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




Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869)
Le Corsaire Op.21 (1844-55) [7:58]¹
Symphonie fantastique Op.14 (1830) [47:05]²
Le Carnaval Romain Op.9 (1843) [8:31]³
Les Troyens: Marche troyenne (1856-59) [3:48]º
Le Roi Lear Overture, Op. 4 (1831) [11:28] º
Paris Conservatoire Orchestra/Charles Munch, recorded in La Maison de la Mutualité, Paris, June 1948¹
Concertgebouw Orchestra/Eduard van Beinum, recorded in the Grote Zaal, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, September 1951²
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Victor de Sabata, recorded in Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, May 1946³
London Symphony Orchestra/Hamilton Harty, recorded at Decca’s Thames Street Studios, London, October 1935º
BEULAH 1PD30 [78:55]
Experience Classicsonline

The prize here is Beulah’s sonic restoration of van Beinum’s 1951 recording of Symphonie fantastique. The conductor and his Concertgebouw orchestra made something of a habit of recording it. There were two Deccas, one in 1946 and this one, and two recordings made in wartime, which necessarily saw limited circulation. I’ve heard neither of these but both Deccas are superbly accomplished, the 1951 recording in particular, and it sounds well in its upholstered guise. It’s a moot point as to which is the more exciting and attractive performance, the 1946 or the 1951. I do think the phrasing of Un bal is a shade more sympathetic in 1951 but then again I think the earlier recording shades it fractionally in the opening in terms of sheer grip and excitement. True the Amsterdam strings do sound a touch papery - but the ear adjusts – and for all the vitality of the reading one will still find that Munch and Monteux offer, at times, even greater vitality. But for those who want a sole example of van Beinum’s way with this work, this will do very nicely.

It’s not on its own. There’s the 1948 Paris recording of Le Corsair with the local Conservatoire Orchestra under Charles Munch. The strings here really are a bit desiccated but Munch watchers will like to note that he takes, to the second, the same tempo as he took in his celebrated 1958 Boston performance. Victor de Sabata gives a panache-attended performance of Le carnaval romain  - vivid and exciting. And then we have two examples of the famous, if small, Berlioz discography left by Hamilton Harty. It’s probably best not to gnash at the loss of a recording with Harty and Tertis in Harold in Italy. Tertis always said that the finest performance he gave of that was with Harty. We have to make do with what we have. Beulah has plumped for the Marche troyenne and Le roi Lear Overture. These celebrated sides were set down in 1935 and still sound good; the producer was Walter Yeomans.

With a fine centre-piece this programme has been planned with care and attention to detail. If the sound in a couple of the tracks is undernourished then that’s more a reflection of the prevailing recordings, not of Beulah’s restorations, which are honest and gutsy.

Jonathan Woolf 



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



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.