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


AmazonUK  AmazonUS


Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Suite from L’Histoire du Soldat (1918) [15:36]
Ken BENSHOOF (b.1933)
A Whimsical Solution (1996) [14:38]
Craig COREY (b.1948)
Sanctuary (2000) [14:31]
Bela BARTŇK (1881-1945)
Contrasts (1938) [17:47]
Alaska Pro Musica (Mark Wolbers (clarinet) Walter Olivares (violin); Timothy Smith (piano))
rec. University of Alaska, Anchorage, Fine Arts Building Recital Hall, 2007 (exact dates not given)
MSR CLASSICS MS1230 [62:33]
Experience Classicsonline

The first thing which impresses about the opening moments of CD is the immediacy and brilliance of the recording. Stravinsky’s Suite from L’Histoire du Soldat, one of the composer’s money-making spin-offs from a piece which proved to have surprising difficulty in making headway in its early years. Removing the music from the text was one of the moves which caused rifts between Stravinsky and his collaborator C.F. Ramuz, but it was the libretto of the piece which had caused the strongest criticism, so the composer’s desire to give the music a life beyond the theatre was understandable. Alaska Pro Musica give the five movements plenty of gusty grit and rhythmic drive. Walter Olivares’ violin is the star, and it provides the necessary quasi-vocal effects which bring much of the music to life, muttering and singing often almost to itself as the other instruments accompany and commentate.
A Whimsical Solution by Ken Benshoof was commissioned by this trio, and as you might expect receives a sensitive performance. There are four fairly short movements, each with a ‘whimsical’ title: Simple, which has lyrical charm as well as atmosphere and some drama; Snappy, which has some Messiaen-like octaves within a swinging rhythmic idiom, followed up by walking bass lines in the piano and improvisatory melodies in the other soloists. Quirky is more sparing in its distribution of notes, creating a bleaker landscape, but still one with a certain amount of emotional warmth and approachability. This moves straight on into another jazzy number called Ramblin’, full of little Charleston ostinati, and finishing this attractive work on a positive up-beat into which elements of the other movements are worked.
Craig Coray’s Sanctuary was also premiered by Alaska Pro Musica. The title interweaves ‘a musical homage to wild places’ with the concept of sanctuary as a place of refuge, and in the family unit in a similar sense – the personalities of the composer’s wife and two daughters playing their part in the character of the music. This is more introspective in nature to Benshoof’s work, and even the more animated sections have that sense of enclosed space appropriate to the title and themes. The music can be lyrical, having a strong harmonic sense, but despite the ostinato rhythms the second movement, Flowing, is pretty static. The last movement, Still, also does pretty much what it says on the tin. This is nicely atmospheric music, but ultimately lacking a little too much in content and true substance to be genuinely memorable.
Béla Bartók’s Contrasts was written in 1938 for clarinettist Benny Goodman and violinist Joseph Szigeti. They performed the work with Bartók at the piano, and their 1940 mono recording has to be one of the all-time treasures of recorded music. Alaska Pro Musica makes a fairly good job of recreating some of the Hungarian character in the music, although the rhythmic emphases and inbuilt freedoms are somewhat sketchily portrayed or as good as lost here and there. This is a tricky piece to bring off effectively, and I admire this trio for programming it on this disc. The second movement, Relaxation has a good atmospheric feel to it, and the drive in the final Fast Dance is well done, with clarinettist Mark Wolbers sounding close to Mr. Goodman on occasion. If you hear this recording and like the music I would however gently steer you in the direction of Sony’s ‘Bartók plays Bartók’ CD; if you can find it: my copy is on a 1986 CBS LP ‘Benny Goodman Collector’s Edition.’
Comparing the Stravinsky to the rest of the works on this disc would seem to indicate different recording sessions – certainly the piano sounds rather more spongy in the latter, which is a shame, but not disastrously noticeable. The stereo imaging in the Bartók also seems a little narrower than with the other pieces for some reason, with the clarinet more recessed in the balance. Never mind, this is an interesting programme, and certainly worth investigating. The Stravinsky performance and recording is a real gem, the two newcomers are worthy additions, if somewhat dwarfed by the bookends of two giants of the 20th century.
Dominy Clements


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.