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

Special Offer
Complete Chopin
17 discs
Pre-order for £100


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

Works for Voice by György Kurtág


Best Seller

Symphony for solo piano

Chopin Piano Concerto No.1

Schubert Piano sonata

Schubert symphony No. 9

Katherine Watson (Sop)

From Severn to Somme

alternatively Crotchet

William STERNDALE Bennett (1816-1875)
Piano Concerto No.4 in F minor Op.19 (1838/39) [27:35]
Caprice in E major Op.22 (1838) [12:49]
Francis Edward Bache (1833-1858)
Piano Concerto in E major Op.18 (1851/1856) [24:42]
Howard Shelley (piano, conductor)
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
rec. City Hall, Glasgow, 5-7 December 2006
The Romantic Piano Concerto – Volume 43
HYPERION CDA67595 [65:19]

Hyperion’s Romantic Piano Concerto series reaches volume forty-three with this release. It conjoins Sterndale Bennett’s Fourth Concerto with Bache’s previously unrecorded E major Concerto and adds – no small makeweight – the former composer’s Caprice in the same key.
All three works show imagination and craft, though there are measurable differences in levels in inspiration. For the record Sterndale Bennett’s Caprice is also available on Lyrita SRCD204 played by Malcolm Binns with the LPO under Lyrita stalwart Nicholas Braithwaite. The Concerto is on Unicorn Kanchana UKCD 2032 where Binns is joined this time by the Milton Keynes Chamber Orchestra and Hilary Davan Wetton. So whilst no new discographic ground is trod in the Sterndale Bennett stakes these two substantial and impressive works deserve repeated hearings, the more fully to appreciate their qualities.
High amongst those qualities are lyricism and caprice. The first movement is finely orchestrated and elegantly laid out for the soloist. The influences are Mendelssohnian but there is also the spectre, a benign one, of Weber. Shelley’s finely rounded tone and elegant purposefulness contrast fruitfully with Binns’s more acerbic and brittle approach. Shelley points the left hand stalling figures in this movement with considerable control. Similarly he brings the Barcarolle to witty life, the decorated filigree bringing from him an assured and romanticised generosity of spirit - seconded by the first class recording which ensures that detail is audible and without swamping the score in a wash of colour. Shelley’s rich chording here in the Barcarolle is a delight, and his capricious finale  - those perky runs – are another. The orchestral lines tend to be subservient in this movement but it enables one to concentrate on the pianist-protagonist in all his finery.
Talking of caprice, the E major Caprice is an enjoyable work as well, though its perky Mendelssohnisms could do with some lyrical contrast. Shelley plays and directs with adept eloquence, and makes a fine case for a slightly unwieldy and rather too ostentatiously extrovert a piece.
The Bache is a discographic first. It was completed shortly before the composer’s miserably early death. Though aspects of the orchestration may seem conventional there’s actually rather more going on than meets the ear at first hearing. The delightfully pirouetting solo lines – roulades of wit – and the minor key visitations act either as playful episodes or as intensifying agents. The movements actually run together though they are separately – and rightly - tracked in this recording. The central movement does indeed have great charm and also a rather ripe vocalised quality – he had been studying opera in 1856 and I think the impression clearly ran deep – whereas the finale has delightful Sullivan-like ebullience.
This is a finely programmed disc. Bache was a pupil of Sterndale Bennett’s and the juxtaposition of the two is thought provoking – what would Bache have written had he lived? – and of historical value. A splendid disc then all round.
Jonathan Woolf

see also reviews by Christopher Howell and John France

Hyperion Romantic Piano Concerto series page


We are currently offering in excess of 52,619 reviews

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.