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

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati









Romantic Organ Music
William H.  HARRIS

Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Campion [10:59]
Peggy HADDON (1931-2004)
Suite Piccanin: Lullaby [3:47]; Kwela [1:52]; Lament [2:34]; Amandla [2:30]
Josef RHEINBERGER (1839-1901)
Sonata No. 18 in A major: Phantasie [6:05]; Capriccio [5:32]; Idyll [4:19]; Finale [7:58]
Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
Chanson de Nuit [4:58]
Severn Suite: Introduction [2:30]; Toccata [4:56]; Fugue [3:12]; Minuet [8:12]
Roger Fisher (organ)
Peta-Ann Holdcroft (cello).
rec. St Mary’s Cathedral, Johannesburg, 9, 11 May 2007. DDD
PRIORY PRCD895 [70:33]
Experience Classicsonline

The organ of Johannesburg’s Anglican Cathedral was built in Rushworth and Dreaper, at that time in their heyday. It dates from 1929, the same year in which the church building was completed. At that time, the area in which the Cathedral was built was “at the very centre of Johannesburg society” to quote the booklet. Unfortunately, it now finds itself on the edge of a slum, and keeping its organ in anything like good condition is increasingly difficult. Despite the efforts of the Dean, those in “positions of influence” have provided only “limited support”. Reason enough to buy this CD then. They need your support in Johannesburg.
The organ retains all of its original pipework. However, a comprehensive programme of enlargements was carried out between 1987 and 1997 which all but ignored the essential character of the instrument. These additions included a horribly misconceived Choir division with every imaginable squeak and rasp; there’s even a Rohr Schalmei as if the Krummhorn wasn’t enough. The core of the organ still belongs to the late imperial English organ style and there is enough here, despite the organ’s condition - which is sometimes audibly detrimental - to enjoy.
Roger Fisher, for many years organist of Chester Cathedral, plays with great panache, as indeed he always has. For me he is one of the English-speaking world’s great players of Romantic and late Romantic literature. His 1970 Reubke recording for EMI remains breathtaking, as does a more recent live recording of the Whitlock sonata at Lincoln. The sheer flourish of the opening of the William Harris is contagious; the piece deserves to be better known. The Rheinberger is a curious choice, I find his music invariably dull, and Fisher plays it, as indeed it always is played in the UK, as if Rheinberger was a turn of the 20th century Englishman. The swell box(es) flap, the tuba makes occasional appearances; in short, the aesthetic is very different to anything Rheinberger would have recognised. Nonetheless the approach suits the organ well. Fisher’s playing in general always strikes me as a sort of unsullied ‘English’ view of the organ as heard in old recordings of Jackson, Eden, Sumsion, Dearnley et al, but now rather rare, even among the younger generation of organists in the UK. Continental influences of any sort are charmingly absent here.
The undoubted highlight of the disc is the Elgar Severn Suite. A version of part of this was made in 1933 by Ivor Atkins and published as the Sonata No. 2 for organ. The Edinburgh organist Dr Jeremy Cull has transcribed the entire work and transposed it from B-flat to C, a far more practical ‘organ’ key. The results are thrilling; hopefully this transcription will gain more popularity than Atkins’.
Chris Bragg


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
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.