One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

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

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount




CD: Crotchet

Georgy CATOIRE (1861-1926)
Elégie for Violin and Piano, Op.26 (1916) [4:14]
Sonata No.1 for Violin and Piano, Op.15 (c.1900) [33:11]
Piano Quintet, Op.28 (1914) [22:48]
Boris Tsoukkerman (violin); Ivo Boytchev (piano); Rian de Waal (piano); Christian Bor (violin); Michele Sidener (viola); Godfried Hoogeveen (cello)
rec. May 2007, The Locatio Studio Antwerp
ALIUD RECORDS ACD HN 033-2 [60:30]


Experience Classicsonline

A Russian composer of French heritage, Georgy Catoire (rhymes with Porgy and Renoir) shows it all in his music: it is clearly somewhere between Tchaikovsky and Arensky on one side, Fauré and Franck on the other. He is virtually unknown now, and was unknown more or less throughout the last century. Some interest was awoken recently, especially by a couple of Hyperion's recordings, like that of Catoire's piano music by the infallible Marc-André Hamelin.
Unfortunately, I cannot say that this disc, as a whole, is a good introduction to Catoire's music. I have not heard other recordings of the two violin pieces, so I cannot be sure whether or not this is the composer's fault. But personally I would blame the violinist, Boris Tsoukkerman. His sound is very uncompromising, direct, hard-pressed. Over the course of the Sonata's 33 minutes this becomes very unwelcome, so that I felt considerable relief in the rare moments where the pressure subsides. The violin sound is often hollow, in some places I suspected pitch problems.
Apart from this, Elégie is quite lovely, and one can see why Oistrakh played it. It is built, Medtner-like, out of several memorable motifs, and the piano part is very reminiscent of Fauré.
The first movement of the Violin Sonata starts with violent outbursts, which alternate with calmer, introspective episodes. At times the high emotional verve is worthy of Rachmaninov. But Catoire sense of structure was not yet fully formed. The quiet, lyric second theme is welcome - Wagner's Isolde can be hear here. Sadly the more turbulent episodes rarely rise above the commonplace. The 15-minute movement is also too long for its content - Catoire was a devoted Wagnerite, but not all listeners share this predilection. The slow second movement is another elegy, very Russian. Its sombre tone reminds one of the trios by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. The music reaches the heights of white-hot intensity – but the effect is undermined by the unpleasany harsh sound. The final movement is more or less built on one motif. Although it is a nice motif, it is overused. Brahms in his violin sonatas formed similar ideas into more balanced solutions.
The Piano Quintet is a different story! This is worth digging out. The first movement starts for all the world like one of Fauré's quintets: moody and brooding. The invention is rich, there is a cloud of motifs, and the harmonic writing is dense. It is very multi-faceted and never becomes boring. The second movement flows naturally out of the first. It is more a change of mood than of form. One hears the bitter-sweet fin-de-siècle longing. The musical architecture is wonderfully imaginative. It only gets better in the third movement, where con spirito and capriccioso are well-deserved indications. The music is rife with Scriabin's voluptuous fantasy. Catoire succeeds in maintaining the ecstatic flow throughout the movement, constantly shifting the images, changing the textures and juggling the harmonies.
The Quintet is excellently played, with fine balance and careful phrasing. The result is imbued with drama without becoming melodramatic. The tempo choices and changes are very natural and create a "breathing" effect. It's a pity that the coupling does not attain this high level. The liner-notes are in five languages, but do not tell much, besides the meagre performance history of Catoire's output, plus short biographies of the performers. The recording quality of the violin pieces is very good. The recording of the quintet can be bettered in terms of both depth and clearness, although the balance of instruments is good. Still, it is quite adequate. And it's an SACD recording, so maybe it will have more depth on a SACD player.
If you are exploring Catoire's music, or are into French Romantic chamber music, grab this disc for the wonderful Quintet. If you are not - better listen to the violin pieces before you buy. For me it was not a pleasant experience.
Oleg Ledeniov

Catoire Violin Sonatas on Avie


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.