£16 post free World-wide


555 sonatas 9Cds mp3 files
Only £22


Benjamin: Written on Skin £16

What's New
Previous CDs
Labels index

Every Day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor: Rob Barnett  
Founder Len Mullenger   


Some items
to consider


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Tudor 1660 SACD

Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.

Lyrita New Recording

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Judith Bailey, George Lloyd

BAX Orchestral pieces

CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle

Complete Brahms
Bargain price





alternatively Crotchet

For Children
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Für Elise (1808) [3:33]
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Kinderszenen Op.15 (1838) [18:08]
Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
Children’s Corner (1908) [15:42]
Béla BARTÓK (1881-1945)
For Children – extracts; Book 1 Nos.1, 3, 5, 16, 35 Book II Nos 18, 34 (1908) [6:20]
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959)
O polichinelo – Prole do Bébé No.1 [0:49]
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
The Nutcracker Suite (1892) arranged for piano, two hands, by Dag Achatz [22:29]
Dag Achatz (piano)
rec. Nacka Aula, Nacka, April and May 1980; Studio BIS, Djursholm, May 1983 (Tchaikovsky)
BIS CD158 [68:12]

BIS ensured a typically warm recording for Dag Achatz back in 1980 and 1983 when these performances were taped. The rubric indicates a sequence “for children” and though Für Elise is not that and Achatz’s own two-handed arrangement of The Nutcracker Suite sits oddly here we should be prepared to let the rather flawed concept pass without too much objection.
Achatz is a most musicianly player but there are things about his playing I fail to appreciate. Some of his rubati in the Beethoven strike me as mannered, an impression that becomes more solid when one listens to his Schumann. Tonally he’s a warm, sensitive player but some of his tempi and phrasing are open to question. I wasn’t convinced by the over capricious and over-nuanced Hasche-Mann and found Wichtige Begebenheit rather heavy-handed. Traumerei is thankfully unsentimentalised though he does progressively draw it out, whilst the bass lines certainly ring out in Ritter vom Steckenpferd. The final two movements are rather cool and matter of fact. I have to admit I went back to the old Carl Friedberg recording (now on Marston) for nourishment.
When we turn to the Debussy we find there’s more of a test piece bravura to, say, Daniel Ericourt’s (Ivory Classics) 1961 traversal of Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum. Elsewhere there’s much to enjoy even though a specialist such as George Copeland phrased The Little Shepherd with more incisive and rhythm and infused it with a sense of logic and drive. There’s a splendid if outsize Golliwogg’s Cake-walk from Achatz though.
The little Bartók pieces are over in a flash and so is the Villa-Lobos – I’d have preferred some more time with the Clown, who’s rather harried here and lacking in subtlety. Achatz is something of a serial arranger – Bernstein and Stravinsky amongst others – and his Tchaikovsky is actually a most attractive piece of work. There’s vigour and sentiment here in his performance and he brings a sense of sweep and intimacy that makes for enjoyable and rewarding listening.
So rather an up-and-down affair all told. Rather difficult to delineate a target audience as well.
Jonathan Woolf


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Northern Flowers
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

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.