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



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
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


Chopin Bruce Liu

Ingeneri Volume 2

Mondonville - Titon et L'Aurore

Telemann - French Cantatas 1


March 2022

Brahms Symphony 4
MacMillan Larghetto for Orchestra

Bruch Violin Concertos

Debussy Preludes Book 2

Jan-Peter de GRAAFF
Cello Concertos

La Nuit étoilé
Berlioz. Holmes



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples and Downloads

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Singet Dem Herrn Ein Neues Lied BWV225 [11.45]
Furchte Dich Nicht, Ich Bin Bei Dir BWV228 [7.27]
Lobet Den Herrn, Alle Heiden BWV230 [6.07]
Jesu, Meine Freude BWV227 [18.23]
Komm, Jesu, Komm BWV229 [7.30]
Der Geist Hilft Unser Schwachheit Auf BWV226 [7.15]
Voces8; The Senesino Players/Barnaby Smith
rec. no details supplied
SIGNUM SIGCD213 [58:31]

Experience Classicsonline

I'm not usually one to judge a disc by its cover, but this cover is very interesting. Signum are clearly hoping to appeal to new audiences with this sort of design. Presumably the idea is to draw younger listeners into Bach's world, but it is more likely that they are aiming at the already established, and considerably more senior, cross-over market. Image is clearly important here; it's not often you meet an endorsement ad for the choir's tailor on the back of the liner. And the liner itself is much more in the rock-and-roll tradition than the classical: it is a single sheet that unfolds to reveal a large, stylised image of the choir on the back, presumably to stick on your bedroom wall.

The performances are good but are very much what the packaging would lead you to expect. The singing is crisp and accurate, but the tempos are often fast and unyielding. The polyphonic movements are sung with a ping to the accents of each note. Itís not all unaccompanied, but it is all a cappella in style. Voces8 seem to be a Swingle Singers type of group, and their Bach is designed to highlight their vocal agility and the precision of their close harmony textures.

The group is made up of former choristers from Westminster Abbey, so, as you'd expect, they really know the notes. They are joined by two female sopranos, who are good but are a mixed blessing. Obviously, boy trebles wouldn't fit into this kind of sexed-up Bach, but the female voices also stand out. They occasionally have some tuning problems as well, suggesting they are not quite up to the standard of their male colleagues.

The choir have instrumental accompaniment, thanks to the Senesino Players; an orchestra named after a castrato, what are they trying to tell us with that? But the instrumentalists take a back seat, partly through Bach's refusal to write them any independent parts, but more significantly through the balance of the recording, which clearly prioritises the voices.

There are no movement divisions within the motets, and each occupies a single track. The way the motets are performed is similarly continuous, with very little pause between each of the movements. That may or may not improve the coherency of the result, but is less of an issue than the way that even individual phrases within choruses are run into each other. It is as if the producers are trying to avoid even the briefest of silences, which often robs the music of its poise.

It lacks gravitas as well, but this is probably the point where individual tastes come into play. In their pursuit of new audiences,Voces8 and Signum seem unconcerned about alienating the existing Bach constituency. That is fair enough - you can easily go elsewhere if you want to hear a more traditional reading of this music - but what this one offers is fun. The period performance movement has demonstrated how to bring life and energy back to Bach's choral textures, but none of the big names have produced anything that is quite as much fun as this. Obviously, this isn't the last word when it comes to Bach's Motets, but it brings an interesting new angle to the music, and possibly a new audience too.

Gavin Dixon













































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.