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

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826)
Overture, Oberon (1826) [9:37]
Dmitry SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 99 (1955) [39:17]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Sonata No.1, BWV 1001, Presto [2:53]
Antonin DVORÁK (1873-1943)
Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88 (1889)
Slavonic Dance in C major (1886) [41:32]
Hilary Hahn (violin)
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra/Mariss Jansons
rec. live, 26 November 2000, Suntory Hall, Tokyo
Picture format BD: NTSC - 16:9
Sounds formats BD: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, DTS 5.1
Region code: 0
Booklet notes: English, German, French
EUROARTS DVD 2050448 [98:41]

Experience Classicsonline

For those who do much or most of their listening with the score in hand, a DVD is not much use. Because you have to watch a DVD as well as to listen, taking it down off the shelves and putting it on is more of an occasion than listening to a CD is. It feels more like going to a concert to me, and indeed, filmed concerts, like this one, do tend to work well.

Living a long way from any of the major musical centres, I haven’t had the privilege of seeing any of the artists on this DVD in the flesh - though Hilary Hahn did come to Toulouse some time ago. Watching it is therefore a major compensation. The fact that it took place in Tokyo is of added interest, as I’ve never been to Japan either.

To get the details out of the way first, the sound and picture quality are outstanding, though people tell me that new formats are, and will be, even better. The concert is sensitively yet simply filmed: I don’t think there is a single moment when I wish the camera was looking at something else. The concert is filmed in order, the only slightly disquieting aspect being that the applause at the end of one piece is merged into that preceding the next one, giving a slightly breathless feel to proceedings. There are no “extras”, apart from four trailers for other issues featuring the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, but the disc is accompanied by a booklet containing a typically level-headed and informative essay by Keith Anderson.

The concert opens with a lively and exciting account of Weber’s Oberon Overture. Jansons turns out to be a most interesting conductor to watch, conducting from memory here, and without a baton. His hands are very expressive, and he really is with the orchestra, looking at them the whole time, with very clear gestures and no fancy histrionics. “Bravos” erupt from the audience even at the end of this opening piece.

Hilary Hahn, twenty-one at the time of the concert, delivers one of the finest performances I have heard of Shostakovich’s glorious first concerto. She and her remarkable accompanists deliver the first movement in, as it were, a single breath, hushed pianissimo passages particularly striking. She is clearly leading the proceedings in the fast, second movement, constantly pushing forwards. Then there is the Passacaglia, where the second statement of the theme brings marvellous, perfectly balanced sound from the woodwind, so rich and nourished, yet so terribly sad. The woodwind principals’ duets with the soloist in this movement are particularly moving. Hahn begins the cadenza as if improvising, musing on the material, communing with the composer and the instrument, and we are observers, almost intruders. Jansons and members of the orchestra are sometimes in shot, and their rapt stillness is touching to witness. There are plenty of fireworks in the finale, and one is in awe to think that so much force and energy can be created by someone so insubstantial and undemonstrative. The audience erupts at the end, to which she gives a demure smile, a little shy, as she also does after the Bach encore, played with spellbinding accuracy and brilliance.

The Dvorák symphony is beautifully done. Conducting again from memory – he had the score to hand in the Shostakovich – Jansons delivers a thoroughly engaging and idiomatic performance. He caresses the second group of subjects in the first movement, and helps the wonderful Berlin strings produce a sound at the beginning of the slow movement that must be described as gorgeous. The Scherzo is delicious, Jansons very successful at bringing out the Bohemian atmosphere without a hint of parody, and the finale is totally successful, exciting, heart-warming music that makes you glad to be alive, especially in a performance like this. A Dvorák Slavonic Dance is given as an encore, played, as is the whole programme, with astonishing aplomb and brilliance by this magnificent orchestra. After this, the players decline the conductor’s invitation to stand, preferring to applaud him themselves instead.

So whenever I watch this DVD it will probably be straight through, as if I were at the concert. The performances of the two major works are as fine as any I have heard, but the next time I want to hear just one of them I will probably take down a CD. Maybe the score too, for good measure.

William Hedley






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.