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


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


 CDs: Crotchet  AmazonUK  AmazonUS


Niccolò PAGANINI (1782-1840)
Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor, MS 48, La Campanella (1826) [29:19]
Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minor, MS 60 (1829-30) [30:42]
Michael Jelden (violin)
Vogtland-Philharmonie, Greiz-Reichenbach/Stefan Fraas
rec. Neuberinhaus Reichenbach/Vogtland, January 2004
EDITION HERA HERA02115 [60:02]
Experience Classicsonline

The novelty here - the gimmick, if you prefer - is a different Adagio in the B minor concerto. According to soloist Michael Jelden's program note, Paganini's manuscript of the solo part includes both the standard Adagio and a two-line, solo-and-bass version of this one - in other words, it's not orchestrated, or even filled out texturally. Jelden has done so, "strictly following Paganini's annotations in the solo part, in Paganini's style." He correctly notes that "[t]he character of the piece is very different from the rest of the concerto," but it's certainly pleasant enough. Once past a brief introduction incorporating surprise-symphony effects, the five-and-a-half minute movement consists mostly of a long, broad cantilena for the soloist over a pizzicato-based accompaniment, with brief turbulent outbursts offering contrasts.
The gimmick, however, wasn't necessary. Jelden, who apparently divides his concertizing between virtuoso concerti and modern works, does a fine job with the solo parts here. His principal asset is a full, firm-bowed sounding of every note, no matter how brief in duration -- it struck me as a sort of violinistic counterpart to Bernard Haitink's conducting -- which ensures that the melodies really sing expressively. This particularly tells in the central Adagios: that of the B minor is, for all its simplicity, almost operatically expansive, while the second theme of the D minor's Adagio flebile e con sentimento has a lovely searching quality. Jelden also infuses the 6/8 rhythms in each concerto's final Rondo with a nice swing and lilt -- these movements aren't just about the technical fireworks.
On the down side, within Jelden's generally accomplished technique, rapid passages in sixths -- whether arpeggiated or double-stopped -- prove to be stumbling blocks, in terms of both tone and intonation. The sequential phrase at 5:43 in the B minor's first movement, for example, never quite makes it up to pitch; nor does some of the following cadence. But the similar, lower-lying passagework at 10:47 is spot-on. And in vaulting upward leaps and other such bits of target practice, his aim is precise.
I have to admit that the provincial-sounding compound name of the orchestra didn't inspire my confidence - indeed, the 65-member "Vogtland-Philharmonie" turns out to be an amalgamation of two previously separate, presumably smaller, orchestras in Greiz and Reichenbach. But I needn't have worried: the playing is adept and polished. I particularly enjoyed the full-throated ritornellos, with big, round brass interjections interrupting that of the D minor. The violins might be relatively understaffed -- here and there in tutti, they can't always hold their own against the brasses' harmonies -- but they're unfailingly well-blended, clear and in tune. The exposed, unaccompanied phrases that open the D minor are true, with only the highest notes turning a touch glassy.
The engineering is excellent, but the proofreading department fell down on the job: Paganini's first name is misspelled throughout -- one "c" for two, and an acute accent for a grave -- and the English grammar and syntax in Jelden's translation of his own note could have used editorial intervention.
Stephen Francis Vasta


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month



From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience




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.