One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 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


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

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Deaconoff; Stockhausen

Live at the Clifton Festival

Choir at Clifton Cathedral


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

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



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



Aho Symphony 5

Dowland - A Fancy


Rachmaninov_ Babayan



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Symphony No. 5 in B flat, D485 [28:55]
Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D759, completion by Brian Newbould [38:16]
Rosamunde, D797, Ballet Music No 2 [6:51]
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Sir Charles Mackerras
rec. 1992, details not given
VIRGIN CLASSICS 628605 2 [74:01]

Experience Classicsonline

In the early 1990s, Charles Mackerras and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment made these period-performance Schubert recordings for the Virgin label, along with a disc containing the ‘Great’ C Major symphony. They have been continuously reissued, deleted from the catalog, and then reissued again ever since. The last appearance of these recordings was in a two-disc set with the Ninth, which cost only a few pounds more than this new single CD. The last issue also had considerably less silly cover art and a genuine essay in the booklet. All the releases share the excellent musicianship you’d expect from these players.
No matter the cover art, the performances have always been utterly wonderful. This is a fresh, lively Fifth with great playing from every member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – like the flutes in the first movement and oboe in the finale, or the gentle horn-call which closes the andante. Charles Mackerras conducted with youthful vigor until his death this year at age 84, and is in top form here. The period instrument ensemble is gentle-sounding, not harsh; it doesn’t transform the music but just adds extra color and vibrancy.
Mackerras has a distinctive view on the first movement of the Eighth Symphony: he drives it hard, and the dramatic difference in speed makes this performance distinctive. The major-key theme is a ‘limping waltz’ here, unusually poignant, and the development is almost graphically violent. The andante con moto is march-like, by turns stately and fierce (I had never recognized its closeness in spirit to the corresponding movement in the Ninth).
Unfortunately, the other two movements do still feel like “add-ons.” Schubert was wise not to append the nearly-completed scherzo to the rest of the work. Partly this view is my own prejudice: Mackerras and the OAE very consciously make sure the ending of the slow movement does not sound “final” and “cosmic” so that we can plausibly imagine something following it. But Schubert ignored the lesson of Beethoven’s Eroica: follow up a sublime andante with a scherzo that begins quietly. And the finale still sounds disjointed to me, though one could not ask for better orchestral playing than what we have here. These performers are certainly more enthusiastic about the Newbould completion than the Buffalo Philharmonic was on a recent Naxos disc. The Rosamunde excerpt is a delightful encore about which no reservations apply.
In sum, these performances are valuable additions to any library. Mackerras is in vintage form and the OAE are one of the most tonally appealing period instrument groups around. But the two-disc set which appends the Ninth is still available in many online shops, and represents a superior bargain. [MDT](This CD has liner notes so minimal they do not discuss the completion of the “Unfinished,” or describe the artists.) And you will need to hear Mackerras’ 2008 Ninth with the Philharmonia, which in many ways is even better. They are all superb performances, any way you buy them.
Brian Reinhart

























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.