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

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati








Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859)
Concertante No. 1 in A major, Op. 48 (1808) [24:20]
Concertante No. 2 in B minor, Op. 88 (1833) [26:07]
Violin Duet in G major, Op.3, No. 3 (1833) [9:55]
Henning Kraggerud (violin); ōyvind BjorŚ (violin)
Oslo Camerata and Barratt Due Chamber Orchestra/Stephan Barratt-Due
rec. February 2008, Jar Church, Oslo
NAXOS 8.570840 [57:02]

Experience Classicsonline

Spohrís two Concertanti were written some 25 years apart, and display his characteristic melodic grace, adept interplay, and a sometimes intriguing approach to orchestration. It all makes for fluent listening, especially given the fine performances enshrined in this disc.

The elegant two minute orchestral introduction to the A major Concertante sets the marker. Clever registral interplay demarcates Spohrís schema, allowing contrast but also unison. Overall he imbues the music with a joie de vivre demonstrated by ebullient trills which lead dramatically into the orchestral tutti Ė maybe a stock gadget but when carried off with panache still an exciting one. Spohr manages too to imbue the wind writing with sufficient personality and the curlicues for this section add nicely to the orchestral sound-picture. With a rather pious slow movement Ė neat running orchestral pizzicato show the composer pulling out all the stops Ė there is also sweet charm. And with a bright, jovial finale, rich in gallant hues (and animating horns) this is a work well worth getting to know.

Its companion was written in 1833. The two violins enter much earlier than in the previous work, establishing their credentials with more romantic spirit. Kraggerud and BjorŚ take care to give full weight to those moments when Spohr encourages a spongy lower string statement from the one and an answering crystalline upper string commentary from the other. Again the wind playing is pert Ė the orchestral forces here are adept. The notes speak of Spohrís writing here being anticipatory of Berlioz, Tchaikovsky and Mahler. Well, the last named is surely far-fetched in this context, but there are some intriguing pre-echoes of Tchaikovsky certainly. The grazioso double-stops of the two soloists in the slow movement are set atop intriguingly reduced orchestral support. The finale has brio but is not aggressive; itís an Allegretto after all, and has just a few hints that Spohr was more than slightly au fait with Mozartís Sinfonia Concertante.

Published in 1833 and one of his studies, the Violin Duet in G major maintains a good balance between expressive and technical demands, the multi-sectional nature of the second movement being especially successful in this regard.

There are other performances of the two Concertantes. Ulf Hoelscher recorded them with his sister Gunhild on CPO 999 798-2 though I wasnít able to audition them. Hoelscher, as some will know, is something of a hero of the Spohr violin discography having recorded the complete cycle of concertos. Nevertheless this sprucely performed Naxos entrant is notably well played and recorded.

Jonathan Woolf

see also review by John-Pierre Joyce





















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.