52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
(currently suspended)


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

Bruno Monteiro (violin)

More Preludes to Chopin
Kenneth Hamilton (piano)

Special Price and we are still delivering

Recordings of the Month


Feinberg Piano Sonatas

Schoenberg Violin Concerto

Early Keyboard

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God


Haydn Scottish Songs

Choral Music

Liszt Sonata

Renaissance Bohemia


Hahn Complete Songs

Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

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


CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Elliott CARTER (b. 1908)
90+ (1994) [4:55]
Retrouvailles (2000) [1:38]
Night Fantasies (1980) [19:48]
Two Diversions (1999) [7:28]
Matribute (2007) [2:05]
Piano Sonata (1945-6) [23:31]
Two Thoughts About the Piano (2005-6) [10:55]
Ursula Oppens (piano)
rec. 4-8 Feb 2008, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York. DDD
CEDILLE CDR90000 108 [70:53]
Experience Classicsonline

This disc, skilfully recorded by Ursula Oppens, contains the complete piano music of Elliott Carter, released in tribute to the composer’s 100th birthday.

The strong opening work, 90+, with its coruscating fast passages and characterful melodic material, was composed in celebration of Goffredo Petrassi’s 90th birthday. Carter and Petrassi became friends while Carter was a member of the American Academy in Rome, and this work is a fitting tribute, which contains much in its five minute duration. Other miniatures feature on this disc, such as the minute and a half Retrouvailles, and the world premiere recording of the 2007 work Matribute, both of which are perfectly formed within their short durations. Matribute’s sparse textures are made up of fragmented melodies, which build steadily until the flowing movement at the end of the work.

The 1980 work, Night Fantasies is the first major work on the disc, commissioned jointly by pianists Paul Jacobs, Ursula Oppens, Charles Rosen and Gilbert Kalish. The work has changing moods and atmospheres, with still, quiet moments interrupted by splashes of sound and violent outbursts. This is a darkly expressive work which Oppens performs with restless energy and flowing lines.

The Two Diversions are two short movements which are technically more simple than much of Carter’s output, but are nonetheless musically agile. The first is expressive and slow-paced, with a sense of space between the gestures. The second movement is more angular, with a wonderful sense of completeness in its structure.

The other major work in Carter’s output for piano is the Sonata of 1945-6, in two movements lasting a total of nearly 25 minutes. A highly convincing work, the Maestoso opening quickly gives way to scurrying movement, before an impressive chorale-style section returns, based on strong pedal notes and harmonies created through the pitches from their resonances. The opening movement has a clarity of form, based on traditional Sonata Form. The second movement is a fugue, displaying Carter’s interest in creating technical as well as musical challenges for his performers. This is an excellent performance that convinces throughout.

Two Thoughts about the Piano begins with the work Intermittences, which makes expressive use of silences as well as rapidly flowing bundles of notes. This is an exciting work combining poignant moments with unpredictable bursts of energy. The second movement, Caténaires was composed in 2006, and is a thrilling toccata-style movement composed in a single line without chords. The uninterrupted line of semiquavers implies its own harmony and creates tensions and release in its phrasing. This is a spectacular performance that brings out both the drama and the expression in Carter’s technically challenging writing.

Oppens has had an association with Carter’s music for most of her career, and on this disc the musicality of his style comes to the fore. This is expressive music, composed in a modernist language, and Oppens draws out the poetic nature of the writing, performing with a true understanding of the composer’s intent. She is technically in complete control throughout and even plays with a sense of relaxed ease. The piano sound is crisp and well articulated, and there is a warmth of sound that appeals. An excellent recording, with informative sleeve notes by Bayan Northcott.

Carla Rees

see also review by Jonathan Woolf 




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.