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


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom




Rudolf Firkušný
Modest MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881)
Pictures at an Exhibition (1874) [29:12]
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Drei Klavierstücke D946 (1828) [21:10]
Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
Fantasie et Toccata H.281 (1940) [13:34]
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Mazurka Op.63 No.3 [2:20]
Bedřich SMETANA (1824-1884)
Furiant – Czech Dances Volume II (1879)[5:07]
Concert étude (1858) [4:13]
Rudolf Firkušný (piano)
rec. Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 21 February 1980
BBC LEGENDS BBCL42382 [75:54]


Experience Classicsonline

This is, for once, a complete BBC recital – not one drawn piecemeal from various sources, concert halls and dates. It captures Firkušný in prime, magnificent form, proving every inch the heir to the august standards set down by his fellow Czech, Jan Heřman before the War.

This was repertoire cut to the pianist’s cloth with precision. The Fantasie et Toccata of Martinů was written for him in 1940 and he made a splendid recording of it many years later. This live performance is no less magisterial, no less spellbinding. The tempi differ little between the commercial disc and this QEH performance but there is that extra sense of vitality and adrenalin here. It’s all brilliantly etched and controlled, the bravura unleashed with exemplary command. Firkušný’s colouristic and rhythmic command is acutely deployed and he takes the work and elevates it to the status of a mid-century solo piano masterpiece.

Schubert’s Drei Klavierstücke D946 are, in Firkušný’s hands, a feast of lyric intensity. The first is a delicate reverie at heart but the pianist never quite loses his sense of overarching architecture. He points the rhythmic fusillades in the second with exemplary control and finds noble refinement as well.

Mussorgsky’s Pictures was another piece he had recorded. It’s a comprehensively tremendous reading. Powerful, gnomic, brooding, flaring and controlled with superb pedalling and a technique that brooks no obstacles we find the pianist employing all his practised eloquence – and excitement – to characterise the movements with painterly brilliance. The devilish scurry of Gnomus is followed by the terse and eerie Old Castle. The unnerving off centre motion of Bydlo is positively gargantuan, Goldenberg and Schmuyle highly charged, and the Limoges Market a flurry of Gallic suggestiveness and vivacious loquacity. The Catacombs are stark, powerfully measured and chordally immense; you can feel the beads of water sliding slowly down the walls. The Great Gate of Kiev is tremendously exciting – sometimes the very end can be a let down but not here.

There are some encores as well As for the fizzing passion that underlies the Smetana Furiant words will barely do it justice. Heřman himself once made a recording of this, though it was shorn of much of the introduction, but he sounds positively sedate beside his younger compatriot. This was again something of a signature piece for the pianist and slapped wrists to the BBC for not noting the work’s provenance from the second book of Czech Dances. The Concert étude, that bristling Lisztian powerhouse of a work, is no less brilliant in execution and the cheers that greet its end are colossal.

A tremendous recital then that amplifies the pianist’s commercial discography, in the main, but in the most protean and instructive way – glorious playing, excellently recorded.

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

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus




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.