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



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


alternatively AmazonUK AmazonUS

Hans OTTE (1926-2007)
Stundenbuch (Book of Hours) – forty-eight pieces for piano for two hands, in four volumes (1991-98) [57:06]
Roger Woodward (piano)
rec. Radio Bremen Concert Hall (Sendesaal), January 2006


Experience Classicsonline

Roger Woodward’s remarkable recording of Hans Otte’s Stundenbuch (Book of Hours) has already received a review on MusicWeb International, but is most certainly deserving of another look – I wasn’t expecting to like it that much, but was converted within minutes of proper listening.
Consisting of 48 pieces, none of which are longer than three minutes and many under one, you might be forgiven for expecting something rather fragmented, possibly even rather aphoristic and awkward. Yes, each individual piece is brief, but the musical landscapes they conjure are vast and deep. Like all powerful works of art, the Stundenbuch can be taken in many layers. There is the human scale, the short divisions in the work: each section being at once both a manageable handful of notes and an elusive riddle on which to ponder as a parcel of timeless rumination. Then there is the span of the work as a whole, or as four ‘movements’ of 12 pieces each: 12 being a massively more useful and proportionately more satisfactory number than your Napoleonic 10, as we all know. I wouldn’t want to labour the numerological point, but listen to the timeless suspended almost-resolutions of the central No.24 and you can’t help imagining Otte seeing this as a kind of axis around which the other “time-suspended galaxies” can revolve.
Hans Otte was based in Bremen as pianist, composer and radio programmer, and the Radio Bremen synergy seems to close a kind of charmed circle for this CD. Taught and supported by pianist Bronislaw von Pozniak, and subsequently by Paul Hindemith and organist Fernando Germani, Otte’s own relative reticence in promoting his own work seems to be in an inverse proportion to the energy he put into broadcasting music by his contemporaries. In this way he left his mark on music for a substantial part of the 20th century, and hearing the music on this recording I now regret missing the opportunity to hear him performing his own pieces in Europe.
This is ‘modern’ music, but should hold no fears for anyone with an open mind and good musical taste. Otte’s philosophy is embraced by his respect for tradition, and the instrument for which this music has been written: “There can be no better challenge for any composer than writing for [the piano, an instrument] which has been so closely involved in developing the new musical languages of this century.” Imagine Debussy’s Des pas sur la neige, its atmosphere preserved but its intervals expanded and, for brief moments, its dynamics and tonalities widened to explore the reaches Bartók explored in his Mikrokosmos, and you might have some idea about the kind of music you will find on this rather marvelous CD. One can sense Roger Woodward’s empathy with the creative mind behind this work, and with a warmly resonant recording on a luminous sounding Bösendorfer there is nothing to leave any piano fan wanting. For an expression of poetry in music, this is hard to beat.
Dominy Clements

see also review by Jonathan Woolf



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.