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



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

CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840)
Nel cor più non mi sento, for solo violin Op.38 MS44 (c.1820) [14:11]
God Save The King Op.9 (op. posth.) [7:50]
Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945)
Sonata for Solo Violin, Sz 117 (1944) [27:28]
Nikos SKALKOTTAS (1904-49)
Sonata for violin solo A/K69 (1927) [11:59]
Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931)
Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, Op. 27 (1924) - No.6 in E major ‘To Manuel Quiroga’ [7.50]
George Zacharias (violin)
rec. June and July 2008, All Saints Parish Church, Leighton Buzzard
DIVINE ART DDA25074 [69:18]
Experience Classicsonline

This is a formidable solo recital from a highly accomplished musician. George Zacharias has constructed a programme that begins and ends with Paganini and has located at its heart three solo sonatas written twenty years apart that represent some of the greatest such works written in the twentieth century.

The first of these is the Bartók. If one thinks here of Menuhin, or Tetzlaff’s powerful inscription (Virgin 5456682) or the more recent live Kremer (EMI 6933992), so resinous and biting, one should not overlook this newcomer. His tonal resources do not cleave to the brittle or plosive Kremeresque or indeed to the sometimes folkloric hues propounded by Tetzlaff. If there is a general feeling that he is temperamentally closer to Menuhin, it is a tangential matter. He adopts resourceful tempi, finely judged, unexceptionable in the best sense. His voicings are varied subtly and imaginatively, and at the apex of this performance sits the Melodia (with mute) which is a small master class in accentuation, dynamic shading and myriad suggestive colouristic devices - all sounding perfectly natural and unforced.

It’s a fine prelude for the earlier sonata by Skalkottas, a work of concentrated achievement within the course of its four movement, twelve minute length. Even in this early-days period of his compositional development one senses Skalkottas’s occasionally bristling vocabulary. Zacharias offers a probing statement on the matter and if, in the final result, I tend to prefer Georgios Demertzis (BIS CD 1024) it’s because at a very slower tempo he reveals more of the numbness that lies in the work’s bloodstream and also a very slightly more abrasive take on its modernity. Zacharias has also chosen the sonata Ysaÿe wrote for Manuel Quiroga, a Spanish violinist of outstanding gifts who unfortunately left behind only a series of morceaux 78s by which to be judged. Brief and concentrated this receives a winning reading different from, but significantly better recorded than, say, Oscar Shumsky’s famed recording (Nimbus NI1735). Zacharias’s tone here is rightly broader, wider and more romanticised in orientation, as befits this masterpiece of Ysaÿe’s last years.

One now turns, semi-exhausted after the level of virtuosity, to the two Paganini pieces that frame these three solo sonatas. Nel cor più, a favourite of Old School lions up to Accardo and beyond, receives a truly insouciant dusting, the gymnastics of the fourth variation in particular dispatched with outrageous authority. Few dare attempt the God Save The King variations in public, so ferocious are the demands. Here we find nearly eight minutes’ worth of wrist numbing drama, projected with unstinting panache.

Adding to the lustre of this disc is the booklet. I don’t normally go on about such things but a word of praise should be sent to the team responsible for this one. The composer photographs, though small, are clear, and the whole thing has a most attractive appearance.

When one encounters excellence of this kind it’s right to acknowledge the fact. So too the recorded sound, and the recital as a whole. More from this source please - and soon.

Jonathan Woolf






















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.