One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 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

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

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

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews



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


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos 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

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Chopin Bruce Liu

Ingeneri Volume 2

Mondonville - Titon et L'Aurore

Telemann - French Cantatas 1


March 2022

Brahms Symphony 4
MacMillan Larghetto for Orchestra

Bruch Violin Concertos

Debussy Preludes Book 2

Jan-Peter de GRAAFF
Cello Concertos

La Nuit étoilé
Berlioz. Holmes



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Complete Works for Solo Piano - Volume 9
3 Sonatas WoO.47 'Kurfürsten Sonatas' [40:54]
Zwei Sätze einer Sonatine WoO.50 [2:34]
2 Leichte Sonatinen, Kinsky-Hahn Anh.5 [8:38]
Zwei Stücke für Klavier (Orphika) WoO.51 [7:29]
Ronald Brautigam (fortepiano)
rec. August 2008, Österåker Church, Sweden, DDD/DSD.Stereo/Surround
BIS BISSACD1672 [60:54] 

Experience Classicsonline

Ronald Brautigam could easily have overlooked these early unpublished works in his survey of Beethoven's piano music, but his fans will be grateful that he didn't. It's not the greatest music in the world, but that hasn't stopped the pianist preparing and presenting the works with the same level of care and dedication that he brings to the mature music. And the high-end audio is put to good use reproducing the nuanced textures of the fortepiano.
The three 'Kurfürsten Sonatas' are the main offering here. The musical language of each of them is well within the rigorous formulaic conventions of the late 18th century, so if continual use of Alberti bass and whimsical cadential ornaments makes your teeth grate, this might not be for you. On the other hand, the sheer life that Brautigam brings to this music transcends all the conventions. He finds wonderful humour in many of the movements, as if they were the work of a younger and less self-conscious Haydn.
The dynamic range that the fortepiano offers is surprising. Sure, it doesn't have the very loudest sonorities of a modern grand, but it has just about everything else. Brautigam really makes the most of these dynamic possibilities, often articulating the structure of a movement through the subtlest of gradations in crescendos or answering phrases. The bass end of the instrument is a little boxy, as you might expect, but Beethoven never demands more from his left hand figurations than the instrument can deliver. And again the high quality audio ensures that nothing in the middle or bass register is every obscured.

The 'Zwei Sätze einer Sonatine' may be familiar to former piano students, who'll have come across them at about the grade 6 level. I did myself, but they never sounded like this when I played them. Brautigam again delivers a performance filled with bounce and vitality. So too in the '2 Leichte Sonatinen' and the 'Zwei Stücke für Klavier (Orphika)'. The justification for skipping these last two works in a Beethoven piano survey is even stronger, the former are only tentatively attributed to the composer, while the later was written for a completely different instrument. (The orphica was apparently a kind of small spinet.) Again, the performances are first rate. The music of these fragments and short movements is slightly more liberated from the stylistic conventions, at least in terms of texture, which ranges from the monophonic to the heavily chordal. There are no memorable melodies to speak of though, and it is easy to find yourself marvelling at the sound of the instrument and forgetting all about what is being played on it.
And you really can't forget that this is a fortepiano. The sound is as civilised as you could hope from such an instrument, but it still has a certain rustic colour. Brautigam is conservative with his pedalling, or rather with his kneeing, as he is using a sustaining knee lever under the keyboard. But even with more knee, I suspect the instrument would produce a fairly dry sound. Fortunately, it is in the safe hands of the BIS engineers, who by volume 9 of this project have really mastered the instrument's recording potential. In lesser hands, the sound could seem distant and uninvolving, but here the fortepiano has a real presence. It's almost like having the instrument in front of you. Repertoire-wise, this wouldn't be my first choice from the Brautigam Beethoven cycle, but in terms of performance and recording it is the equal of any of its predecessors. 
Gavin Dixon  




























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.