Schubert sonatas

Newest Releases

Piano solo and duet
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

British composers

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

César FRANCK (1822 – 1890) Violin Sonata in A (1886) [28:00]
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809 – 1847) Violin Sonata in F (1838) [23:49]
Manuel de FALLA (1876 – 1946) Danse espagnole (La Vida Breve) (1913) (arr. Fritz Kreisler) [4:43]
Antonin DVORÁK (1841 – 1904) Slavonic Dance No.2 in E minor (1878) (arr. Fritz Kreisler) [3:40]
Uri Pianka (violin); Timothy Hester (piano)
rec. January 2008, Studios of KUHF, Houston Public Radio, Texas. DDD
ROMÉO RECORDS 7272 [60:38]

Experience Classicsonline

César Franck’s Violin Sonata is one of those pieces which are simply too beautiful. They seem to transcend the medium in which they exist. What we hear is not a Violin Sonata but a hymn to the perfection of the musical art. As with Guillaume Lekeu’s slightly later Sonata – and what a coupling that piece would be for the Franck – this music is very special. It is filled with wonderful soaring tunes, brilliantly and gratefully laid out for the players. The whole is free from romantic angst. My relationship with this work, over some 45 years, has been akin to a love affair, so perfect a partner to my life is this music.

Uri Pianka is a fine player, indeed I cannot fault his technique for it is just about flawless. However, I question his interpretation of the Franck for it is very hard driven. There is little light and shade and it isn’t until about half way through the slow movement that he finally relaxes and allows himself to enjoy the lyricism. His tone is very full, perhaps too much so, for I want my lover, here, to yield to her occasional winsomeness. Pianka likes to push the music forward somewhat ungraciously; the finale, in particular, is totally lacking in charm. The Mendelssohn receives the same hard-driven treatment, and here, in the cooler, more precise classical mood I find Pianka’s wide vibrato to be very annoying. The little encore pieces are in the same vein. They appear on the disk in the reverse order to the listing in the booklet and the rear inlay.

Part of the trouble with this disk is the recording, which is very forward. There’s no space between you, the listener, and the performer. It’s as if he’s in the room with you, but so close as to be overwhelming. The performers would have been better served if the engineers had allowed some room for the sound to expand into.

There’s a lot of competition for the Franck and you cannot do much better than go for the excellent performance by Sergey and Lusine Khachatryan (Naïve V5122, coupled with the Shostakovich Sonata). The Mendelssohn is well served in a recording of the composer’s complete music for violin and piano by Nicholas Milton (leader of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra) and Nína-Margrét Grímsdóttir (Naxos 8.554725).

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

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.