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 Crotchet   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959)
Suite Floral Op.97 (1916-18) [7:43]
A Prole do Bebê - Book I (1918) [10:39]
A Prole do Bebê - Book II (1921) [35:54]
Choro No.1 Tipico [5:19]
Joanna Brzezińska (piano)

rec. Château Fallot, Salle de Musique, Lausanne, February 2006
CLAVES 50-2709 [67:08]

Iím not sure if the recording, made in Château Fallot, Salle de Musique, Lausanne is quite optimum for this kind of music. It tends to spread a bit and therefore can blunt some of Villa-Lobosís crisper more detonatory writing but itís otherwise good and I wouldnít make too much of it in the light of the first class playing of Polish-born Joanna Brzezińska.

She deals with the Suite Floral with athleticism and tonally expressive colour. Crucially she also characterises with flair and imagination, warm in the Summer Idyll, not afraid to shy away from the bass incursions of A Singing Country Girl. By the time she arrives at Joy in the Garden she is on top form, virtuosic and full of élan. The bulk of the disc is given over to both books of A Prole do Bebê and here we witness no falling off of laudable qualities. Thereís clarity and passagework evenness in Branquinha, Paganinian glitter in Negrinha and plangency, verdancy and colouristic prism a-plenty in A Probrezinha. She manages to evoke a burnished, teaky tone for Bruxa, contrasting it with elastic treble tracery.

In the second book she deigns, quite rightly, to stint the elation and danger of the music. Her O Comaundongo de massa is correspondingly vital and exciting and elsewhere we find a certain insouciance and darting Debussian eloquence (O Passarinho de panno). As an envoi I certainly enjoyed the way she plays with the Ragtime elements of Choro No.1 Tipico. Her rubati are clever and not self-regarding and she projects the piece with considerable accomplishment so much so, in fact, that I didnít miss its original incarnation for guitar.

As for competitors Sonia Rubinsky on Naxos splits both books of A Prole do Bebê between two discs but Alma Petchersky on ASV includes both, adding Poema Singelo, Idylio Na Rede and Alegria Na Horta. If you find Brzezińska insufficiently tensile and super-virtuosic you could try Hamelin on Hyperion CDA67176. He is always faster, sometimes remarkably so, than she is, and digs into the darker interstices of Book II more malignly. Heís so fast that we have time for an arsenal of makeweights including the important Rudepoêma.

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
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.