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: Crotchet AmazonUK AmazonUS

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Piano Sonata No.44 in F major Hob. XVI:29 [14:01]
Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Piano Sonata No.2 in D minor Op.14 (1912) [19:22]
Légende Op.12 No.6 [3:43]
Visions fugitives Op.22 - Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 18 (1915-17) [9:38]
Piano Sonata No.8 in B flat major Op.84 (1939-44)[29:20]
Sviatoslav Richter (piano)
rec. live, Royal Festival Hall, London, 8 July 1961
BBC LEGENDS BBCL4245-2 [75:37]
Experience Classicsonline

Though many BBC Legend recital discs collate broadcast material recorded from more than one concert a number have retained their integrity, a policy that – on balance – I tend to favour. This is one such example, drawing as it does on a recital given by Richter at the Royal Festival Hall on 8 July 1961. I suppose the clamour for it will be balanced by the surety that there is so much live Richter at large that it needs to have a special claim on the collector’s wallet.
I think one such component is the Haydn Sonata, his sole public performance of it before the 1990s, so one could say that interest will accrue given its rarity value. This is balanced by Prokofiev, a far more obviously stable part of his repertoire over the years. Another feature that might grab the listener is the fact that this was Richter’s London debut.
Certainly it took a modicum of daring back then to start with the Haydn; the audience takes its time to meet him halfway, coughing away, as London audiences always do. Richter brings out the patrician elements in the opening but doesn’t fail to evoke the more quixotic elements of the writing either – there is characteristically pellucid clarity in the passagework. Reflectiveness saturates the slow movement, whilst there is energy, vitality and just the right quality of wit in the Minuet finale.
His Prokofiev Second Sonata is powerfully poised, few before or since having quite so acute an access to its character and sensibility as Richter. In particular the Scherzo is articulated with mesmerising dynamism and control, though no less in the troubled Andante do we find Richter’s characterisation at a peak of engagement and integrity. The incorrigible dry wit of the finale – doubtless Richter saw an analogue here between Haydn and Prokofiev – is effortlessly projected, so too the music’s colouristic potential laced with the rhythmic vitality of a thoroughbred.
After a pensive and beautifully voiced Légende Richter plays ten of the Visions fugitives to which he brings burnished elegance and tartness equally and in profusion. The highlight for me is the sheer puckishness of his way with XI. Finally we have Sonata No.8, a work he first heard the composer play, though Gilels premiered it and Richter always professed the highest regard for his contemporary’s performance. He also thought the Eighth the ‘richest’ of the sonatas and along with the Fourth and Ninth his favourite. Richter’s playing encapsulates a certain hauteur, and is viewed in one long architectural line. He controls and corrals the long first movement in a particularly impressive way, and vests the central panel of the sonata with a dynamic, uncompromisingly ochre-hued vivid grimness.
In all then this recital does extend a definite hold, even acknowledging the plethora of other Richter in-concert performances. With uncomplicated sound quality and good notes this definitely does exert a strong pull on the collector’s wallet.
Jonathan Woolf


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.