52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  


Some items
to consider

Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


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

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Recordings of the Month


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE

Enescu Ravel Britten

Debussy Images etc.

53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)



Che fai tù? - Villanelles

Cyrillus KREEK
The suspended harp of Babel

violin concertos - Ibragimova

Peteris VASKS
Viola concerto - Maxim Rysanov

The Complete Lotte Schöne




Buy through MusicWeb
for £12 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button


William BOYCE (1711-1779)
Eight Symphonies Op.2 (1760) [61:53]
English String Orchestra/William Boughton
rec. March-April 1992, Ballroom of Nimbus Foundation, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth.
NIMBUS NI 5345 [61:53]

Experience Classicsonline

There have been a number of modern instrument performances of the Boyce symphonies over the years. One thinks variously of Menuhin’s recording with his Festival Orchestra, of Ronald Thomas’s with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta on CRD, and of the ASMIF and Neville Marriner. But period bands have long been active in this arena and two of the most lasting and established entrants are Pinnock and Hogwood. More recently, in up to date sound and at a tempting price bracket, comes Mallon. Those with long memories will recall Jörg Faerber and the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra.
This partial survey of the back story reveals that the symphonies – so tuneful, so attractive, and so lingering in the imagination – have never lacked for adherents and promoters. That said it’s the period bands that have begun to crowd the market and supplant the chamber-sized modern instrument performances, and you’ll have some trouble tracking down all of the last named recordings today.
One which you will certainly be able to acquire is this traversal by the English String Orchestra and William Boughton. These admirable exponents recorded quite a sheaf of music together and always gave good value. Their Boyce is no exception. Tempi are fluent and quite fleet, slower or pomposo movements have a grand nobility to them, and characterisation is acutely monitored to ensure that the individual temper of each movement never becomes generic or underplayed. In many ways then these are articulate and worthwhile performances.
When one gets down to brass tacks however detail begins to militate against them. The most obvious demerit is the cavernous acoustic at the Ballroom of Nimbus Foundation,
Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, which imparts a distant sound-stage to the proceedings. Attack and articulation and detailing do suffer. Things lack crispness. The bass line sounds rather heavy and dragging. In the First Symphony for example, despite the good tempo and dynamics, things are a bit stolid. Phrase endings tend to taper in the central movement. In the Symphony in C [No.3] the tonal weight doesn’t allow a real interplay between strings and wind, and the lower string weight tends to create an impression of holding back. Sensitively shaped though the opening of the D minor [No.8] Symphony is, a more sparing sound is strongly preferable, a feeling reinforced by the string based sonority, not least in No.4 in F, where others have brought out the delightful wind writing more playfully.
In short then I would refer you first, amongst modern instruments, to Thomas – if you can find it – and for period performances to Hogwood, and then Pinnock, in that order. If you can find the wonderful Faerber, whose praises I never fail to sing, then don’t hesitate.
Jonathan Woolf

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

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

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



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

Return to Review Index

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.