MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing




CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Destination Paris
Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
String Trio No.2 H238 (1934) [16:56]
Jean FRANÇAIX (1912-1997)
String Trio (1933) [14:14]
Bohuslav MARTINŮ (1890-1959)
String Trio No.1 H136 (1923) [19:51]
George ENESCU (1881-1955)
Aubade in C major (1899) [4:31]
Lendvai String Trio (Nadia Wijzenbeek (violin); Ylvali Zilliacus (viola); Marie Macleod (cello))
rec. 19-21 June 2009, The Music Room, Champs Hill, West Sussex
STONE RECORDS 5060192780079 [55:50]

Experience Classicsonline

One of the perks of being a MusicWeb International reviewer is the receipt of fantastic music that on many occasions just blows you away. If you fancy trying your hand let Len Mullenger know and, who knows, you too could get to hear things you wouldn’t easily come across! This disc is a case in point; it’s not that the music is unknown but let’s face it, if you didn’t already own these works how likely would you be to stumble on them? For me at any rate it was a revelatory experience.

I’m a great Martinů fan – his voice is so utterly distinctive I can usually recognise him within a few minutes, at least in his orchestral works; it’s trickier when it comes to his chamber music. I was listening out for the usual little devices that so easily give him away but apart from some hints around three minutes into the first movement of String Trio No.2 and the climax of that movement I was not doing very well in the identification stakes. No matter; the music is wonderful and full of energy and as far as the players are concerned Martinů certainly makes demands that allow for no relaxation.

The same can said, though, for Jean Françaix who is too often written off as frivolous just because his music is usually very funny - what’s wrong with that I hear you ask – my point exactly. Here too he has his musical jokes as in the first movement when he uses a viola motif to spell out Bach’s name in reverse. The second movement has a cartoon-like quality with cello pizzicato in its central section. The slow movement is much more serious and the main theme is a beautiful one that remains in the brain long afterward. I can imagine it becoming, what I heard Sarah Mohr-Pietsch describe on Radio 3 today as, an “earworm” that refuses to leave. The final movement, however, brings things back to earth with a particularly jaunty tune so typical of Françaix. The whole thing is great fun and very musical.

Martinů’s String trio No.1 comes next and shows him as a master of this combination of instruments; one that so many other composers avoided. The first movement is restless and agitated. It seems to describe a kind of anxiety but since this is done by design it is very effective as much as affecting. The second movement is much more tranquil as if a resolution has been reached. Martinů is nothing if not boundlessly inventive so you won’t find yourself wondering if you haven’t heard the tune before in someone else’s work because you won’t have. The violin plays extremely quietly in the closing passages in the second movement and I took my virtual hat off to Nadia Wijzenbeek for pulling off this effect so seemingly effortlessly. The final movement at last gives some aural hints of Czech folk-dances from around two minutes in. If you were trying to guess the composer you’d have a clue as to where in the world they might be from. This folk-like theme is played with for the rest of the movement which ends with a race for the finishing line.

The final work on the disc is the Aubade for String Trio by Enescu - a work I don’t think I’ve ever heard before but is so immediately recognisable you think you have. This is not because it has been used in his other works or anyone else’s but because of an incredible ability to write catchy tunes. It is a tiny gem and hearing it was like discovering a pearl in an oyster. Another “earworm” in the making? I fully expect so!

The title of the liner notes is: Martinů, Françaix & Enescu – The French Connection. Françaix was French while the other two ended up in Paris; who didn’t in the early years of the 20th century. It is a nice neat headline and the title of the disc Destination Paris shows the trio on the album cover in a Citroën DS19 (or 21) on their way to a rendezvous with the music of three unique voices – I’m so glad they got there! The only quibble I have apart from a few errors in the text - Polika instead of Polička for Martinů’s birthplace - is the lack of any write-up about the Lendvai String trio. Where are they from, where did they study, did they meet during their studies, and how did they come to name themselves Lendvai – a Hungarian name if I’m not mistaken? This is a mere small point for this is in every way an excellent and exciting disc played with impeccable precision by a fabulous trio. I hope we’ll hear them again - I’m sure we will.

Steve Arloff




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

Past 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.