Richard Blackford

a new Lyrita
Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Nimbus on-line

Piano Trios
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

British composers

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Leif KAYSER (1919-2001)
Symphony No. 1 (1937-38) [16:16]
Symphony No. 4 (1945-63) [52:37]
Aalborg Symphony Orchestra/Matthias Aeschbacher
rec. Aalborghallen, 23-27 June 2008. DDD
DACAPO 8.224709 [69:04]
Experience Classicsonline

I am not sure what happened to volume 1 (8.224708) but this disc serves to introduce me to Leif Kayser. He studied with Poul Schierbeck, Hilding Rosenberg and the conductor Tor Mann. Among his works are four symphonies (1938, 1940, 1943-53, 1945-63), Christmas Oratorio (1943-47), Te Deum (1946-53), four orchestral suites (1956-73), Requiem (1955-58), Concerto (1965) and Church Panes (1975). Having studied for the priesthood in Rome from 1942 he became a catholic priest at a church in Copenhagen in 1949 but was released from his vows in 1964.

The First Symphony is a concise romantic work with a rising and surging insistence. The silvery perfection of his string writing recalls Respighi in the Concerto Gregoriano. The four movement Fourth Symphony was a long time in the making. The first movement is by turns sturdy and dignified and then lightly fugal. There is a racing Molto Vivace with memorable brass fanfares and quick joyous writing for the strings (tr.3 1:20). The last two movements are very substantial: 20:37 and 17:11 as against the first two: 8:40; 6:02. The Lento is a dark and serious affair shackled in soulful tones to the matte lower range of the orchestra. The finale includes many solo episodes and the music is couched in a pastoral contemplative style with some moments rather like Nielsen and Vaughan Williams especially at the start. These are punctuated by some wonderfully empowered hammer-impact chords redolent of Jon Leifs (at 4:20). Some of the surging writing for strings reminded me of Hindemith's Mathis der Maler symphony and at 14:37 the cresting climaxes of the vintage Roy Harris symphonies. At the peak (16:10) it is as if Kayser is exultantly referencing Nielsen's Fifth Symphony. Thus Kayser’s final symphony written at the age of 47.

The recordings of both works are an object lesson in naturalism and immediacy - not always easy bedfellows.

Rob Barnett


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


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.