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 AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Max REGER (1873-1916)
Piano Quartet in A minor, Op. 133a (1914) [38:50]
String Trio in D minor, Op. 141bb (1904) [20:55].
Aperto Piano Quartet (Gernot Süssmuth (violin); aFelix Schwartz (viola); bStefan Fehlandt (viola); Hans-Jakob Eschenburg (cello); Frank-Immo Zichner (piano))
rec. Sendesaal des Hessischen Rundfunks, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, 16-18 September  2002 (Op. 133),  Siemensvilla, Berlin-Lankwitz, Germany, 27-28 February 2007.
NAXOS 8.570786 [59:52] 
Experience Classicsonline

The more Reger, the better. Not often you hear that, but the more Reger I hear, the more I want. And
Naxos is just the company to provide the goods.

The A minor Piano Quartet is a remarkably tender work. The expansive first movement includes some fraught passages, it is true, but the lasting impression is one of melancholy, densely expressed music. The string writing is active and, in this performance, highly expressive. There is little let-up from the overarching intensity. The piece finds excellent interpreters in the Aperto Piano Quartet. Frank-Immo Zichner is a superb pianist. His name was not known to me prior to hearing the present performance. 

The Scherzo, marked “Vivace” is mischievous in the extreme, contrasting with the ghostly Largo con gran espressione which, around the two minute mark, threatens to disappear, textures get so thin and emaciated. Anguished string recitatives project the “gran espressione” part of the movement’s tempo/mood indicator. The Aperto Piano Quartet projects the emotions well, just as it captures the staccato play of the finale: “Allegro con spirito”. There is much that is post-Brahmsian here in the more angst-ridden moments, although Reger does not let in the light as Brahms might occasionally have done. 

The D minor String Trio dates from 1904. It exhales altogether fresher air than its companion here, although the first movement does threaten to move towards the dense at one point. The central “Andante  molto sostenuto con variazioni” is a delight – one can justifiably sit back and revel in Reger’s easy invention. After two movements each just under nine minutes duration, the finale is a mere 3:19. It is probably the closest Reger gets to sunny. 

Personally, I would rather have this String Trio as the coupling to Op. 133 than a sequence of Violin Duos: the Three Duos, Op. 131b, to be precise, a collection of canons or fugues, as is the case over on Dabringhaus und Grimm, MDG 336 0714-2. 

The notes, by Susanne Popp, are confusing. She spends a whole page and a half discussing another piano quartet by Reger (the D minor, Op. 113) before finally lighting on the A minor, Op. 133. Then she discusses the String Trio in A minor, Op. 77b in some detail before giving a final nod in the direction of the piece we actually hear, the D minor, Op. 141b. I thought at first Naxos had inserted the wrong notes, but the catalogue numbers of the recordings of the (other) pieces she discusses are given in brackets. Has Naxos used all-purpose notes for two releases? I have not seen Volume 1 of this series of “Complete String Trios and Piano Quartets”, of which the present issue is Volume 2. Whether this is the case or not, the notes do not make for comfortable reading. According to Popp, Reger said of the String Trio Op. 131b “the work is really good” - meaningful and insightful, not. She then calls it “genuine Reger” - actually her quotation marks, and I have no idea why she used them. She certainly does not define her term or justify her appellation of the Trio as the real Regerian deal. 

There is a bonus, however, or perhaps a reward for surviving the booklet notes, a download - which I did indeed download. It is the delightful finale to Reinecke’s Sextet, Op. 271 for wind, from Naxos 8.570777 and played, so my iTunes tells me, by members of the Boston Symphony. Also featured on the disc is the intriguingly titled Von der Wiege bis zum Grabe, Op. 202, arranged for flute and piano by Ernesto Kohler. The performance of the Sextet finale is splendid. I hope the booklet notes are better for that release, though.

Colin Clarke

see also Review by Kevin Sutton


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.