MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
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

Buywell Just Classical


Andrew FORD (b 1957)

Night and dreams: the Death of Sigmund Freud (1999) [56:41]

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1974–1951)

Ode to Napoleon, op.41 (1942) [15:51]
Gerald English (tenor/narrator), Ingrid Rahln (backing track playback), Ian Munro (piano), Marshall McGuire (harp), Alice Giles (electroacoustic harp)
London Sinfonietta/David Atherton

rec. April 2000, Studio 256, ABC Ultimo Centre, Sydney, Australia (Ford), December 1973, All Saints’ Church, Petersham, Surrey (Schoenberg) DDD and ADD


Experience Classicsonline

Born in Liverpool in 1957, Andrew Ford studied at Lancaster University with Edward Cowie and John Buller, and after graduating, in 1978, he was appointed Fellow in Music at the University of Bradford. Moving to Australia in 1983 he joined the Faculty of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong. He was composer in residence with the Australian Chamber Orchestra between 1992 and 1994, and after retiring from the halls of academe in 1995 he has presented The Music Show on ABC Radio National every Saturday morning. His catalogue is large and varied, covering all genres from opera to a cappella choral works.

With a libretto by Margaret Morgan, Night and dreams: the Death of Sigmund Freud was written for Music Theatre Sydney, and for the voice of Gerald English. Ford told Morgan that "Apart from anything else, Gerald looks like Freud." Later, Morgan wrote, “It wasn't until Gerald had some publicity shots taken, with beard, glasses and a Freudian cigar, that I realised just how uncannily true that was. The logic of the choice of subject soon made itself clear to me: two men profoundly important to their fields, in the centre of the maelstrom of, respectively, social and musical change.” 

Night and Dreams explores the end of Freud’s life, in London in September 1939. Whilst listening to 78 rpm discs of Schubert and radio reports of the Nazis in his homeland, he dreams (this is Freud, remember) of an unidentified naked girl and contemplates his death. All this is reported to his own psychoanalyst – we, the audience. It’s not an easy listen by any means. The piece is very static, Freud musing, sometimes singing, but a lot of the time addressing us. There is little in the music to grab hold of – there’s only three instruments, a piano and two harps, with pre-recorded sounds, but not concrte sounds, this “backing track” consists of recordings of marching Stormtroopers, Neville Chamberlain announcing war with Germany and so on – but yet it’s strangely compelling, gripping even; the libretto carrying everything forward and Ford’s minimal musical intervention, which seems to be some kind of dream-like experience, is always interesting and pertinent. 

It’s a very disturbing experience, and there’s no respite from the fantastic wanderings of Freud’s mind. We’re caught in his reverie, locked in a room with a man, failing at every turn, and seeming to ramble incoherently. The work ends with a 78 rpm disc of Des Baches Wiegenlied from Die Schne Mllerin and the final sound we hear is the repeating grove of the record. Ewig, ewig? 

This is so unlike anything I have heard by Ford that it came as quite a shock to me. Did I enjoy it? That’s an hard question to answer. Certainly I admire the work as a composition, its form and character, but like it, in the way I like Ford’s Sad Jigs (12005) for string orchestra, A Reel, a Fling and a Ghostly Galliard (String Quartet No.2) (2006), Headlong (2006), for orchestra, or The Unquiet Grave (1997/1998), a concerto for viola and ensemble? No I don’t, and in reality I can’t for it is such a demanding work that without the visual aspect to the piece I feel that I’m missing a lot of the experience of performance. However, I must say that it is an impressive and very important work and with study – not difficult for it doesn’t feel as if you’ve given an hour of your time to the piece – it will become less complicated and more easily accepted. I have to write that anything by Andrew Ford is well worth hearing so please do not be put off by the fact that this is no easy summer afternoon listen, give yourself some time and you’ll get into the music and the drama. It’s good to have this important work available on CD so that we can spend time with it. 

Usually I moan when the main work on a disk is followed by a shorter piece as a filler, and under normal circumstances the Ode to Napoleon is a work which would make me run for the great outdoors and the sounds of nature, but after Ford’s tortured monodrama Schoenberg’s seems like a walk in the park; untroubled and pleasant. The difficulties of this late 12 note work, which utilizes sprechgesang (sung speech) but freer than before – English simply recites the words, but in a dramatic way – seems much easier than it once did. The accompanying piano quintet plays quite expressionistic music, as you’d expect, but this isn’t as complicated as some of this composer’s works – the Violin Concerto or Variations for Orchestra, for instance. 

Anyone with an interest in the music of our time will welcome this disk, as I do, and it is well worth the small investment. The recordings are very good and you would never realise, from the sound, that the two works were recorded 27 years apart, except for the fact that English does sound very young in the Schoenberg. Excellent, and very compelling, performances, with good notes in the booklet by Ford himself.

Bob Briggs


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 Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




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

Past 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.