engaging and the later works, especially the final Monologue No.4, are well worth hearing. In between it’s less distinguished but well crafted nonetheless. As for Ramou she makes a good case for this composer.
Watch this space.
Dan Morgan


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




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.