Some items
to consider


Leticia Gómez-Tagle (piano)

CPE Bach Cantatas
a revelation

Biber: Sacred Choral Works
Don't miss it

Jonathan Dove

Tommie Haglund
Unique and Powerful music

Organ Fireworks

Highly Entertaining

A triumphant performance

Bruckner Symphony 4
One of the finest I have heard

A most joy-inducing recording

A winning partnership

A Lohengrin to treasure.


Reviews from the last 7 days
93 reviews completed so far this month.
This month's reviews
Last month's reviews

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD


New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)

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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



[New] George Frederick Bristow – America’s First Great Classical Composer by Andrew Hartman

An interview with Bournemouth SO chief executive Dougie Scarfe by Ian Lace

Some Recent Eloquence Releases: Summer 2017 by Brian Wilson

National Discography updates by Mike Herman: Russian, Soviet & Post-Soviet Concertos

Forgotten Artists: Carl Melles by Christopher Howell


We have a new advertiser - Alpha Records - running a trial month. I have shown their recent recommended recordings chosen by MusicWeb reviewers as well as a complete listing of reviews. There is a counter on the page so please click on the link – Len.

For over 20 years MusicWeb International has never operated a PayWall. We can keep it free if you can be persuaded to make a donation. As an inducement we are giving away CDs for donations of £15 (£20 outside the EU) or more. Click the Donate button top right for more details.

Publishing schedule
Monday: Other reviews (nostalgia, books, other music); Friday: Articles.
Live performance reviews posted daily at Seen and Heard
Jazz reviews posted weekly

Shopping on-line? Help us by doing it through the MusicWeb sales page.

Daily batches for printing (pdf) Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday


Friday August 11th 

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Complete Symphonies - NDR Elbphilharmonie O/Thomas Hengelbrock rec. 2016 C MAJOR 741104 Blu-ray [210 mins] [DBi] A splendid, vigorous set of performances all filmed at a single concert.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Rosmonda d’Inghilterra - Jessica Pratt, Eva Mei (sopranos) Dario Schmunck (tenor) O Donizetti Opera/Sebastiano Rolli rec. 2016 DYNAMIC 57757 Blu-ray [151 mins] [RJF] This Donizetti work may not have the quality of those that followed, but has the dramatic centre to demand and gets excellent singing and acting in this first filmed performance, after years of neglect.

Sir Edward ELGAR (1957-1934) The Black Knight, Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands - London SO & Ch/Richard Hickox rec. 1995 CHANDOS CHAN10946X [61:24] [RB] Hickox's The Black Knight is superb. Muscular presentations, well recorded and documented.

Morton FELDMAN (1926-1987) Patterns in a Chromatic Field - Rohan de Saram (cello) Marianne Schroeder (piano) rec. 1993 HAT[NOW]ART 204-2 [2 CDs: 105:25] [SB] A characteristic late Feldman work which will appeal to devotees; newcomers should start elsewhere.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) String Quartets Nos 1 & 2 - Meccore String Qt rec. 2016 MDG 903 1998-6 SACD [57:09] [MC] The Meccore Quartet’s praiseworthy interpretations of Grieg’s works for string quartet produce compelling expression, and are the accounts to own.

Petr FIALA (b.1943) Czech Christmas Mass, Marian Mass & Maria, Mystical Rose - Jitro Children’s Ch, Brno St Augustine’s Girls’ Ch, Czech Phil Ch of Brno/Petr Fiala rec. 2016 ARCO DIVA UP 01752-131 [53:56] [JW] A naturally recorded and charming disc.

Roman MACIEJEWSKI (1910-1987) Transcriptions for Two Pianos Vol. 1 - Katarzyna Rajs, Piotr Kepinski (pianos) rec. 2016 CD ACCORD ACD230-2 [59:03] [RHa] A compilation of two-piano transcriptions of varied keyboard repertoire, appealingly performed and recorded.

Alessandro STRADELLA (1639-1682) San Giovanni Crisostomo - Harmonices Mundi/Claudio Astronio rec. 2014 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94847 [65:44] [JV] I enjoyed the performance, although it is a notch too dramatic.

I Love My Love A Folk Song Collection rec. 1919-45 ALBION RECORDS ALBCD032 [74:22] [RB] Albion delve among vintage folksong material and come up with more than a few nuggets.

Bruno Walter Symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms & Haydn - Vienna PO rec. 1936-38 OPUS KURA OPK2117 [71:23] [SG] Non-interventionist transfers that allow the sheer potency and commitment of the playing to shine forth.

Thursday August 10th

Alberto CURCI (1886-1973) Violin Concertos 1-3, Suite italiana in stile antico - Franco Gulli (violin) Studio O/Franco Capuana rec. 1963/64 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR53 [72:04] [RB] Caught in the warmly luxurious 19th century aspic of late-romance.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Etudes - Paulina Zamora (piano) rec. 2016 DELOS DE3530 [49:04] [DD] A very fine recording of these lovely pieces. Sadly, uncompetitive in view of competition, price and short timing.

Bechara EL-KHOURY (b.1957) Orages, Espaces–Fragmentations, Poème nocturne, Le chant d’amour - O de Paris/Paavo Järvi & Elvind Gullberg Jensen, O Colonne/David Coleman, O Natl de France/Daniele Gatti rec. 2000-13 NAXOS 8.573617 [52.06] [GH] If Bechara El-Khoury is a new name to you then this CD might make a good start.

Stefan KISIELEWSKI (1911-1991) Piano Pieces - Magdalena Lisak (piano) rec. 2013 CD ACCORD ACD210-2 [60:07] [JW] A composer who put the motor in motoric.

Jean Paul Egide MARTINI (1741-1816) Requiem pour Louis XVI et Marie Antoinette - Festival Ch Musica Franconia, La Banda/Wolfgang Riedelbauch rec. 2016 CHRISTOPHORUS CHR77413 [73:46] [JV] Martini's Messe de Requiem is an impressive work which makes one curious about other areas of his oeuvre.

Stanisław MORYTO (b. 1947) Orchestral works - Witold Lutosławski Chamber Philharmonic in Łomża/Jan Miłosz Zarzycki rec. 2016 DUX 1376 [58.44] [MW] A rewarding release of melodic and highly enjoyable contemporary music.

Francis POULENC (1899-1963) Stabat mater, Litanies à la Vierge noire- Michèle Lagrange (soprano) Ch & O Ntl de Lyon/Serge Baudo rec. 1984 HARMONIA MUNDI MUSIQUE D'ABORD HMA1905149 [42:51] [RB] short measure, but the musical values are high.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Otello - José Cura, Dorothea Röschmann, Sächsischer Staatsopernchor Dresden, Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann rec. 2016 C MAJOR 740104 Blu-ray [147 mins] [DBi] A well sung and beautifully played but rather stately performance ruined by an eccentric production.

Con voce quasi humana Vocal music of the Trecento - Ens Perlaro/Lorenza Donadini rec. 2015 RAUMKLANG RK3501 [65:32] [SG] I'm amazed by the richness and diversity of this repertoire.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Thousands of Miles Lieder by Korngold, Alma Mahler, Weill & Zemlinsky - Kate Lindsey (mezzo) Baptiste Trotignon (piano) rec. 2016 ALPHA 272 [63:45] [IL] An absolute delight. Highly recommended.

Wednesday August 9th

Brett DEAN (b. 1961) Dramatis Personae Luca FRANCESCONI (b. 1956) Hard Pace - Håkan Hardenberger (trumpet) Gothenburg SO/John Storgårds rec. 2014/15 BIS BIS-2067 SACD [58:30] [DBi] A pair of very listenable modern trumpet concertos.

John IRELAND (1879-1962), Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) & Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Cello sonatas - Lionel Handy (cello) Jennifer Hughes (piano) rec. 2016 LYRITA SRCD361 [70.52] [SG] This is music which deserves a wider currency, and these performances are both convincing and rich in musical insights.

Arthur Vincent LOURIÉ (c.1891-1966) Complete Piano Works Vol. 2 - Giorgio Koukl (piano) rec. 2016 GRAND PIANO GP750 [81:18] [SA] Lourié’s music is so interesting and so tuneful and so varied.

Benedetto MARCELLO (1668-1739) Conserva me Domine - Terry Wey (alto) La Gioia Armonica/Jürgen Banholzer rec. 2015 CPO 555 033-2 [69:18] [JV] A musically satisfying disc which opens new horizons.

Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945) Cavalleria rusticana - Maria Callas (soprano) Anna Maria Canali (mezzo) Ch & O La Scala/Tullio Serafin rec. 1953 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO088 [77:25] [SV] I'm not sure that this remastering, fine as it is, is worth the extra outlay.

Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Coronation Mass, Vesperae solennes de confessore - Sandrine Piau (soprano) Renata Pokupić (alto) Benjamin Bruns (tenor) Andreas Wolf (bass) Accentus, Insula O/Laurence Equilbey rec. 2016 ERATO 9029 587253 [51:47] [RK] Accentus deserves better from Erato's engineers - what a pity.

Louis SPOHR (1784–1859) Symphonies Nos 7 & 8 - Slovak State PO/Alfred Walter rec. 1991 NAXOS 8.555527 [68:58] [RB] A good and inexpensive Spohr introduction. The Seventh is a delight.

Stephen WILKINSON (b. 1919) The Sunlight on the Garden - Mhairi Lawson (soprano) Clare Wilkinson (mezzo) James Gilchrist (tenor) Matthew Brook (bass) Anna Markland, Ian Buckle (piano) rec. 2015 SIGNUM SIGCD516 [65:15] [RB] The English song tradition continues to bear fruit.

 Impressions Works by Ravel, Debussy & Sluka - Kateřina Englichová (harp) Vilém Veverka (oboe) rec. 2016 SUPRAPHON SU4212-2 [59.59] [MW] Beautifully played and recorded arrangements – perfect listening for a summer’s evening.

Anna Wandtke (violin) Violin Soul - The New Art Ens rec. 2015/16 DUX 1318 [51:25] [JW] A rather odd approach to the repertoire from a good, honest young violinist who needs to work out what kind she wants to be.

Tuesday August 8th

Joseph Bodin de BOISMORTIER (1689-1755) Sonates Op. 51 - Elysium Ens rec. 2015 RESONUS RES10171 [71:24] [JV] Performances in truly conversational style.

Frank CORCORAN (b. 1944) Rhapsodic Celli - Martin Johnson (cello) Fergal Caulfield (piano) RTÉ Ntll SO & Cello Octet /Gavin Maloney rec. 2016 RTÉ LYRIC FM CD154 [68:17] [MW] A wonderful introduction to the world of Frank Corcoran, and an excellent addition to the RTÉ series of Irish composers.

Reinhold GLIERE (1875-1956) Piano Music - Gianluca Imperato (piano) rec. 2016 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 95296 [70:22] [RB] Sympathetic readings cloaked in a warm aura.

John IRELAND (1879-1961) Violin Sonata No. 2, Fantasy-Sonata, Piano works - Tessa Robbins (violin) Thea King (clarinet) Alan Rowlands (piano) rec. 1962/2000 HERITAGE HTGCD197 [74:37] [JW] Valuable for their second-generation status and for revealing how Ireland’s original interpreters passed on the lineage to their students and, thence, beyond.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, Symphony No. 4, Das Lied von der Erde - Margaret Ritchie (soprano) Eugenia Zareska, Nan Merriman (mezzo) Ernst Haefliger (tenor) Eduard van Beinum rec. 1946-56 PRISTINE CLASSICAL PASC498 [69:06 + 76:44] [RMo] Mahlerites and admirers of this conductor have every reason to be grateful to Pristine for assembling this collection and presenting it in the best possible sound.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791) Die Zauberflöte - Martin Summer, Yasmin Özkan, Ch & O Teatro alla Scala/Ádám Fischer rec. 2016 C MAJOR 740504 Blu-ray [173 mins] [DBi] Definitely one of the most enjoyable performance I have ever seen.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) & Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1979) Piano concertos -Alicia de Larrocha (piano) London SO/André Previn, London PO/Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos rec. 1972-1974 ELOQUENCE 4820725 [81:48] [SB] Fans of de Larrocha will be intrigued and rewarded; others should look elsewhere.

Gioachino ROSSINI (1792-1868) Il barbiere di Siviglia - Taylor Stayton (tenor) Björn Bürge (baritone) Danielle de Niese (soprano) London PO/Enrique Mazzola rec. 2016 OPUS ARTE DVD OA1238D [172 mins] [RJF] The performance does not compensate for too many gimmicks and for a poor setting.

Heinrich SCHÜTZ (1585-1672) Symphonie Sacrae I - Dorothee Mields (soprano) Hans-Christoph Rademann (director) rec. 2016 CARUS 83.273 [2 CDs: 90:44] [CRo] Some listeners may well prefer the relatively cool, inward approach taken by Rademann which brings a convincing stylistic unity.

Norge, Mitt Norge Works by Selmer, Grieg, Svendsen, Evensen & Gomnaes - Christiania Mannskor, Royal Norwegian Air Force Band/Leif Arne Pedersen rec. 2015 LAWO CLASSICS LWC1121 [71:45] [RB] Steady and sturdy fervour ... effervescence and crackling confidence.

Monday August 7th 

René de BOISDEFFRE (1838-1906) Works for Flute and Piano - Robert Nalewajka (flute) Joanna Ławrynowicz (piano) Dobrosława Siudmak (violin) rec. 2016 ACTE PRÉALABLE AP0379 [67:54] [RB] Music of a gentle unassuming soul. A cut above the run-of-the-mill mincing sentimentality of the genre.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) & Arnold BAX (1883-1953) Choral Music - Carice Singers/George Parris rec. 2016 NAXOS 8.573695 [71:40] [MW] Outstanding British music in outstanding performances.

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano Sonata Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Phantasie - Sándor Falvai (piano) rec. 2015 CELESTIAL HARMONIES 13312-2 [59:41] [RK] Falvai’s Liszt is exceptional, and if the interesting Liszt-Schumann mutual admiration society appeals, this should be an easy choice.

Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony No. 5 - Minnesota SO/Osmo Vänskä rec. 2016 BIS BIS-2226 SACD [75:30] [BW] Worth considering for those who find Bernstein too much but his DG recording remains my benchmark.

Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943) & Sergei PROKOFIEV (1891-1953) Cello Sonatas - Nina Kotova (cello) Fabio Bidini (piano) rec. 2014 WARNER CLASSICS 9029 592460 [67:52] [DHu] Tasty sweets – pity about the main courses.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas Vol. 4 - Vladimir Feltsman (piano) rec. 2015 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI6345 [65:15] [RMo] Another valuable step on the road to completion of the series.

La Belle Vielleuse The virtuoso hurdy gurdy in 18th Century France - Monika Mauch (soprano) Ens Danguy rec. 2016 RICERCAR RIC382 [76:17] [RB] Something of a triumph.

Dances of Old Vienna Vienna Mozart Ens, Boskovsky Ens/Willi Boskovsky; I Musici/Felix Ayo rec. 1961/69 ELOQUENCE 482 6152 [2 CDs: 153:03] [DBi] A delightful, beautifully recorded, and very well filled pair of CDs from the archives.

György Sebők (piano) Works by Bach, Brahms, Handel & Haydn rec. 1991 FIRST HAND RECORDS FHR40 [82:54] [JW] A most attractive and musically vivid recital.

Subito Works by Grieg, Vaughan Williams, Lutosławski & Wieniawski - Julia Hwang (violin) Charles Matthews (piano) rec. 2016 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD486 [61:36] [YJH] This recording is a winner for anyone interested not only in virtuosic violin playing in its various moods, but also in good playing generally.

Other reviews
Oriental Touch Early Music Meets Oriental Jazz - Spielleyt, FisFüz rec. 2013 CHRISTOPHORUS CHR77375 [72.42] [EML] This disc is probably not one for the purists, but I was enchanted by it and will certainly enjoy listening to it again.