One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 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



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


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


CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

James MacMILLAN (b. 1959)
Fourteen Little Pictures (1997) [23:18]
Franz Peter SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Piano Trio in E flat, D929 (1827) [50:21]
Gould Piano Trio (Benjamin Frith (piano); Lucy Gould (violin); Alice Neary (cello))
rec. live, Wigmore Hall, London, 17 July 2008. DDD
Experience Classicsonline

Last year saw the premiere of MacMillan’s St John Passion at the Barbican, an awe-inspiring event that found the composer working on a large canvas. Here is the other side of the MacMillan coin – an intimate chamber work. Fourteen Little Miniatures is a set of inter-related short pieces commissioned to mark the 25th anniversary of the collaboration of Peter Frankl, György Pauk and Ralph Kirshbaum.
MacMillan’s piece encompasses a wide variety of textures and makes play with the relative importance of each instrument. In some the cello will dominate, in others the violin, in others the honours may be more equally distributed.  There is another recording - on an all-MacMillan disc issued on Black Box - but that might prove rather difficult to locate. The sheer presence of the recording at the Wigmore Hall is laudable, giving grit to the more outgoing, modernist passages. The eighth variation, for strings alone, presents some of those characteristic MacMillan ‘keening’ gestures that here add almost a sense of pleading to the music. They feature prominently in the penultimate variation, also. The very next variation, the ninth, presents a virtuoso side of the piano part - excellently judged by Benjamin Frith. There is an extended silence after the final notes have been sounded – as befits a performance such as this. The title may be misleading, for these 14 ‘little’ pictures contain a wealth of depth and add up to significantly more than the sum of their parts.
The Schubert - D929, sometimes known as Op. 100 - emerges as bright as a button, heard immediately after the MacMillan. The performance is fluent, the tempo for the initial Allegro being perfectly chosen. There is also a youthful freshness here. Perhaps the freshness I not ideally coupled with depth of interpretation, as on occasion in the first movement the momentum stumbles. Schubert is thinking on a large canvas here (the piece lasts over 50 minutes, after all) and the maturity to project the longer-range processes should be a given here. The Beaux Arts Trio demonstrates this perfectly on the Philips twofer, 438 700-2. Despite this, there are many, many moments of the utmost beauty and the three players respond superbly to each other.
There is speculation that the Andante con moto’s theme is based on a Swedish folk melody. It would presumably have come to Schubert via the tenor Isaac Berg, a Dane who was visiting Vienna at the time of the work’s composition. This movement includes a passage - just after the six-minute mark - of the most convivial conversation between violin and cello. The Scherzo is deliciously pointed, while the long finale (16:56) obviously brings out the best in the players. Here joy seems all and it is only when we look further beneath the surface that we begin to realise the miracle of Schubert’s invention.
A worthwhile release, and a stimulating coupling.
Colin Clarke


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 Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

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

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Chopin Bruce Liu

Ingeneri Volume 2

Mondonville - Titon et L'Aurore

Telemann - French Cantatas 1


March 2022

Brahms Symphony 4
MacMillan Larghetto for Orchestra

Bruch Violin Concertos

Debussy Preludes Book 2

Jan-Peter de GRAAFF
Cello Concertos

La Nuit étoilé
Berlioz. Holmes




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.