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
Download: Classicsonline

Sergey Ivanovich TANEYEV (1856-1915)
Overture to Oresteya, Op. 6 (1889) [20:48]
Oresteya, Act III: Entr'acte: The Temple of Apollo at Delphi (1894) [5:10]
Adagio in C major (1875) [5:54]
Overture on a Russian Theme (1882) [17:26]
Cantata for the Unveiling of the Moscow Pushkin Memorial (1880)* [4:26]
Canzona (1883) [6:21]
Overture in D minor (1875) [14:48]
*Novosibirsk State Philharmonic Chamber Choir/Igor Judin
**StanislavYankovsky (clarinet)
Novosibirsk Academic Symphony Orchestra/Thomas Sanderling
rec. 1-15 September 2007, Studio of West-Siberian Radio, Novosibirsk, Russia
NAXOS 8.570584 [74:53]
Experience Classicsonline

Taneyev may not be high on most people's list of 19th-century Russian composers but that could change as this Naxos series progresses. The First and Third symphonies with the Novosibirsk orchestra under Thomas Sanderling - son of the illustrious Kurt - certainly impressed me (review) and, if anything, this new release has heightened my admiration for composer and orchestra alike.

Taneyev's only opera, based on Aeschylus's Oresteia, was recorded by DG and Olympia some time ago, but neither version is in the current catalogue. Curiously, the overture was composed and performed several years before the opera was completed. It's a substantial piece in its own right, lasting around 20 minutes, and listeners may be forgiven for thinking they've stumbled on a little-known piece of Wagner or Richard Strauss. That said, this is more than musical mimicry, revealing a rich supply of motile Russian melodies and a symphonic sweep that wouldn't have disgraced Taneyev's great friend and mentor, Tchaikovsky. From that first Stygian string theme through to its restrained finale this overture is full of lovely touches; and even though there is a whiff of Scriabin in those aromatic harmonies Sanderling ensures they never cloy or overwhelm the senses.

Arguably the Act III Entr'acte is even more seductive - it certainly has a Straussian amplitude - which is probably why this piece was so popular during the composer's lifetime. I was particularly struck by the sheer passion and unanimity of the playing and Sanderling's firm, clear-eyed view of the score. The recording is just as satisfying, deep when it needs to be and suitably grand in the splendid climaxes. Indeed, any misgivings I might have had about this band and their conductor simply evaporated at this point.

How very different that all is to the delectable Adagio in C major, written during the composer's final year at the Moscow Conservatory. As Anastasia Belina points out in her liner notes, much of Taneyev's youthful work was only discovered years later. The Adagio, published in 1950, is a real gem, especially when it's played with such elegance and refinement. And how different again is the Overture on a Russian Theme, written for the All-Russian Art and Trade Exhibition of 1882. Taneyev makes use of authentic Russian songs - as collected by Rimsky-Korsakov - forging them into a piece that has all the cut and thrust of a Cossack sword. It's virile stuff, guaranteed to please those who like their Russians to strut and swagger.

The style of the cantata, written for the opening of the Pushkin Memorial in Moscow, is echoed in the celebratory music of post-revolutionary Russia, used to great effect by the likes of Prokofiev and Shostakovich. That's not to suggest this is merely a patriotic prole-pleaser, because it isn't; it may be just 64 bars long but it has all the passion and splendour of those great choral numbers in Alexander Nevsky. As for the Canzona it's a frothy little confection, complemented by the bright-toned playing of clarinettist Stanislav Yankovsky. A slight piece, perhaps, but enjoyable none the less.

The Overture in D minor, like the Adagio, is an early work and this time it shows. It has a bluff quality - and a tendency to outstay its welcome - that the other pieces in this collection manage to avoid. (I wonder if other listeners can hear Brahms in this music?) Still, one mildly disappointing piece out of seven isn't bad, and it certainly isn't enough to dilute my enthusiasm for this disc as a whole. Factor in committed playing and full-blooded sound and you have one of the year's most entertaining releases so far.

Go on, treat yourself.

Dan Morgan 


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.