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.


Moravec - Twelfth Night Recital
15%off £17.21 (until Dec 7)

Katerina Englichová - harp
15%0ff £10.83 (until Dec 7)

  • 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

Sibelius Symphonies Maazel
4CDs + Blu-ray audio
Special Price £36.75

RVW A Sea Symphony - Elder

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

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Between Heaven and Earth
see end of review for track listing
Sandrine Piau (soprano)
Topi Lehtipuu (tenor) ¹
Accademia Bizantina/Stefano Montanari
rec. December 2008, church of San Girolamo, Bagnacavallo
NAÏVE OP30484 [67:15]

Experience Classicsonline

This is a slightly inconsistent disc, but then if one doesn’t dare then one doesn’t achieve. I rather wish however that things hadn’t begun with Disserratevi, o porte d’Averno from La Resurrezione because it seems to me by some way the weakest track. It’s clearly programmed first to make a point. And, yes, it’s certainly declamatory - in spades. Piau is laying down a volatile remit, a marker of expressive intervention, but it strikes me that the runs are flashy and her tone is consistently too hard, with an exaggerated da capo into the bargain. There may be some disagreement here, and that’s healthy, but having listened numerous times in humours ranging from choleric to sanguine I keep coming back to the précis above.

After this things vastly improve. This is an oratorio album - English and Italian - and so it’s right that she essays With darkness deep as is my woe from Theodora. It is very affectingly done. In the same way Convey me to some peaceful shore (from Alexander Balus) is taken at a distinctive, slow tempo and works exceptionally well. I liked the general direction of What passion cannot music raise and quell - though I will note in passing both my admiration for cellist Marco Frezzato’s musicianship and also my dislike of the actual sound of his baroque cello. And I ought also in fairness to register slight disappointment at Piau’s diction too. Rejoice greatly is taken at the more unusual 12/8 and it duly swings with vitality.

If her divisions in the opening track put me on edge, the converse is true of Prophetic raptures swell my breast where their accuracy and buoyancy are a tonic. She’s joined by the mellifluous tenor Topi Lehtipuu for the duet As steals the morn upon the night. A purely orchestral - and misconceived - contribution arrives via the Accademia Bizantina whose bulgy, accent-crazed performance of The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba got on my nerves. The instrumental soloists acquit themselves admirably elsewhere - notably the oboists, and flautist Marcello Gatti in the inevitable Sweet Bird. Let the bright seraphim is a popular choice, strongly dispatched if occasionally a touch overdone.

So, this is a strongly personalised recital, very well recorded indeed. The booklet contains three language texts. Handel vocal recital discs, though: too many? Discuss.

Jonathan Woolf

Track listing
La Resurrezione HWV 47 (1708)
Aria ‘Disserratevi, o porte d’Averno’ [4:36]
Theodora HWV 68 (1750)
Recitative ‘O Thou bright Sun!’ [0:38]
Aria ‘With darkness deep as is my woe' [3:35]
A song for St Cecilia’s day HWV 76 (1739)
Aria ‘What passion cannot music raise and quell’ [8:47]
Messiah HWV 56 (1742)
Aria ‘Rejoice greatly’[3:52]
Largo [1:26]
Alexander Balus HWV 65 (1748)
Aria ‘O take me from this hateful light’ [4:37]
Recitative ‘Forgive, O queen’ [0:29]
Accompagnato ‘Calm thou my soul’ [0:44]
Aria ‘Convey me to some peaceful shore’ [2:48]
Joseph and his brethren HWV 59 (1744)
Recitative ‘Art thou not Zaphnath? Is not Egypt sav’d?’ [0:29]
Aria ‘Prophetic raptures swell my breast’ [8:07]
L’allegro, Il penseroso, ed Il moderato
Duet ‘As steals the morn upon the night’ [6:11] ¹
Solomon HWV 67 (1749)
Symphony (‘The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba') [2:49]
L’allegro, il penseroso, ed il moderato HWV 55 (1740)
Accompagnato ‘First and chief on golden wing’ [0:49]
Accompagnato Aria ‘Sweet bird' [12:40]
Concerto Grosso in B Flat Major, op.3 no.2 HWV 313 (c.1710) - Largo [2:40]
Samson HWV 57 (1743)
Aria ‘Let the bright seraphims' [5:10]
Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno HWV 46a (1707)
Accompagnato ‘Pure del cielo’ [1:00]
Aria ‘Tu del Ciel ministro eletto' [5:25]



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.