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 AmazonUK AmazonUS


Legendary Musicians in rare film footage with sound

Emanuel Feuermann (cello) plays Popper’s Spinning Song and Dvořák’s Rondo Op.94 with Theodore Saidenberg (piano), 1941
Josef Hofmann (piano) plays Beethoven’s Concerto No.5 in E flat Emperor – third movement (abridged) with The Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra/Donald Voorhees, 1945 and Rachmaninoff’s Prelude Op.3 No.2 in C sharp minor, 1945
Mindru Katz (piano) plays Beethoven’s Sonata Op.27 No.2 in C sharp minor Moonlight and Chopin’s Etude Op.10 No.3 in E major, 1978
Felix Weingartner conducts Weber’s Die Freischütz with the Paris Symphony Orchestra, 1932
Bruno Walter conducts Weber’s overture to Oberon with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, 1931 
Marian Anderson (contralto) sings I Hope I’ll Join The Band (spiritual – segment only) with Franz Rupp (piano), 1943
Art Tatum (piano) plays Tiny’s Exercise (segment), 1943
George Gershwin (piano) plays I Got Rhythm (segment), 1943
Format 4:3 NTSC; Region – all regions


Experience Classicsonline

Lovers of historic performances on film have had an increasingly good time of it in the last decade. Various archives and television companies have been opening up their heirlooms and culture-minded satellite broadcasters – German as often or not – have shown an exceptional amount of rare film. So we live in fortunate times, even if what remains reminds us of the vast amount that was lost or never recorded in the first place.

Cembal d’amour has had the savvy idea to collate some famous films. I last saw the Feuermann on a Cello Classics release.  The Hofmann Rachmaninoff was on the Art of Piano DVD though I’ve never before seen the abridged Emperor Concerto with Voorhees, though doubtless it’s done the rounds. The Weingartner was on the Art of Conducting and I saw the Bruno Walter-Weber last on Bel Canto’s Great Conductors Volume 1. The very brief excerpts of Marian Anderson, George Gershwin and Art Tatum have made appearances on television over the years – you can never forget Gershwin’s swaggering grin as he dismounts after I Got Rhythm. Which leaves the big rarity, though of a musician of a much later generation; Mindru Katz. This was taped as late as 1978.

Feuermann is shown in Popper and Dvořák. As ever he is imperturbable, impassive, amazing. The camera angles are rather tricksy – close-ups of the fingerboard for example - and directly over the cellist’s left shoulder. One watches the bewildering left hand work raptly and – little miracle – in the Rondo Feuermann even, just slightly, raises his left heel in excitement! His accompanist – and the word is appropriate here – is the distant, semi audible Theodore Saidenberg in this 1941 performance. A year later Feuermann was dead.

Hofmann is captured during his years of decline. The first piece is a Voorhees sanctioned abridgement of the finale of the E flat major Beethoven concerto. Shots here are sometimes overhead, looking down, a startling bird’s eye view of the keyboard as we watch Hofmann’s stubby fingers course across it. Rather fascinating to watch the great man in collaboration with the Bell Telephone Hour maestro. The applause at the end of what I assume was a studio film, sounds dubbed in to me. The Rachmaninoff moves disconcertingly from the orchestral backing in the Beethoven to a solo performance – so presumably to give the impression of an encore after the concerto. It doesn’t work – but never mind.

There is a brace of conductors in well-loved performances. Weingartner is his usual self-effacing self in Paris in 1932 but he is a master of economy and efficiency with a baton technique that reveals all that’s necessary to cue entries, enforce the rhythmic basis of the music making and bring out expressive moments. Bruno Walter is heard in less than optimum sound and vision but this 1931 Berlin film offers compensations. Walter is on splendid form encouraging some suavely sensitive phrasing from the band, amongst whose serried ranks must be Szymon Goldberg – then just about ready to supplant Henry Holst as concertmaster. Not easy to make out individual faces though.

Mindu Katz was taped in Istanbul in 1978 playing the Moonlight Sonata and the Op.10 No.3 Chopin Etude. Like the companion films this is in black and white and there are blips and drop outs on the audio tracks, which is also “noisy” rather as if there was inherent rumble. He is seated in an empty concert hall in tie and tails. Despite the rather imperfect nature of the recording we can still appreciate the level of artistry, the profound sensitivity to production and layering of sound, evinced by Katz. It’s playing of rare sensitivity and insight, confirmed by his Chopin, which is highly reflective. Only a few hours later Katz died of a heart attack during the evening’s recital in Istanbul. He was fifty-three.

The trio of other items are pleasurable extras, even if they’re very brief.

There’s a helpful booklet and DVD navigation is perfectly straightforward. Inquisitive, visually minded souls should seek out these films.

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.