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

CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS MDT

Aram KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978)
Spartacus – excerpts [32:17]
Piano Concerto [36:57]
Four pieces from Pictures of Childhood [5:39]
A Glimpse of the Ballet (Invention) – Adagio from Gayaneh [3:39]
Gayaneh - excerpts [7:39]
Violin Concerto in D minor [35:34]
Masquerade Suite [14:22]
Mindru Katz (piano), Cristina Ortiz (piano); David Oistrakh (violin);
London Symphony Orchestra/Aram Khachaturian; London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult; Philharmonia Orchestra/Aram Khachaturian; Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra/Alfred Newman
rec. Kingsway Hall, November 1954; Walthamstow Assembly Hall, London, December 1958; Samuel Goldwyn Studios, Hollywood, May 1959; Abbey Road Studios, December 1975 and February 1977. ADD
EMI CLASSICS 6278902 [78:43 + 72:33]

Experience Classicsonline

Once again, EMI have delved into their archives and put together a number of recordings from the past onto this double-CD set of works by Khachaturian.

Ranging from 1954 to 1977, the recordings are of variable quality – both in terms of their sound technology and musical substance. The main works of interest are those conducted by Khachaturian himself – the Spartacus and Gayaneh excerpts, and the violin concerto. Directing the London Philharmonic in 1977, the composer gives a fairly straight account of the famous bits from his two ballets. Lush, tuneful and ‘exotic’ in the acceptable Soviet style, they are still irresistibly attractive, but hardly great music.

The big surprise, however, is Khachaturian conducting the Philharmonia in his violin concerto, with David Oistrakh as soloist. Recorded in the Kingsway Hall in 1954, it really is a revelation, placing the concerto on a much higher shelf of fine violin concertos than subsequent interpretations have managed. Written in 1940 with Oistrakh’s advice, the concerto won the Stalin Prize of that year and is accordingly conservative in structure and content. Nevertheless, its lyricism and folk colouring make for captivating listening, and in Khachaturian’s and Oistrakh’s hands the orchestral richness and technical complexity of the solo writing are fully revealed. Despite its age, the re-mastered recording (produced by Walter Legge) also sounds clear and sonorous, with excellent balance between solo and orchestral passages.

Less exciting is the 1958 recording of the piano concerto, with Mindru Katz and the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Adrian Boult. It really is a plain work, searching for meaning but never finding it. Amid the meandering solo part, the concerto is punctuated by some rather hollow dramatic gestures in the orchestra which fail to lift it off the ground.

The other works on this sprawling set sound and feel more like time-fillers than notable musical works. Indeed, Khachaturian’s capacity for self-recycling is strongly evident in the Glimpse of the Ballet for solo piano (played by Cristina Ortiz), which uses the adagio theme from Gayaneh. The Masquerade Suite raises a smile with its unashamed rumbustiousness, especially in the celebrated manic galop. But the recording by the Hollywood Bowl orchestra at the Samuel Goldwyn studios says a lot about its musical quality.

John-Pierre Joyce































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.