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

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

CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline


The Symphonies - Vol.2
String Symphony No.7 in D minor (1822) [21:15]
String Symphony No.12 in G minor (1823) [20:34]
Symphony No.4 in A major, Op.90 "Italian" (1833) [27:06]
Heidelberger Sinfoniker/Thomas Fey
rec. 16-17 March and 8-12 May 2007, Gesellschaftshaus Heidelberg, Pfaffengrund. DDD
HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 98.281 [68:55]
Experience Classicsonline

Thomas Fey is a fabulous exponent of the symphonies of Haydn and Beethoven, as a number of my fellow reviewers have attested (see below). While the Haydn discs – after a brief hiatus – are once again emerging in a steady stream, the Beethoven cycle seems to have been shelved in favour of a new Mendelssohn series, of which this disc is the second.
The features that make Fey's Haydn and Beethoven so successful are all here: the clipped, incisive articulation, the fleet tempi, the stylish phrasing, the committed playing of the Heidelberger Sinfoniker and above all the risk-taking from the podium. That risk-taking is a key ingredient in the success of Fey’s Haydn and Beethoven, but his more daring choices sometimes seem to offend Mendelssohn’s more delicate muse. As in their other recordings, the Heidelbergers play within the new tradition of period performance practice, using period brass, hard sticks for the timpani and modern winds and strings.
The two string symphonies included here are the remarkably assured works of a child prodigy. Fey points up the contrasts in the first movement of No.7, with passages of limpid phrasing punctuating a punchy, spirited allegro and he and the Heidelbergers romp through the Haydnesque finale. The inner movements also come across well. The andante has an understated beauty and a little mystery in the central episode, and the menuetto is well pointed.
The 12th is almost as good, though an odd tempo choice flaws an otherwise fine performance. The grave - allegro opening of the 12th string symphony is modelled on the grand French overture of the Baroque, and while Fey and his band convey the grandiose side of this music, the promised allegro never materialises. The second movement, taken at a relaxed tempo, offers compensation in its disarming sweetness. The Mozartian finale is best of all, the Heidelberger Sinfoniker revelling in the fugal play, Fey directing with thrust but at a sensible tempo.
The performance of the Italian Symphony, though tremendously exciting and genuinely explosive in the finale, fails to convince on repeated hearing. The orchestra plays well and the brass are outstanding – the whooping of the natural horns is a joy to hear. The problem is Fey’s direction.
The outer movements have great forward momentum and stylish phrasing, but these qualities are undermined by Fey’s policy of pushing the tempo at each fortissimo marking in the score. This habit compromises the unanimity of ensemble at these junctures and, in the first movement in particular, drains away some of the music’s dramatic tension. The second movement andante is fleet. What it gains in flow it loses in tenderness. The third movement comes across fairly well, with carefully graded dynamics. A little more warmth from the strings – who of course eschew vibrato – is all that is missing.
The recorded sound is immediate and catches Mendelssohn’s antiphonal violin writing well. Eckhard van den Hoogen’s booklet notes are informative once you get past the oddities of his effusive prose.
Fey is a fine conductor and his most recent Haydn discs have been among the best discs issued this year. Would that I could say the same about his Mendelssohn.
Tim Perry
Other Thomas Fey recordings reviewed on MusicWeb
Mozart Piano Concertos
Beethoven Symphonies Vol.1
Haydn Symphonies Vol.1
Haydn Symphonies Vol.9


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.