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


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Bax Piano Music

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral


AmazonUK AmazonUS


Felix WEINGARTNER (1863-1942)
String Quartets - Vol. 1
String Quartet No.1, op.24 in d-minor (1898) [37:45]
String Quartet No.3, op.34 in F-major (1903) [30:48]
Sarastro Quartett
rec. Marthalen Church, September 2006.
CPO 7772512 [68:38]

Experience Classicsonline

How lucky we are finally to be able to discover the composer Felix Weingartner. It is one of the many great, laudable achievements of that enterprising record label CPO that they are unearthing Weinberger’s music piece by piece, CD by CD. For every disc I hear of his chamber or symphonic output, I become more willing to chuck all records of “Weingartner the conductor” and embrace “Weingartner the composer”. Who would ever say the same thing about Furtwängler? Furtwängler, for all the respect and pleasure - more of the former than the latter - I have for and gain from his music, suffers from the dubious distinction of having managed to combine the gaiety of Brahms with the brevity of Bruckner. Which, if it needs spelling out, is to say that he created fearfully towering, unsmiling symphonic behemoths (and sonatas) that offer acoustic clarification of the difference between gigantic and great.

Weingartner is so very different. There is a smiling soul and Austrian charm in his music that shines through, even in a relatively somber, mourning First Quartet, op.24 in d-minor - “The saddest of all keys”, as Nigel Tuffnell famously reminds us. Schubert’s Death and the Maiden, late Beethoven, and the Florestan side of Schumann are literally audible (Schubert) and in spirit (Beethoven, Schumann). This romantic quartet surpasses in immediacy of appeal even delectable Classical Kleinmeister like Onslow or Ries or the Munich romantic Ludwig Thuille. The Schubert theme for the first movement came to Weingartner upon news of the deaths of Bismarck and - more likely responsible for the incredible tenderness - that of his former landlord’s young child. Now here’s “In Memory of an Angel” without the atonal element! The work is substantial, 37:45 in the Swiss Sarastro Quartet’s deeply felt reading. Maybe the 9-minute Adagio assai could be more succinct, but it’s beautiful enough that there really is no reason to wish it shorter, even for the very few spots that don’t progress the musical storyline. Beethoven rears his head in the Allegro molto as if it were a collection of loosely connected reminiscences of what Weingartner (a noted Beethoven conductor and occasional orchestrator) liked about Beethoven’s string quartet writing. Then, when the Finale (Vivace – Andante Tema con Variazioni) hits upon the Schubert theme again (c. 2:15), there emerges a sense of such poised beauty that it seems a shame for any chamber-music-loving ears not to have heard it. Meandering through Seven Variations, it culminates in an exclamation mark of a flippant fugue on the subject. 

The Third Quartet op.34 in f-minor, a wedding gift to his second wife Feodora von Dreifuß, opens by spelling her name out (F-E-Do-re-A – which sounds Beethovenesque) only to just scrape by another near-direct Schubert quotation. Ralph Orendain, Roman Conrard (violins), Hanna Werner-Helfenstein (viola), and Stefan Bacher (cello) move the music along – lyrical now, then lightly dancing – as if the Allegro commodo didn’t quite know whether it wanted to be: either Allegro or comodo. No ambiguities in the swift, driven Allegro molto: galloping away with the players in tow, the four voices ever more independent. It is the movement which sounds least out of place in 1903 where Ravel and Debussy and Smetana had already written theirs. The third and final movement Poco adagio – Allegro giocoso brings calm once more, and once more only temporarily. Of a wedding gift you might expect a more optimistic tone, especially of Weingartner, than it musters. Perhaps Weingartner (“no propaganda will help my compositions if they’re no good and if they are good, they’ll succeed eventually”) was as realistic about marriage as about the ways of his music and its reception? 

His marriage with Feodora wasn’t likely a great success - he was to marry twice more - but his quartets have now received the treatment that should pave the way to their much deserved recognition. This being CPO’s volume 1 of Weingartner’s string quartets, the next round is awaited most eagerly.

Jens F. Laurson

Other Weingartner (composer) reviews on MusicWeb International

Symphony No. 2 (Lewis Foreman)
Symphony No. 4 (Rob Barnett)


We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
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.