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

3 for 2 Offer

All Forgotten Records Reviews


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

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets
All Foghorn Reviews

Puertas de Madrid
All EMEC reviews
All EMEC reviews

All Reference Recordings

Eugène Ysaÿe: Violin Discoveries
All Divine Art Reviews

Debussy Complete Preludes



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
Ph. 020 8418 0616



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

All Chandos reviews

All Hyperion reviews

All Foghorn reviews

All Troubadisc reviews

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

All Lyrita Reviews


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali

Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4

French Cello Concertos






CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

The Spirits of England and France - Vol. 4
Missa Caput and the story of the Salve regina
Missa Caput (c.1440) interspersed with the story of the Salve regina; Latin verses [43:50]
Fifteenth Century Carols;
Jesu for thy mercy [2:16]
Jesu fili Dei (Richard Smert and John Trouluffe) [2:48]
Make us merry [1:58]
Nowell, nowell, nowell [3:20]
Clangat tuba [5:13]
Alma Redemptoris mater [6:15]
Agnus Dei (Old Hall Manuscript) [2:23]
Gothic Voices/Christopher Page
Shirley Rumsey, Christopher Wilson and Christopher Page (lutes)
rec. July 1996
Sound Samples

Experience Classicsonline

This disc garnered much admiration on its release nearly fifteen years ago (CDA66857), and its re-appearance in Helios colours is eminently to be admired. Seldom before had fifteenth century English liturgical music been sung with such consistently confident attack. Seldom too had one felt in such assured hands, vocally speaking, as with this early-mid line-up of Gothic Voices. Margaret Philpot and Rogers Covey-Crump, both inaugural members of the original group, had left but their replacements followed in their august steps.
It was also a first, I think, for the group in the tackling of a complete Mass. This was the enormously influential mid-fifteenth century Missa Caput, composed by an anonymous Englishman around 1440. It survives in seven separate manuscripts, which attests to its popularity, and both Ockeghem and Obrecht are known to have used it as models for their own Masses, and in its deliberate use of a fourth, contra-tenor part it also set a vital precedent for, as Andrew Kirkman and Christopher Page point out in their booklet notes, the whole idea of SATB.
Listening once again to this performance what strikes me most of all - even acknowledging, as one does, the tonal blend, the timbral colour, the pitching, and a number of other things - is the sheer dynamism of the singing, its energy level, and the underlying shape, the rise and fall, of the music-making. It is not simply a disc, it is a lived performance - or that’s how it sounds, and that’s one of the toughest things of all to convey, cold, studio-bound, not least in this of all music.
The warmth of the singing, its purity of attack, the perfectly timed caesuri, the play of texture and colour - all these are constants, and one can do no better than to allude to the Gloria for its remarkable fluidity in this performance - and to the fruitful invention of the music itself, quite astonishingly complex and moving both in its localised impression and in its architectural span. Interspersed with the Mass are verses from a Latin song that is devoted to the origins of Salve regina, the famed Marian antiphon. In this way monody and polyphony are alternated. This decision can be respected as an honest awareness of the utility of breaking up the Mass for a contemporary listener in this way. It may have been thus in the fifteenth century, but as likely it was not. We at least can programme the full Mass sequence, omitting the Latin verses if we wish.
In addition to the Mass we have examples primarily of carols. Three are sung, and three are played (on three lutes). Nimble and free-flowing these too exert an evocative allure. Perhaps the finest point of these particular performances comes in Alma Redemptoris mater in which all the highest virtues of music and its execution are in full accord. This, surely, one feels, is how it was when it was first performed - and in this transformative leap, great performances resound. However unanswerable the thought may be - we simply can’t know how it sounded - it’s the act of restoration that impresses so deeply. It seems superfluous to add that the recording is perfectly judged and that there are full texts.
This is a disc that seems to appropriate a time and a place to itself. Sometimes in recordings one feels one is lifting a protective leather flap and seeing the brilliance of the illuminated page in its glass cabinet beneath. This disc is like holding the page itself in your own hand.
Jonathan Woolf  






























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.