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


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

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


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

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

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus

September 2022
Nikolai Medtner
Herbert Blomstedt
Tarrodi Four Elements
Secret Love Letters
Lisa Batiashvili




CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Keyboard Concertos:
No.1 in D minor, BWV 1052 (c.1738) [20:42]
No.2 in E major, BWV 1053 (c.1738) [19:01]
No.4 in A major, BWV 1055 (c.1738) [13:19]
No.3 in D major, BWV 1054 (c.1738) [15:46]
No.5 in F minor, BWV 1056 (c.1738) [9:19]
No.6 in F major, BWV 1057 (c.1738) [15:40]
No.7 in G minor, BWV 1058 (c.1738) [13:15]
Concerto for flute, violin and harpsichord in A minor, BWV 1044* (1729-41) [21:28]
Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050 (pre.1722) [21:19]
Italian Concerto in F major, BWV 971 (undated) [12:34]
Murray Perahia (pianist and director)
Kenneth Sillito* (violin)
Jaime Martin* (flute)
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
rec. Air Studios, Lyndhurst Hall, London, England, 14-16 May 2000 (BWV 1052, 1053, 1055); 12-13 May 2001 (BWV 1054, 1056, 1057, 1058); 1 April and 29 June 2003 (BWV 1044, 1050, 971)
SONY CLASSICAL 88697 82429 2 [3 CDs: 53:05 + 55:13 + 55:18]

Experience Classicsonline

Invariably the first thing that is said about J.S. Bach’s seven concertos for single harpsichord and orchestra (BWV 1052-1058) is that they are arrangements of other works. Although now lost, musicologists generally agree that the originals are by Bach himself. Don’t let the ‘arrangement’ tag put you off as these are high quality scores deserving of a place in the repertoire.

Murray Perahia plays these concertos on a Steinway concert grand giving him the ability to sustain notes and use dynamics that inevitably brings out additional colours over the restrictions of the harpsichord.

The increase in interest in authentic instruments and period informed performances of early music have allowed the listener to hear the music in the manner that Bach may well have heard it. There are several satisfying versions of these concertos played on the harpsichord. I especially admire the 2002 accounts from harpsichordist Lars Ulrik Mortensen playing and directing the Concerto Copenhagen on CPO, from Trevor Pinnock and The English Concert recorded in 1979/81 on Archiv Produktion and the 2002 release from harpsichordist Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music directed by Andrew Manze on Harmonia Mundi. We can only wonder what ‘old Bach’ might have thought about his concertos being played on a concert grand. An apposite remark that renowned concert pianist John Lill made to me in an interview when discussing this very same question springs to mind, “Would Bach have turned down a modern bathroom?” I think not.

Recorded in 2000/03 at the London Air Studios it is good to welcome these Perahia recordings back to the catalogue. Played on modern instruments the keyboard concertos were particularly high sellers for the Sony label at the time of the initial release; they certainly garnered much praise. Despite struggling for long periods with a hand injury there can be few better pianists on the scene today more suited to the playing of Bach than Murray Perahia. Perahia’s high regard and his recovery from the injury is demonstrated by winning the Best Instrumental Recording at the 2010 BBC Music Magazine Award for his recording of Bach’s Solo Keyboard Partitas 1, 5 and 6 on Sony.

In addition to the seven single concertos for keyboard and orchestra this three disc Sony/Perahia set also includes the Concerto for flute, violin and harpsichord in A minor; the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 and the Italian Concerto in F major. Following the fast-slow-fast three movement scheme these concertos for harpsichord and orchestra, prefigure the beginning of the modern piano concerto as the progressive-minded Bach liberates the harpsichord from its subordinate role in the basso continuo.

From CD1 the Keyboard Concerto No.1, probably based on an earlier now lost violin concerto, is one of Bach finest concertos. The scuttling tones of Perahia’s piano in the opening Allegro overlays mysterious undercurrents. With its ominous opening the Adagio strives for calm and serenity yet cannot truly settle owing to the nervous anxiety in the writing. Playing of unbridled joy in the buoyantly taken Allegro brings the score to a splendid conclusion. Slightly over-bright, the piano is forwardly placed.

CD2 was of a generally improved sound quality and I especially enjoyed the performance of the Keyboard Concerto No.7. This highly melodic and memorable score is an arrangement of Bach’s celebrated Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041. The opening movement sounds so brisk and fresh as played by Perahia with remarkable exuberance. Music of heartrending beauty in the Andante is followed by the swiftly taken Allegro Assai which is breezy and elegant with a touch of nobility.

I felt CD3 was too closely recorded and not a comfortable fit for the sound-picture. A favourite score of mine is the Concerto for flute, violin and harpsichord in A minor with Perahia being joined by violinist Kenneth Sillito and flautist Jaime Martin. In the opening Allegro the blend of the three solo instruments is dominated by Perahia’s close and boomy piano who also has the lion’s share of the material.

In the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 the close recorded sound and the choice of tempi rather spoilt my enjoyment. As Perahia took the opening Allegro surprisingly cautiously I had the sense that the players were straining at the leash for a swifter tempo. Lighter and more gentle playing of the Affettuoso allowed the music to be heard more clearly and what wonderful music it is too; so graceful and delicate. Perahia takes the Presto: Finale a touch carefully leaving an impression that the music required additional robustness and vivacity.

Murray Perahia is a player of real artistry. His assured playing has character and style with first class support from the ASMF. What did rather spoil the experience was Perahia’s occasionally surprising tempi selection. Generally I was uncomfortable with the closely recorded sound. I was left with the sense that a great opportunity had been missed.

Michael Cookson







































































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.