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
Sound Samples & Downloads

Mátyás SEIBER (1905-1960)
String Quartet No.1 (1924) [15:07]
String Quartet No. 2 (1934-35) [22:20]
Quartetto Lirico (String Quartet No.3) (1948-51) [22:48]
Edinburgh Quartet
rec. May 2009, Prestonkirk Parish Church, East Linton
DELPHIAN DCD34082 [60:17]

Experience Classicsonline

Seiber’s three quartets span most of his compositional life and form a compelling narrative. The First was begun when he was eighteen and is a marvellously accomplished work. The first movement was written last and contains a good ration of folk-like melodic statements and feel, the first violin spinning a succulent line over throbbing pizzicato. Whether in unison or in single battalions Seiber manages to vest the line with unremitting timbral interest. This makes a fine contrast to the rather terse concentrated chiaroscuro of the central movement, though its B section is very much more animated and lyrical before the return of the rapt opening feel. The first of the three movements to be composed was actually the finale, but this chronologically topsy-turvy work nevertheless hits all the right spots, not least here. It’s the most explicitly free and folkloric movement, being vital, rhythmically free and charmingly brief.
The second quartet came a full decade later and occupies wholly different ground. Seiber had by now fully absorbed central European musical directions and his quicksilver Schoenbergian ethos offers a plethora of fascinating things. The confidence of its handling hardly needs to be remarked upon, but its vitality and changeability is certainly deserving of notice. The central movement is a so-called ‘Blues’, but its Intermezzo function is a long way away from the mediated avidity of, say, Milhaud or Schulhoff. Instead, with its glissandi and transformative spirit, we get a shimmering sense of the Blues but in a serial context - rather Krenek like, occasionally remote and austere in places. The finale has plenty of colour and expressive devices, a Bergian subtlety of deployment. When the music slows, dramatically and introspectively, it does so with an end that is both quixotic and also questioning.
The final quartet is probably the best known of the three. It was dedicated to, and recorded by, the Amadeus, so it garnered a deal of exposure. The slow opening unfolds deftly with germ-like ideas, whilst the central movement utilises the same note-series as the first, and exudes the same kind of cyclical principles that Seiber often employed. Introspective and deeply contemplative, the finale has not a single frivolously placed note; instead it pursues a course of steady questioning through the most concentrated of means.
Once again the Edinburgh Quartet impresses. They marry technical address to musico-expressive insights, and the results are consistently illuminating not least because the fine recording, in Prestonkirk Parish Church, East Linton is first class. Hugh Wood’s booklet notes are similarly impressive. Seiber’s quartets are in the best of hands in this enlightening disc.
Jonathan Woolf
see also review by Rob Barnett






















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.