One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library



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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom



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 Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1




CD: Crotchet

Francisco GUERRERO (1951–1997)
Concierto de camára (1977) [6:49]
Delta Cephei (1992) [9:36]
Vâda (1982)a [5:27]
Ars Combinatoria (1979/80) [6:48]
Anemos C (1976) [8:27]
Hyades (1994)b [12:17]
Pilar Jurado (soprano)a; Jacqueline Squarcia (soprano)a; Vicente Sabater (electronics)b; Grup Instrumental de València/Joan Cerveró
rec. Estudios Millenia, Valencia, Spain, January 2007
ANEMOS C33001 [49:29]

Experience Classicsonline

Guerrero left a fairly considerable output mainly consisting of chamber works of which the backbone is the substantial cycle Zayin composed between 1983 and 1997. There’s also a handful of impressive orchestral works among which Coma Berenices (1996) may be singled-out as one of his most inventive and gripping. Incidentally I reviewed a recording of his orchestral music some time ago (Col Legno WWE 1CD 20044). At the time of his death he was seemingly going through some existential crisis that had led him to complete his orchestration of Iberia. His output is of substantial quality in spite both of the rather small number of works and their generally short duration.

The disc under review presents his complete chamber output with one exception. Zayin - the entire cycle - has been recorded by the Arditti String Quartet on Almaviva DS-0127 and is well worth the search. The only work that is missing here is Op.1 Manual (1976) for piano that might have been included here at least for completeness’ sake. As can be seen from the above details all the works recorded are fairly short, but each is packed with substance. Another characteristic of Guerrero’s music is to be found in the often unusual instrumental combinations used. From this point of view, the compact and relatively unproblematic Concierto de cámara (“Chamber Concerto”) is scored for almost conventional instrumental forces: flute, bass clarinet and string quartet. It may also be one of his most readily accessible works were it only because the composer briefly alludes to cante jondo although filtered through the composer’s own lens. Another source of inspiration is reflected in the astronomical titles of some of his works: Coma Berenices, Delta Cepheis and Hyades.

Delta Cepheis is for two clarinets and string trio. In his excellent insert notes Stefano Russomanno rightly remarks that this piece may be regarded as a transitory work in Guerrero’s late output. Certain features heard in the music point towards characteristics found in his final works such as the orchestral work Sáhara (1991) and to Hyades (1994). The music, however, sounds to me as vintage Guerrero. As such, it is redolent of Xenakis or Birtwistle without being imitative.

Vâda for two sopranos and ensemble (flute, oboe, bass clarinet, percussion/two players and string quartet) was written as part of a commission by the City of Valladolid to celebrate the poet Jorge Guillén. Guerrero’s work must surely have surprised more than one in the audience for, although he used a poem by Guillén, his setting completely deconstructs the text beyond recognition. This short work displays an extraordinary energy within its short time-span and leaves one with a deep feeling of unease redeemed by the sheer exuberance of the music. Compared to this rather enigmatic work, Ars Combinatoria is almost straightforward. It is scored for a somewhat unusual wind sextet (piccolo, oboe, contrabassoon, horn, trumpet in D and trombone) in which trumpet and trombone play muted and the horn stopped. The music perfectly reflects the implication of the title in that it moves from the simple to the most complex. So, the work opens with an oboe solo followed by an astonishing duo shared by contrabassoon and trombone, later a trio for horn, trumpet and trombone and the whole group eventually joins for the final section. The global effect may – to some extent – be compared to what Michael Tippett did in the first movement of his Concerto for Orchestra; but the most remarkable thing about it is how well the instrumental sounds blend.

The comparatively early Anemos C of 1976 is scored for a fairly traditional wind ensemble (two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns) and percussion. This is the sort of ensemble that Varèse might have used and the music of this early piece is certainly indebted to Varèse and – again maybe – to Xenakis. The impact is much the same with massive blocks of sounds in the outer sections and heavy punctuation from the percussion framing a more flowing central section. Anemos C is undoubtedly one of Guerrero’s finest achievements and a work that already displays most of his music’s characteristics.

In the early 1990s Guerrero showed some interest in electro-acoustic music and apparently composed an electro-acoustic work Rigel in 1992. The otherwise well-informed insert notes do not tell us whether Rigel was integrated into Hyades or whether the electronic part of Hyades was composed especially for this work. This, however, is of marginal importance when considering the end result. Again, Guerrero’s liking for unusual instrumental combinations is much to the fore here in that Hyades is for bass flute, trombone, double bass and electronics. The work opens with soft electro-acoustic music suggesting some wide-open space. About halfway into the piece the instruments come in, their dark sounds in full opposition to the soft, almost ethereal electro-acoustics creating a remarkable ‘soundscape’ that may suggest some far-off constellation. In my earlier review of the Col Legno disc of Guerrero’s orchestral music I mentioned that Coma Berenices was really “Music of the Spheres”, if such a thing ever existed. Now, the same might be said of Hyades; it achieves the same impact of mysterious, wide-open space thanks to the composer’s acute ear for arresting sonorities.

Guerrero’s music is no easy listen. It demands repeated hearings to make its full impact but the rewards are plentiful. The composer’s inventiveness and aural imagination are such that one is carried along through the music’s sheer energy and exuberance. These performances by the Grup Instrumental de València are just superb and are very well recorded. Joan Cerveró and his colleagues offer immaculate, well prepared and committed readings of these demanding, but ultimately highly rewarding scores. I also want to single out the excellent and detailed insert notes by Stefano Russomano.

This is a magnificent release that definitely deserves wider exposure. Guerrero’s powerful, gripping and often beautiful music is far too good to pass ignored.

Hubert Culot










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.