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

AmazonUK AmazonUS

Shura Cherkassky – The Complete HMV Stereo Recordings
CD 1
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)/Ferruccio BUSONI (1866-1924)
Violin Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV1004 (1720) – Chaconne [15:00]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Bagatelle in G minor Op.119/1 [2:13]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
4 Impromptus, D899 – No.4 in A flat major (1827) [6:10]

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Mazurka in F minor Op.7 No.3 [2:21]
Waltz No.1 in E flat major Op.18 [4:57]
Nocturne No.8 in D flat major Op.27 No.2 [6:07]
Ballade No.2 in F major Op.38 [6:50]
Ballade No.3 in A flat major Op.47 [7:09]
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Hungarian Rhapsody No.13 in A minor S244 [8:01]
Valse de l’opéra Faust (Gounod) [9:12]
CD 2
Henry LITOLFF (1818-1891)
Concerto symphonique No. 4 in D minor, Op. 102 - Scherzo (1851/2) [7:59]¹
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
The Swan from: ‘The Carnival of the Animals’ (1886) arranged by Leopold GODOWSKY (1870-1938) [2:49]
Anatol LIADOV (1855 - 1914)
The Musical Snuffbox (c.1893) [2:21]
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
The Twenty-Four Preludes; Op. 23 No.5 in G minor [3:55]; Op.23 No.2 in B flat major [3:27]

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937)
Three Preludes for Piano (1926) [6.09]

Francis POULENC (1899-1963)
Toccata from Trois Pièces (1928) [2:13]
Abram CHASINS (1903-1987)
Three Chinese Pieces (1925) [8:40]
Appendix: Unpublished versions
George GERSHWIN (1898-1937)
Three Preludes for Piano (1926) [6.05]

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Ballade No.3 in A flat major Op.47 [7:15]
Shura Cherkassky (piano)
BBC SO/Malcolm Sargent¹
rec. Abbey Road Studios, London 1956 and 1958
FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR04 [68:01 + 50:53] 


Experience Classicsonline

This two CD set arrives from a rather unexpected quarter, a new company called First Hand Records. If this is a marker, and if it reflects the general level of comprehensiveness and commitment, then I think we can expect some good things from them because this is a really first class contribution to Cherkassky on disc.

This is doubly the case since, to celebrate the centenary of the pianist’s birth in 2009, First Hand has had access to the stereo tapes of Cherkassky’s EMI sessions in 1956 and 1958, not the issued monos. These experimental stereos therefore make their first appearance in a coup well worth celebrating. There are also alternative takes, of the third Chopin Ballade and the Gershwin Preludes. In addition a significant number of performances are making their first ever CD appearance. These are reason enough on their own to consider the set essential listening even before we get to the performances themselves, which are imbued with so powerful a sense of drama that listening has been, and continues to be, a charismatic pleasure. 

The Bach-Busoni Chaconne is enriched with colour and expression, rather more strictly rhythmic than some may have anticipated but without Michelangeli’s chilly hauteur and command. Cherkassy’s more personalised romanticism finds a powerful ally in Busoni, and the performance registers as both selfless and also richly voiced. There are two Chopin Ballades and they offer inspiring playing, richly textured and keeping us on our toes, cutting off pedal (in the A flat major) and responding, occasionally impishly, to the rhythmic dictates of the music. His Chopin is always alive and invigorating, the D flat major Nocturne dreamily reflective without being indulgent. 

His Liszt has bravura control, whilst the Saint-Saëns-Godowsky The Swan has kaleidoscopic colouristic eloquence, its voicings beautifully profuse and persuasive. The Liadov is a Golden Age performance, redolent of the pianistic lions of the past, of whom Cherkassky was one. The Rachmaninoff Preludes offer a contrast. The G minor is played with grand seigniorial authority, control of texture, dynamism and sporting a languorously romantic B section. The B flat major meanwhile is curiously unconvincing and perhaps needed more rehearsal time. This weakness is really an isolated event in the set, with the possible exception of some of the playing in the Gershwin which, for all its technical aplomb, is a stylistic mismatch. The Chasins meanwhile is full of brilliantly insouciant control but can also cut expressively deep as well  - in the first of the three There’s also the glittering Litolff Scherzo with the BBC Orchestra and Malcolm Sargent - not the more familiar and later taping with Adrian Boult. 

Some of these performances are available on Testament (SBT1033) but obviously in mono. The stereos are good, and capture Cherkassky’s tone well. The alternative tapes are valuable, rewarding and important.  Notes are helpful and well written. Really, as I said earlier, this is a most impressive issue with quality transfers to match. High standards are set here. 

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.