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

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

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

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


CD: Crotchet

Leoš JANÁČEK (1854–1928)
Violin Sonata (1914/1922) [17:20]
Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882–1937)
Mythes, op.30 (1915) [20:45]
Georges ENESCO (1881–1955)
Violin Sonata No.3 in A, dans le caractčre populaire roumain, op.25 (1926) [24:18]
Béla BARTÓK (1881–1945)
First Rhapsody (1928) [10:20]
David Grimal (violin); Georges Pludermacher (piano)
rec. January 2008, Sion, Switzerland. DDD
Experience Classicsonline

Now here’s a disk worthy of our attention – four major 20th century works for violin and piano, all written within fifteen years of each other by four very different composers, and each displaying contrasting ideas of construction and thought.
If ever there was a maverick, a true wild card, in early 20th century music Leoš Janáček must stand head and shoulders above the rest. Writing music which seems totally inspirational, without regard for form he juxtaposed radically conflicting material yet moulded it all into a satisfying whole. The works he conceived after about 1910 rank amongst the greatest the musical world has seen, and heard. The Violin Sonata heard on this disk is no exception to this rule. In four quite fantastic, in the phantasmagorical sense, movements this work is an emotion-driven ride which, once it’s got hold of you, never lets go. Grimal plays it well, but misses the wild abandon of the piece. He simply fails to let his hair down, and thus it’s a bit too polite.
No such problems with his performance of the three Szymanowski Mythes. Written at the same time as the 3rd Symphony and the magisterial 1st Violin Concerto, the work is full of erotic sensuality and the mysticism derived from Scriabin which he was still employing. It wouldn’t be long before Szymanowski turned to folk and traditional sources and his style changed radically. This rich, late romantic, music suits Grimal to the ground and he is very happy, and comfortable, with the spiritual charge of the work. The wide-ranging solo line is imbued with a strength and power, but it is never overdone, and the delicacy of much of the music is well realised.
Enesco’s 3rd Sonata, in the popular Roumanian style, seems to enshrine the soul of some long gone peasant fiddler. We have been spoiled by the fact that Enesco himself made a fine recording of this work - with Cécily Chailley-Richez, in Paris in 1949. Everyone has to stand beside that interpretation, which really is something very special. Being the superb violinist that he was Enesco the performer can give Enesco the composer that extra insight into the heart of the music. He also brings to his performance an improvisatory feel such as might have happened when the old fiddler was playing and extemporizing his music by the flickering light of the camp fire. That Grimal gets nowhere near the inspirational, improvisational or folk fiddler feel necessary for this work is no reflection on him. This is as fine a performance as you could want – expertly played and interpreted – but what Enesco so obviously wanted, as he displays in his recording, seems elusive to every violinist I have ever heard playing this work. That includes Yehudi Menuhin on EMI and Sophie Langdon live in the Wigmore Hall some 20 years ago – two of the best in my experience so far.
Bartók’s First Rhapsody is much more stylized folk fiddling and Grimal gives it all he’s got. This makes a joyous finish to an interesting disk filled with superb fiddling, and fabulous keyboard dexterity from Pludermacher – a name I haven’t heard for some time. On the strength of his playing here I wonder why. Despite my comments concerning Enesco’s works, which are not meant as criticisms, this is a disk well worth having for it is a marvellous exposition of these pieces, which we seldom hear in the concert hall.
Bob Briggs


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus




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.