Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


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

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor 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
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   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

Benjamin BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Violin Concerto in D minor, op.15 (1938/1940 revised 1951) [33:40]
William WALTON (1902-1983)
Viola Concerto (1928/1929 revised 1961) [30:28]
 Maxim Vengerov (violin, viola)
London Symphony Orchestra/Mstislav Rostropovich
rec. 28 March (Britten), 14, 16 December (Walton) 2002, Studio No.1, Abbey Road Studios, London. DDD
 EMI CLASSICS 2285252 [64:29]
Experience Classicsonline

I first heard the Britten Violin Concerto when Barbirolli conducted a performance, in Bradford in 1967, with the Hall and the marvelous Wanda Wilkomirska. When is someone going to re-issue her glorious recording of the Delius Sonatas, with David Garvey? Barbirolli led the premire in New York and recorded the work with Theo Olof in 1948 - a recording unissued until a few years ago: EMI CDM 5 66053 2. Shortly after the Bradford concert the BBC broadcast a live performance with Hyman Bress and the BBC Welsh Orchestra under John Carewe which I recorded and from which I learned the work. Shortly after this, Supraphon issued a recording of the piece with Nora Grumlikova, with the Prague Symphony under Peter Maag (Supraphon SUAST 50959 - coupled with Vaughan Williams's Concerto Accademico). Since then there's been several very fine recordings - at the top of the list is Mark Lubotsky, with the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the composer, and coupled with the Piano Concerto with Richter. It's available separately on a single Decca CD 4173082, or as part of a 7 CD set 4756051. There also a recording by Rodney Friend, with the London Philharmonic, under John Pritchard (Classics For Pleasure 5759782 - coupled with the Serenade, op.31, sung by the great Ian Partridge and Tippett's Concerto for Double String Orchestra, conducted by Vernon Handley. Ida Haendel, with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Paavo Berglund should not be forgotten (EMI Classics 7642022 - coupled with Walton's Violin Concerto). Therefore, anyone making a new recording had better have some good ideas up his sleeve in the face of such stiff competition.
With his first entry, with the gorgeously sinuous first theme, Vengerov seems self-conscious, and somewhat reticent. The orchestral accompaniment is likewise withdrawn. The development section fails to really take fire as it should, there's some splendid writing for both soloist and orchestra here, and in the recapitulation Rostropovich holds the orchestra back far too much so that the emotional effect is lost; it sounds rather apologetic, but here Vengerov is fine in his subsidiary role. There is some fine playing in the middle scherzo and Vengerov launches into the cadenza, which links this movement to the finale, with a real spirit but seems to loose his way, and at the end ruins the solo line by incorporating a pause before starting the finale instead of simply continuing without a break. Here, again, the performance is too distant, too divorced from the material. I wonder if the problem is that Rostropovich has too much veneration for the composer and is of the opinion that everything must be very beautiful and not have any awkward corners to ruin the flow of the music? I was most disappointed with this performance for it lacks the bite and weight necessary to make the three movements come alive and grip us with its bitter-sweet lyricism.
The Walton Viola Concerto is an entirely different matter. Both Vengerov and Rostropovich fully understand this work and give a sparkling performance. Like the Britten, it has a wistful lyricism, tinged with a bit of 1920s Waltonian irony. Vengerov is as at home with the larger instrument as he usually is with his own and he plays the work with all the melancholy and pathos you could hope for. This, really, is a lovely performance.
But do you really want to buy this disk simply for the Walton? The Britten Concerto is much better served by the recordings listed above and as for the Walton you couldn't do much better than Menuhin's recording of both the Violin and Viola Concertos, under the composer's own direction (EMI 5650032 - part of EMI's Walton edition). Perhaps EMI could find a more satisfactory coupling for the Walton thus making it more attractive for the buying public.
Bob Briggs

see also review of original release by Ian Lace

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 cpo reviews

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

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk Acousmatic Music


October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus




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.