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



CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770 - 1827)
Egmont - incidental music to Goethe’s tragedy, Op. 84 (1810) [40:15]
1. Overture [9:03]
2. No. 1 Act I, Scene 3: Die Trommel gerühret! (Clärchen) [2:55]
3. No. 2 First Entr’acte: Andante [3:37]
4. No. 3 Second Entr’acte: Larghetto [5:48]
5. No. 4 Act III, Scene 2: Freudvoll und leidvoll (Clärchen) [1:28]
6. No. 5 Third Entr’acte: Allegro - Marcia, Vivace [4:18]
7. No. 6 Fourth Entr’acte: Larghetto [3:40]
8. No. 7 Act V, Scene 3: Death of Clärchen [2:38]
9. No. 8 Act V, Scene 4: Melodrama (Egmont) [5:23]
10. No. 9 Act V, Scene 4: Symphony of Victory [1:25]
11. March No. 1 in F major (Yorck’scher Marsch), WoO 18 [1:27]
12. March No. 2 in F major, WoO 19 [1:47]
13. Scena and Aria: Ah! perfido, Op. 65 [11:47]
Madeleine Pierard (soprano: 2, 5, 13), Claus Obalski (narrator: 9)
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra/James Judd
rec. Michael Fowler Centre, Wellington, New Zealand, 10-12 February 2003 (1, 3, 4, 6-12) and Wellington Town Hall, 14-15 August 2007 (2, 5, 13)
Sung and spoken texts with English translations are included in the booklet.
NAXOS 8.557264 [55:15]

Experience Classicsonline

During the first years of the new century Beethoven had written music for a ballet, Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus, started working on his sole opera Fidelio and composed an overture for Heinrich von Collin’s play Coriolan. He was therefore no newcomer to writing for the stage when the Court Theatre in Vienna commissioned incidental music for Goethe’s Egmont for the 1809-1810 season. Goethe’s play was written thirty years earlier but the subject, a rebellion taking arms against an oppressing invader, was still topical and for Beethoven this subject must have been close to his heart, political freedom always central to his ethics. It seems however that the last spark of inspiration eluded him and the score wasn’t finished in time for the premiere. At the third performance, three weeks later, it was heard and it is likely that Clärchen’s two songs were performed earlier. Maybe I am biased through this knowledge but I have a feeling that some of the orchestral pieces are professional rather than deeply inspired.

The programmatic overture is rightly an established masterpiece, maybe his best composition in this genre, and James Judd and his admirable New Zealand forces present it in all its glory, rather brisk and dynamic. But the four entr’actes fail to inspire me, even though the Marcia in No. 3 is fresh and attractive. It is not until the last act that I become really engrossed in the music: Clärchen’s deeply-felt death, Egmont’s Melodrama - excellently performed by Claus Obalski - with its optimistic final pages followed by the symbolic Symphony of Victory, which we already know from the end of the overture.

Clärchen’s two songs are another matter. They are fresh and charming and immediately attractive, in particular Die Trommel gerühret! (tr. 2), with its catchy melody and swaggering march rhythm. I have long cherished Janet Baker’s recordings of them on a thirty-year-old Philips record. Madeleine Pierard is lighter and more lyrical, less formidable, but her readings are very attractive and she sings extremely well.

Janet Baker’s is again one of my favourite readings of the mighty Ah! perfido, a grandiose interpretation that not even Birgit Nilsson and Christa Ludwig surpass. Ms Pierard exposes however a dramatic voice with true bite while retaining her beautiful rounded tone. The opening recitative is truly expressive and Per pietà is sung simply and lyrically. Throughout this is a very beautiful reading. This is a singer I hope to hear more of.

The two short marches, contemporaneous with the Egmont music, are rather brash. They were commissioned by Archduke Anton and performed to celebrate the birthday of the Empress. The celebrations took place at a tournament, reason enough for the rather rough quality. Beethoven knew what he was about and called them ‘music for horses’.

Those curious for some not too often heard music by Beethoven can safely invest in this well played disc. There is some fine music from the last act of Egmont, the overture is a masterpiece and one gets some great vocal items in the bargain. The sound quality could hardly be bettered.

Göran Forsling








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.