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

Download: Classicsonline

Mátyás SEIBER (1905-1960)
Chamber Works and Songs
Sarabande and Gigue in Old Style (1924?) [6:45]
To Poetry (Invocation; Sonnet; Tears; Timor mortis; Epilogue) (1952) [14:33]
Quatre chansons populaires françaises - Four French Folk Songs (Reveillez-vous - Awake; J'ai descendu - I came down; Le Rossignol - The nightingale; Marguerite elle est malade - Margaret she is ill) (1923?) [6:27]
Phantasy for cello and piano [5:57]
Four Greek Folk Songs (O my love how long; Have pity on me; Each time my love you say farewell; O your eyes are dark and beautiful) (1923?) [6:27]
Sonata da Camera for violin and cello (1925) [15:13]
Concert Piece for violin and piano (1954) [8:01]
Introduction and Allegro for cello and accordion [4:51]
Petöfi Songs (Black earth; It's raining raining; My darling has hurt me greatly; Girls are out; Thousands of cherries do grow upon the tree) (1923) [5:48]
Lesley-Jane Rogers (soprano); Andrea Mélath (mezzo); David Frühwirth (violin); Péter Szabó (cello); László Ernyei (accordion); Zsusza Kollár (piano)
rec. Hungaroton Studio, 6-8, 11-13 April, 28 May 2004. DDD
HUNGAROTON HCD32405 [78:23]

Experience Classicsonline

One picks up the same breadth of style and development trail here as in the more recent Seiber string quartets on Delphian (see review). We move from ethnic melodic tonality to dissonance with a lyrical core.

Seiber catches the romantic Finzian tones inherent in the Sarabande and Gigue in Old Style. David Frühwirth (violin) and Zsusza Kollár (piano) are utterly captivating in their hold on leisurely tension. We already know Frühwirth from the masterly emigré double album on Avie which also includes pieces by Wellesz, Spinner, Goldschmidt, Gellhorn, Tauský, Gál, Reizenstein and Rankl. Them comes the masterly song-cycle To Poetry with tranced settings sung with preternatural attention to breath control and engagement with the words. Lesley-Jane Rogers is indeed a great singer. Timor Mortuis, with its Dies irae is acted and moulded to words and mood changes. The pianist’s and the singer’s jaguar-swift mercurial responsiveness provides a tight match with the words. This cycle celebrates the stilly beauty of the stars. It contrasts with the lighter and brighter troubadour tone of Quatre chansons populaires françaises. These are sung by Andrea Mélath. They stand with Canteloube’s Auvergne settings in their winsome innocence and raucous and rough-edged humour - listen to the last song Marguerite elle est malade. These songs have delights indeed but they stand away from the depths of To Poetry which, had there been any justice, Seiber would have orchestrated to yet more magical effect. It was written for Peter Pears whose reputation also possesses a similarly anthology-based work by Britten, the Serenade. The Phantasy for cello and piano is a macabre and dissonant piece seemingly much inflected by nightmare. It demands much from the players who in this case are equal to its extraordinary angular demands. The Four Greek Folksongs take us back to the silvery voice of Ms Rogers. A Mediterranean magic casts its chuckling spell over Have pity on me. The set reminded me of the Swann Greek Folk Songs sequence on Divine Art. The Sonata da Camera is for violin and cello (1925). It’s a combination in which Kodály triumphed but Seiber is not far behind. For a work of his youngest years it has a concentrated inward sobriety and a macabre chittering second movement - of two. The Concert Piece for violin and piano. The Introduction and Allegro for Cello and Accordion is jaunty and lighter in mood and makes full use of the crunching Hungarian and oddly Irish jiggery of it all. It is a virtuoso display as one may expect from a composer who wrote quite a range of accordion pieces including a Mathis method of teaching accordion in ten sessions. It has the same mood profile as film music (Auiric for example) and I thought it utterly brilliant. The disc ends with the Five Petofi Songs which set Hungarian texts the first of which, Black Earth, in its heroic cast recalled for me Kodaly’s Psalmus Hungaricus. The goblin caper that is It’s raining raining makes marble hard impacts out of the pattering raindrops. It’s full of the Hungarian ‘sway’ we associate with Rozsa. The third and fifth songs recall the manner of the French Folk Songs but also link with those of Warlock and Moeran. Enjoy the smile in Andrea Mélath’s voice.

The much needed notes are by Tamas Varkonyi who is more than equal to the task. The texts are printed in sung words and in translation into English throughout. The page layout is eccentric but it works.

This disc stands shoulder to shoulder with the Delphian CD of the three string quartets in offering the foundation for a vigorous Seiber revival. I do hope that my sanguine expectations of seeing recordings of the Ulysses cantata for tenor solo, choir and orchestra (1947; 45 mins; Schott), Three Fragments from the Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (20mins?; Schott), the Fantasia Concertante for violin and string orchestra (1943), the Elegy for viola and small orchestra (1954; 8 mins - once recorded by Cecil Aronowitz for Decca), Tre Pezzi for cello and orchestra (1957; 20 mins; Schott) and the Improvisations for Jazz Band and Orchestra (with John Dankworth) (1959) which was, once upon a time, recorded with the Dankworth band, the LPO and conductor Hugo Rignold. There’s also the Violin Sonata (1960) which has already been recorded by Frühwirth on Avie. Who knows, perhaps Chandos would consider a film music volume dedicated to Seiber’s work for the British cinema industry.

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

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.