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

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

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: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

André MATHIEU (1929-1968)
Concerto No. 4 in E minor for Piano and Orchestra (1947) (transcribed from solo recordings; orch. Gilles Bellemare) [41.28]
Scènes de Ballet (1938-1945) [22.04]
Four Songs for Choir and Orchestra (orch. Gilles Bellemare) (1946-1955) [10.44]
Alain Lefèvre (Yamaha CF-III-S piano)
Tucson Symphony Chorus/Bruce Chamberlain
Tucson Symphony Orchestra/George Hanson.
rec. live, 11 May 2008, Music Hall, Convention Center, Tucson, Arizona, USA. DDD
Greg Roraburgh (piano technician)
Notes in English and French
photo of artists; texts and translations
World premiere recording of Concerto No. 4
ANALEKTA AN29281 [74.26]
Experience Classicsonline

Normally I can’t use a comparison recording of a brand new work, but, well, if Anthony Payne can write Elgar’s Third Symphony, André Mathieu/Gilles Bellemare can write Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2½. Why ask silly questions? Just enjoy it. Rachmaninov would; he is reputed to have said that Mathieu was “a genius, more so than I.” Play it for your friends and tell them it’s Rachmaninov; they’ll never catch on.
Composer Mathieu, “le petit Mozart canadien,” was born in Montreal, Canada, to musician parents. He was in every way precocious and began writing music very early. In 1946 he went to Paris to study with Honegger, but the association did not flower and upon his return to Montreal in 1947 Mathieu’s mood and health began a steady decline. He wrote much music and played in public a great deal, but did not survive his thirties, the most dangerous years for a composer it would seem, dying of the effects of alcoholism in 1968. Since then he has been something of a Quebeçois hero, his music being played frequently, much of it requiring orchestration after transcription from primitive solo recordings. Gilles Bellemare and Alain Lefèvre have been at the centre of this activity. Conductor Hanson met pianist Lefèvre in Europe more or less accidentally where they collaborated with much success in the Grieg Concerto and subsequently planned these concerts and recordings.
This is also the Tucson Symphony’s debut recording, and a very auspicious debut it is indeed. They sound marvellous, and the recorded sound, recorded at 24 bit, is stupendous. Music Director Hanson conducts with tremendous energy; he was a student of Bernstein, has won an award for a recording of Rubinstein, and has worked with the Atlanta Symphony and New York Philharmonic orchestras. He has conducted over 90 orchestras in 19 countries, was Music Director of the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra in Germany, and of the Anchorage Alaska Symphony Orchestra from 1994 to 1999 before coming to Tucson in 1996. Pianist Lefèvre gives us all the huge, rich sound and rhapsodic phrasing required for Rachmaninov … or Mathieu. He has previously recorded Mathieu’s Concerto de Québec on the Analekta label (see his website for more information).
The Scènes de Ballet are closer to early Debussy in style and scope; they are engaging but not substantial. The first three, Berceuse, Complaint, Dans les Champs are pastoral pantomimes perhaps leaning towards the style of D’Indy. The fourth, Danse des espiègles, is real dance music with the usual difficulty of being repetitive and sacrificing dramatic substance for keeping a clear beat.
The four songs, also somewhat insubstantial, were originally for solo voice, the first one to a poem by the composer, the next two by Paul Verlaine, and the fourth by Jean LaForêt. They are charming and very French in style, the chorus mostly forming an atmospheric background to the instruments, briefly coming forward to make a dramatic statement. Having sung in a chorus, I can tell you that the Tucson Symphony chorus does a fine job with them providing just the vapidity the music deserves. The Concerto is the overriding reason one would buy this disk.
This recording would make a fine gift for a friend who likes Rachmaninov and regrets that he didn’t write more music.
On the orchestra website, you can watch/listen to a high quality video from the recording session and verify that Steven Moeckel is indeed the concertmaster during these concerts, and that the very energetic Mr. Hanson is the one on the left in the cover picture above, with pianist Lefèvre on the right, contrary to what you might have otherwise supposed.
Paul Shoemaker


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month



From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience




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.