Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider


colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti

Guillaume LEKEU

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases

Superior performance

Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem Thielemann

Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital

Arnold Bax
Be converted

this terrific disc

John Buckley
one of my major discoveries

François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3


Bryden Thomson


Vaughan Williams Concertos

RVW Orchestral



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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


Buy through MusicWeb
for £10.50 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

Sound Samples & Downloads

Charles-Valentin ALKAN (1813-1888)
Complete Piano Duos and Duets
Benedictus op.54 (transcr. Roger SMALLEY, for two pianos) [8:15]
Impromptu on the Lutheran Chorale 'Ein' Feste Burg ist Unser Gott' op.69 (transcr. Roger SMALLEY, for two pianos) [13:07]
Saltarelle for piano duet, op.47 [6:54]
Fantasy on Mozart's Don Giovanni for piano 4 hands, op.26 [12:52]
3 Marches for piano duet, op.40 [20:32]
Bombardo-Carillon for piano duet [5:45]
Finale for piano duet, op.17 [2:59]
Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow (piano(s))
rec. St John the Baptist, Alkborough, England, October 2008 [opp.54; 69] and November 2009. DDD

Experience Classicsonline

This CD adds further weight to the already substantial recorded evidence for Charles-Valentin Alkan's parity with Liszt. These are first recordings of his Saltarelle op.47, the Finale op.17 and both of Roger Smalley's transcriptions of pieces Alkan originally composed for the ill-starred pedal piano.
The Saltarelle op.47, amazingly once the finale of a cello sonata, briefly calls to mind the saltarella in Mendelssohn's Italian symphony, but at its relentless prestissimo tempo this is dancing in a hurricane! About 90 seconds from the end there is a short respite, which Alkan jokingly labels 'stanco' (Italian for 'tired'), before then requiring even more furious finger flight from the pianists.
The Three Marches op.40 are Alkan's longest work for these forces. Each piece contains elements of a fairly basic military march amplified by typically Alkanian effects and ideas. The first quotes Schubert's famous Marche Militaire; the second, in C minor and E flat major, features a high-pitched ticking followed by a keyboard tornado, and eventually a descent into parade-ground mayhem; the third, in B flat, is the least spectacular, but ends in an appropriately military flourish.
The Benedictus op.54 was published with the designation 'for pedal piano or piano three hands', but Smalley transcribed it for piano duo to deepen the sonorities. Despite the title, this is a restless, turbulent work, with a brief Chopinesque interlude before ending 'agnostically'. The oddly named Bombardo-Carillon is a mesmerising piece like nothing else, totally devoid of high notes. The brief but entertaining Finale op.17 is Alkan's earliest work for four hands. It is a military march of sorts - what this was intended as the finale to, if anything, is not clear.
The Impromptu on the Lutheran Chorale 'Ein' Feste Burg ist Unser Gott' op.69 was also written for pedal piano or piano three hands, and again Smalley has transcribed it for piano duo, if for no other reason than to make it humanly playable! Alkan's 'Impromptu' title is typically witty - this is an imposing, complex, astounding piece, the equal of Liszt, and offers a master-class in variation form. The theme is instantly recognisable from the opening bars as that of the final movement of Mendelssohn's Reformation symphony - or from Bach's Cantata BWV80 and elsewhere. There are four sections played as a single movement, each keeping the same metronome mark. The final fugue is mind-blowing in its energy and intensity as it swirls towards chromaticism.
As if that were not enough notes or insufficient speed, the Fantasy on Don Juan for piano 4 hands, op.26 almost succeeds in upstaging the Impromptu, right from the opening bar. This work may have been a message to Liszt of the "anything you can do" variety. Liszt had recently published his Reminiscences de Don Juan based on Mozart's opera, and cheekily Alkan even uses the same aria for his finale, the famous 'Finch' han dal vino'. Quite possibly, Alkan's is the greater work. There is a brief introduction, theme, five incredible variations and then the fittingly uproarious finale with what sounds like more notes in the final minute than in the whole of Mozart's opera!
Husband and wife team Goldstone & Clemmow have been performing now for over 25 years and have recorded nearly 40 CDs. Their intuitive understanding of and interaction with each other is matchless, as indeed it needs to be to master music with such phenomenal technical demands. To come through Alkan's Saltarelle, Impromptu and Fantasy unscathed is an almost superhuman feat.
As usual with Toccata, the booklet is a paragon of clarity and information, with an excellent essay on Alkan and these works by Malcolm MacDonald.















































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.