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

Veneration for Orchestra (2004) [13:51]
Frontier Fancies, for violin and orchestra (2007) [11:28]
Arcadian Reverie (2004) [8:13]
Rhapsody Jardine, for oboe and orchestra (1996) [9:23]
One of Ours – A Cather Symphony (2004) [13:10]
František Novotný (violin); Cynthia Green Libby (oboe)
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/Kirk Trevor
rec. May 2006, Slovak Radio Concert Hall, Bratislava, Slovakia. DDD
MSR CLASSICS MS1252 [56:05]


Experience Classicsonline

Anyone who read my previous review of Harbach’s chamber music will know that I am a fan. All I need say is that this disk is well worth having for, if anything, it’s even better and more interesting than the previous disk. So if you’re with me, you can stop reading now and rush to your local record shop and buy an hour’s–worth of the most glorious music you’ll hear this year. If, on the other hand, you still need convincing, or missed the earlier review, stay with me, then rush to your local record shop.

Harbach is a fine young American composer, organist and harpsichordist who has an impressive list of works to her credit, has presented a TV show, Palouse Performance – seen throughout the inland Northwest - and is currently professor of music at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. 

Her music is tuneful, grateful to play and a joy to listen to. I described the music on the earlier CD as ”white note” music, implying a new simplicity, and it celebrates the great American outdoors. The works recorded here, as befits compositions for orchestra, use larger thoughts and gestures than the chamber works, but her country is never far from her feelings. Take Frontier Fancies, for instance. Although there are no direct quotations from folk music this really is a folk-inspired piece. It’s the kind of thing that Mark O’Conner has been doing for years but, fortunately, doesn’t suffer from his overwriting and outstaying his welcome. In fact one of Harbach’s major attributes is that she never outstays her welcome, one is always wanting more when each work ends. This is a very good thing. So whilst Frontier Fancies “…showcases the interaction between the violin and orchestra…” as the notes tell us, what we have is a gorgeous little suite of three movements which have the feel of the frontier and the cowboy life of the Red Pony, not the Josey Wales, lifestyle. The slow, middle, movement is especially lovely, filled with nostalgia. 

Arcadian Reverie, for strings alone, could almost be called an American Tallis Fantasia, so beautiful is the string writing. Rhapsody Jardine is half pastorale, half jig. The oboe is totally at home in this rustic landscape and the writing is perfectly suited to this most versatile of instruments. It’s played exquisitely by Cynthia Green Libby. 

Had anyone other than Harbach called Veneration a Symphony I might have questioned their judgement, but knowing the composer’s style and sympathies it is easy to understand the work to be symphonic. Beginning with a lovely pyramid chord, this work ambles through a lush harmonic environment; it never raises its voice, speaks clearly and concisely and it’s like having a chat with a favourite uncle who’s got lots of stories of the old days to tell. Wonderful. 

The best is kept for last. The (Willa) Cather Symphony is a more serious composition compared with the rest of the programme but there’s still elements of the, by now, well known Harbach Americana in each of the three movements. Based, partly, on Cather’s 1922 novel – which won the Pulitzer Prize – which tells of an hero of World War I, and the composer’s own grandfather’s experiences of that war, this music is the most personal of all Harbach’s works I have heard so far. Especially impressive, and moving, are the drum tattoo and brass fanfares which bring the work to its conclusion which are not as rousing as they might seem at first hearing; there seems to me to be a poignancy about this coda, indeed, there’s a very touching quality about what she has to say in this work, and it’s especially restrained and understated. This work is very special indeed and needs to be heard. 

The recording is bright and clear with a good perspective on the orchestra and the performances are obviously of the very highest standard. The notes are straight forward and lead one through the music but don’t get technical, nor tell you too much – so, in general, the music is allowed to speak for itself. Harbach’s music is in a class of its own and this is a CD which must not be missed at any cost.

Bob Briggs


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.