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



Buy through MusicWeb
for £12 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

Sound Samples and Downloads

Ernesto HALFFTER (1905-1989)
The Piano Music
Espagnolade (1937) [4:39]
Crepúsculos - 3 Trozos Líricos (1920/1936) [10:50]
Marche Joyeuse (1922) [2:43]
*3 Piezas Infantiles, for piano 4 hands (1919) [3:07]
Sonata (1926/1932) [6:00]
3 Dances [from: Sonatina (1927)] [11:05]
Gruss (1940) [2:22]
Llanto por Ricardo Viñes (1943) [3:52]
Serenata a Dulcinea (1944) [5:22]
Pregón - Cuba (1945) [2:40]
Habanera (1945) [4:11]
Preludio y Danza (1974) [5:19]
Nocturno Otoñal 'Recordando a Chopin' (1987) [3:47]
Sonata 'Homenaje a Domenico Scarlatti' (1985) [5:38]
Homenaje a Rodolfo Halffter (1988) [3:12]
Homenaje a Federico Mompou (1988) [2:32]
Homenaje a Joaquín Turina (1988) [1:51]
Martin Jones (piano)
*Adrian Farmer (piano)
rec. Wyastone, Monmouth, Wales, 29-30 November 2006 and 14 May 2007. DDD
NIMBUS NI 5849 [79:23]

Experience Classicsonline

This Nimbus CD was published in 2009, yet another instalment of Martin Jones's marvellous one-man attempt to record everything unjustly neglected by other pianists. Spaniard Ernesto Halffter was one of those composers who very thoughtfully organised his works into 79 minute sections, so that his complete piano works, for example, would exactly fill a CD. The New Grove dictionary does list a further piano piece, El Cuco ('The Cuckoo'), but given that Halffter composed it when he was six, he might be forgiven for later disowning it!
El Cuco was omitted too from Guillermo González's recording of Halffter's complete piano works on Naxos three years ago - see review for details. González included the full version of Halffter's own transcription of his orchestral ballet Sonatina, but Halffter also published seven dances separately, three of which Jones includes. Again, then, these are not quite the complete works, but good enough - away from the stage, Sonatina is probably better sampled in the dances.
Halffter was in any case not that much of a piano man, his orchestral music - such as his score for the 1926 silent film Carmen, recently released by Naxos, and reviewed here - constituting the most important part of his corpus of works. He began his composer's life at the piano and returned to it at various points of his career, though only really to make use of spare time - evidently not driven by any great urge to write for the piano. The works in Martin Jones's programme span, therefore, an incredible seventy years, with the poignant Homenajes to three of Halffter's own greats, including his recently-deceased brother Rodolfo, coming right at the end of his life. Jones plays the pieces pretty much chronologically, as he really ought to, though with a couple of arbitrary-looking mix-ups.
It has to be said that none of the works on this disc is of major significance, unlike those of Rodolfo, some of whose own piano works were recently released by Naxos and reviewed here. Even the two Sonatas are of the Baroque rather than Romantic type - one indeed is subtitled 'Homage to Domenico Scarlatti', though in effect they could both have been.
On the other hand, Halffter's music, though generally straightforward and uncomplicated, is not by any measure banal - there is grace, melody, poignancy, humour, Spanishness and imagination on practically every page. Some of the works that stand out include the deceptively simple-sounding Crepúsculos, a bewitching three-parter whose twilight textures and tonalities befit their title, the Andalusian-inspired Sonatina dances, the virtuosic, comparatively modernist Preludio y Danza, and the various pianistically sophisticated homages, particularly the moving Homenaje a Rodolfo Halffter.
From beginning to end Jones performs as ever with a delicate, thoughtful touch, playing even the most youthful pieces with expression and respect. The booklet notes by Calum MacDonald are detailed and excellent, making it the easiest thing to forgive the odd wayward diacritic. Sound and production are of the high quality a Wyastone recording usually indicates, although there is some reverberation.
For all fans of attractive, passionate Spanish music this is an ideal disc with which to impress friends.

Collected reviews and contact at





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.