52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


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

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Recordings of the Month


Opera transcriptions & fantasias


Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

Schubert Symphony 9


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE

Enescu Ravel Britten

Debussy Images etc.

53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)





Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


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


CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Vocalise: Cello Interpretations by Caroline Worthington
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
1. Vocalise [1915] (6:36)

2. Break Bread Together (4:35)
3. Say What (5:29)
Charles VEAL Jr. (d. 2009)
4. Lament - In Memory of JFK Jr. (5:42)
5. Wiegenlied (after Brahms) (2:39)
6. Wiegenlied (5:47)
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
7. Die Zauberflöte "Queen of the Night" [1791] (3:23)
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
8. Suite No. 3: Air [1729-31] (6:26)
Gabriel FAURÉ (1845-1924)
9. Après un rêve [1878] (4:22)
George Frederic HANDEL (1685-1759)
10. Serse - Largo [1738] (5:27)
11. As (5:32)
Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893)
12. Ave Maria (after J.S. Bach) [1859] (5:09)
Arcangelo CORELLI (1653-1713)
13. Adagio (3:31)
Nikolay RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
14. Tsar Saltan: Flight of the Bumblebee [1899] (6:55)
Caroline Worthington (cello)
Gigi McLean (vocal: 2, 11 & 12)
Charles Veal, Jr. (vocal: 3, 11 & 13)
Jerome Malery (piano: 7)
Jerry Peters (piano: 5 & 9; organ: 12)
Forrest Bardner (vocal: 11)
Thelma Houston (vocal: 11)
Lori Andrews (harp: 12)
The Second Power (14)
South Central Chamber Orchestra and Chorus
recording data not given
MSR CLASSICS MS 1202 [71:26]

Experience Classicsonline
I'm sure this album seemed like a good idea to someone, sometime. There's no reason a cellist has to make a recorded debut with, say, the Dvorák concerto or the two by Haydn: it's hardly fair to measure a young artist against the likes of Casals and Rostropovich, even by implication, and the catalogues can't sustain the repertoire duplications, anyhow. But this album, for all the effort that clearly went into it, is a misconceived dud.

"Crossover" in the conventional sense - Broadway or pops repertoire undertaken by a classical performer - can be tricky to pull off: the opera singers, in particular, usually can't quite muster the requisite command of varied styles. But it's assumed that the individual selections will retain their stylistic integrity. These arrangements go far beyond that, tossing together a mish-mash of elements of various idioms, more or less willy-nilly. You can't call it "fusion," because the disparate styles don't "fuse" particularly well.

Worthington plays the mainstream classical selections respectably, holding the vibrato within acceptable bounds, with only the occasional slurpy portamento intruding. But her chosen program doesn't always serve her. Neither the Flight of the Bumblebee nor Der Hölle Rache gains by being recast as a cello piece; they're both taken rather moderately, and Worthington's tone turns small and chirpy in the Mozart's highest phrases. The other classical pieces have been arranged in a style best described as techno-Mantovani, variously "enhanced" with accoutrements including wordless chorus - possibly synthetic, although an actual chorus is credited on the album. The coda of the Bach-Gounod Ave Maria ducks briefly into a minor-key episode irrelevant to either composer. An exploratory, New Age-y introduction grafted on to Après un rêve bumps awkwardly against Fauré's pristine harmonies. Do the artists really think this sort of thing somehow revitalizes the music for our time? A good, individually phrased straight performance would better accomplish that.

Conversely, the pure pop-rock numbers, both originals and those "inspired" by the classics, are the best things in the program, with a variety of percussion crisply and infectiously deployed. The pop songs vaguely inspired by Brahms's Wiegenlied and the Rimsky piece would have been at least as effective divorced from the comparatively unimpressive renderings of the originals. The 'cello is more prominently featured than usual in this sort of music; still, it's hardly "showcased," so these numbers seem vaguely beside the point. And it might take a few bars to recognize the theme of the traditional Break Bread Together as it emerges from the faux strings-and-piano texture.

It's hard to judge the recorded quality of so conspicuous a "production," incorporating electronic sounds, pronounced directional effects, and an occasionally engulfing echo. At least it isn't strident.

Stephen Francis Vasta




























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.