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
Normal service resumed


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)

Gloriæ Dei Cantores


Recordings of the Month


Beethoven Piano Concertos

Stradal Transcriptions

LOSY Note d’oro

Scarlatti Sonatas Vol 2



Feinberg Piano Sonatas

Schoenberg Violin Concerto

Early Keyboard

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God



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: Innova

Brooke JOYCE
Waves of Stone
Six Degrees of Separation (2000) [8:46]
Dark Waters (2007) [15:14]
Three Iowa Ballads (2008) [16:38]
Come up from the fields, father (1994) [14:08]
Waves of Stone (2008) [15:40]
toydogmusic (2003) [5:37]
Carol Hester (flute; piccolo); Stephanie Zelnick (clarinet); Jubal Fulks (violin) Eric Kutz (cello); Miko Kominami (piano); Michael Geary (percussion); Andrew D Whitfield (baritone); Spencer Martin (viola); Brooke Joyce (percussion; melodica; toy piano); Du Huang (piano); Xiao Hu (piano)
rec. Oct 2008- April 2009, Noble Recital Hall, Luther College, Decorah, IA, USA. DDD
INNOVA 753 [76:05]
Experience Classicsonline

Brooke Joyce is an American composer, currently teaching at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. This disc, on the Innova label, which is run by the American Composers’ Forum, contains six of his chamber works, composed between 1994 and 2008.

Six Degrees of Separation has an explosive opening with strong rhythms and a sense of drive. The music breaks away into a Reich-style percussion ostinato and then a static moment builds tension before explosive gestures return. The Reichian movement reappears with the textures building to include the whole ensemble, gradually changing in tempo. This is an interesting work which makes use of varied textures and speeds of development, building in tension and creating a dramatic sense of movement through time. The instrumental ensemble provides varied colours and the use of bright percussion adds a sparkle to the sound, while the piano is mostly used to give weight to the bass end. The ensemble performs with vigour and the piece seems to have its own life-force and energy.

Dark Waters is a duo for cello and piano. Joyce immediately creates a sense of atmosphere in the opening moments, with ominous harmonies and repetition in the piano part which allows sounds to linger. The cello and piano are used to good effect and Joyce creates a good balance between a sense of the abstract and memorable material. He cites Liszt and Rothko among his influences for this piece, and both can be detected in his writing.

The Three Iowa Ballads are the most recent of the pieces on this disc, composed just last year. The combination of baritone, viola and percussion is an interesting one, with a dark sonority which entices. The first of the songs, The Miner’s Chant is strongly rhythmic with a folk-style influence. The Ballad of Hardin Town is an old-style crime story, and the setting is both dramatic and imaginative. There is something about Joyce’s style which reminds me of Britten, and the folk influence is accentuated by the choice of percussion and the style of harmony. The final song in the set has a lilting feel, reminiscent of a Scottish folk song, and is beautifully phrased. Andrew Whitfield’s baritone voice is a pleasure to listen to and these are well-written songs with a sense of character and imagination.

Come up from the fields, father is a setting of a text by Walt Whitman. The tessitura is higher than the previous songs, using soprano voice and high-pitched woodwind. The bass end of the ensemble is provided by piano and cello, although these instruments are also used high in their ranges at the opening of the work. This is another colourful work which integrates the voice into the instrumental sound very well.

Waves of Stone, the title track of the disc, was also composed in 2008 and is a three movement work for piano duo. Joyce’s writing gives an almost symphonic feel to the two pianos, with a wide scope of sound and range. These are dramatic pieces which are rhythmically energetic, with ostinati, toccata-style passages and a sense of underlying strength of will. The playing of the Unison Piano Duo (Du Huang and Xiao Hu) is impressive throughout, and this is a successful piece which belongs as part of the piano duo repertoire.

The somewhat frivolous toydogmusic ends the disc, a short work for piccolo and toy piano which celebrates toys and small dogs. This is a comical piece which is nevertheless well written and possesses an imaginative sound-world, with the piccolo used mainly in the low register to blend with the metallic sound of the toy piano, rather than being allowed to dominate. This work gives a sense of the composer’s personality and is a fun end to the disc.

Carla Rees














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.