One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

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

alternatively Crotchet


Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Aufrichtige Anleitung (Honest Greeting) (1723)
Fifteen Two-Part Inventions BWV 772-786 and Fifteen Three-Part Sinfonias BWV 787-801
Craig Sheppard (piano)
rec. Meany Theatre, Seattle, 27 April 2006
ROMÉO RECORDS 7255 [46:30]
Experience Classicsonline

Fresh from my encounter with Craig Sheppard’s Book One of the Well Tempered Clavier comes this disc of the Fifteen Two-Part Inventions BWV 772-786 and Fifteen Three-Part Sinfonias BWV 787-801.  Next on my listening list is Sheppard’s Partitas.

As is now usual Sheppard is recorded in the Meany Theatre in Seattle. Each Invention is paired with a Sinfonia that shares the same key. The result is a disc of wonderful insights into the appropriateness of things. Aeration of texture is one of the things that so distinguishes his playing. It’s not over-refinement or crystalline coolness, rather it’s the lyricism, rhythmic precision and clarity that gives such life and a sense of motion to the music making. And the corollary is that each Sinfonia and Invention bears appropriate weight; weight relative to its musical significance.

So, time for some examples of Sheppard’s perception, his imaginative and intellectual qualities. Take the delving independence of the left hand voicings in the Sinfonia in C major – the dancing rhythms and the sense of colour evoked. The realisation that Sheppard is seeking an appropriate colour and weight is immediately apparent but reinforced, early, in the Sinfonia in C minor where in addition to these qualities we feel him measuring the music for its expressive qualities without any excessive lingering. Note too the absolute precision of articulation in the Sinfonia in D minor.

The Sinfonia in E minor has a powerful sense of refinement and elegance in motion. The Invention in F major shows that Sheppard’s tone never hardens toward brittleness and that he maintains a natural sounding tempo and pliant unostentatious phrasing entirely at the service of the music; lit from within, not from without. He is sensitive to dynamic variations of course but never as self-conscious devices; try the Invention in F minor where the sheer communicative warmth of the playing is allied to a sense of reflective, lyrical delicacy. But when the music demands it Sheppard is alive to its more troubling aspects. The Sinfonia in F minor is, in his hands, starkly introspective and is pointed with austere direction and a definable sense of angularity. The result is deeply impressive.

Sheppard has written his own notes, once more, and again they reflect the executant’s ceaseless seeking. The recording is, as with this series in general, quite close but attractively so. Sheppard’s Bach recordings continue to impress time after time.

Jonathan Woolf 


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




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.