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

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

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor 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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   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 £11.00 postage paid World Wide. Try it on Sale or Return
You may prefer to pay by Sterling cheque or Euro notes to avoid PayPal. Contact for details

Musicweb Purchase button

Thea MUSGRAVE (b. 1928)
Concerto for Orchestra (1967) [20:26] *
Clarinet Concerto (1969) [23:38] ** Sample
Horn Concerto (1971) [22:06] *** Sample
Monologue, for solo piano (1960) [6:02]
Excursions, eight duets for piano, four hands (1965) [9:51]
Gervase de Peyer (clarinet); Barry Tuckwell (horn); Thea Musgrave (piano); Malcolm Williamson (piano)
*Scottish National Orchestra/Alexander Gibson
**London Symphony Orchestra/Norman Del Mar
***Scottish National Orchestra/Thea Musgrave
rec. January 1974, City Hall, Glasgow (Concerto for Orchestra; Horn Concerto); January 1972, London Opera Center (Clarinet Concerto); September 1971, Kingsway Hall, London (Monologue; Excursions). ADD
LYRITA SRCD.253 [80.21]

Here’s a disc of Musgraves that’s packed to the rafters with her 1960s avant-gardism – let’s allow the 1971 Horn Concerto a sympathetic embrace with the previous decade. But it’s the Concerto for Orchestra that gets the disc off to a tensile start. It opens in with a dream-like vista gradually assailed by soundwash eruptions – tolling, intercessionary pizzicati, and the monumental contempt of the brass. The clarinet bears a strong solo role here, as it often does in Musgrave’s writing and in its quelling of the turmoil it dons the cajoling, quiescent conviction of an orator. This is music of purpose, drive and character. Again and again the clarinet deflects and defuses the quelling malevolence of other sections, notably the brass, and its quiet courage anticipates a brilliant, conclusive and affirmatory conclusion.
Suitably the Clarinet Concerto, written for Lyrita’s soloist Gervase de Peyer, follows the convulsive drama of the Concerto for Orchestra. It was written a couple of years later and sees the soloist moving from one section of the orchestra to another. Textures and colours are of rich complexity and the mobility and dexterity of the ideas are tremendously exciting, as well as being tremendously exacting as well. The stentorian brass and terse string lines are two parts of the aural equation because the percussive tattoos and the introverted wind lines all add their patina to the tumult. The writing becomes searing – if it could the music would incinerate itself – and the clarinet is sent increasingly high to carve out its own space.
Once again the next concerto followed after a two-year gap. Barry Tuckwell was the dedicatee of the Horn Concerto. There’s a prepared piano to add its own colour here and solo opportunities for violin and harp. The writing is powerfully dissonant and the soloist indulges in veritable Alpine pitch bending. The horn section, individually or collectively, echoes the solo protagonist or comments on him. There are some very fast jazzy runs for the horn – they put me in mind of the faster valve trombone jazz soloists of that era – and hints of some kind of affinity with Britten as well.
Monologue is a twelve-note piece written in 1960 for solo piano but not especially forbidding. There are some lovely games played in the furtive Fugato scherzevole section in particular. And finally there is the rather delightful Excursions. These are eight duets for piano, four hands, and they revel in games playing and charade wit. Try the car hooting in The Drunken Driver with its ensuing prang. Or the Misterioso Fog on the Motorway movement – delicious.
Whether dramatic or droll, this bipartite selection – big concertos and small piano works – has something for everyone; everyone that is who appreciates some healthy challenges and spatial awareness in their music.
Jonathan Woolf
see reviews by Mark Sealey and Rob Barnett

Lyrita catalogue


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 cpo reviews

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

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus



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.