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


Not available in the USA

CD: AmazonUK
Download: Classicsonline

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major Op. 19 (1793 rev. 1794-95) [27:55]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34 (1864) [37:23]
Glenn Gould (piano)
Columbia Symphony Orchestra/Leonard Bernstein
Montreal String Quartet
rec. May 1957, Columbia 30th Street Studios, NYC (Beethoven) and August 1957, CBC Studios Montreal (Brahms)
NAXOS HISTORICAL 8.111341 [65:19]

Experience Classicsonline

The latest of the Naxos Gould restorations takes us to the 1957 recordings of Beethoven and Brahms made with Bernstein, in New York, and with his compatriots, the Montreal String Quartet.

The ramifications of the collaboration with Bernstein are never as problematic as their famed un-meeting of minds over the First Brahms Concerto. Instead we find that the Gouldian passagework is fluid, albeit a touch light, and that fluency is uncompromised by any quirks. One could, I think, successfully argue that his playing remains somewhat emotively colourless, but this is a question of degree. What’s not in doubt is that the conductor’s orchestral introduction to the slow movement has an overtly stentorian expressivity that contrasts quite dramatically with the soloistic response that follows. Initially Gould seems to collude in this higher sphere of romanticised expression but it soon emerges that divergence is more the order of the day. Neither musician sufficiently accommodates the other here – fascinating for what it says and also doesn’t say about their meeting. Maybe the most successful movement is the finale, though I find it rather unsmiling, a little grudging perhaps.

Similar questions afflict the Brahms but to a much greater degree. Gould was generally a bad Brahms player. Here we find him skirting tonal questions in furtherance of his own proscribed timbral and expressive response to the music – and the result is a reading of circumscribed and determined caution at odds with the tenor of the music itself. This communicates itself to the string players. The result is the obverse of a performance by, say, the Budapest Quartet. Which may, or may not, have been Gould’s point, but if it was, it wasn’t one worth making. The aesthetic here is chilly and even the first violin, the otherwise excellent Hyman Bress, can’t (or isn’t allowed to) impart more tonal warmth into his phrasing. For the record the other quartet members were Mildred Goodman (violin), Otto Joachim (viola) and Walter Joachim (cello).

One for Gouldians.

Jonathan Woolf



























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.