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


cover image

CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Stanisław MONIUSZKO (1819-1872)
Co to za kwiatek [1:05]
Motyl [3:04]
Serce moje [1:46]
Cyganie [2:35]
Dlaczego? [2:43]
Klosek [4:19]
Tesknota [1:21]
Grozna dziewczynka [1:53]
Ja ciebie kocham [1:25]
Do dzieciecia [2:22]
Do Niemna [3:18]
Piosenka bez tytulu [2:12]
Wilija [5:04]
Zlota rybka [1:58]
Przadka [2:14]
Przyczyna [1:45]
Jadwiga Rappé (alto); Maja Nosowska (piano)
rec. Polish Radio Studio S-2, Warsaw May 1986
DUX 0743 [39:06]

Experience Classicsonline

Outside Poland the relative popularity of Halka, and of Moniuszko’s choral music generally, has tended to obscure appreciation of his songs. This is a great shame as the music is delightful, lyrical and must be highly pleasing to sing. There have been recitals devoted to his songs over the years and as many mixed recitals in which he has to share disc space with, say, Chopin and Karlowicz. But given their unpretentious concision and often ballad and folkloric inflexion there’s no reason at all why singers - and not just Polish ones - shouldn’t sprinkle a few of their recitals with examples of his art.

Motyl is a fine example, its rippling piano infusing the music with warm lyricism and buoying the vocal line finely. The bold ballad cum salon stance of the Gypsy song Cyganie shows that he is not without declamatory assurance when need be. Equally Dlaczego? is grave and introspective. As one can see the programming is constructed to reveal all facets of his song writing, from the ballad, to the salon to the Mazurka based dance pieces that are also part of his compositional arsenal. The unaffected ease - genial and warm hearted - that permeates Klosek is allied to a brightly borne piano part and is more evidence of unaffected lyricism. In her wry, self-deprecating and amusing note Jadwiga Rappé admits that many years before this was an audition piece of hers - an audition she failed. Some Slavic steel enters for Grozna dziewczynka - the haughty visits to the chest register are hardly the stuff of operatic lore but nor are they meant to be. They simply show the composer could add a degree of theatrical resilience when need be. Some of the songs sound a little like Glinka or, later, Tchaikovsky. Some too cleave more to German models. In Ja ciebie kocham one hears the influence of Schubert. Melancholia, in this case words sung to a child, can be heard in Do dzieciecia. In Do Niemna I hear the influence of Mendelssohn. This could be a sung Song without Words very easily. The river ripples deliciously; visits to the minor key are well timed; the little treble descant is effectively colouristic. The longest setting, Wilija, is also the most extrovert, the most flourishing, Przyczyna is another virile, lyric-salon setting. Elsewhere there is sweetness and a sentiment that does, it’s true, sometimes border on the sentimental.

Moniuszko may have plied the ‘national, domestic and local’ in many of these settings. But he also reveals an inheritance from Schubert, an awareness of contemporary German Romanticism, a shared Slavic inheritance, but above all a sure concern for effective word setting, a variety of form, and a hugely likeable sense of characterisation.

There are full texts with translations, an engaging sleeve-note, and a well judged studio balance between voice and piano. The only demerit is the very short timing. Moniuszko wrote well over 350 songs and it would be good if this May 1986 recital had included more - things like that masterpiece Znasz-li ten kraj. There are so many small scaled settings we could have at least another fifteen or even twenty songs.

Despite her witty self-deprecation Jadwiga Rappé proves a warmly voiced and perceptive singer and her rapport with the poetic Maja Nosowska is solid. Rappé may be best known as an opera and oratorio singer but she is appropriately intimate in these undated settings.

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.