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

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

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


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



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Johan Helmich ROMAN (1694-1758)
Twelve Flute Sonatas
CD 1
Sonata No. 1 in G (BeRI 201) [15:21]
Sonata No. 2 in D (BeRI 202) [09:53]
Sonata No. 3 in c minor (BeRI 203) [11:08]
Sonata No. 4 in G (BeRI 204) [13:40]
Sonata No. 5 in e minor (BeRI 205) [13:11]
Sonata No. 6 in b minor (BeRI 206) [11:58]
CD 2
Sonata No. 7 in G (BeRI 207) [11:12]
Sonata No. 8 in A (BeRI 208) [13:29]
Sonata No. 9 in C (BeRI 209) [13:15]
Sonata No. 10 in e minor (BeRI 210) [14:36]
Sonata No. 11 in g minor (BeRI 211) [08:38]
Sonata No. 12 in D (BeRI 212) [09:31]
Verena Fischer (transverse flute); Klaus-Dieter Brandt (cello); Léon Berben (harpsichord)
rec. 10-12 October 2007 (CD 1); 14-17 January 2008 (CD 2), Reitstadel, Neumarkt, Germany. DDD
NAXOS 8.570492-93 [75:11 + 70:42] 
Experience Classicsonline

Johan Helmich Roman is the first Swedish-born professional composer in history. He played a key role in the development of musical life in Sweden. He was a child prodigy at the violin, playing at the age of seven in the court orchestra in which his father was a violinist. From 1715 to 1721 he stayed in London, where he was sent by King Charles XII to perfect his skills. In London he played in the orchestra of the Royal Academy of Music under George Frederic Handel as one of the second violinists. He also became acquainted with famous masters of that time, including Giovanni Bononcini, Francesco Geminiani and Francesco Maria Veracini.

When he returned to Stockholm he was appointed deputy Master of the Swedish Royal Chapel and given the task of building up the city’s musical life. The situation in the Swedish capital was very different from that in London: there were neither public concerts nor opera performances. During the 1720s considerable changes took place. Some of Lully's operas were performed by a French theatre company, and Roman composed some works of his own, including a cantata in honour of King Frederick I. 

In 1726 Roman announced that he intended to publish his 12 flute sonatas. In order to increase sales advertisements also appeared in newspapers in other European countries. In Germany Georg Philipp Telemann acted as Roman’s agent. The next year the 12 sonatas were indeed published, with a dedication to Queen Ulrike Eleonora. 

It is remarkable that Roman wrote his sonatas for the transverse flute, an instrument he himself did not play. Although there are some violinistic traits in some of these works they are quite idiomatic for the transverse flute. It is clear from the title page that Roman had written the sonatas for amateurs. Among them the transverse flute was quickly growing in popularity, both in Sweden and abroad. And the German flautist and theorist Johann Joachim Quantz had stated that in the 1720s there was very little music available which was specifically written for the transverse flute. So there definitely was a market for flute sonatas. 

It is not known how well the collection sold, but copies have been found in several libraries in Sweden and abroad. Apparently they were played as late as the early 19th century. Like so much music of that time Roman's sonatas reflected the 'goûts réunis': there are Italian and French elements, and a number of movements are in fact dances, although Roman uses only the Italian character descriptions like allegro, adagio or larghetto. The influence of Handel is particularly noticeable. 

The structure of these sonatas reflects their individual character. Most are in four or five movements, but there are also some sonatas in six or seven movements. Some movements are divided into subsections with different character indications. These include the second movement of the Sonata No 2: larghetto, andante, adagio. Unusual are indications like 'piva' and 'villanella' which appear in the Sonata No 10. The first is what the French would call a 'musette', the latter reflects the influence of folk music which can be found at several points in these sonatas. 

When I listened to these sonatas it struck me that many movements are quite dramatic, for example through the frequent use of short general pauses. In this performance the interpreters have included short cadenzas at various points. I don't know if Roman gave any indication as to whether these should be added, but they seem to me in line with the overall character of these works. The artists have captured their spirit very well. Their performances are bold and daring. In some movements the realisation of the basso continuo has an almost concertante character which definitely suits them. 

The contrasts in tempo between the movements come out well. Fast movements are generally played very fast and slow movements really slow. Only occasionally do I find the tempi maladroit. The andante of the Sonata No 1 in this case sounds more like an adagio. Moreover, I could easily imagine a more differentiated treatment of dynamics. There were moments when I was longing for greater dynamic inflection from these artists. 

That said, these remarks take little away from my appreciation of this recording. This is first-rate music and with Verena Fischer, Klaus-Dieter Brandt and Léon Berben it has found close to its ideal interpreters.

Johan van Veen




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.