One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati








Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

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


CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Max BRUCH (1838-1920)
Symphony No.1 Op.28 (1868) [27.30]
Symphony No.2 Op.36 (1870) [33.22]
Staatskapelle Weimar/Michael Halász
rec. CCN Weimerhalle, Weimar, Germany, 17-20 March 2008
NAXOS 8.570994 [61.07]

Experience Classicsonline

There have been or still are at least a dozen recordings of Bruch’s three symphonies, five of the first, three of the second and four of the third, each of which made an impact in their day - respectively 1868, 1870 and 1882 - and the first two of which went some way to fill the gap between Schumann’s last and Brahms’ first over a remarkably long period of a quarter century. Carl Dahlhaus credits no one with writing any meaningful symphonies during this time, but the evidence would indicate otherwise thanks to those by Bruch, Dietrich, Lachner, Hiller, Rufinatscha, Gernsheim, Draeseke, Volkmann and others. These symphonists are not to be dismissed out of hand.
Compared to Conlon (EMI), Masur (Philips), Hickox (Chandos), Schmalfuss (mdg) and Wildner (ebs), the conductor here, Michael Halász persistently takes swift tempi. At times it results in a musical gabble of detail; the scherzo of the First Symphony is the main casualty, though to be fair the finale of the same work actually benefits from a faster approach than others take. One feels nevertheless that Halász is embarrassed by the music and seeks to get through it as fast as he can, which does the composer a disservice. One has to accept Bruch’s paucity of ideas in his finales, and his reliance on the arpeggio and the frequent string-scrubbing - which Bruckner was soon to perfect - to get his effects. It’s not all doom and gloom, however. The start of the Second Symphony creates the right atmosphere of mystery and foreboding mingled with passion when the Allegro gets going, but again Halász comes in at two or three minutes faster than most of his colleagues. On the evidence of this disc, the Staatskapelle Weimar is a fine orchestra, its wind players shape Bruch’s idiomatically Romantic phrasing with delicacy and care while the strings know how to inject fire and warmth as the music builds to the climaxes. However, few, including Halász pick up on or emphasise Bruch’s main theme of the finale; in it he alludes to the finale of Beethoven’s Ninth (track 7 at 27:00) in a way that sounds remarkably like the main theme of the finale of Brahms’s First written some six years later. It needs the same sumptuous string tone and texture, even a louder dynamic; here it is understated and goes for nothing.
Naxos now has an impressive five discs of Bruch’s concerted and orchestral music, but their editorial staff should check the box summary, which on the back of this one credits Bruch rather than Bloch with having written Schelomo. Probably the Scottish Fantasy was meant in this particular context.
Christopher Fifield

see also review by Brian Reinhart 
















































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.