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




A Romantic Evening
Gioacchino ROSSINI (1792 – 1868)
Overture: William Tell (1829) [12:42]
Adrian BEECHAM (1904 – 1982)
Six Spanish Songs (1952) [17:28]
Peter Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840 – 1893)
Symphony No.6 in B minor, Pathétique, op.74 (1893) [45:43]
Sadhbh Dennedy (soprano)
Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra/James Blair
rec. live, 23 June 2010, St John’s, Smith Square, London. DDD
YMSO no number [45:43]

Experience Classicsonline

I was privileged to attend this concert and report on it for Seen and Heard, and I am very happy to be able to relive that experience. James Blair and his Young Musicians Orchestra has always performed new and interesting, and under played, works, especially by British composers. I have a recording of Bax’s Phantasy for viola and Delius’s Suite for violin, both with orchestra, featuring the much missed Ralph Holmes which is very fine indeed. They gave the London première of Malcolm Arnold’s 8th Symphony and, if I remember correctly, the only public performance of Havergal Brian’s Violin Concerto, again with Holmes. Indeed, one expects something interesting every season, and this year was no exception.

Adrian Beecham was the first child of Sir Thomas, but unlike his father he chose the quiet life, living in the country, writing music when it pleased him to do so, and he succeeded to the baronetcy on his father’s death in 1961. Beecham’s Six Spanish Songs were written for Victoria de los Angeles, who performed them in the Royal Festival Hall in London, with Gerald Moore at the piano. It’s not known exactly when he orchestrated them, but it is certain that this version was never performed in his lifetime, so this is the first performance of the orchestral version. It’s an attractive suite, colourful and unpretentious. Perhaps if he had heard them he might have made a few changes and made the orchestration a little lighter, but after hearing them a few times I find myself quite happy with the instrumentation, which, at times, is quite quirky. Sadhbh Dennedy is a fresh voiced soloist, who gives a committed performance, showing a nice range of tone colour and careful vibrato. Blair directs a subtle account of the orchestral accompaniment and the whole is quite delightful.

For the rest, Rossini’s famous Overture is slightly underplayed, thus making the storm and the final gallop all the more exciting. Tchaikovsky’s last Symphony also gains from Blair’s slightly holding the music back – the famous second subject of the first movement really comes into its own when treated this way. Thus, as the piece unfolds, he achieves some mighty climaxes which are always tempered by passages of repose. What really scores in this performance is Blair’s magnificent use of the most subtle rubato at salient moments. I notice that in my review of the concert I complained that there was insufficient spring in the rhythm of the second movement “waltz”, but I now find that I was wrong, Blair shows quite a good dance step. Despite a couple of small slips in the playing, this is a fine interpretation indeed and the disk must be welcomed for the inclusion of the Adrian Beecham piece, which, even if not a major work, is one well worth hearing.

St John’s, Smith Square, where this concert was recorded is a big hall and some performances suffer from the very live acoustic, but this recording removes that problem, and gives a clean and vital perspective on the orchestra. It’s worth mentioning that a small amount of applause has been left on the recording but this will not bother you. There are no notes or texts and translations.

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.