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

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

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


From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3



Buy through MusicWeb
for £12.75 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

Virtuoso – Works for Solo Cello
Hans BOTTERMUND (1892-1949)
Variations on a Theme of Paganini [6:10]
Julius KLENGEL (1859-1933)
Caprice in the form of a Chaconne (on a theme by Robert Schumann) – (c.1905) abridged and edited by Wen-Sinn Yang [10:09]
Eugčne YSAźE (1858-1931)
Sonata for solo cello (1917) [14:09]
Gaspar CASSADÓ (1897-1966)
Suite for Cello (1925) [15:09]
Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967)
Sonata for solo cello Op.8 (1915) [34:10]
Wen-Sinn Yang (cello)
rec. April and May 2009, Studio 2, Bavarian Radio
AVIE AV2160 [79:47]

Experience Classicsonline

This is a disc that centres on the great triumvirate of solo cello works inaugurated by Ysa˙e’s sonata in 1915, then reaching a peak with Kodály’s own work in the genre, and continuing on a lesser plane with Cassadó’s sumptuously enticing 1925 Suite. To this trio Wen-Sinn Yang has added two works that sit on the very periphery of the repertoire – by executant-composers Bottermund and Klengel.

It might be instructive to start with the former’s Variations on a Theme of Paganini. Bottermund was, fortuitously a pupil of Klengel, and also of Hugo Becker, so his German lineage was formidable. He was a cellist in the Berlin Philharmonic and made recordings on 78. His variations – undated – make profoundly difficult demands on the soloist and in Janos Starker’s edition – this whole recital bears the Starker stamp – these are clarified. The lexicon of technical difficulties involves a wrist-crunching avalanche, demanding clarity of shifting, exact intonation, not least in the harmonics, control of pizzicato, a steady rhythm, and an immensely tough coda. All this and the Albéniz-inclined intimations of the harmonies in the sixth variation. By comparison his erstwhile teacher’s own opus, which was dedicated to Suggia, is more a test of technical and expressive qualities. The theme utilised is from the opening of Schumann’s D minor Violin Sonata but one should note that this is Wen-Sinn Yang’s own edition in which he has truncated the variations from twenty three to fourteen and re-ordered them. He has constructed a more compact, probably more malleable and maybe graver effect.

Ysa˙e’s Sonata is notable in this performance for the way in which Yang keeps the melodic line moving in the central movement with its drone features adeptly brought out. Its Bachian ethos is honoured, so too however the more menacing intimations of the finale as well as its more reverent-reflective episodes. Cassadó’s Suite is more of a fantasia in comparison with the Ysa˙e. Its more externalised Iberian effusions are well pointed here, the sense of registral colour and voicings being acutely deployed in the Sardana, the tipsy Spanishry of the finale equally well caught. I’ve heard more combustible performances (Starker himself has recorded it) but this is an authoritative one nevertheless. Few can match Starker in the Kodály. Tortelier for instance takes a different kind of view, though one that is strongly to be respected. But both are significantly faster than Yang who is especially extended in the slow movement. Here he plays with great feeling but at a real cost to the melodic line. I even feel his tempo for the first movement is too relaxed. The result is that rhythms slacken and the work’s structure tends to wilt.

He does have one distinct advantage over many who essay this music and that’s the excellently judged acoustic in Bavarian Radio’s Studio 2. Overall this is a well constructed programme mixing canonic and deeply serious works with more frivolous virtuoso-orientated finger-busters.

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.