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

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

Benjamin DALE (1885-1943)
Piano Sonata in D minor (1902-05) [42:08]
Prunella (1923) [2:44]
Night Fancies (1909) [9:01]
York BOWEN (1884-1961)
Miniature Suite in C major Op.14 (1904) [11:22]
Danny Driver (piano)
rec. July (Dale) and December (Bowen) 2010, Henry Wood Hall, London
HYPERION CDA67827 [65:17]

Experience Classicsonline

In a finely judged programmatic coup, Benjamin Dale’s big-boned Piano Sonata of 1902-05 is coupled with a work by its dedicatee, York Bowen — the Miniature Suite, written at almost exactly the same time as the Sonata. The two men were fast friends, having met at the Royal Academy of Music. Nor was Bowen the work’s only advocate, as over the years Myra Hess, Irene Scharrer and Benno Moiseiwitsch performed it, as did, from a later generation, Moura Lympany.

This is the third commercial recording of the sonata, to my knowledge. The first was Peter Jacobs’s pioneering Continuum disc [CCD1044], which was recorded in December 1991 and issued the following year. Much more recently Mark Bebbington released his version on Somm [SOMMCD097]. Jacobs’s disc had the same three Dale pieces as Danny Driver performs; Bebbington took another route, coupling the sonata with William Hurlstone’s Sonata in F minor.

Dale’s Sonata is a striking example of confidence unusual in British composers writing for the piano at the time, not least in its 42 or so minute length. All three pianists under discussion however have their own very definite views on the matter. Jacobs is more ‘deciso’ (as marked) than either of his colleagues; harder and more centred of tone, more determined, whereas Driver opens in a much more pliant and almost confidential manner, and Bebbington mines the full romantic and expressive potential of the music. Both he and Driver therefore take time to get going; Jacobs is straight on with the musical argument, a more straightforward pragmatism augmented by his more clinical recording. This leads to a more metrical approach all-round from him. All three deal with the Straussian dance motifs in the first movement, and with the rich chording, and the sometimes lush harmonic writing, as well as the passionate restatement of the opening theme.

Dale’s schema in the work is an opening Allegro deciso followed by a slow movement, scherzo and finale. The same layout applies to Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio. In his drier acoustic Jacobs strikes a fine balance between the more macabre elements of the second movement variations and their more glowing extroversion. Driver uses less rubato than Jacobs; Bebbington is the most overtly romantic performer of the three. All manage the Beethoven-to-Romance trajectory of the Andante section [track 10] very adeptly. In the finale it’s Driver who, true to his name, drives through the most coruscatingly. He shaves a minute off Jacobs’ timing for this movement alone and is more incisive than Bebbington too.

We are fortunate to have three such different, and differently impressive, recordings from which to choose. Both Jacobs and Driver, as noted, play Prunella (1923) and Night Fancies (1909). The former is a charming genre piece; true to form Driver gets through it more athletically. Night Fancies evokes Westminster chimes. Driver here is the more impressionistic in his performance, Jacobs, again, the more direct, the less ‘cloudy’ in his pedalling and phrasing. It’s a lovely piece, well worth getting to know.

Bowen’s Miniature Suite offers a pendant to the Dale feast. It’s all light-heart and froth, from the spirited high-jinks of the Humoresque to the virtuosic power-play of the Scherzo finale via a delightful but not-too-serious Nocturne.

There are no qualms about performance or recording. Add this to your British Piano Collection without reservation.

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.