Schubert sonatas

Newest Releases

Piano solo and duet
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Moravec - Twelfth Night Recital
15%off £17.21 (until Dec 7)

Katerina Englichová - harp
15%0ff £10.83 (until Dec 7)

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo

Sibelius Symphonies Maazel
4CDs + Blu-ray audio
Special Price £36.75

RVW A Sea Symphony - Elder

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: Crotchet AmazonUK AmazonUS

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873 - 1943)
CD 1
Symphony No.2 in E minor, op.27 (1907) [54:41]
The Isle of the Dead, op.29 (1909) [21:10]
CD 2
Piano Concerto No.3 in D minor, op.30 (1909) [41:46]
Symphonic Dances, op.45 (1940) [34:51]
St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra/Mariss Jansons (op.27); London Symphony Orchestra/André Previn (opp.29, 45); Leif Ove Andsnes (piano), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra/Paavo Berglund (op.30)
rec. 13–16 September 1993, Philharmonic Hall, St Petersburg (op.27); October 1975, Kingsway Hall, London, (op.29); 8–11 March 1995, Philharmonic Hall, Oslo (op.30); December 1974, No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London (op.45) ADD + DDD
EMI CLASSICS 2376162 [75:56 + 76:46]
Experience Classicsonline

About 18 months ago I welcomed a EMI re-issue, of the majority of Rachmaninov's orchestral works by Jansons and the St Petersburg Philharmonic (see also the original release review). Before I go any further might I remind you that this Jansons set is essential listening and should be on every record shelf for it is without peer. The present set includes the recording of the second Symphony from that earlier box thus putting this re–issue into competition with itself! I cannot see the point of this for EMI has Previn's fine complete recording of this Symphony (recently reissued again as part of EMI’s 10CD set of André Previn - The Great Recordings 50999 2 67969 2 5) in their vaults and that would have fitted very nicely into this set. Then I must remember that not everyone will want everything which is in the Jansons box – I wonder why? – and, truth be told, this is a very enticing set. If you only want the second of Rachmaninov's Symphonies then this is for you.
Quite often the 3rd Concerto doesn't satisfy me as much as I always expect it should. It's a very elusive work – heavy with that melancholy Russian soul – and even though it is full of good things it isn't immediately approachable as is its predecessor. I suspect that some of my dissatisfaction is with the problem of interpretation. To see the piece through from beginning to end takes some feat of mental stamina, not to mention physical strength. Andsnes has both the intelligence and the heft, as well as a full understanding of this music, to know exactly how to make this music speak to us. This performance was recorded over three days of live performances and there's a thrill about it which adds that frisson of excitement to the recording. Berglund gives solid support, and the darkness of some of the music is fully realised.
Rachmaninov's funeral cortege – The Isle of the Dead – is an astonishing piece of work – a large scale funereal ode for a large orchestra with no respite whatsoever from the unremitting gloom. It's also one of Rachmaninov's greatest works in terms of suspense, atmosphere and boldness. The Symphonic Dances is Rachmaninov's final work and it's equally astonishing in what it has to say and how it says it. These two performances, from the great days of Previn and the LSO, are very fine indeed. Previn builds a fine climax whilst keeping the dirge–like tread in Isle of the Dead well in hand, never allowing the music itself to become dirge–like. He directs a suave waltz for the middle of the Dances and a strong and well focused finale. These are very well played performances but ultimately they miss the extra ounce of power which Jansons brings to them in his recordings. The ever-present menace of death in Isle of the Dead and the manic, suicidal, out of control Armageddon which is the finale of the Dances are not there. Make no mistake, these Previn performances are fine and if this coupling is to your taste then you will be very pleased with what's on offer.
Bob Briggs


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
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.