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


Classical Music Archives


Mikhail Arkadiev (piano)
Modest Petrovich MUSSORGSKY

Pictures at an Exhibition (1874) [34:48]
Alexander SCRIABIN (1872–1915)
Vers la flamme, op.72 (1914) [5:47]
Five Preludes, op.74 (1914) [6:17]
Piano Sonata No.5 in F sharp, op.53 (1907) [14:38]
Mikhail ARKADIEV (b. 1958)
Sonata brevis, op.1 (1975) [11:06]
Eine kleine Zaubermusik, op.3 [2:38]
Mikhail Arkadiev (piano)
rec. 1994, Moscow. DDD
Experience Classicsonline

Mikhail Arkadiev was born in St Petersburg in 1958. He started playing the piano when 13 years of age and studied piano, composition (with Schnittke and Ledenev) and conducting at the Moscow State Conservatory and the Gnessin Institute (now the Russian Academy of Music). He is currently the principal conductor and music director of the Volgograd Opera.

This is a very ambitious programme, containing ferociously difficult pieces which require a pianist of great virtuosity and power. Arkadiev is just the man. From a programming point of view putting Pictures at an Exhibition at the start of the disk was a mistake; it would have been better to work towards it starting with the Arkadiev pieces for they do not sit well after the hot-house chromaticism of Scriabin and the power of Pictures. So I will start at the end and work backwards. 

The Sonata Brevis (which I have seen elsewhere listed as Feuersonate) is an interesting piece and there’s certainly the impression of a new voice at work, behind the reminiscences of Scriabin, Medtner and late Liszt. The young composer gets a bit lost in the animated middle section - too many notes, young man – which could almost be Vers la flamme with a modern accent. Perhaps this is intended for the notes tell us that “The dialogue with various epochs is the aesthetic dominant of Arkadiev’s compositions, which reflects the main tendencies of contemporary art in general.” So now we know. 

Eine kleine Zaubermusik must date from about the same time. It is supposed to repeat the idea of the Sonata – the destruction of beauty – and this sounds in “gentle chromatic clusters, similar to the latent pulsation of the world space.” It’s a lovely piece, colourful and attractive. 

Madman or genius? Nearly a century after his death it’s still a mystery. Scriabin, the arch-romantic was a virtuoso pianist, Theosophist and philosopher. The main sources for his philosophical thought are his many, unpublished, notebooks, in one of which he famously wrote "I am God". Influenced by the idea of colour relating to keys - whether major or minor didn’t matter - he died before realising his greatest project, Mysterium. This took the form of a week-long performance of music, scent, dance and light in the foothills of the Himalayas which was to bring about the dissolution of the world in a blissful state. The three works contained in this disk are entirely typical of the composer. The late Poem and Preludes are real free-form, stream of consciousness pieces, and are very beautiful. The 5th Sonata was written at the same time as The Poem of Ecstasy and it shares some of the same material. Ostensibly in sonata form it feels freewheeling and only gives up its secrets very slowly with repeated hearings. Arkadiev plays them magnificently, keeping a firm hand on the ever-changing moods and the all-important colours. 

But it is Pictures at an Exhibition which is the prize of this disk, and what a very fine performance it is. Arkadiev takes some liberties with dynamics sometimes with thrilling results – notice the sudden pianissimo in bar 21 of Bydlo. In Baba Yaga he adds extra bars silence to heighten the tension. This well thought out interpretation has the feel of a live performance; there is electricity in every bar. The only flaw in is that, for some inexplicable reason, Arkadiev omits the Promenade between Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle and Limoges. 

Although I wouldn’t put this interpretation of Pictures above my own favourites – Richter, Horowitz, Kissin and the much underrated Ronald Smith – this is a fine disk. If you want a sampling of Scriabin and Pictures you could do a lot worse than this. The sound is slightly dated and somewhat tinny when the piano is in its higher register, but the bass is rich and firm and there is a true pianissimo. The notes in the booklet are a joy – I haven’t read so much mangled English since the great days of the Supraphon sleeve-notes.

Bob Briggs


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.