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

Pavel HAAS (1899 – 1944)
Wind Quintet, op.10 (1929) [15:15]
Suite for Oboe and Piano, op.17 (1939) [15:15]
String Quartet No.3, op.15 (1938) [21:22]
Ensemble Villa Musica (Jean-Claude Gérard (flute); Ingo Goritzki (oboe); Ulf Rodenhäuser (clarinet); Dag Jensen (bassoon); Zdenek Tylsar (horn); Kalle Randalu (piano); Nico Chumachenko – Erika Geldsetzer (violins); Enrique Santiago (viola); Martin Ostertag (cello))
rec. 20 January 1998 (Quintet), 16 December 2001 (Suite), 11 June 2007 (Quartet), Fürstliche Reitbahn Bad Arolsen. DDD

Experience Classicsonline

Pavel Haas was one of that group of important Czechoslovakian composers who were interned in Terezin (Theresienstadt). Finally they were murdered in the gas chambers. Unlike Viktor Ullmann, who has risen head and shoulders above his compatriots, if only because of the huge amount of music he wrote, Haas’s output is small, but his is a very refined voice. Haas studied with Janácek; you can hear the master at work quite clearly in the piano writing in the Suite for oboe and piano. He also inherited some of the older composer’s melodic angularity and fondness for rich harmonies.

The Suite is quite austere, and problematic in some ways, not least in the elusive strain of melody which pervades the piece. You aren’t going to be whistling the tunes after a single hearing, but they are always in your mind as a presence. You have to return to the work for it has a depth which isn’t immediately obvious. Although marked furioso I don’t find the first movement in any way furious. I am at a loss to understand this marking for although the music protests it always resolves, which isn’t what one would expect from fury – unless you’re moving from Kansas to Oz. The piano writing in this movement is slightly reminiscent of Janácek’s Concertino. The middle, scherzo, movement, marked con fuoco, is fiery and has a lot to be angry about. This is very well worked out, as is the more gentle and easy-going finale. This is a moderato, a kind of pastoral scene which isn’t quite as idyllic as you might at first think. This is a very fine work. If you like Charles Koechlin’s Oboe Sonata you’ll find much to enjoy here.

The last of Haas’s three Quartets is a master-piece. It is forthright, powerful, succinct. It uses just the right number of notes to say what it has to; what a marvel this composer could be! The first movement is, again, quite argumentative. It has time for reflection in the shape of a lyrical second subject but its respite is short-lived. I feel a menace here. There’s always something in the music, even when it’s at its quietest, which is emotionally disturbing. Although the spirit of Janácek hangs, somewhat obviously in places, over the work, Haas has an original voice that has absorbed that of his teacher. I imagine that the slight reminiscences of the older composer are subconscious. The ending is as enigmatic as anything Haas ever wrote. The slow middle movement has an occasional feel of Debussy about it, as the recitative makes its way from soliloquy to song. The finale, a theme and variations, starts deeply-felt which makes one realise, all the more, the loss of a great chamber music composer. It ends with a fugue of strange harmonies and peculiar tonality.

The disk starts with the early Wind Quintet, a slightly more difficult work than one would imagine from this composer. Perhaps the difficulty stems from the fact that the wind quintet is notoriously difficult to write for. Rather like the string quartet, it delivers a monochromatic sound. Unlike the string ensemble, it lacks the range or the ability to employ the very high register afforded the violin. There’s a lot of interest in this work. This stems from the chatter of the first movement. The third movement is like a slowed-down version of Janácek’s March of the Blue Boys (which became the third movement of Mladi). It has a delightfully bluff sense of fun. This is quite a serious work, despite the scherzo, but it is most enjoyable once your ears adjust to the overall sound of the music.

Despite what I have written concerning which composers the music sounds like I don’t mean to imply that Haas is obviously derivative, I only want to give some idea of the influences absorbed into his style. This is fine music that can stand by itself and is the work of an obviously individual voice. Haas should be heard and this disk is as good an introduction as any I have heard. The sound is good. Every strand of the music can be clearly heard but I felt a slight tiredness throughout and it isn’t as bright as it might have been. The performances are very good.

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.