One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                     Editor in Chief: John Quinn              


Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Deaconoff; Stockhausen

Live at the Clifton Festival

Choir at Clifton Cathedral


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

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

Musicweb sells the following labels

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


CD: Crotchet

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 51 No. 1 (c. 1868-73) [21:21]
String Quintet No. 2 in G, Op. 111 (1890) [29:45].
Belcea String Quartet (Corina Belcea-Fisher (violin); Krzysztof Shorzelski (violin);  Laura Samuel (viola); Alasdair Tait (cello)), Thomas Kakushka (viola).
rec. Potton Hall, Suffolk, 4-6 July, 4 September 2003.
EMI CLASSICS ENCORE 2357122 [62:19]
Experience Classicsonline

The ‘Encore’ series is one of EMI’s more uneven reissue labels, so it is good to report that this one is an absolute steal. The Belcea Quartet has established a solid reputation in Dutilleux, Debussy and Ravel, Schubert, Bartók and Britten. This reissue acts as a reminder of the group’s potency coupled with their youthful sense of exploration and exuberance.
The C minor Quartet receives an intense performance, as befits its musical surface. The rigour of the workings of the first movement seems to hang over the Romance, a second movement at once infinitely tender yet with an underlay of disquiet. The close of the Romance takes the music down to a whisper, enabling the rhythmic shiftings of the next movement to emerge out of nowhere, as if voicing a doubt as to any ambitions the Romance may have had towards serenity. Yet even here the doubts are calmed by passages of the utmost transparency. The finale returns to the determined motivic workings of the first movement, now with added grit. A superb performance. I agree with Michael Cookson’s recommendation of the Borodin Quartet in this piece (Teldec); I would add the Škampa Quartet on Supraphon as a further recommendation.
The radiant String Quintet in G, Op.111 makes for the ideal coupling. The translucency of the textures is breathtaking and the wonderfully clear recording helps. The Belcea is joined by the ABQ’s much-missed violist, Thomas Kakuska. The warm, free-flowing invention is mesmeric to listen to. Not only is the recording clear, it is also warm and welcoming. The hesitancy of the Adagio is gripping, with its pianissimi that verge on the inaudible and its outbursts of sheer joy in creative expression; the ensuing Un poco allegretto exudes an atmosphere of the generally unsettled. The finale introduces a measure of tension into the mix, though.

Documentation is sparse: there are roughly equal amounts of text - less than a page - on the composer and the works presented. The artists receive a little more. The standard of performance and recording, on this occasion, eclipses the niggles. Do not hesitate.
Colin Clarke

see also review by Michael Cookson (original release)



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



Aho Symphony 5

Dowland - A Fancy


Rachmaninov_ Babayan




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.