One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


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



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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   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


Buy through MusicWeb for £12.49 postage paid World-wide.

Purchase button

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Sonatensatz – F.A.E sonata. Scherzo WoO 2 in C minor (1853) - arranged Maxim Rysanov [5:20]
Mikhail GLINKA (1804-1857)

Viola Sonata in D minor (1825-28) [15:10]
George ENESCU (1881-1955)

Concert Piece (1906) [9:01]
Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941)

Pensiero (1908) [4:26]
Allegro appassionato (1908) [2:45]
Cesar FRANCK (1822-1890)

Violin Sonata in A minor (1886) – viola part arranged by Maxim Rysanov [27:06]
Dobrinka TABAKOVA (b.1980)

Whispered Lullaby (2004) [4:24]
Maxim Rysanov (viola)
Evelyn Chang (piano)
rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, August 2006
AVIE AV2111 [68:34]

Violist Maxim Rysanov is an increasingly visible presence on the international concert circuit. With his colleague, the fine pianist Evelyn Chang, he’s constructed a versatile programme crowned with his own arrangement of the Franck Violin Sonata.

First though he has to get around the thickets of the Brahms Sonatensatz, once again in his own arrangement. This seems to me to be the least convincing performance of the disc. It’s not necessarily that it’s intrinsically an ungrateful piece to transcribe to the viola – though it does sound it – so much as Rysanov’s aggressive and nasal playing. He’s also rather shrill in the upper register but proves much better at Brahms’s legato demands.

He takes on two of Bridge’s morceaux – ones that are increasingly paired on disc by adventurous violists. Paul Coletti and Leslie Howard (Helios CDH55085) started this trend if memory serves. The older performance is better at exploring the syntax of Pensiero. At a slower speed the Rysanov-Chang duo fail to phrase with optimal perception and can be over-forceful. Allegro appassionato is finely played but ultimately lacks the qualities of quicksilver incision and nervous energy that so distinguish the Coletti-Howard collaboration. I enjoyed this performance of Enescu’s 1906 Concert Piece, perhaps better known as the Konzertstück. The Avie duo take a rather more portentous view of it than did the Westphal-Swann team on Bridge 9109. The Bridge duo is more ready with a smile than the Avie but the newer reading benefits from a fine recording and warm strong colours.

I wouldn’t put the younger man above Bashmet’s recording of the two-movement Glinka Sonata but he performs with power and strength. It’s a shame that Vadim Borisovsky, who edited this work, never left behind a recording. For the Franck Rysanov has produced a blend of the violin and cello versions. The performance absorbs the necessary octave jumps quite creditably though it’s always an ear-popping moment – as in the similar concessions in the Elgar-Tertis Viola (Cello) Concerto. But though Chang strives hard she can’t quite lessen the ferocious demands of the piano writing in the Allegro.

Finally there’s Whispered Lullaby written by the young Bulgarian composer Dobrinka Tabakova. This was dedicated to Rysanov for whom she has also written a concerto for Viola and strings. Gentle and sinuous and with an absorbing cadential passage it makes for a warm envoi.

A good calling card for the Rysanov-Chang duo – excellently engineered as well though sufficiently closely to catch viola sniffs. The notes are brief.

Jonathan Woolf


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 Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Chopin Bruce Liu

Ingeneri Volume 2

Mondonville - Titon et L'Aurore

Telemann - French Cantatas 1


March 2022

Brahms Symphony 4
MacMillan Larghetto for Orchestra

Bruch Violin Concertos

Debussy Preludes Book 2

Jan-Peter de GRAAFF
Cello Concertos

La Nuit étoilé
Berlioz. Holmes



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.