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

All HDTT reviews

Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library



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
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

Vania Vatralova-Stankov - Operatic Favourites
Vincenzo BELLINI (1801 – 1835)
Casta Diva [6:38]
Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797 – 1848)
Anna Bolena
Piangete voi? … Al dolce guidami [8:56]
Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901)
La traviata
E strano … Follie, follie … Sempre libera [7:35]
Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 – 1924)
La bohème
Si, mi chiamano Mimi [5:07]
Vissi d’arte [3:30]
Gianni Schicchi
O mio babbino caro [2:41]
Signore ascolta [2:45]
Georges BIZET (1838 – 1875)
Je dis que rien ne m’êpouvante [6:43]
Charles GOUNOD (1818 – 1893)
Ah! Je ris de me voir si en ce miroir [5:32]
Romeo et Juliette
Je veux vivre dans le rêve [4:02]
Vania Vatralova-Stankov (soprano)
Sofia Symphony Orchestra/Noël Tredinnick
rec. Sofia, Bulgaria, 7-9 April 2008
GEGA NEW GD341 [53:33]
Experience Classicsonline

The young Bulgarian soprano Vania Vatralova-Stankov started taking violin lessons at the age of five. At the same time she also began vocal training, leading eventually to her graduating from the Dobri Hristov College of Music in both violin and singing. Today she concentrates on her singing career. She is a resident of the UK and has appeared with opera companies as well as in concert. For this recital disc she has chosen arias from operas in which she has sung on stage. These include La traviata, in which she made her debut with the Royal Opera School Company. She has also sung in Carmen, Anna Bolena, Rusalka, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte.
Judging from her roles she is primarily a lyric soprano, even though Anna Bolena requires a spinto voice and Norma definitely a dramatic voice. Since her role in Don Giovanni has been Donna Anna, it seems that her aspirations are towards rather meaty parts. Judging from a recording is far from easy but my first impression was of a rather large voice with a natural vibrancy. She lacks the steely top notes of a spinto however – that may come later – and she seems most comfortable in the lyrical roles. The second stanza of Norma’s Casta Diva is sung with a great deal of restraint, which isn’t at all unbecoming. She has a good legato and the final notes are sung on a fine diminuendo. Anna Bolena’s great aria is also well sung. As Violetta in the first act of La traviata she is required to execute some rather testing florid singing and though she is no coloratura she manages Sempre libera without making unduly heavy weather of the runs.
Puccini seems better suited to her vocal equipment at the moment and she makes Mimi a vulnerable creature … which she should be. Tosca’s Vissi d’arte might be on the heavy side but this is a good reading, in spite of some unsteadiness. In Lauretta’s O mio babbino caro there were some metallic intruding sounds that I couldn’t identify, probably not emanating from the singer but from the microphones. The best singing of all comes in Liù’s Signore ascolta, where she conveys warmth as well as anxiety.
Micaela in Carmen is one of her roles on stage but here she sounds more insecure and the vibrato widens alarmingly at the climax. She draws a believable psychological portrait of the innocent girl, however. The two Gounod arias are well sung with a light and jolly Juliette in Je veux vivre. Here, though, as in a couple of other places, the reading would have gained from more intensity from the orchestra. The Sofia Symphony Orchestra play as well as the conductor allows them to but it is all a bit smoothed out.
This is a promising recital debut. With further experience I am sure Vania Vatralova-Stankov will be even more of an asset for many an opera house.
The inlay has biographical notes in Bulgarian and English but no texts or comments on the music. This is of little importance with a repertoire that most collectors will already have in numerous versions. The recording is good without being exceptional.
Göran Forsling


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

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1





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.