One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 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


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

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Puertas de Madrid

Eugène Ysaÿe: Violin Discoveries


new releases


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


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom
Ph. 020 8418 0616



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Symphonic Works

Frederico Mompou

Extraordinary Music for Organ


Gunnar Kristinsson Moonbow

Mozart and Contemporaries


La clarinette Parisienne



Robin ORR (1909-2006)
Robin Orr - Centenary Tribute  
Sonatina for Violin and Piano (1941) [8:46]
Max Rostal (violin); Franz Osborn (piano)
Sonata for Viola and Piano (1947) [17:56]
James Durrant (viola); Lawrence Glover (piano)
Serenade for String Trio (1948, rev. 1989) [15:05]
Leonard Friedman (violin); Duncan Johnson (viola); Joanna Borrett (cello)
Duo for Violin and Cello in one movement (1953, rev. 1965) [12:11] 
Edwin Paling (violin); Elisabeth McDonald (cello)  
Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord (1956) [16:24]
Granville Jones (violin); Thurston Dart (harpsichord)
rec. 1948 Decca 78 (Sonatina); Glasgow, 1977 b/c 22 June 1978 (Viola Sonata); Cambridge University West Road Concert Hall, 9 November 1989 (Serenade); Bute Hall, Glasgow, December 1983 b/c 1984 (Duo); BBC, 23 July 1959. ADD
GUILD GHCD2350 [72:28]


Experience Classicsonline

Robin Orr, Scottish-born but naturalised Swiss, would have been one hundred years old this year but for his death in 2006. He wrote three operas and three symphonies amongst much else. This collection of archive recordings marks the centenary in style.

The 1941 Sonatina is from the only ‘commercial’ recording featured here.  It has been transferred from a Decca 78 from 1948 in that company’s splendidly enlightened Promotion for New Music series. It's a rapturously dancing piece with the lambent lyrical air of Tippett's Concerto for Double String Orchestra. A short yet impassioned Adagio Appassionato steps forward in tortured harmonic language but soon sings freely through the violin. It may sing but this song is laden with a cargo of tears. Rostal's violin tone is supple and slender even when emotional. His sound-world was carried forward into new generations with Yfrah Neaman whose Lyrita recording of the two Ireland Violin Sonatas is now easily accessible (see review).

Six years after the Violin Sonatina came the multi-faceted Viola Sonatam, another work where the composer delves deep into an emotional shadow-land. With Orr it seems there is always a passionate foundation and often that passion is linked to confidences and sorrow as we can unmistakably hear in the Elegy movement.  The flickering bells of the Scherzetto link to the joyous Tippett-like ecstasy of the Violin Sonatina first movement. Orr has no time for prolixity and the Serenade for String Trio serves to emphasise this point. There is an emotionally veiled and ambivalently shaded first movement, a gravely concentrated Andante and a dense and convoluted Adagio moving into terpsichorean Presto. The one movement Duo is from 1953 and revised in 1965. It is not as harmonically severe as the Trio. A perfect little work full of emotional reward it is well able to keep company with the Kodaly Duo for the same instruments. It benefits from the composer's gift for finding the just length for the expression of his musical conceits and then developing or stopping the statement before the idea lies exhausted. It's a gift. This work stand high in this company. The 1956 Sonata is for violin and klavier - either harpsichord, as here, or piano. The Allegro rather smacks of Rawsthorne with occasional dancing infusions from his piano teacher Arthur Benjamin. The work has a serious mien but there is the occasional smile often contributed in the harpsichord line here articulated by Thurston Dart. The concentrated arpeggiation of the keyboard in the Largo focuses the lamentation of the violin line without becoming mechanistic. There is something of the minimalism of Sibelius's The Bard about those harpsichord figurations. The dancing Allegro vivace manages to resist the stultifying hand of its fugal packaging through a Rubbra-like earnestness.

This is the second Orr record from Guild. The first - of orchestral works - is GMCD7196: Italian Overture (1952); From the Book of Philip Sparrow (1969); Rhapsody for String Orchestra (1958); Journeys and Places (1971)* Pamela Helen Stephen* (mezzo); Northern Sinfonia/Howard Griffiths. This is not to forget the EMI Classics CD of the Symphony in one movement.

Rob Barnett




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.