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

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Moravec - Twelfth Night Recital
15%off £17.21 (until Dec 7)

Katerina Englichová - harp
15%0ff £10.83 (until Dec 7)

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo

Sibelius Symphonies Maazel
4CDs + Blu-ray audio
Special Price £36.75

RVW A Sea Symphony - Elder

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Not available in the USA

CD: Crotchet
Download: Classicsonline

Sergei RACHMANINOFF (1873-1943)
Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, op.18 (1901) [29:23]
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, op.43 (1934) [22:09]
Prelude in C sharp minor, op.3 no.2 (1892) [4:22]
Arthur Rubinstein (piano)
NBC Symphony Orchestra/Vladimir Golschmann (Piano Concerto No.2)
Philharmonia Orchestra/Walter Susskind (Rhapsody)
rec. Carnegie Hall, New York, 27 May 1946 (Piano Concerto No.2); EMI Abbey Road Studio No.1, London, 16-17 September 1947 (Rhapsody); RCA Studios, Hollywood, 11 December 1950 (prelude)


Experience Classicsonline

Rubinstein’s 1946 Carnegie Hall recording of the C minor concerto is one of the fastest on record; I can’t say the fastest because I’m in no position to have heard them all. It’s certainly quicker than the composer’s own electric recording with Stokowski though roughly on a par with the 1924 late acoustic they made together. Even here however Rubinstein is quite a bit quicker in the finale. The effect is one of intense excitement and engagement, sprinkled with a number of the pianist’s own textual emendations, and given the notorious microphone placement on which he insisted the result is a blockbusting, visceral and very up-front traversal. Rubinstein refuses almost all offers to linger, preferring instead a valiant, almost defiant linearity that’s by no means finger perfect but adds a remarkable gloss to more indulgent performers. That said I don’t think anyone would call Moiseiwitsch sentimental in this regard and yet he in his recordings with Goehr and Cameron was altogether slower – three and a half minutes slower in total with Goehr in 1937 for example – and he didn’t sound sentimental either.

What does emerge strongly in this performance is Rubinstein’s approach to elements of Rachmaninoff’s  writing that others can elide, especially audible – given the nature of the recording – in the slow movement. I found his playing here at its best, though the recording sabotages string counter themes and wind lines rather ruinously; even the horns suffer badly. But the compensations are once again linear and decisive, qualities that reappear in the finale. Moiseiwitsch’s slightly earlier performance of this clocked in at 11: 24 – and he was no slouch; Rubinstein dispatches his finale in 9:58.

The Rhapsody is better balanced. He also had a better orchestra than the NBC in the form of the Philharmonia and a better accompanist than Golschmann in Walter Susskind. Still it’s again a vivaciously phrased and again very powerful, no prisoners type of performance. The pianist’s chording is dynamic and ringing, the horns sound resplendent. The winds etch their lines with powerful personality. For all the élan things don’t sound breathless as they could in the concerto. The tempo here is on a par with Moiseiwitsch’s. A 1950 C sharp minor Prelude makes a formidable, if perhaps inevitable ‘encore’ – Rubinstein’s only commercial recording of a solo piece by the composer.

In conclusion there’s quite a bit under an hour of well annotated and expertly transferred Rubinstein-Rachmaninoff here. Powerful, graphically pictorial and directional; intensely dramatic, sometimes uncomfortably so.

Jonathan Woolf

see also Review by Rob Maynard



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
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.