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


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

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger




Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month



From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Hector BERLIOZ (1803-1869)
Grande Messe des Morts (1837) [88:42]
Robert Murray (tenor)
Gabrieli Players and Consort
Chetham’s School of Music Symphonic Brass Ensemble
Wroclaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra/Paul McCreesh
rec. Mary Magdalene Church, Wroclaw, 13-15 September 2010
Latin text and English and Polish translations included
SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD280 [48:25 + 40:17]

Experience Classicsonline

This thrilling new recording of the Berlioz Requiem is the product of painstaking research as well as some indefatigable hard work on the part of the conductor. Paul McCreesh, whom I suspect few of us would have thought of as a natural Berliozian, has been Artistic Director of Poland’s Wratislavia Cantans Festival for a number of years. This recording draws on forces assembled to perform the work in Wroclaw in the 2010 Festival. McCreesh being McCreesh, he has his musicians playing almost entirely on period instruments, including ophicleides and cornets à pistons, but he has assembled an enormous cast of over 400 musicians to create a mind-blowing impact. He has based his numbers and approach on the circumstances of the work’s premiere, including the importance of the scale of the building - vast forces in a vast space - and the positioning of the players in relation to the acoustical venue. So this is a performance that is “authentic” to the core and the results are thrilling.

The first thing that strikes the listener is the sheer clarity of the sound. This is partly thanks to the opening phrases being played – mostly - on gut strings, but also due to the first class technical engineering which opens things up brilliantly. This works most spectacularly for the climax of the Tuba Mirum, where even in the midst of the din there is not a hint of distortion or fogginess. It’s also exceptional in the quieter moments, such as the gentle responsive chords at the start of the Agnus Dei or, perhaps best of all, in the Sanctus which has tenor Robert Murray singing high up in the balcony of the church, some distance from the rest of the players. The effect is stunning, as is his singing in best French haute-contre style, floating ethereally above the enormous forces below.

All of this would count for little were it not for the first class musical values. The chorus sings with utter dedication, buying into McCreesh’s vision with complete conviction and giving it their all. The climaxes of the Tuba Mirum and Lachrymosa are astounding, but just as wonderful are the softer moments of reflection, such as the Quaerens Me and Agnus Dei, and there is a richness to the Hostias that is especially welcoming. The orchestral playing is also top notch, particularly in the sinuous string playing of the Offertoire, and the clipped precision of the attack from every section.

Holding it all together is the special vision of McCreesh himself. In his booklet essays he acknowledges that the score holds problems as well as delights, and he succeeds unassailably in the task of making sense of this mammoth beast. There is a unity of vision and clarity of purpose that I have never heard before in this work. This, combined with the excellence of the playing and engineering, must surely make this now a first choice, nudging the recordings by Colin Davis and Eliahu Inbal off their pedestals. Berlioz once said that if all his works but one were to be destroyed then it would be the Requiem that he would save. Now, at last, I can start to see why.

Incidentally, the good news for us all is that this is planned as the first in a series of oratorio recordings from Wroclaw; Elijah is next in line. The notes and packaging for this set are excellent, including full texts and translations and insightful essays and an interview with McCreesh about his interpretation.

Simon Thompson

See also review (previous Recording of the Month) by John Quinn


































































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.