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


alternatively Crotchet



Piet SWERTS (b. 1960)
Symphony No. 2 “Morgenrot” (2000)
Bernadette Degelin (soprano); Vlaams Radio Koor
Vlaams Radio Orkest/Bjarte Engeset
rec. live, City Theatre, Leuven, Belgium, 7 September 2000
Texts and translations included
PHAEDRA 92052 [72:21]

Swerts’ Symphony No.2 “Morgenrot” was commissioned by the Province of Flemish Brabant to mark its fifth anniversary as well as the new millennium. According to the composer’s words the symphony deals with universal themes such as life, death, music and leave-taking. The composer chose words from the Catholic Requiem mass as well as three poems by Rainer Maria Rilke. The work is thus structured into three or four parts depending on one’s appreciation of the interlude’s function. It may or may not be considered a long introduction to the final section. The symphony, however, is articulated around the central movement, an a cappella setting of Rilke’s An die Musik.

The first part consists of three settings of texts drawn from the traditional Requiem: Introitus, Kyrie and Dies Irae. The Introitus for soprano and chorus opens with an arresting orchestral gesture - a defiant glissando underpinned by pounding timpani. This gesture, albeit with tolling bells this time, also introduces the Kyrie, also shared by chorus and soprano. The Dies Irae opens with piccolo trills and rumbling basses in a tramping motion. Heavy ostinati underpin much of the music throughout, and the whole is not unlike the Dies Irae section from Britten’s War Requiem. Anguished trombone glissandi are heard in the Tuba mirum. The music then briefly pauses at Liber scriptus – again with tolling bells. A restatement of the opening launches the final section moving relentlessly towards its cataclysmic conclusion, the massive build-up being then abruptly cut short.

The beautiful, peaceful and deeply-felt setting for twelve-part unaccompanied chorus of Rilke’s marvellous poem An die Musik is the crux of the symphony. It provides contemplative meditation after the turmoil of the preceding sections: “You, language where languages end... You stranger, music. You, space of the heart that has outgrown us ...” This magnificent setting contains some of the most touching music that Swerts has ever penned. There follows a long orchestral interlude with wordless chorus. The music is often dark-hued, troubled and tonally ambiguous. A forceful central episode harks back to the troubled world of the Requiem sections. Ambiguity prevails again in the last stages of the movement.

Abschied – Ende des Herbstes is a beautiful song for soprano and orchestra - wordless female voices joining in for the coda - setting another deeply moving poem, in which fall (“Herbst”) symbolises parting.

The symphony ends with Morgenrot, a large-scale, hymnic barcarolle steadily unfolding wave-like before reaching its glowing, dazzling peroration signalling a hard-won victory.

Piet Swerts’ Second Symphony is a substantial large-scale work and is one of his most personal achievements. It is undoubtedly music into which he put much of his inner self, definitely deeply sincere and honest. It is a work of great expressive strength that the composer describes as “intimate chamber music for a hundred musicians”. Make no mistake: this is a truly great piece of beautiful and gripping music that deserves far wider exposure. All those who respond to Britten’s War Requiem will certainly find much to admire in this most moving piece, especially in such a committed reading which is actually the work’s first performance recorded live but in excellent sound. A splendid release.

Hubert Culot



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.