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.

British composers

  • 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

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


alternatively   AmazonUK   AmazonUS



Paul DUKAS (1865-1935)
Fanfare to La Péri [1:50]
La Péri Ė Poème Dansé [17:55]
The Sorcererís Apprentice [10:46]
Symphony in C (1897) (Allegro non troppo vivace, ma con fuoco [14:43]; Andante Espressivo [15:30]; Allegro Spiritoso [11:02])
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra/Jesus Lopez-Cobos
rec. Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio, 31 January, 1 February 1999
TELARC DSD CD 80515 [72:20]

Paul Dukas is famous for having burnt vast quantities of the music he wrote, due to his overly self-critical and perfectionist nature. He was born in Paris to musical parents, and started composing at an early age. He studied at the Conservatoire where he developed strong literary and musical interests, and where he later returned as a Professor. As well as composing and teaching, Dukas was highly respected as an outstanding editor and author on music.

This disc presents three of his best known works, two of them fairly early compositions (the Symphony and The Sorcererís Apprentice), while the piece that opens the disc, La Peri, was the last work of his to be published. A single-movement "poème dansé", it was commissioned by the Russian ballerina Natalia Trouhanova and tells the story of a young man, Iskender, who seeks a flower of immortality, the lotus. He eventually finds one, but it is in the possession of a sleeping peri - peris being fay people in Persian mythology Ė they descended from fallen angels and are forced to do penance here before they can return to heaven. He takes the flower from the peri, but falls in love with her and canít bring himself to leave. When she awakes she dances for him, until he is willing to do anything for a kiss. She demands the flowers back, but then fades into the sunset, leaving him with nothing. The piece ends with his growing realisation that his own death will not be long in the coming. It is a wonderfully impressionistic piece, and well-played by the Cincinnati Symphony under Jesus Lopez-Cobos in a vibrant, lively and sensitive performance.

This is followed by Dukasís most famous work Ė a work that, rather like Holstís Planets, was somewhat to his detriment, as its popularity meant that other, more important works, were overshadowed. This, of course, was exacerbated by the fact that The Sorcererís Apprentice was originally written as something of a joke. The plot Ė too well-known to be repeated here - comes from an ancient tale of which Goethe wrote a ballad. This is a good performance - well paced, with pleasingly-controlled climaxes, wonderfully growly bassoons and a good sense of fun, although the ending could have slightly more punch and control.

Dukas started work on his Symphony in C in 1895 and it was performed to tremendous acclaim in Paris two years later. It has three movements, all of which are classical in form, opening with a bold Allegro non troppo vivace, ma con fuoco, moving on to an impressionistically rhapsodic and romantic Andante Espressivo, while a dynamic Allegro Spiritoso concludes the work and the disc. The playing throughout is colourful and expressive.

Although the disc is not particularly well presented Ė the notes are good enough but the graphics rather poor and there are no notes on the orchestra or conductor, this is nonetheless a nice selection of works by a composer often overlooked.

Em Marshall


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

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.