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


AmazonUK AmazonUS

Sweet Desire: Prothimia suavissime sive sonatarum selectissimarum (1672)
Johann Heinrich SCHMELZER (c.1620-1680)
Sonata: Book I No.4 [4:43]
Sonata: Book II No.7 [6:11]
Antonio BERTALI  (1605-1669)
Sonata: Book II No.4 (5:02)
Sonata: Book I No.2 (7:24)
Attrib. to Antonio BERTALI (1605-1669)
Sonata: Book II No.11 (8:31)
Attrib to David POHLE (1624-1695)
Sonata: Book II No.12 (5:23)
Sonata: Book I No.3 (5:50)
Sonata: Book II No.10 (8:48)
Sonata: Book I No.8 (4:15)
Sonata: Book II No.2 (6:08)
Chris Verrette (baroque violin), J. Tracy Mortimore (G violone), Dominic Teresi (dulcian), Greg Ingles (alto trombone, tenor trombone), Webb Wiggins (chamber organ), Chatham Baroque: Julie Andrijeski (baroque violin), Patricia Halverson (viola da gamba), Scott Pauley (theorbo, baroque guitar).
No date or place of recording provided.
DORIAN DSL90706 [62:15]


Experience Classicsonline

In her booklet notes for this CD Julie Andrijeski asserts that the phrase “sonatarum selectissimarum” (choicest/select/best sonatas) in the title of the 1672 publication Prothimia suavissime sive sonatarum selectissimarum (probably published in Frankfurt) should not be understood as “a mere marketing tool”. I would beg to differ; it surely belongs amongst the seventeenth-century forerunners of modern titles such as The Best Classical Album in the World ... Ever, The Very Best of Beethoven or The Best of Maxim Vengerov. Seventeenth century publishers were as eager to sell their wares as their successors amongst twenty-first century publishers and CD companies. ‘Sonatorum selectissimarum’ should surely be understood to mean something like “these sonatas are better than average, amongst the best around”, rather than “these are categorically the best sonatas in existence”. Taken in the first of these senses, one has no problems with the claims of the anonymous publisher: there is much good, interesting music here, of a particular kind. Essentially that ‘kind’ involves a meeting between German and Italian traditions in the middle of the seventeenth century.

There are twenty-four sonatas in the collection; identifying their composers is not easy, since the partbooks carry only the initials “J.S.A.B.”. It was Niels Martin Jensen, in the 1990s, who suggested that these initials might stand for Johan [Heinrich] Schmelzer and Antonio Bertali. Later research has found versions of some of the twenty four sonatas from Prothimia suavissima in other manuscript collections attributed to Schmelzer and Bertali. Others can, with reasonable confidence be attributed to David Pohle. For quite a number of others, no composer has yet been identified with any plausibility.

Much of the music is pleasant and intriguing. The sonata printed as No.2 in Book I of Prothimia suavissima is full of inventive writing, unexpected changes of tempo and mood; Bertali at something like his instrumental best. Schmelzer’s sonata, printed as Book I No.4, is a rather more sedate affair, but satisfying in its interplay of instrumental lines. In two sonatas (I.3 and I.8) – perhaps the work of Bertali? – the trombone shares the limelight with the two violins to interesting effect. In one of the ‘anonymous’ sonatas (II.10) there are some striking harmonies and lots of attractive imitative writing. Indeed the level is generally high. Even if we needn’t regard these as ‘The Best of the Sonata’, the materials here are certainly very ‘select’, in the sense defined in the Oxford English Dictionary: “of special value or excellence”.

Chatham baroque and their guests play with assured idiomatic grasp and considerable flair.  The variety of instrumental combinations makes for constantly changing colours (without any inappropriate gaudiness, I need hardly add) and the continuo work is agile and pleasantly varied. It all makes for attractive and engaging listening. If not quite a candidate for the ‘Best of the Baroque’, this is a CD which will give pleasure to all with an interest in the music of this period. It is only a shame that it we aren’t offered a complete recording of all the twenty four ‘very select’ sonatas.

Glyn Pursglove


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.