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

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati







alternatively AmazonUK


Philip GLASS (b. 1937)
Of Beauty & Light
CD 1 [70:09]
The Light (1987) [23:43]
Symphony No. 4 Heroes Symphony (1996) [46:26]
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop
rec. The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, 16-17 May 2006. DDD
Naxos American Classics 8.559202 CD 2 [67:07]
Symphony No. 2 (1995) [43:14]
Symphony No. 3 (1994) [23:54]
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop
rec. The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, Dorset, 20-21 July 2003
Naxos American Classics 8.559202 CD 3 [52:46]
Company [8:50]
Violin Concerto (1987) [24:51]
Prelude and Dance from Akhnaten (1984) [17:52]
Adele Anthony (violin)
Ulster Orchestra/Takuo Yuasa
Ulster Hall, Belfast, 19-21 May 1999.
Naxos 8.554568
NAXOS 8.503202 [3 CDs: 70:09 + 67:07 + 51:46]


Experience Classicsonline

Naxos have a reputation for enterprise and ingenuity. Capitalising on the popularity of Philip Glass they now issue as a single entity the two discs issued over the last five years and another dating from almost a decade ago. The collection makes sense and is undeniably attractive.

The Second Symphony is for full orchestra. It is an ambitious work in three meaty movements of which the first has an insistent harp undertow and sighing figures that sometimes recall the first movement of Vaughan Williamsí Sixth. Fast-spinning incessant whirlpool activity characterises the finale emphasised by bell-sounds at the climaxes and ending in an emphatic stomp.

Flight and propulsion lie at the heart of the much of Glassís writing. In the Third Symphony itís there in the constant insistent interplay of colour and repetitive rhythmic cells. Another element is the Berber, North African sinuous flavouring and the thudding regularity of the stringsí Holstian heart-beat.

The Light is part of an ambitious Sibelian symphonic triptych (1987-89) alongside the later The Canyon and Itaipu. It is a stormy piece in which Glassís insistent ostinato cells ripple, flow, fall and return. I thought several times of the gripping troika-figure in Sibeliusís Nightride and Sunrise. This however has grander intentions. Memorable are its lapping-sighing-flaming woodwind and string figure akin to Herrmannís chase music from North by North-West. There is a typically visceral pounding and thudding tempest of a climax before the music falls away into contemplation.

The Heroes Symphony traces its origins to two albums on which the composer collaborated with David Bowie in Berlin: Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979). The six movements of the symphony are: Heroes; Abdulmajid; Sense of Doubt; Sons of the Silent Age; NeukŲln; V2 Schneider. I wish I knew what these titles meant. The second movement is a fragile and enchanting with its North African repetitive understatement recalling Holstís In the Street of Ouled Nails movement from Beni Mora. At times I also heard intimations of de Falla (the ostinatos El Amor Brujo) and Copland (the 1940s pastoral scores).

The disc which has been longest in the catalogue is that featuring the Violin Concerto in a good performance from Adele Anthony but not one that outpoints the one from Robert McDuffie on Telarc (CD-80494) or, even more imposingly, the original DG recording with Gidon Kremer. Anthony is notably good in the wonderful way in which she handles the more confiding music in the finale. Both Company and Akhnaten do no violence to your expectations of Glass. No surprises then but attractive music-making. This disc lacks the compelling qualities of the other two.

Glass stays firmly in his accustomed and enthralling tracks. These are musical experiences that engage and draw you in. His potent way with hypno-rhythmic tonal writing continues in full spate.

Rob Barnett


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
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.