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

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Moravec - Twelfth Night Recital
15%off £17.21 (until Dec 7)

Katerina Englichová - harp
15%0ff £10.83 (until Dec 7)

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo

Sibelius Symphonies Maazel
4CDs + Blu-ray audio
Special Price £36.75

RVW A Sea Symphony - Elder

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


AmazonUK AmazonUS


Arias de zarzuela barroca
José Melchor de Nebra BLASCO (1702-1768)

from Para obsequy a la deydad, nunca es culto la crueldad, y Iphigenia en Tracia (1747) Overture
Llegar ninguno intente
Suspéndete, tirano
Piedad, Señor
from Amor aumenta el valor (1728)
Triste cárcel oscura
¡Ay Amor¡ ¡ay, Clelia mía!
Adiós, prenda de mi amor
Más fácil sera al viento
Vincente Martín y SOLER (1754-1806)

from La madrileña o el tutor burlado (1778)
Inocentita y niña
Antonio Rodriguez de HITA (1724-1787)

from La Briseida (1768)
Amor, sólo tu encanto
Deydad que las venganas
Luigi BOCCHERINI (1743-1805)

from Clementina (1786)
Almas que amor sujetó
María Bayo (soprano)
Les Talens Lyriques/Christophe Rousset
rec. May 2003, Lycée Fénelon Sainte-Marie
Texts and translations included
NAÏVE E8920 [70.18]


Experience Classicsonline

Some of the names here are relatively unfamiliar; but if you have enjoyed Maria Bayo’s work on recital discs of Handel, Mozart and Rossini, or in any of her many other recordings, you will probably feel confident (and rightly so) that there is much pleasure to be had from this disc too. If you are interested in the development of that distinctively Spanish form of the zarzuela you will probably regard this reissued anthology (it was formerly Naïve E8885) as a compulsory purchase. With material from operas ranging in date from 1728 to 1786, it offers a valuable (if necessarily brief) survey of the early history of the form. But this is no mere exercise in historical documentation – there is much lovely music here.

Relatively little of the zarzuela repertoire survives from the early years of the eighteenth century and the arias from two works by José de Nebra Blasco are of particular interest. Nebra Blasco was principal organist of the convent of Descalzas Reales and of the royal chapel in Madrid from 1724; he later became head of the royal choir school. His writing of zarzuelas (and related works) belongs to two main periods, 1723-30 and 1737-51; he wrote over fifty such works. Antonio Soler studied with Nebra Blasco. Nebra Blasco’s writing here is both impressively various and accomplished. The dignity and grand elegance of an aria such as ‘¡Ay Amor¡ ¡ay, Clelia mía!’ make it a match for all but the greatest of Nebra Blasco’s contemporaries elsewhere in Europe; it is ravishingly sung by Bayo, with instrumental support beautifully judged.

Like much of the music on this CD, José de Nebra Blasco’s work is not obviously ‘Spanish’, belonging rather in the mainstream of the Italian-influenced idiom which largely held sway in Spain as elsewhere. It was primarily in the middle years of the eighteenth century that the zarzuela began to express Spanish reaction against the prevailing dominance of Italian and French fashions. In some of these later works, the distinctively Spanish idioms are more pronounced – notably in the music from La madrileña o el tutor burlado by  Nebra Blasco’s pupil Soler. Violante’s seguidilla ‘Inocentita y niña’ enacts the encounter of Italy and Spain in its music – and in its text:
                       An innocent little girl
                       I come from Italy
                       to encounter the rogues
                       one meets in Spain.
                       What will become of me? Oh!
                       Shall I be ruined? What?
                       Shall I be deceived? No!
                       Shall I be the deceiver? Well,
                       if anyone would like to come closer
                       I’ll tell him!

Whatever plans Violante the Italian girl may have for her dealings with Spanish men, musically speaking it is Spain that comes out on top in this delightful short aria, the quasi-folk elements pronounced but attractively sophisticated in some subtle vocal and orchestral writing.

Everywhere on this disc there is delight to be had – certainly it whets the appetite for hearing more of the music of composers such as Nebra Blasco and Antonio Rodriguez de Hita, whose music doesn’t come our way too often. In the cases of Soler and Boccherini, more familiar names, Rousset and Bayo have recorded relatively unfamiliar music, very well worth hearing.

Les Talens Lyriques, directed by Christophe Rousset, provide vivid and sensuous accompaniment throughout and Maria Bayo, a very fine soprano, is spectacularly at home in this music. She sings, too, with a kind of evangelical zeal in the rediscovery of the neglected. In a note contributed to the CD’s booklet she complains that “Music historians in Spain have been very unfair to these composers, who have been no more than glimpsed, at best, in the odd set of organ pieces, and are completely unknown in the regular concert circuit”. Her own claim is that, in performance many of these arias reveal an  “emotional content … equal to that aroused when we listen to Handel, Gluck or Mozart”. Whether or not one would want to go quite that far, it is surely true that sung as well as they are here – Bayo’s lucidity and brilliant coloratura alike make a forceful case – these are arias which would surely give great pleasure to admirers of any of those composers.

Glyn Pursglove




Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
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.