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

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
Symphony No. 6 in D “Le matin” [18:40]; Symphony No. 7 in C “Le midi” [21:51]; Symphony No. 8 in G “Le soir” [17:51]
Academy of St Martin in the Fields/Sir Neville Marriner
rec. London, December 1980
NEWTON CLASSICS 8802006 [59:21]

Experience Classicsonline
Although only one has that nickname, all of Haydn’s symphonies offer plentiful surprises. Their first audiences were delighted and amazed by them and they have the capacity to achieve that still, none more so than the present fascinating trio. Although they have nicknames they are not descriptive works in the detailed manner of, say, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The opening movement of “Le matin” depicts sunrise in a way virtually identical to that used much later in “The Creation”. The final movement of “Le soir” portrays a storm in a manner prefiguring the much more effective storm in “The Seasons”; otherwise there is little that justifies or explains the names given to them.

They were the first Symphonies that Haydn wrote for Prince Esterházy when he had been appointed as Vice Kapellmeister in 1761. This involved being in charge of the Prince’s private orchestra and holding regular concerts with them. In creating these three symphonies he achieved three important aims – he met (up to a point) the Prince’s liking for programmatic music and demonstrated his remarkable musical invention. He also gave opportunities for the players of his new orchestra to show off their abilities to him and, more importantly, to the Prince. It is this last feature that gives the works their most obvious individuality. In some movements one or two instruments are prominent throughout – the double-bass in the Trio to the Minuet in No. 7, for example. Other movements make a more subtle use of solo instruments. The flute, for instance starts the Allegro of the first movement of No. 6 but only rarely regains such prominence. The oboes and bassoon have important passages and the most surprising feature is the two bar lead into the recapitulation for solo horn alone – an extraordinary episode. In the slow movement there are long solo sections for violin and cello, the minuet brings a further and more extensive flute solo and the trio a bassoon solo, but the finale gives solos to almost every player. I could go through the other symphonies in the same way but I hope that this gives some idea of the variety of texture and focus that there is in such relatively short works. In addition – and possibly of greater importance – Haydn’s powers of musical invention are already on top form here, and there is never a dull moment for the listener.

These performances date from the period when Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields seemed to be at their busiest in the recording studio. Some of their issues may now seem more efficient than inspired but that is not the case here. Their usual extreme care over balance, phrasing and tone colour pays real dividends in these works. The clear and uncluttered recording allows all of Haydn’s invention to be displayed to full effect. A harpsichord is occasionally audible, but it adds little and when the same “improvised” decoration is heard three times in a row diminishing returns set in quickly. There is certainly a strong case for wanting to hear these works on period instruments when instrumental colour is such an important feature, but even if you have such a recording there should also be room in your collection for such a lively and well considered version as this.

John Sheppard
























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.