Schubert sonatas

Newest Releases

Piano solo and duet
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Moravec - Twelfth Night Recital
15%off £17.21 (until Dec 7)

Katerina Englichová - harp
15%0ff £10.83 (until Dec 7)

  • 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

Sibelius Symphonies Maazel
4CDs + Blu-ray audio
Special Price £36.75

RVW A Sea Symphony - Elder

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



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

CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

American Ballets
George ANTHEIL (1900-1959)
Capital of the World
(abridged version) (1953) [25:58]
William SCHUMAN (1910-1992)
(1945) [24:40]
Morton GOULD (1913-1996)
Fall River Legend
(complete ballet) (1953) [24:13]
Ballet Theatre Orchestra/Joseph Levine
rec. 8-9 June 1954, 20-21 April 1953, 25 April 1955, Riverside Plaza Hotel, New York City. ADD
Experience Classicsonline

None of these works is completely unknown. What is unusual is to have three such contrasting piece in harness. The recordings are about 55 years old so this is a bit of an exception to the general EMI American Classics approach. The sound does nothing to defy expectations. It's a bit raw but undeniably vivid.

There are modern recordings of all three ballets but none quite catches the virile charge imparted here. The stage sense is palpable. That is no surprise as these pieces were written and played by this director and this orchestra as staged and danced ballets. The Capital of the World based on a Hemingway short story premiered on US television in 1953. You can tell from the neon glare, fiesta romps redolent of Auric and Milhaud and the generality of Iberian mannerisms that this is both a tragedy and a technicolor spectacular. The California glare of this music is accounted for by Antheil's busy engagement with Hollywood even if he never had a big score success unlike his West Coast based contemporaries, Korngold, Waxman and Rózsa. Schuman is more of an original, more subtle. He worked on The Undertow with Anthony Tudor but was never told the plot. He wrote to Tudor's commission to write music for a particular atmosphere which Tudor fed to him in a series of mini-commissions. The story of a sex murderer, drunks, prostitutes, remorse and desolation may recall Bliss's Miracle in the Gorbals and Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin at least in relation to the plot. Each of the episodes is separately tracked in twelve segments. This is comparatively early Schuman though in time not that far distant from iconic scores such as the Violin Concerto and the Third Symphony. Schuman allows himself a few Coplandisms along the way and in Entrance of Ate there is a touch of Piston's Incredible Flutist and in Drunken women of Ives’ revivalist band music. It's a predominantly dark score as we have come to expect from Schuman - one of the strongest of the twentieth century’s American voices.

Gould's Fall River Legend dates from 1948 and was written for Agnes de Mille. Like the other two ballets here it has death as a dramatic component: this time the murder of her father and stepmother by Lizzie Borden and her own fate at the gallows. Gould like Virgil Thomson and Ives makes use of revivalist material and sentimental songs. In Church Social we hear elements of Stravinsky and Copland. There's something of a hoedown in the plunging Cotillion. The feral romping wildness of Murder recalls some of the demented street-scenes of Sondheim and Gemigniani's orchestral writing for Sweeney Todd. The Epilogue and the violent Prologue carry the cargo of violence and this is especially true of the Prologue.

The Gould and Antheil were recorded within two years of their theatre premieres.

Not one of the strongest presences in the American Classics marque but undeniably fascinating. More of a curiosity than a clamant purchase.

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.