One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 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


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Deaconoff; Stockhausen

Live at the Clifton Festival

Choir at Clifton Cathedral


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Buy through MusicWeb for £13.95 postage paid World-wide.
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Purchase button




Ross Lee FINNEY (1906-1997)
Fantasy in two movements for solo violin (1958) [20:20]
Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano (1951) [12:35]
Sonata No. 3 in A for violin and piano (1954) [19:59]
Fiddle-doodle-ad: Eight American Folk Tunes for violin and piano (1945) [8:47]
Miranda Cuckson (violin)
Thomas Sauer (piano)
rec. 12-13 November 2004, Patrych Sound Studios, NY. DDD
CENTAUR CRC 2757 [63:48]

Minnesota-born Finney worked with Berg in Vienna in 1931 and 1932. It was a tipping point though he may not have realised it at the time. In any event it was the trigger for a composer whose seed corn was traditional and nationalistic to have changed his idiom to serialism by the 1950s. Cause and effect? Who knows? In any event the first work on the disc is the latest and is certainly serially orientated. It was written for Menuhin who played it at the Brussels International Exposition. Across its two movements the music has carefully picked out Bachian angularity, flights of virtuosic fantasy and fits of aggression. It is most sensitively and brilliantly played. Serialism is a gentle and modest presence in the Second Violin Sonata. One is conscious of the composer being pulled between the two polarities of lyricism and serialism. The most extreme and eloquent example of this is in the third movement Tenderly but with passion. The Third Sonata radiates a greater sense of sonata-form unity than its variegated and suite-like predecessor. Written in 1954, like No. 2 it was part of a series of works dedicated to members of the Stanley Quartet. Interesting that Finney’s fast movements are often headlong and have a ruthless witchery about them – perhaps the influence of Bartok. The severity we heard in the Fantasy is again heard in the Adagio sostenuto con variazioni with its grim-set defiance being to the fore. After three works of grit or severity Fiddle-doodle-ad provides welcome relief with no shame in the sampler sentiment on show and a warm tear in the eye. The high-piping The Nightingale is a real showpiece and so is the slow blooming – almost Holstian - Oh, Lovely appearance of death. These pieces can be heard with their innate dignity intact – not a shadow of gingham, thank heavens! Superb, sparkling work from Cuckson and Sauer.

There are extensive notes by Miss Cuckson.

Finney’s music: severe, fantastic and not averse to sparkle; superbly played and recorded.

Rob Barnett


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



Aho Symphony 5

Dowland - A Fancy


Rachmaninov_ Babayan



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.