Schubert sonatas

Newest Releases

Piano solo and duet
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Moravec - Twelfth Night Recital
15%off £17.21 (until Dec 7)

Katerina Englichová - harp
15%0ff £10.83 (until Dec 7)

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo

Sibelius Symphonies Maazel
4CDs + Blu-ray audio
Special Price £36.75

RVW A Sea Symphony - Elder

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Anton BRUCKNER (1824-1895)
Symphony No.4 in E, Romantic (1874 - 1878/1880)
Staatskapelle Dresden/Herbert Blomstedt
rec. no details given. DDD

Experience Classicsonline

This is a solid, no-nonsense performance of Bruckner’s great Symphony. Indeed, so straightforward is this account that it’s almost bland. But I don’t mean to make disparaging remarks for, despite what I have just written there is something special about this performance.
The title Romantic must, over the years, have misled some into thinking that this was going to be some kind of orchestral orgy of sound - think of Howard Hanson’s similarly titled 2ndSymphony, which is brilliantly extrovert and overtly emotional, but I love it; that’s not what Bruckner is about. Whilst Hanson might be sex in music, Bruckner is always bread and water with hope and the deepest passion. Think sackcloth with Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choos.
What is impressive about this performance is that Blomstedt allows the music time to breathe and gradually unfold. There’s a distinct lack of rubato, no necessity to get to the end until Bruckner has been allowed to say all that he has to. The only sense of urgency is Bruckner’s urgency, not Blomstedt’s. Blomstedt is happy to let Bruckner have his say, and he never gets in the way. This is fairly typical for Blomstedt. He seems to be the catalyst through which the music flows directly to his listening public. I am not unhappy about this for, over the years, there have been far too many performances of Bruckner’s Symphonies where conductors put too much of their “vision” into the music and thus we hear Bruckner’s monolithic climaxes through somebody’s glasses rather than for ourselves. Here we can fully appreciate the mountain peaks for ourselves.
It’s quite a revelation! There is another reason why this recording succeeds, and that is the recording itself, which allows for some distance between the listener and the orchestra. The players are some way from the microphones, and although there isn’t a great deal of reverberation, one does have the feeling of a large hall where the music can grow and really bloom. Thus the climaxes are full and rich but never overpowering in purely sonic terms. Because of this distance you’ll have to turn up the volume to get the full effect of the music but when you do, it’s magnificent.
I would not wish to be without Rafael Kubelik’s 1979 account of the work with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Sony CD SICC262) or Bruno Walter’s version with the Columbia Symphony (Sony 5153022 - a 2 CD set, coupled with his equally fine performance of Bruckner’s 9thSymphony), but Blomstedt’s approach is a perfect foil for these other two interpretations. If it doesn’t quite ascend the heights, it gets very close, and it is a most satisfactory performance and one which would grace any record shelf.
Bob Briggs

see also reviews by Terry Barfoot and Stephen Vasta 
























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.