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

Celebrating Bach
J.S. BACH (1685-1750) Oboe Concerto in D minor BWV 1059 [12:09]; Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Concerto in E flat - Dumbarton Oaks [14:46]; Tim GARLAND (b.1951) Fantasia in Two Movements – The Stream [12:31], Concerto for Soprano Saxophone – Homage to Father Bach [15:46]; J.S. BACH (1685-1750) Double Concerto in C minor BWV 1060 [13:30]
Tim Garland (soprano saxophone)
Northern Sinfonia/Bradley Creswick (violin)
rec. 3 June 2008, St Mary’s Church, Richmond, Yorkshire; 9-10 January 2009, The Sage, Gateshead. DDD
AUDIO-B ABCD 5025 [68:47]


Experience Classicsonline

This disc from the Northern Sinfonia incorporates live recordings of works which celebrate Bach’s legacy and continuing influence. Proceedings open with an arrangement of Bach’s D minor oboe concerto, with a solo soprano saxophone taking the oboe part. It is not altogether unusual for this concerto to be played on different instruments; I know of versions for flute and harpsichord. Saxophonists often play Bach in various guises - such as in arrangements of the flute sonatas - so it is a logical step for the instrument to take the solo role here. Although the instrument’s sound gives a more modern feel to the music, perhaps thereby making it feel more relevant to the twenty-first century, the sound of the soprano sax is in many ways quite similar to the oboe, and the effect is convincing. I had more reservations about some of the ornamentations, which by the nature of the instrument had a more jazz-style feel than we are used to hearing in Bach’s music, but it was nevertheless enjoyable.
No disc paying tribute to Bach’s influence would be complete without a work of Stravinsky’s and the Dumbarton Oaks concerto is his homage to the Brandenburg Concertos. Composed in 1937 and using fifteen players, the work is full of references to Bach’s music, within Stravinsky’s inimitable style. The shift in sound to The Sage’s acoustic is a little unsettling at the beginning, but the ear soon settles. This is an enjoyable recording which has excellent intonation throughout and a spirited character.
Tim Garland is a composer and performer with strong links to both the classical and jazz traditions. His Fantasia in Two Movements – The Stream continues Stravinsky’s rhythmic energy and takes its melodic material from Bach, both in terms of his music and his name. Garland’s writing allows the music to develop through different textures and episodes, each of which maintains its link with the original melodic material. The second movement is calmer with more lush harmonies, and a greater sense of the influence of Jazz. The material here builds in the initials of the commissioners of the work Margaret and John Sparke, as well as quotes from Bach’s Wedding Cantata, in respect of the fact that the work was commissioned to celebrate the couple’s golden wedding anniversary. The music builds from its luxurious opening into a frenzied climax, which allows Garland to demonstrate the potential within this ensemble.
Garland’s second work on this disc is the concerto for Soprano Saxophone, written in homage to Bach. Bach’s influence is clear, with flowing semiquaver lines forming an important feature of the opening movement. The incorporation of a harpsichord into the ensemble also links the music with Baroque era, and the style of composition pays tribute to the tradition of extemporisation of a solo line, with harmonic sequences moving gradually in new directions. There’s also an improvised section in the rich and expressive slow movement. The final movement is more angular, with biting harmonies and strong rhythms. This is a highly enjoyable work which provides further evidence that Garland is both an exciting composer and an excellent saxophonist.
The disc ends with more Bach, this time the double concerto, heard here on violin and saxophone. The arrangement is once again convincing, and within the context of this disc it works very well. The playing is sensitive and stylish, and the slow movement is particularly enjoyable. The concerto as a whole has a joyful feel, with energy in the playing which keeps the mood light and bright, especially in the final movement.
This is an enjoyable disc which works surprisingly well. Bach purists might not approve of the use of a soprano saxophone in place of an oboe, but I feel that the overall effect of the recording is to capture the essence of Bach’s music, and to allow it to be heard within the context of more recent works based on his writing. The new works are enjoyable and well constructed, and Bach’s music seems fresher than ever alongside them.

Carla Rees



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.