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


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Deaconoff; Stockhausen

Live at the Clifton Festival

Choir at Clifton Cathedral


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




Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
Sinfonietta La Jolla for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, H328 (1950) [19:32]
Toccata e due canzoni for small orchestra, H311 (1946) [24:49] 
Concerto Grosso for Chamber Orchestra, H263 (1937) [14:48] 
Josef Hála (piano) (all works); Petr Jiříkovský (piano) (H263)
Prague Chamber Orchestra/Ondřej Kukal
rec. Domovina Studio, 11-12, 19-20 May, 6 June 1997. DDD
SUPRAPHON SU39582 [59:29]


Experience Classicsonline

While the Concerto Grosso of 1937 is a product of the Parisian years this collection speaks overall of his masterly American period. It has the sound of the piano as a thread running through all three works.

The Concerto Grosso may have been written in Paris but it shakes off the neo-classical malaise that had begun to seep into the composer’s bones. It has some of that Parisian DNA but something else is going on too. It is rather ‘modern’ baroque certainly but in the outer movements it fizzes, steams, wheezes and shudders in this performance with a fearfully impressive zest. It is like some Jules Verne-ian cast iron engine hissing and straining at the floor bolts. Especially in the finale one is reminded of the wilder, juicier Stravinsky of Tango or Ragtime. This contrasts nicely with the miasmic wasteland ambivalence of the Adagio. Hála and Jiříkovský are the two pianists. The Concerto Grosso was premiered in Boston and acted as Martinů’s passport to acceptance, acclaim and commissions in his New World. 

Kukal’s is the most successful recorded version of the Sinfonietta La Jolla I have ever heard. It dates from the year after the Fourth Symphony – the finest of the Six. In fact it once shared an LP with the Fourth – EMI ASD 3888 (RLPO/Walter Weller). That LP never made it to CD but Weller re-recorded the symphony – and rather brilliantly – for Fuga Libera. The air breathed by La Jolla has the same life-enhancing richness and nervy-delectable oxygen as the Fourth Symphony. The sprung ecstasy of the first and final movements of the Sinfonietta takes on a triumphant surge in the finale. There is a lyrically pacific Largo. 

The Toccata e due canzoni is deeply impressive and is heard here in a performance to match. The Toccata is all humming-tension and active ambivalence: cycling between threat and power, despair and joy. Canzone I is memorable for that same grip and for its classic tight bell-obsessive carillon from the piano. That carillon, once heard, haunts you as much as the ostinato from Nightride and Sunrise. In the pregnant piano figure Hála is, as I recall, quicker than Hnat who is to be preferred very slightly – or he would be if the Hnat had been reissued on CD. Canzone II has a Shostakovich scald to the harmonic language. In this work one begins to feel Martinů’s world turning towards darkness. Could I also add that there is a similarly impressive version of this work on an Arte Nova anthology from Christopher Hogwood. 

La Jolla and Toccata e Due Canzoni were previously coupled on LP by Supraphon with Zdeňek Hnat and the same Prague CO on SUP 110 1619. Fine performances which would easily bear reissue. 

One can only fault this disc for failing to add a fourth work. In terms of playing duration it could easily have offered the Sinfonia Concertante or the Sinfonietta Giocosa. 

The recordings are now a dozen years old but they catch the Martinů sound in full flight - wonderful.

Rob Barnett



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



Aho Symphony 5

Dowland - A Fancy


Rachmaninov_ Babayan




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.