One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger


Some items
to consider


A most rewarding CD
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Nick Barnard review
Michael Cookson review

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Anderson Choral music

colourful and intriguing

Pekarsky Percussion Ensemble

one of Berlioz greatest works

Rebecca Clarke Frank Bridge
High-octane performances

An attractive Debussy package

immaculate Baiba Skride

eloquent Cello Concerto

tension-filled work

well crafted and intense

another entertaining volume

reeking of cordite

Pappano with a strong cast

imaginatively constructed quartets

the air from another planet

vibrantly sung

NOT a budget performance

very attractive and interesting

finesse and stylistic assurance

Buy through MusicWeb for £12.00 postage paid World-wide.


Musicweb Purchase button


Paul COLES (b. 1952)
Imágenes de España [16:10]
Two Lullabies Chanté [4:12]
Theme, impromptus and Conclusion [20:51]
Habanera [4:29]
Fantasia No.1 [9:42]
Mazurka No.1 [1:16]
Waltz No.1 [1:26]
Las Aventuras de un Caballero Errante [24:03]
Craig Ogden (guitar)
rec. 20-21, 30 October 2006, 4 May, 2007, Wyastone Leys, U.K.
NIMBUS NI5811 [77:54]

Experience Classicsonline

There is by now a well-established tradition of non-Spanish composers appropriating the idioms of Spanish music and putting them to their own creative uses. The most obvious and familiar instances are French - Paul Coles is surely the first Welsh composer to do so extensively?

Coles was born in Pembrokeshire and his earliest musical life was as a brass player in school bands and orchestras, before he took up the guitar, going on both to perform and teach on that instrument. Though his compositions are various in genre and subject, there is a strong Spanish thread running through many of them. In addition to the pieces for solo guitar featured on the present CD his other compositions include La Fiesta de Pamplona (a concertino for flute and guitar) and the suite Evocaciones de España, for cello and guitar, a piece written for the Jones-Mauri Duo and recorded by them on the Spanish label Emec (see review).

Craig Ogden is an accomplished advocate for the attractions of Coles' solo guitar writing, writing which is obviously the work of a composer thoroughly-steeped in the music of the great Spanish composers for the instrument but which contrives, at the same time, a degree of individuality and a refusal to settle for mere pastiche. Coles' work here is particularly impressive when responding to literary texts, appropriately Spanish in nature. Thus the four pieces which make up the suite Imágenes de España - 'Song of the Rider', 'Spilt Blood', 'The Gypsy Nun' and 'Lola' - are responses to poems by Lorca, and are splendid evocations of the pictorial colour and emotional contrasts to be found in the poetic texts. In 'Spilt Blood', for example, Coles' writing captures much of the power of a passage from Lorca's 'Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías' (Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías), in which the poet celebrates what he sees as the mingled fierceness and tenderness of the great bullfighter's art:

¡Qué gran torero en la plaza! What a great torero in the ring!
¡Qué buen Serrano en la sierra! What a fine mountaineer in the sierra!
¡Qué blando con las espigas! How gentle with the ears of grain!
¡Qué duro con las espuelas! How fierce with the spurs!
¡Qué tierno con el rocío! How tender with the dew!
¡Qué deslumbrante en la feria! How dazzling at the fair!
¡Qué tremendo con las últimas bandilleras de tiniebla! banderillas How tremendous with the last [barbed darts] of darkness!

With its repetitions and its contrasts, with its oppositions of dazzle and darkness, ferocity and tenderness, the passage (like so much in the writing of the poet-musician Lorca) invites musical interpretation and Coles gives us a fine 'translation', as clearly structured in rhetoric as Lorca's lines but also as vividly expressive.

Elsewhere, we have a suite of nine pieces - Las Aventuras de un Caballero Errante - based on Don Quixote. Here particular pleasures include the somewhat madcap momentum of 'The Adventure of the Wind-Mills' and the sad, delusional devotion of 'A letter to Lady Dulcinea', a lovely and haunting piece of hesitant melodic inventiveness.

Not everything else on the disc is so obviously Spanish - the Mazurka and the Waltz, for instance - but, more importantly, there isn't a single piece that isn't rewarding in its own way. Craig Ogden's playing throughout is technically immaculate and resourceful, his readings sensitive and tender, flashing and tumultuous, as the music requires.

Glyn Pursglove 


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.