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
Download: Classicsonline

Jeno HUBAY (1858-1937)
Violin concerto no.1 in A minor, op.21, Concerto dramatique (1884) [30:30]
Scènes de la Csárda: no.3 Maros vize folyik csendesen, op.18 (1882-1883) [7:13]
Scènes de la Csárda: no.4 Hejre Kati, op.32 (1882-1886) [6:19]
Violin concerto no.2 in E major, op.90 (1904) [26:45]
Chloë Hanslip (violin)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Mogrelia
rec. 23-24 June 2008; The Concert Hall, Lighthouse, Poole, UK
NAXOS 8.572078 [70:46]


Experience Classicsonline

Oh, to be a fly on the wall at the team meetings of Naxos’s marketing department! I would love to know, in particular, why they decide that certain of that company’s new releases, like this one, should come in those extremely irritating – in fact, positively useless - cardboard slipcases while other CDs are sold merely in their plastic jewel cases.
Moreover, why, when the composer’s likeness is considered entirely appropriate and adequate for the booklet cover that fronts the jewel case, should the exterior cardboard packaging be printed with a completely different image of the artist? That happened in the case of the 2008 Godard violin concertos release as well as this one – and if Naxos are really intending to present these discs as a sort of Chloë Hanslip Edition, then they ought at least to be consistent with the inside packaging as well.
One might have assumed that, having attracted such a rising star as Ms. Hanslip to the label, Naxos would be setting down some of the milestones of the concerto repertoire with her: Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius or whatever. In fact, though, the company’s proclaimed aim of exploring into musical history’s murkiest corners fits in very well with their soloist’s own philosophy as expressed on her website ( where she tells us that “I think its [sic.] important to have as broad a taste in music as possible!!”
Thus, Chloë Hanslip continues her crusade to encourage CD buyers to explore less well known – or even downright unknown – works, be they the John Adams concerto (reviewed here or those of Benjamin Godard (reviewed here Now she moves on to the generally forgotten Hungarian violinist, pedagogue and composer Jeno Hubay.
Perhaps Hyperion’s two volumes in its sadly sporadic “Romantic violin concerto” series marked a sea change in Hubay’s fortunes on disc in recent years. Volume 3 showcased his third and fourth concertos as well as the Variations sur un theme hongrois (see here, while volume 6 included the first and second concertos as well as the Suite for violin and orchestra, op.5 (see here Hyperion’s chosen soloist, performing with exemplary style and panache, was Hagai Shaham and he was accompanied by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins. Both discs were very warmly welcomed by my colleagues Jonathan Woolf and Christopher Fifield.
Chloë Hanslip’s new accounts, let it be said right away, are right up there with Shaham’s. Her artistic insight and her well nigh flawless technique are both put very effectively to the service of these comparatively lightweight but undeniably attractive works and the disc will certainly add to her fast growing reputation (Christopher Latham’s assessment that “she is likely to become the greatest violinist of her generation” is merely one of many such plaudits recorded on her website).
Hanslip’s sympathy with Hubay’s characteristic Hungarian/gypsy idiom is apparent right from the very opening of the first concerto. She displays all the passion, lyricism, flamboyance and virtuosity that the score requires make its maximum effect (Concerto dramatique actually turns out to be a rather misleading title for, once the overtly “dramatic” orchestral introduction is out of the way, the dominant atmosphere is one of Romantic sensibility). Everything is, in fact, so well done that a great deal of the playing sounds entirely spontaneous and improvised such as a gypsy fiddler might produce – a fine tribute to Hubay’s cleverly crafted the score that was surely designed to give that very effect. The slow movement is the most distinctive and successful of the three, with an intensely yearning melodic line that Hanslip plays for all – and possibly more – that it is worth. The last movement has the expected zigeuner fireworks but also an unexpected application of the brakes at 3:06 when we are given a luscious “big tune” that sounds like something right out of a Hollywood weepie. Great stuff!
The second concerto does not make quite such an immediate impact, though the problem is the rather less striking score rather than the performance. To be sure, Hanslip performs once more with strength of purpose and confident energy, tossing off the virtuoso effects with apparent nonchalance. The slow movement again makes the strongest impression as her violin sings out its rather sad, plaintive melody in an entirely sensitive and idiomatic way.
The two fillers from Scènes de la Csárda are most enjoyable. No.3 reminds one irresistibly – even in its thematic material – of that old Palm Court favourite Monti’s Czardas and it and its companion are performed with verve and immense style. Close your eyes and you will easily be transported to a Budapest cafe where a gypsy violinist serenades you as you enjoy your dish of székelygulyás or sip your after-dinner glass of tokaj (though, for playing of this quality, he’d probably be expecting a very generous tip indeed).
Of course, in that Hungarian cafe the violinist would not have had the support of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. On these recordings the microphone generally favours the soloist – but then, of course, Hubay’s writing does too. As a result, the orchestra’s contribution can, especially in the concertos, be somewhat generalised (an effect somewhat exaggerated by the recording venue’s rather generous acoustics) but that did not worry me too much.

All in all, then, this is a most enjoyable disc. I’d find it difficult to choose on artistic grounds between it and Hagai Shaham’s Hyperion account, but the price band certainly counts in Naxos’s favour. If you don’t own Shaham’s version and pennies are short, Hanslip’s might well therefore be the best bet – but if you already own the older disc what’s another five pounds or so in order to hear possibly “the greatest violinist of her generation” in full flight?
Rob Maynard

See also reviews by Jonathan Woolf and William Hedley



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.