MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



In Audible Memory of Philip Langridge

Philip Langridge, who died Friday night (5 March 2010), was a quiet star in the world of singers. Perhaps he wasn’t a star at all, but a talented gentleman who happened to be extraordinarily successful. Even if you count only his most important recordings, he has nearly a hundred discs to his name. From Handel to Birtwistle, from Purcell to Thomas Adès, for whose “The Tempest” he created the role of the King of Naples, singing the role on stage throughout Europe last year. And always there was Benjamin Britten — whose music Langridge had a particular affinity for and with whom he had worked extensively. When Chandos recorded the great Britten operas, Philip Langridge was their ‘Peter Pears’.
His voice wasn’t ever a lush crooner’s instrument — it was rather on the dry side. But it was very well controlled, imbued with immense artistry, and it lasted him in demanding repertoire all his 69 years. I wanted to see the Frankfurt production of "The Tempest", but was sick at the time. Now I have never seen him on stage. Sad though that is, my memories of him remain strong because he was “my” Grimes. During my long struggle to grasp and appreciate — eventually love — Benjamin Britten, it was his recording of "Peter Grimes" (Chandos, 1997 Grammy winner) that opened my ears the widest. Not the classic Britten-Pears, nor the famous Vickers-Davis, but Langridge-Hickox. It had stoic nobility, complexity, it was darkly-dramatic and above all it remained surprisingly mellifluous. For once I really felt for — and with — the Grimes character. And thus enthralled by the character, the music offered itself with natural self-evidence.
His Billy Budd is equally good and if “Death in Venice” were a more popular opera, he’d be famous for that, too. His “Turn of the Screw”, performing alongside Felicity Lott, can be found of Naxos — one of their many fine re-issues from the Collins Classics catalog. That’s where you also find his very worthy Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings — coupled with the Nocturne, op.60 and Phaedra, op.90 where the mezzo is his wife, the equally wonderful Ann Murray.
Langridge was a staple of Naxos’s “English Song Series”. He has at least five Messiahs to his name (Mackerras, Hickox, Marriner, Alldis…), sang in Simon Rattle's (English language) recording of Haydn’s Creation, Monteverdi with Harnoncourt and Gardiner, Mozart operas with Haitink and Solti, Mussorgsky and Janácek with Abbado. Shostakovich, Stravinsky, and Szymanowski all litter his discography, his wife coaxed him into doing a CD of French songs with her, he notably participated in Graham Johnson’s Schubert Edition on Hyperion, he did Tippett and Weill, and wasn’t afraid of Walton’s Façade.
The first disc I will put on in memory of Philip Langridge will be a Hickox-conducted collection of Gerald Finzi (Decca). The music is painfully-gently touching and it opens with “Dies Natalis”. “Rapture”, “Wonder”, and “Salutation” — movements three through five — are exactly what Langridge’s passing asks for. The discs ends appropriately enough with “For Saint Cecilia” — who now warmly welcomes home one of the prouder examples of her art.
Jens F. Laurson
Philip Gordon Langridge CBE (16 December 1939 – 5 March 2010)
70th birthday concert

Many reviews of Philip Langridge’s musicmaking can be found if you search under his name in MusicWeb International
and a brief footnote from Rob Barnett

Allowing for the occasional dalliance with baritone and soprano registers the tenor voice has most often moved me. Philip Langridge was one of its finest British exponents. While his voice in later years developed a vibrato which abraded some of the gleam this was always compensated by his intelligent engagement with the words, his evident feeling for other vocal and instrumental parts of the score and the intrinsic flavour and tone of his voice.
It all began for me with a revelatory 1973 BBC Concert Orchestra broadcast on BBC Radio 3 of Finzi's Intimations of Immortality. This was two years or more before Ian Partridge's Lyrita recording. Langridge was in gloriously flourishing voice and the colour, poignancy and delight he lent to Finzi's music and Wordsworth's words melded the two into a single continuum. Hearing that tape now reminds me how steady his tone production was in those days and achieved irrespective of dynamics and of Finzi's ruinously demanding long held notes. That euphoric steadiness had taken damage by the time he recorded Intimations with Hickox in 1988 (EMI)/
While he was of course active well beyond the generous confines of British music I would just list a meagre sampling of his fine broadcasts and recordings over the years which may serve in part as a reminder of a grievously missed artist:-
Bernard Stevens Et Resurrexit Denys Darlow/Tilford Bach Ens with Denys Michelow 1973

Holst At the Boar's Head RLPO Atherton 1975 EMI CDM 5655651272
Malcolm Williamson Mass of Christ The King Groves/RPO 1977
C W Orr and Howells songs Langridge Ogston Parkin 1979 Unicorn LP RHS 369 (never reissued on CD, more’s the pity – will this ever be reissued?)
Moeran Four Shakespeare Settings / Oldham Chinese Lyrics - Langridge Grady July 1977
Anthony Milner Roman Spring - Poole BBCS BBCSO Manning 1980
Cyril B Rootham Ode on Morning of Christ Nativity - Handley BBCCO Teresa Cahill December 1980
Edmund Rubbra Crucifixus Pro Nobis Sauer, Evans, Routh, Knight 1981
Stanford Requiem - Poole BBCCO BBCS Wendy Eathorne Margharet Cable 1981
Holst Savitri - Hickox City London Sinf Felicity Palmer Stephen Varcoe 1983 Hyperion
Alan Bush The Voices of the Prophets - Lionel Friend 1986
Arthur Bliss The Beatitudes - Willcocks LPO / Bach Choir 1991
Constant Lambert Eight Poems of Li Tai Po Lionel Friend and Nash Ens 1994 Hyperion
Elizabeth Lutyens Islands - David Atherton L Sinf Jane Manning 1995


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

Past 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.