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 AmazonUK AmazonUS


Jonathan COLE (b.1970)
Testament (2005 ) [11:03]*
Ben FOSKETT (b.1977)

Violin Concerto (2004) [32:44]*
Luke BEDFORD (b.1978)

Or Voit Tout En Aventure (2006) [16:21]*
Clio Gould (violin); Claire Booth (soprano)
London Sinfonietta/Oliver Knussen
rec. London, 5 December 2005; 2 April 2004; 30 May 2006. DDD
*world premiere recording
Experience Classicsonline


This year, 2008, marks the London Sinfonietta’s 40th Anniversary. The Sinfonietta is one of Europe’s elite specialist orchestras, dedicated wholly to the performance of modern music. Its commitment to innovation is unsurpassed. Each of its musicians is a virtuoso in his or her own right, which is important in new music where so much depends on performance. Oliver Knussen, one of the Sinfonietta’s founding lights, is himself a composer of significance. Technical excellence isn’t enough. The individuality of each new work, each new composer must be understood and respected. That’s why the Sinfonietta is so good. Its members respond to things which often are so new that no-one’s ever heard them before, and work closely with composers whenever possible. This creates a lively creative dynamic, where composers and performers inspire each other.

This recording is a good example of the interaction between the Sinfonietta and three young British composers. It’s the third in the innovative "Jerwood Series" supported by the Jerwood Trust to encourage new talent. All three of these composers – Cole, Foskett and Bedford – are fairly well established now, but received early support from the Sinfonietta, so it’s good to hear this compilation. Each piece is taken from a recording of a live concert, so there’s a thrilling air of spontaneity in the playing, making the music vivid.

Jonathan Cole’s Testament spins out a long, sinuous melodic line, where fragments of chorale appear, briefly, especially towards the end. It was written as a personal tribute to Sue Knussen, who passionately loved new music and inspired many around her. "The eruption towards the end", says Coler, "is a direct expression of grief at the way such a vibrant life was taken from us, and throughout the piece the notes E flat (Es in German or S) and E underpin the musical material, signifying S(u)E". When I first heard this piece I hadn’t read any notes, approaching it instead on its own terms. For me then, it was impressionistically lyrical. I remember feeling how "open" it felt, as if it lived in nature, bathed in sunlight and heard against the sounds of leaves and birds. What a shock it was to discover that its first performance took place on a summer evening in California, in the open air! An expansive feeling of open space suffuses the piece with gentle lyricism, making the anguish of the ending all the more disturbing. Such goodness shouldn’t end, but like life, it does.

Everyone who attends London concerts will be familiar with Clio Gould. She’s a remarkably distinctive player, with unerring musical intelligence. I’ve heard her take over the entire orchestra in a performance (not with the Sinfonietta), where the sheer vastness of the symphony being played threatened to unravel. Unperturbed, she led the strings and the orchestra fell into place, allowing the conductor to regain his control and direction. No surprise then that music has been written specially for her. She’s the dedicatee of Ben Foskett’s Violin Concerto. The solo part dominates, continually inventing and reinventing the line, varying momentum and thrust. The rest of the orchestra follows, not so much elaborating on what she does, but providing a sympathetic spotlight, the ensemble playing with supportive energy.

The highlight on this disc, however, may well be Luke Bedford’s Or Voir Tout En Aventure. I was at the very performance at which this recording was made. What a revelation it proved to be! Or Voir Tout En Aventure is based on a series of medieval texts about music, and the "new music" of the period. What is it about medieval language that so fascinates composers? Perhaps it is the mixture of familiarity and alienation, sparking an imaginative response to what Bedford calls "the sheer strangeness of the words and their distance from us". We think we can make out words and phrases, yet it is a world very different from ours. It lends itself well to music which is strikingly new, yet universal in its emotional impact. Indeed, these 14th century songs are about music, and adapting to changes "when everything is uncontrolled" (the literal translation of "Or voir tout en aventure").

What makes these songs work so well is that the vocal part is written with a real instinct for the natural resonance of the human voice. Voice is not a mere component of a musical whole, for it is "more" than just sound. Claire Booth showed this beautifully, her rich, nuanced expressiveness connecting directly to an emotional depth more complex than the text alone. She seems to embody the feelings behind the music itself – an abundant faith in the power of music as communication that goes beyond restraints of time and place. Bedford stretches the technical limits but not to an extent that the natural flow is distorted: but it is Booth’s musical instinct that colours and warms her singing, that makes it sensually as well as intellectually challenging. The use of accordion is interesting, for it, too, like the human voice, is an instrument that uses "lungs" to breathe life into its sounds. Similarly, the barrel machine creates rain-like sounds from a deep container mainly filled with air. Needless to say, the winds were superb – flute and oboe in particular. The orchestration is subtle, interspersed with shining details on triangle and xylophone. This is a lovely piece of music, full of character. Since 2006, it’s received at least five performances and is well on its way to becoming established repertoire.

In October 2007, Bedford was named by the Guardian as "one of the four young stars of classical music you need to hear". In March 2008, he was named the first Composer-in-Residence at the Wigmore Hall. This is an even bigger accolade, for the Wigmore Hall is one of the great powerhouses of chamber music and song in Europe. Nearly every composer of note in the 20th century has been performed, and even performed himself in the Wigmore Hall, so this is quite a significant honour. Listen to this recording, and you’ll hear why.

See also


Anne Ozorio



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

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


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




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.