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


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 £45 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button


Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
CD 1

Symphony No.1 in E-minor, Op.1 (second version) (1862-65) [31:24]
Antar, symphonic suite (Symphony No.2), Op.9 [35:39]
CD 2
Symphony No.3 in C major, Op.32 (second version) [38:41]
Overture to the opera "Bojarynja Vera Sheloga" [5:14]
Overture to the opera "The Maid of Pskov" (1873 revised 1892) [6:16]
Intermezzo ("The Maid of Pskov", act 1) (1873 revised 1892) [2:03]
Intermezzo ("The Maid of Pskov", act 2) (1873 revised 1892) [3:03]
In the Woods, Tsar’s Hunting, Storm, musical picture ("The Maid of Pskov", act 3) (1873 revised 1892) [7:58]
CD 3
"Scheherazade", symphonic suite after 1001 Nights, Op.35 (1888) [44:56]
Capriccio Espagnol, Op.34 [18:08]
Fantasia on Serbian Themes, Op.6 (1887 revised 1887) [6:52]
CD 4
Suite from the opera "Pan Voyevoda", Op.59 (1903) [22:48]
Suite from the opera "Snow Maiden" [12:50]
Four musical pictures from the opera "Golden Cockerel" [29:57]
"Sadko", musical picture, Op.5 (1867) [10:46]
CD 5
Suite from the opera "The Tale of Tsar Saltan", Op.57 (1900) [20:07]
Procession of the Nobles from the opera-ballet "Mlada" [5:10]
Introduction to the opera "Golden Cockerel", Act 1 (1906-07) [4:47]
Procession from the opera "Golden Cockerel", Act 3 (1906-07) [3:46]
Introduction and symphonic picture from the 3rd Act of Opera "The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya" - Praise to the desert and Battle in Kerzhenets (1904) [7:51]
Introduction to the opera "Sadko" (1896) [2:33]
Introduction to the opera "May Night" (1878) [8:29]
Introduction to the opera "The Tsar’s Bride" (1898) [6:10]
CD 6
Russian Overture on Three Russian Themes in D major, Op.28 (1880) [11:58]
Easter Festival Overture in D major, Op.36 (1887-88) [14:25]
"From Homer", prelude-cantata for soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto, women’s choir and orchestra in E major, Op.60 [12;29]
"On the Tomb", prelude to the memory of M. Belyayev, Op.61 [4:22]
"Dubinushka", Op.62 (second version) [4:49]
Sinfonietta on Russian Themes in A minor, Op.31(1879-84) [24:37]
The State Academic Symphony Orchestra/Evgeny Svetlanov
rec. c. 1969-1993
SVET 57-009-1/3 [6 CDs: 67:03 + 63:19 + 70:03 + 76:16 + 58:51 + 72:37]

Experience Classicsonline

A blockbusting six disc set of Svetlanov’s Rimsky recordings is bound to be of interest to collectors even when, as here, it’s a compilation of well known performances garnered over a two decade span and not a revealing tranche of rare performances. Svetlanov was the man for the totality of this music – for the processional and the sumptuous, for the glittering and the heady, the musical picture and the sombre portrait, the folk-laced dance and the ballroom swirl. If you want a Man for all Rimsky Seasons then you simply call for Svetlanov.

He was certainly the man for the First Symphony in the 1884 version, the second. Once past the Schumannesque introduction we find revealed a strong, powerful and sinewy commitment, pensive in the slow movement and with brio to match in the finale – the conductor generates a delightful lilt and then unleashes a characteristically virile dash to the tape. Antar is the other symphonic statement on the first disc in the 1875 version. This is a wonderfully atmospheric performance, imbued with fine tangy winds, a dramatic percussion section (in the Allegro risoluto in particular) and in the finale a gauzy, hazy, introduction that keeps the sense of mystery running high.

Even Svetlanov can’t quite convince one that the Third Symphony is without its longeurs. The first movement is badly over extended but there is such delightful writing in the Scherzo and in the rising and cresting of the slow movement that one easily submits to the blandishments of conductor and composer. Not one to spurn a decisive climax he certainly wrings all he can from the torrent that ends the symphony. The rest of the disc is taken up with overtures and intermezzi – all characterised with care, with a fine ear for balance and with verve.

The third CD conjoins a famous pair of performances. There are quite a few surviving performances of Scheherazade but this is the esteemed 1969 recording. He always seems to have taken the opening broadly so the much later live LSO/BBC Legends performance was very much part of the continuum of his Scheherazade conducting and especially when it came to tempo relationships. Back on home ground we find him measured and watchful but when those climaxes come they are hammered home – even bludgeoned. The characteristically braying trumpets add their own beleaguered vehemence to the proceedings. He’s emphatic in the second movement, insistent on some stolid-sounding paragraphs but ones that soon open out. The trombone principal had a big, fat tone reminiscent of current jazz trombone player Gary Valente in its moose-toned sleaze. Neither he nor the trumpet principal made any attempt at tone blending in their sections and the results are, strictly speaking, in that respect chaotic. But that’s outweighed, indeed weirdly enhanced, by the charismatic passion and opulent theatricality of the playing, the rubato – always subtle, never functional – and the robust masculinity of approach. The solo violin adheres to the expressive theatricality of the performance – quite florid in places as well. No messing around either in the full-blooded Capriccio Espagnol – and nothing apologetic about it either.

The fourth disc is dominated by suites. One simply sits back and admires the rhythmic brio of the Cracovienne from Pan Voyevoda or the veiled warmth of the Nocturne, with its little reminisce of Vltava at the end. The following Mazurka is wittily suggestive. The suite from the Snow Maiden is short but terrific. The bird-calls, the lithe exciting phrasing and string weight, the colossal personality … all this makes for twelve minutes of intoxicating fun. The virtuosic persuasiveness of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra – sometimes overlooked – stands revealed in the excerpts from The Golden Cockerel; listen to the adrenalin saturated accelerando in Tsar Dodon on the March for starters.

There are more suites and processions in the penultimate disc, the brassy fanfares of which are a tonic in the excerpts from The Tale of Tsar Sultan. The Introduction to Act II had me seriously wondering about Svetlanov as a conductor of that famous Russophile Janáček. He certainly performed the composer’s works but does anything survive on disc? It would be fascinating to hear. Every solo fiddler’s favourite, the Act I introduction to The Golden Cockerel, is played en masse with suitable feeling There’s a wealth of melodic interest to be mined in Kitezh – and it duly is. Frisky strings add their allure to the Introduction to May Night abetted by luscious dance rhythms and prominent winds.

The final disc offers simply a reprise of the many delights and pleasures of the preceding five. The Russian Overture on Three Russian Themes is exciting but subtly paced whilst the Easter Festival Overture exudes nobility and gravity at every step. A fruity mezzo – rather torrid in the accepted Russian way – sings From Homer with equally fervent colleagues. That heroically bronzed tribute to M. Belayev, On the Tomb, emerges with unstoppable grandeur. But Svetlanov is careful not to overplay the easy lyricism of the Sinfonietta on Russian Themes – which emerges all the stronger for it.

The fine notes compress a lot of detail into a relatively short space. Recording detail is woolly and inaccurate. And I’m not saying that you’ll never need another Rimsky disc as long as your organs keep working – there are obvious examples where you can augment – but I can say that this is now the essential Rimsky box; comprehensive, brilliant, colourful, intense, incisive, effervescent, grave and celebratory.

Jonathan Woolf

see also review by Dan Morgan




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

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

September 2022
Nikolai Medtner
Herbert Blomstedt
Tarrodi Four Elements
Secret Love Letters
Lisa Batiashvili





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.