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


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: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline


Leoš JANÁČEK (1854-1928)
Orchestral Suites from the operas – arr. Peter Breiner (b. 1957) - Volume 1
Jenůfa – Suite (Night is already falling [4:16]; All are getting married – Every couple must get over its problems [5:42]; Are you feeling sad, Jenufa? [5:03]; Far and wide [4:05]; May God grant you a good day [7:31]; They’ve all left – Now you leave too [4:28])
The Excursions of Mr Brouček – Suite (Matthew Brouček [5:16]; There is the Moon [9:49]; Waltzes and Other Dances [8:25]; Visitor from Earth [6:14]; Those who are the warriors of God [9:09])
Vesa-Matti Leppanen (violin)
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/Peter Breiner
rec. Wellington Town Hall, New Zealand, 28 May–1 June 2007
NAXOS 8.570555 [70:20] 
Experience Classicsonline

It’s difficult to know quite who this disc is aimed at.  Peter Breiner has taken some highlights from these operas and arranged them to work as orchestral concert suites, somewhat like Stokowski’s treatment of Wagner.  It’s a laudable endeavour and the result is pleasing and never less than interesting.  Who’s it meant to appeal to, however?  Surely anyone interested in this music will already know the operas in their original form where there are no cuts to intervene and frustrate the progress.  I very much doubt that anyone would come to this disc as a way into
Janáček’s work: better, surely, to take the plunge and go for the real McCoy. 

Anyway, the results are pleasing and very well played.  In Jenůfa Breiner sticks broadly to Janáček’s orchestral textures with the occasional embellishment, such as a solo trumpet to sing Jenůfa’s lines or a cor anglais for the Kostelnička’s.  The opening movement goes from the beginning of the opera with its ostinato xylophone for the mill wheel.  Oddly, though, we get the opening of Act 3 in the third movement before it suddenly reverts back to the opening of Act 2.  The booklet notes argue for this “cinematic” treatment of the score, but if you know the opera then it just sounds a bit odd.  Moving from this tension into the wedding celebrations then feels a bit jarring.  The playing itself is very good, but the orchestra isn’t helped by somewhat recessed recorded sound; this in turn detracts from the immediacy of the dance movements, and the swell of the ending lacks the final dramatic edge. 

I enjoyed Brouček more as a distinct work, perhaps because I don’t know the opera.  It opens with a jovial depiction of Prague and of Brouček himself, before much more delicate orchestration underlines the change of location to the Moon in the second movement.  The atmosphere of the spectral strings and glockenspiel (or is it a celesta?) contrasts with the lovely romantic swell which occurs at 5:45, and I was reminded a little of middle-period Mahler.  The third movement dances are all good fun, by turns lithe and swaggering, though the patriotic celebrations of the finale feel pedestrian rather than triumphal. 

So if you already like Janáček’s operas then this would be a fitting enough supplement to recordings you may already have.  But would I recommend that you invest in this disc before a full set of the operas themselves?  No: roll up your sleeves and get stuck into the real thing instead.

Simon Thompson

see also Review by Dominy Clements


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.