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

Engelbert HUMPERDINCK (1854-1921) Hänsel und Gretel Fairy Tale in Three Acts [96:22]; Weihnachten (arr Sir Charles Mackerras) [3:05]; Die Königskinder – Verdorben! Gestorben! [6:53]; Trad arr Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Sandmännchen [2:48]; Albert LORTZING (1801-1851) Zar und Zimmermann – Sonst spielt ich mit szepter [3:44]; Der Wildschütz – Wie freundlich strahlt .. Heiterkeit und Fröhlichkeit [4:44]; Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD (1897-1957) Die Tote Stadt – Mein sehnen, mein wähnen [3:50]; Hans PFITZNER (1869-1949) Das Käthchen von Heilbronn – Overture [13:02]; Richard WAGNER (1813-1833) Rienzi – Overture [11:19]
Gretel – Rita Streich (soprano); Hänsel – Gisela Litz (mezzo); Gertrud – Marianne Schech (soprano); Peter – Horst Günter (baritone); Sandman – Elisabeth Lindermeier (soprano); Dew Fairy – Bruno Brückmann (boy soprano); Witch – Res Fischer (mezzo)
Bavarian Radio Choir; Munich Philharmonic Orchestra/Fritz Lehmann): [songs] Elizabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano); Choir and Philharmonia Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras: [arias] Hermann Prey (baritone); Bielfelder Kinderchor; North German Radio Orchestra/Wilhelm Schüchter; [Pfitzner] Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Lehmann; [Wagner] Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Lehmann
rec. [Hansel] Munich, 2-10 October 1953, [songs] London, 1 June 1957, [arias] Berlin 1954, [Pfitzner] Bamberg, 11 February 1952, [Wagner] Munich, 5-6 October 1954: no text or translations included
MAGDALEN METCD 8003 [71:38+74:37]

Experience Classicsonline

There is no lack of recordings of Hänsel und Gretel in the catalogue, most of them more recent than this and most avoiding the excessively close balance of the voices that we find here. Nonetheless this remains a set well worth considering for its wonderfully idiomatic and wholly natural and uncomplicated approach. It is not unsubtle but it avoids any sense of artificiality or point-making, both of which are wholly foreign to this delightful work. Tempi are flexible and what we hear of the orchestra, well balanced within itself, is very characterful. The singers adopt a similar approach, especially Rita Streich, on top of her form, and Gisela Litz’s very convincingly boyish Hänsel. The parents are less interesting – boring even at times, but Res Fischer’s witch is near ideal, never camp or exaggerated. I am not sure about using a boy soprano as the Dew Fairy but it works well enough. Overall this remains a fine issue of the work, one which personally I prefer even over the much praised version under Karajan with Elizabeth Schwarzkopf and Elizabeth Grummer, beautifully executed as it is. For me it tells the story in such an idiomatic and engaging way as to be wholly irresistible despite the obvious age of the recording.

It has been reissued before, most recently by Brilliant, but one of the real attractions of this issue is the fascinating quantity and quality of extras for which room has been found. The two Schwarzkopf songs are pleasant and worth hearing, but the real highlights are the arias sung by Hermann Prey. These include the lovely closing scene from Humperdinck’s Die Königskinder, complete with the necessary children’s chorus, and two excellent arias by Lortzing. The Overtures by Pfitzner and Wagner again show Lehmann at his best, this time with no forwardly balanced singers to hide his efforts. For anyone with a taste for nineteenth century German opera this is a set well worth considering, as much for the extras as for the main work. A pity that there are no texts or translations, but at least the lengthy notes include a good synopsis of Hänsel und Gretel and a clear explanation of the context of the various arias as well as interesting biographies of the singers.

John Sheppard


































































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.