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.

British composers

  • 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

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


Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
Sextet (1932) [15:48]
Three Madrigals for violin and viola (1947) [16:33]
Ervin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942)
Sextet (1924) [23:51]
The Raphael Ensemble
rec. July 1991, undisclosed location

Experience Classicsonline

Two Czech sextets. Of the two here it’s actually the Schulhoff that has begun to eclipse Martinů’s in popularity. Partly of course this may reflect Schulhoff’s greater prominence on disc but it does also indicate that the earlier work – Schulhoff wrote it in 1924 – has a profusion of incident and eclectic writing.

Martinů’s work is a charming and harmonically rich affair, offering coloured variety in the first movement. There are witty dance themes in the second as well as some drunken lurches. The finale is vital, vibrant with plenty of warmth and clarity. At a quarter of an hour or so in length it can hardly be said to outstay its welcome – a lively, pleasurable and largely untroubled affair. The Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields Chamber Ensemble has recorded it on all-Czech disc [Chandos CHAN8771]; better still is an all-Martinů disc on Praga PRD350040. Don’t be tempted by Ensemble Villa Musica’s all-Martinů disc on MDG 3041439, which contains the Sextet – it’s unidiomatically played.

Schulhoff’s Sextet is a fascinatingly eclectic affair. Its first movement has Schoenbergian moments whilst the second is a pretty fervid Andante. There’s a folkloric scherzo, technically demanding, and flecks of late Impressionism in the finale. If this makes it sound like an indigestible porridge then the wonder is that it isn’t. I enjoyed The Raphael Ensemble’s performance but it strikes a very different kind of stance to that of the augmented Kocian Quartet on Supraphon SU1121672131 – they’ve also recorded it for Praga. The Helios has the warmer sound, though the more brittle Supraphon acoustic doesn’t act against the music. The Kocian screws up tension in the first movement more successfully and its middle section winds down like a run down motor very much more graphically. The English ensemble are slower than the Czechs – which lends their slow movement a nice, insinuating feel, though the Kocians sounds more modern in the scherzo. The Raphaels bring overt anguish to the opening statements of the finale whilst the Kocian tends to stress rather more the laconic impressionism rather than the expressionist angst that The Raphael Ensemble locates.

Martinů’s Three Madrigals sees Hyperion, in its Helios reissue guise, in competition, inter alia, with itself. The Dartington Ensemble recorded them - but their programme was discrete. Anthony Marwood and Sally Beamish make a good showing here. The acoustic is more generous than that for the classic Jiři Novák and Milan Škampa Supraphon though the tones, individually and collectively, of the English duo are wirier than the Czechs. No one can rival that august Czech pairing for sheer finesse, heft and atmosphere. 

This enjoyable disc doesn’t quite displace the front-runners but offers warmly aerated performances, persuasively realised.

Jonathan Woolf





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.