Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Moravec - Twelfth Night Recital
15%off £17.21 (until Dec 7)

Katerina Englichová - harp
15%0ff £10.83 (until Dec 7)

  • 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

Sibelius Symphonies Maazel
4CDs + Blu-ray audio
Special Price £36.75

RVW A Sea Symphony - Elder

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

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65 (1943) [61:14]
((I) Adagio-Allegro non troppo [25:08] (II) Allegretto [5:51] (III) Allegro non troppo-[5:34] (IV) Largo-[11:16] (V) Allegretto [13:23])
London Symphony Orchestra/André Previn
rec. No. 1 Studio, Abbey Road, London, 8-9 February 1973
EMI CLASSICS ENCORE 5090242 [61:14] 
Experience Classicsonline

It’s good to see this classic recording of Shostakovich’s Eighth Symphony returned to CD, as part of EMI Classics’ “Encore” series. It will be remembered that this was the first recording of the symphony made in the West. It followed the famous recordings from the
Soviet Union by the eminent conductors Mravinsky and Kondrashin, but was able to hold its own against theirs. It still does and is arguably a better performance overall than Previn’s later one with the LSO on DG. Where that one enjoyed a somewhat plusher recording, it lacked the excitement of new discovery that is so well displayed here — especially in the second and third movements. I can’t think of a better way to introduce a newcomer to this work than by hearing this wonderful recording. In its latest incarnation, it sounds terrific. Previn holds the sprawling opening movement together very well and then makes a real contrast with the following “mock march”. The tempos of that movement and the following scherzo may seem a bit fast in comparison with other recordings – for instance, Haitink’s equally highly regarded version with the Concertgebouw Orchestra on Decca - but there’s no gainsaying the excitement that Previn provides in spades here. The trumpeter does a spectacular job with his famous solo in the third movement, but then the whole orchestra outdoes itself for Previn throughout the symphony. The passacaglia fourth movement and the final Allegretto are also beautifully performed and interpreted, both in their quiet and powerful moments. Previn brings out plenty of orchestral detail: xylophone, snare drum, flute and contrabassoon parts near the end of the second movement. He also sees the ‘big picture’ and delivers a convincing whole from beginning to end. I still have a slight preference, however, for Haitink’s broader finale. 

One textual matter: When this recording was made in 1973 an apparently corrupted edition of the score was used. It was also used by Haitink for his 1982 recording. Since then the more recent recordings, including Previn’s second LSO effort, have used the correct edition. Overall, this makes no appreciable difference. However, it has been pointed out by critic David Gutman (Gramophone, January 1995) that there is a small variant in the violin solo (a smoothly ascending line) that leads to the finale’s C-D-C coda present in these earlier recordings (11:30-11:40 in Previn, 12:53-13:04 in Haitink). This should in no way deter one from obtaining this Previn CD, but is worth pointing out all the same. 

There have been too many recordings of the Shostakovich Eighth Symphony issued since this pioneering effort to make structured comparisons in the space of this review. I have heard some of the more recent ones, if only in passing, such as those by Jansons and Gergiev. While I’m sure that many of these are worthy to stand comparison with Previn’s or Haitink’s for that matter, this Previn version is one of the very best and even more attractive at its superbudget price.

Leslie Wright


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


Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

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.