One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider


paid for


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

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

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


Buy through MusicWeb
for £13.50 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button


Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732 - 1809)
Sonatas for Violin and Fortepiano Hob. XVa - XV 31, 32
Sonata in B flat (H XVa, 1) [13: 29]
Sonata in D (H XVa, 2) [10:54]
Sonata in C (H XVa, 3) [14:37]
Sonata in E flat minor (H XV, 31) [12:20]
Sonata in G (H XV, 32) [12:13]
Giuseppe F. Modugno (fortepiano); Alberto Bologni (violin)
rec. 12-13 January 2009, Palazzo Monsignani-Sassatelli, Imola, Italy DDD
CONCERTO CD 2048 [63:16]

Experience Classicsonline

The sonatas for keyboard and violin by Mozart and Beethoven belong to the standard repertoire for this scoring. But where is Haydn? He inspired both Mozart and Beethoven with his piano trios and string quartets. Why didn't he contribute to the genre?

Well, he did. Two of his trios for keyboard, violin and cello were originally written without a part for the cello. It is therefore legitimate to perform the Sonatas in E flat minor and in G major with only keyboard and violin as on this disc. That is not all. In the programme notes to his recording of all Haydn's piano trios (Brilliant Classics) the Dutch fortepiano specialist Bart van Oort stated that virtually all piano trios can be performed without the participation of a cello. In a live performance the cello is needed to support the relatively weak bass of the fortepiano and add some colour to the ensemble. But for the realisation of the musical material the cello is not really needed.

This offers an interesting perspective for players like Giuseppe Fausto Modugno and Alberto Bologni. They could have added some of the piano trios to the Sonatas H XV, 31 and 32. Instead they have chosen three sonatas whose authenticity seems not to be established, even though the artists are convinced they were written by Haydn. In a way this choice is to be applauded. Compositions of doubtful authenticity are seldom played and recorded. That is also the case with the three sonatas catalogued as H XVa. As their musical quality is far less doubtful than their authenticity one may be thankful that they are available on disc now.

What all these sonatas have in common is that the keyboard takes the lead, and that the violin is largely reduced to doubling one of the lines of the keyboard. This is mostly the right hand, but sometimes the violin plays with the bass line of the keyboard part. Only now and then does it follow its own path. There is nothing special about this: in sonatas of this kind in Haydn's time this was the rule rather than the exception.

The artists give technically good performances and play with passion and zest. There is no lack of drama where it is required. That should be reason enough to recommend this disc. But I have two serious reservations. Firstly, I think the choice of the fortepiano was a mistake. Giuseppe Modugno plays an instrument made by Johann Schantz in 1815. This is far too modern for this repertoire. Considering the development of the fortepiano in that time the instrument is hardly more 'authentic' in Haydn than a modern concert grand. In addition, the Sonatas in E flat minor and in G major were written for the English pianist Therese Jansen, who will have used an instrument with English rather than Viennese action. Secondly, this is chamber music and needs the intimacy of the salon; thatís a quality sorely missing here. It seems this recording was made in a large space. This results in a unnaturally big sound and far too much reverberation. The recording level is also quite high, so one would be well advised to turn down the volume control, in particular when listening through headphones.

I nevertheless commend this disc to your attention, mainly because of the repertoire. It is wise to listen to a couple of tracks before purchase. That way you can decide for yourself whether the choice of the fortepiano and the quality of the recording bother you as much as they did me.

Johan van Veen


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



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.