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

Buy through MusicWeb for £10.50 postage paid World-Wide.

Musicweb Purchase button


Igor RAYKHELSON (b. 1961)
Little Symphony for Strings in G minor (2005) [18:27]; Reflections for Violin, Viola and Strings (2003) [9:53] Adagio for Viola and Strings (2002) [5:58]; Jazz Suite for Viola, Saxophone and Orchestra (1989) [31:38]
Yuri Bashmet (viola, conductor); Elena Revich (violin); Igor Butman (saxophone); Igor Raykhelson (piano); Yuro Golubev (double bass); Eduard Zizak (drums); Moscow Soloists
rec. 12 January 2007 (Little Symphony); 7 July 2005 (Reflections, Adagio); 20 June 2000 (Jazz Suite); Mosfilm Studios, Moscow. DDD

Experience Classicsonline

Born in Leningrad in 1961, Igor Raykhelson studied as a pianist before moving to New York in 1979. He has pursued a varied and successful career as a concert pianist, playing both jazz and classical repertoire. This is the first in a series of discs of his compositions, many of which were inspired by violist Yuri Bashmet.

His style, as one would perhaps expect, is a combination of gritty Russian modernism, tempered with American charm. There are resonances of Schnittke and Shostakovich, but with a strong jazz element. He states in the sleeve-notes that melody is his main focus, and there is certainly a sense of that in his music.

The Little Symphony is a four movement work and essentially a classical piece. It is lightweight; emotionally touching but refreshing. I particularly liked the harmonies of the introduction of the fourth movement. It has a jovial feel and could easily have been written for a film. There are some wonderful quotations in the finale which add a further hint of amusement.

Reflections, for violin, viola and strings, has an introspective opening, with the solo lines in conversation, supported by string orchestra. There are some beautiful moments, well played. A tango takes over, and once again it is easy to imagine a film score. There are some quotes - I spotted some Schubert - and a resonance with Schnittke in the writing of the solo lines. At the point where the repetitive (although charming) bass line started to become too much, the mood returned to that of the beginning.

The Adagio for viola and strings is a beautiful work, with a strong sense of emotion. Bashmet plays with richness of tone and musical elegance. Raykhelson’s harmonic language combines the world of film - the opening bars could easily have come from a John Williams soundtrack - with more complex modernism and a hint of jazz. The opening phrase is transposed and repeated over different harmonic contexts to feel constantly different, and once again, a waltz theme takes over for a brief moment, which is angular and poised. This is a short movement, which repeats the opening motif at the end.

The remaining work on the disc is the seven movement jazz suite. The opening piano solo, performed here by the composer, is a welcome change from the by now slightly saccharine string sound of the rest of the disc. Although still essentially ‘crossover’, the jazz influence of Raykhelson’s style takes over here, with some lovely turns of phrase and stylistic elements. The musical movement is perhaps a little disjunct here; there are well-executed but all too brief interludes in the first movement for different solo instruments, almost giving the impression of looking through different windows and catching a glimpse of what is going on inside. The second movement is an extended solo for saxophone and is ‘proper’ jazz - although I wonder how much of an improvisational element there is here. This fades out to an interruption by the piano, strings and drums, again feeling as if another work has taken over. The third movement, Take Three, is an easy-listening waltz which feels more successful, and would work well on its own. Obviously inspired by Dave Brubeck’s Take Five, the highlight of this movement, for me, was the double bass solo [2:40]. The fourth movement brings to mind Shostakovich, particularly in its opening solo. The fifth movement, Swing, is altogether freer and is closer to a jazz standard than classical; this is another successful movement which flows well. The following Consolation is a complete contrast, back to the classical string orchestra world, with a hint of jazz still present. The final movement is the most extended of the set, and has its own energy. The solo instruments (double bass, saxophone, viola and piano) are each given opportunities to shine and carry the momentum throughout the movement. The playing is consistently good and suits the music.

This was an interesting disc, with some lovely moments. As a self-confessed contemporary music junkie, my tastes are perhaps a little too ‘hardcore’ to make me fall in love with this music, but it is nevertheless worthy of exploration.

Carla Rees





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.