MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos 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

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



cover image

CD: MDT AmazonUK

Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) Scheherazade op.35 (1886) [45:44]
Russian Easter Festival Overture op.36 (1887/1888) [15:33]
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Charles Dutoit
rec. Henry Wood Hall, London. 25-26 April 2010. DDD.
ONYX 4064 [61:15]

Experience Classicsonline

There are times when one’s heart sinks when an old friend comes along in a new recording and one wishes that something slightly out of the ordinary had been chosen for issue. Then again, there are times when an old friend comes along in a new recording and it is so very good that one welcomes it with open ears. This new disk falls into this latter category for it is superb, and a very welcome addition to the Scheherazade discography.

Charles Dutoit is the new principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and on the strength of what I have heard in the concert hall, it is going to be a good association. This disk confirms all my expectations. Scheherazade is an old friend, and a good friend too, and it is to Dutoit’s credit that he injects new life into the piece and challenges our conceptions of it. To be sure, he gives us the big virtuoso treatment, but with new ears and new insights. The opening movement - The Sea and Sinbad's Ship - has a broad sweep to it, a swagger almost, and the big tune is given ample space to sing and develop. The Story of the Kalender Prince, with its wild brass fanfares and woodwind cadenzas, is handled very well, the various episodes moulded together into a satisfying whole instead of a series of separate, and unrelated, events. The Young Prince and the Young Princess is no lovey-dovey romance, but a strong union, which ends quite jauntily. Love’s young dream, indeed. Best if all is The Festival of Bagdad - The Sea - The Ship goes to pieces on a rock surmounted by a Bronze Warrior where Dutoit pulls out all the stops and goes hell-for-leather in the most colourful account of the Festival music, and the shipwreck is marvellously catastrophic. Scheherazade’s final goodnight is meltingly beautiful. Much of the praise for the success of this performance must go to Clio Gould, leader of the RPO, as the eponymous heroine. Her playing is heart-warmingly attractive and she plays with a lyrical intensity which is quite phenomenal. Beecham’s recording with this orchestra, albeit with different personnel, is still the touchstone for recorded performances of this work, and despite being fifty years old it still sounds very good, but Dutoit comes as close as any I have heard to his brilliant account. And that’s saying something for I have always thought that the Beecham recording was without peer.

The Russian Easter Festival Overture, like Elgar’s In the South, is more of a tone poem than a concert-opener. Dutoit isn’t as dramatic as many here, but he still brings out the colour and dynamic of the music, making it sound - and here I mean in terms of orchestration - rather European. But it’s none the worse for that for Rimsky did look to the west when it came to orchestration.

The recorded sound is excellent, crystal clear and gives a broad spectrum over the whole orchestra letting all the textures sound clearly and precisely. The notes, in English and French, are good. This Scheherazade is too good to miss.

Bob Briggs









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

Past 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.