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

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

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

AmazonUK AmazonUS


Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Overtures: Euryanthe, J.291 (1823) [8:31]; Peter Schmoll und seine Nachbarn, J.8 (1803) [10:00]; Oberon, J.306 (1826) [9:35]; Der Beherrscher der Geister, J.122 (1811) [5:43]; Turandot: Overture and Act II March, J.75 (1809) [5:38]; Preciosa, J.279 (1821) [7:59]; Silvana, J.87 (1810) [6:18]; Jubel-Ouvertüre, J.245 (1818) [8:02]; Abu Hassan, J.106 (1811) [3:30]; Der Freischütz, J.277 (1821) [10:15]
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Antoni Wit
rec. Wellington Town Hall, New Zealand, 13-15 July 2006. DDD.
NAXOS 8.570296 [76:24] 
Experience Classicsonline

It is good to have a new collection of Weber overtures, especially at budget price, when such collections are less common than those of, say, Rossini. If not as brilliant as those, they are scarcely less worthy of exposure in their considerable variety.

This collection has completeness in its favor, even if some of the performances have been bettered elsewhere. Only Euryanthe, Oberon, and Der Freischütz are usually found in diverse overture collections, while the other works here offer many delights, too. The performances, overall, are very good, though one could ask for the warmer strings and more burnished horns in Oberon and Der Freischütz that other, more famous ensembles have provided. Particularly accomplished here are the accounts of Preciosa, Abu Hassan, and the Turandot excerpts. Wit brings out the humor, or should I say “wit” in Abu Hassan well, and Preciosa is also a joy. It is fun to hear the Turandot Overture and March in its original guise, since Paul Hindemith’s treatment of this music in his Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Weber is probably more familiar to many listeners. Weber just repeats his “oriental” theme numerous times, whereas Hindemith really makes something jazzy and innovative out of it in his wonderful scherzo movement in the Symphonic Metamorphosis. I recall a disc of Weber overtures by the Philharmonia and Neeme Järvi, including the Turandot music, that coupled them with the Hindemith work — a very clever idea that hasn’t been done since. Even more rarely recorded are the overtures to Peter Schmoll und seine Nachbarn, Der Beherrscher der Geister, and Silvana. It is good to have them here. Then there is the Jubel Overture that concludes with “God Save the King”, heard somewhat more frequently than some of the others. As whole, this is a worthwhile collection. 

Presentation is up to the usual high Naxos standard, and the notes are clearly satisfactory. I should, however, discuss the recorded sound. Part of the impression of the strings’ lack of warmth or depth I believe lies with the recording itself. It is interesting to compare this disc with a recent Sibelius collection on Naxos by the same New Zealand Symphony, but under a different conductor in a different venue. That recording leaves absolutely nothing to be desired in terms of performance or sound. It is recorded in the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington, while this was done at the Wellington Town Hall. This could very well account for the impression of brightness at the expense of warmth here, which suits some of the overtures better than others, rather than laying the blame at the feet of the conductor. Antoni Wit has given us many great recordings of a broad spectrum of repertoire, but mostly with Polish orchestras. He seems well suited to Weber, too, bringing out the classicism and spirit of these overtures if at times shortchanging the Romantic elements. I don’t want to make too much of this or of the sound. Overall I am happy to welcome this collection. 

Leslie Wright

see also Review by Raymond Walker  


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




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.