One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Préalable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases

The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation

such a success

An outstanding performance

make acquaintance without delay

Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc

Strong advocacy
for a British composer

Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted

Piano Music 5CDs

Consistently fine

Rare and interesting repertoire

An excellent introduction

A Celebration on Record

An issue of importance

A splendid disc

both enlightening and rewarding
additional review



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

a vibrant slice of life

stylistically assured

About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs

Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome

An inspired partnership
additional review

A valuable document

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Guild Music

Ancient Sorceries
Richard STEINITZ (b.1938) Hymn to Apollo at Delphi [10:11]
Arthur BUTTERWORTH (b.1923) Ancient Sorceries [13:16]
Stephen HOUGH (b.1961) Three Grave Songs [6:20]
Nicholas MARSHALL (b.1942) Cat & Mouse [12:14]
John McCABE (b.1939) Two Latin Elegies [7:43]
John GARDNER (b.1917) Six by Four [12:20]
John JOUBERT (b.1927) Crabbed Age [14:36]
Nicholas Clapton (counter-tenor); John Turner (recorder); Jonathan Price (cello); Ian Thompson (harpsichord)
rec. DDD
GUILD GMCD 7348 [77:30]

Experience Classicsonline

The early music revival enabled the rediscovery of the counter-tenor voice and the recorder (much favoured by Henry Purcell). It also opened the door for contemporary composers to explore their own particular colours. ‘Ancient Sorceries’ is a disc presenting works composed between 1974 and 2007.
Three of the composers score for counter-tenor, recorder and harpsichord, but create very contrasting sonorities. Richard Steinitz’s Hymn to Apollo at Delphi features a dense and rhythmically complex harpsichord part. The counter-tenor line is wide ranging in tessitura and expression; a substantial and effective work. Walter de la Mare’s poetry creates almost its own mystical sound-world, which Arthur Butterworth has magically entered in Ancient Sorceries. ‘Voices’ and ‘Sorcery’ are quite dark, but ‘The Horn’ is lighter and captures the poem’s elfin intimations. Various aspects of nature are represented in six poems by Ted Hughes and expressed in music of subtle simplicity in Nicholas Marshall’s Cat and Mouse. The vocal lines, especially in the stark wintery imagery of ‘Snowdrop’ and the light-hearted twisting of the Garden of Eden story in ‘Theology’, are supported by creative scoring for the instruments.
Stephen Hough’s Three Grave Songs, composed in 2007, omit harpsichord in favour of cello. The mellower sound of tenor recorder is used in the settings of Oscar Wilde’s ‘Requiescat’ and Ernest Dowson’s ‘In a Breton Cemetery’, the latter made even darker by sustained cello double-stopping and the sadly lyrical vocal line. The cruel glibness of Thomas Hardy’s ‘By her Aunt’s Grave’ is expressed by the dancing sopranino recorder, and provides a contrast in mood in this moving cycle.
Both harpsichord and cello combine with counter-tenor and recorders of various sizes in John Gardner’s Six by Four; Six Lyrics from the plays of Shakespeare and John Joubert’s Crabbed Age and Youth, though both composers make use of reduced forces to great effect in a number of songs. In Gardner’s cycle recorder and harpsichord lightly accompany the contoured melody of ‘Over Hill, over Dale’. ‘Come Away, come away, Death’, unfolds over almost Bachian harpsichord textures, sustained by the cello. There are hints of an Elizabethan flavour here and there, but deliciously jazzy syncopations dispel any suggestion of pastiche. Scoring is reduced even further in Joubert’s skilfully crafted cycle. ‘Let us not that Young Men be’ is an energetic duo for voice and sopranino recorder. ‘Crabbed Age and Youth’ is accompanied by harpsichord alone with representational figuration, while ‘Though you are Young and I am old’ is a melancholy dialogue between voice and cello. Full instrumental forces are restored for ‘Time wasteth Years’, its lively melody underpinned by a swinging accompaniment.

John McCabe’s Two Latin Elegies set Catullus’s elegy at his brother’s grave and the anonymous Compline hymn Te lucis ante terminum. Two melodic phrases from a Pavan in William Byrd’s My Lady Nevell’s Book provide a basis for much of the thematic material. Bells add their distinctive timbre to the counter-tenor, recorder, harpsichord and cello scoring. The atmosphere throughout this calm and chant-like work is subdued and devotional.
Singing and playing are of the highest order. A wide range of musical expression is very convincingly sustained on this much-to-be-recommended disc of unusual but significant repertoire.
Andrew Mayes



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.