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: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
The Snow Maiden – incidental music to the play by Ostrovsky (1873) [72:34]
Natalia Erassova (mezzo); Alexander Archipov (tenor); Nikolai Vassiliev (baritone)
Russian State Chorus and Orchestra/Andrei Chistiakov
rec. Moscow 1994
full track-list at end of review

Experience Classicsonline
With three symphonies and the First Piano Concerto behind him Tchaikovsky was on the brink of the Fourth and Manfred. The present set of incidental music – a series of vignettes which perhaps formed a schematic for Sibelius’s Tempest and Glazunov’s King of the Jews – was written for the play by Alexandr Ostrovsky (1823-1886). This was the same Ostrovsky whose writings were the inspiration for Tchaikovsky’s tone poem The Storm and his opera The Voyevoda. Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Snegurotchka is based on the same play as Tchaikovsky’s incidental music.

The competition is not numerous. There’s a full price Chandos item from Neeme Jarvi on CHAN 9324. Add to this the pioneering complete version by Gauk tucked away as CD 8 in a Brilliant Classics box. At the price there is nothing comparable available. But this is not a case of faute de mieux. This is an exuberantly vivid performance and recording which in Chistiakov’s hands makes the most of the variegated delights offered by 20 miniature pen-portraits, songs and atmosphere pieces. It seems that the bill for the premiere production of the play complete with orchestral contribution came to 15000 roubles, ran to only nine evenings and then disappeared. The note reminds us that Tchaikovsky recycled some of the music for his score for Hamlet in 1891 but his ambition was to fashion an opera from this material. Tchaikovsky persisted with operas as a form throughout his career but only struck gold with Onegin. The opera never transpired. That said, we should not disdain this vernally enchanting score with its orchestral essays, its choral-solo dialogues as in the chant-based Carnival Procession and its supernatural aspects. The music is often carefree as in the effervescent and soulful Melodrama and wistfully piping Interlude. The exuberant second song for Lehl (tr.8) rushes but its tongue-twisting does not cause Erassova any trouble. Quite a few of the tracks have a greater impress of Russian nationalism than we might expect given Tchaikovsky’s rejection of the style in favour of a more hyper-personal dramatic approach. Some of the tracks are balletic; others bring out pathos in a way typical of this composer. The occasional concession to bombast can be forgiven in the face of so much charm. It would perhaps have made progress in the concert hall had Tchaikovsky made a 25 minute suite from these episodes. The liner-notes are by Malcolm Macdonald.

Rob Barnett

Full track listing:
1. Introduction [4:50]
2. Dance and Choruses of the Birds [5:50]
3. Winter’s Monologue [3:15] (tenor)
4. Carnival Procession [6:50] (baritone)
5. Melodrama [2:00]
6. Interlude [1:15]
7. Lehl’s First Song [3:50] (mezzo)
8. Lehl’s Second Song [1:25] (mezzo)
9. Interlude [3:00]
10. Chant of the Blind Bards [4:00] (baritone)
11. Melodrama [4:00]
12. Chorus of the People and the Courtiers [2:10]
13. Round of the Young Maidens [2:25]
14. Dance of the Tumblers [4:40]
15. Lehl’s Third Song [6:40] (mezzo)
16. Brussila’s Song [1:20] (baritone)
17. Apparition of the Spirit of the Wood [0:50]
18. Interlude-The Spring Fairy [4:30]
19. Tsar Berendey’s March and Chorus [6:40]
20. Final Chorus [1:50] (mezzo)

























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.