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

£11 post-free anywhere
Normal service resumed


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Recordings of the Month


Beethoven String Quartets

Produzioni Armoniche

Seven Symphonic Poems

Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons

Vivaldi Violin Concertos



Beethoven Piano Concertos

Stradal Transcriptions

LOSY Note d’oro

Scarlatti Sonatas Vol 2

Buy through MusicWeb from £ postage paid.


Musicweb Purchase button


Elena Kelessidi - A Russian Romance
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 - 1893)
1. Lullaby, Op. 16 No. 1 [3:46]
2. Had I only known, Op. 47 No. 1 [4:31]
3. So soon forgotten (1870) [3:02]
4. At the Ball, Op. 38 No. 3 [2:09]
5. The Bride's Lament, Op. 47 No. 7 [6:01]
Mikhail GLINKA (1804 - 1857)
6. Fire in my Veins [1:15]
7. To a Lyre [3:28]
8. Do not tempt me [2:41]
9. Tell me why [2:13]
Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844 - 1908)
10. The Nightingale and the Rose, Op. 2 No. 2 [2:45]
11. In the quiet night, Op. 40 No. 3 [1:45]
12. The Wind, Op. 43 No. 2 [1:42]
César CUI (1835 - 1918)
13. I touched a flower, Op. 49 No. 1 [1:39]
Alexander DARGOMYZHSKY (1813 - 1869)
14. Young Boy and Girl [1:05]
15. I still love him [2:09]
Vladimir VLASOV (1902 - 1986)
16. The Fountain of Bakhchisarai [3:53]
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873 - 1943)
17. Oh, do not sing to me, Op. 4 No. 4 [4:27]
18. Lilacs, Op. 21 No. 5 [1:49]
19. The Soldier's Wife, Op. 8 No. 4 [2:13]
20. In my garden at night, Op. 38 No. 1 [1:49]
21. Daisies, Op. 38 No. 3 [2:42]
22. I wait for you, Op. 14 No. 1 [1:45]
Elena Kelessidi (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano)
rec. 20-21 July, 5-6 October 2007, Champs Hill, Pulborough, England
Transliterated texts and English translations enclosed
ONYX 4031 [59:01] [GF]

Experience Classicsonline

Regular readers probably know by now that my hang up - as far as singing is concerned - is vibrato. Not that I dislike vibrato generally, but when it grows too wide and insistent it mars the musical line and draws the attention from the songs and the readings. An ugly vibrato can destroy the listening pleasure completely.

Elena Kelessidi's sometimes does, which is a pity, since there is so much about her singing that is a pleasure to hear. There is no doubt that she is well inside the songs and throughout the recital she illuminates the poems through sensitive and expressive phrasing and shadings of tone. Her pianissimo singing is exquisite - just listen to how she floats the tone in the last bars of Rachmaninov's Oh, do not sing to me (tr 17) - and the soft singing in Rimsky-Korsakov's The Wind (tr. 12) is truly admirable. There is also glow and intensity in the more dramatic songs - Rachmaninov's In my garden at night (tr 20) is a splendid example.

Unfortunately there are also many examples of hard-edged and badly controlled vibrato when she sings at forte. The first of the Glinka songs is one, To a Lyre (tr 7) is much better and the light and lively Tell me why (tr. 9), where she doesn't have to push the voice, is truly agreeable. It may be that she didn't have one of her best days when some of the songs were recorded.

The disc is however of interest for some of the repertoire. Tchaikovsky's and Rachmaninov's songs are rather frequently heard and Had I only known (tr. 2) by the former and Lilacs (tr18) by the latter are as good starting points as any to sample the art of Elena Kelessidi. The rest of the songs are rather lesser known. I have an LP with the great Evgeny Nesterenko singing an attractive programme of Glinka songs - some of which he also performed at a recital at the Royal Opera House in Stockholm some twenty years ago. They are fine songs, as are those by Dargomyzhsky, who is probably best remembered - if at all - for a couple of operas. One of them is entitled Rusalka - not to be confused with Dvořák’s opera. César Cui, the least known but most long-lived of 'The Mighty Handful', is also little played today but he left an impressive oeuvre in all genres bar the symphony. The sole song by him in this collection, I touched a flower, written around 1890, is very attractive. Rimsky-Korsakov is known to all music-lovers for his colourful orchestral works and, at least in Russia, for his operas. The Nightingale and the Rose, an early song composed in 1866 when he was still a cadet in the Russian navy, has acquired some fame and was memorably recorded by Rosa Ponselle in 1939. It was included in a Naxos 3 CD box with her late recordings (see review). Elena Kelessidi sings it exquisitely but her tone is slightly uneven.

There remains to be mentioned the youngest composer and the only one born in the 20th century. Vladimir Vlasov lived until 1986 but the song included here, The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, a setting of Pushkin, was composed in 1937, the centenary of the poet's death. It is impassioned and it would be interesting to hear more of Vlasov's works.

Malcolm Martineau accompanies extremely well and the recording can't be faulted. For some seldom heard repertoire and for quite a lot of the singing this disc is worth getting to know but I would advise those interested to try to hear the disc before buying, since the vibrato can be rather trying.

Göran Forsling





Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
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.