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


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Bax Piano Music

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral


alternatively Crotchet   AmazonUK

Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Symphony No. 1 in B-flat Major Op. 38 (Spring) (1841) [32:58]
Symphony No. 4 in D-Minor Op. 120 (1841, rev. 1851) [33:16]
Deutsche Radio Philharmonie/Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
rec. 20-23 March 2007, Grosser Sendesaal des SR, Saarbrücken
Text and 007 OEHMS catalogue included

Before we get to the music there’s a bit of nomenclature that has to be cleared up. The Deutsche Radio Philharmonie is a recent conflation of two orchestras-the Saarbrucken Radio Symphony Orchestra (SR), of which Skrowaczewski has long been Principal Guest Conductor, and the Radio Orchestra Kaiserlautern (SWR). The 2007-2008 season is the new ensemble’s first and the orchestra will divide its time between the two towns. While all the labeling on this disc and its packaging indicate that the new orchestra is performing the two Schumann works, the textual notes reveal that only the SR is performing. A soon-to-be recorded disc of the Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3, also conducted by Skrowaczewski, will be made with the new orchestra.
Right off the bat one notices that Skrowaczewski’s interpretation is going to be a tight and clipped one and this is also mostly true with the fourth symphony. A portentous introduction to the first symphony quickly yields to a first theme that is overly scherzo-like and a second theme that is also a little too quick and light. The tight pace continues up to the recapitulation, which is more evenly handled, leading to a lovely coda. Throughout the movement the orchestra follows the conductor with total conviction. The slow movement is not as songlike as in some interpretations but Skrowaczewski shows real mastery in his manipulation of the rhythmic irregularities which characterize this movement. The string section plays with increasing tension through to the movement’s end. The Scherzo features the best playing in the symphony. As is well known there are two scherzos and two trios. In the first scherzo the conductor has total control of the players, producing a perfect mixture of lightness and precision. He has equal control over the first trio, although this could be better contrasted with the surrounding scherzos. The second trio is absolutely flawless. Here the woodwinds demonstrate the same ability as the strings in the slow movement. In the last movement the conductor’s pace stabilizes to a more even gait, enabling the entire orchestra to play with great precision, almost like a group of soloists. The elfin mood of Schumann’s original program comes through in the playing, though the orchestral sense is never lost, leading to a definitive ending.
Skrowaczewski’s clipped style is also evident in the fourth symphony, although not to the same degree as in the first. It must also be said that this style works better in a work with four interlinked movements and a variety of mood-shifts. The string playing here is even finer than in the first symphony, notably in the second subject, although conductor and orchestra somewhat lose their momentum in the section that substitutes for a recapitulation. The string introduction to the Romanze is beautifully played at an almost dream-like pace and is extremely well-phrased, which continues to the end of the movement. Once again the Scherzo contains two scherzos and two trios. In the first scherzo the conductor’s crisp approach pays off in that it provides contrast with what is to follow and adds a Beethovenian sense to the movement. Trio I is more meandering, but the second scherzo is extremely subtle and paves the way for the second trio where pauses and omitted notes transform the first trio from sunny to mysterious. Skrowaczewski leads this imperceptibly into the last movement and elicits beautiful playing from the orchestra in the main part of the movement.
The recording on this disc is very clear, if a little close-in. My biggest complaint was that the sound of the basses sometimes got smudged. But as mentioned above, individual instruments and pairs come through with great clarity. This clarity, combined with the conductor’s drive and precision, make this disc one that will not appeal to every Schumann fan. However it offers an original and distinctive way of looking at well-known music.
William Kreindler


We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 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
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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.