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

Salon Treasures from the Max Jaffa Library



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
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   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 Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

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

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

July 2022

John Luther Adams Houses of the Wind
John Luther Adams
Houses of the Wind

Horneman Alladin
Horneman Alladin

Stojowski piano concertos
Piano Concertos 1 & 2

Vaughan Williams on Brass

Yi Lin Jiang - Dualis I

June 2022

Beethoven Sonatas 29, 32

Orchestral Works

String Quartets Vol 1




CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Nikolay RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
Capriccio espagnol, op.34 (1887) [16:20]
Overture to May night (1879) [8:26]
Overture to The tsar’s bride (1898) [6:12]
Overture on Russian themes (1866/1880) [11:34]
Overture to The maid of Pskov (1872/1877/1992) [5:25]
Dubinushka, op.62 (1905) [3:49]
Russian Easter overture, op.36 (1888) [15:16]
Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz
rec. Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Washington, USA; 4 June and 16 June 2010 (Dubinushka); 4 June, 16 June and 20 October 2010 (op.34); 16 June and 20 October 2010 (op.36); 20 October 2010 (The tsar’s bride); 20 October 2010 and 24 February 2011 (The maid of Pskov); 24 February 2011 (op.28); 9 March 2011 (May night)
NAXOS 8.572788 [67:05]

Experience Classicsonline

Any budding young composer will presumably have one burning question about Rimsky-Korsakov in the years 1887-1888: what exactly was he on?

After all, to produce a consecutive trio of full-scale orchestral showstoppers like Capriccio Espagnol (op.34), Scheherazade (op.35) and the Russian Easter Festival overture (op.36) in such quick succession is so utterly remarkable as to make one wonder whether the oriental stimuli that are so apparent in much of his output may have included the odd ounce or two of hashish.

We have already been treated to this same team’s recording of Scheherazade, welcomed on these pages with immense enthusiasm by my colleague Brian Reinhart (“... spectacular... world class... nothing short of spectacular” – see here). And now comes this follow-up disc, completing the trio of orchestral showpieces and throwing in quite a bit more.

Anyone who rushed out to buy the Seattle Symphony’s Scheherazade CD on the basis of Brian’s recommendation will know its undeniable and considerable virtues by now. They will therefore, I imagine, need little extra prompting to buy this new disc, on which work began less than a month after its predecessor was taped. The recordings on both discs were, in fact, all set down during Gerard Schwarz’s farewell 2010-2011 season after 26 years as the orchestra’s music director and are a fine testament to the extremely high technical and artistic standards he had achieved there.

Capriccio espagnol and Russian Easter overture may not be compositions of great depth but are both, without question, superbly crafted and highly effective musical evocations that offer a wide range of opportunities for displays of orchestral virtuosity. Rimsky himself famously recalled how rehearsals for the first performance were frequently interrupted by rounds of excited applause from the members of the orchestra. And although even musically sub-standard bands can usually whip up enough superficial colour and excitement to send an audience home happy, here we have performances on a markedly higher plane.

Capriccio gets off to an exciting start, with Schwarz’s opening foot-stamping alborada making even Evgeny Svetlanov (in the five-CD vol.30 of Warner Classics’s Édition officielle, 2564 69899-4 – not reviewed here but overlapping this set) seem rather prosaic in comparison. This new account may not lay the orchestral glitter on with a trowel as Eugene Ormandy, for one, does (in a finely played and recorded 1965 analogue account that appeared on Sony Essential Classics SBK 46537) but let’s keep in mind that the Iberian sun generates warmth, as well as light, and it is there that Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony (who seem to regard the word “orchestra” as redundant) score. Brian Reinhart picked out the wind soloists as the heroes of the Scheherazade recording and that’s once again true here, although their peers in other departments are in no way found wanting.

The three conductors whose accounts are in front of me show demonstrate fewer obvious differences in the Russian Easter (Festival) overture, though Schwarz, at 15:16, is the most deliberately paced, with Ormandy celebrating the resurrection in 14:20 and Svetlanov dashing off the rites in a terrifically exciting 14:13 (the inexcusably badly proof-read notes, sadly typical of the Warner Édition officielle, suggest that he brings it in at just 11:53!)

Largely thanks to Valery Gergiev’s programming and recording at the Mariinsky, Rimsky’s operas are seeing something of a ressurection in popularity and it is good to have three of the overtures appearing on a bargain priced CD. All are played with considerable aplomb and do a fine job of whetting one’s appetite for the full scores. There is little that Schwarz can do to enliven the rather more prosaic Overture on Russian themes, but he offers an attractive account of the composer’s orchestration of the radical student song Dubinushka. It may not supplant the old favourite Ansermet recording where thrilling thwacks on the bass drum from the Suisse Romande’s timpanist urge the radical young protesters along, but it certainly benefits from Naxos’s state of the art recording.

The label’s indefatigable Keith Anderson contributes typically useful booklet notes.

As Brian Reinhart pointed out, these Seattle Symphony recordings of Russian virtuoso showpieces are an excellent illustration of the amazingly high standards being achieved by other previously unheralded orchestras all over the globe. So what I want to know now about Schwarz and his musicians is what exactly are they on?

Rob Maynard

see also review by James L. Zychowicz


































































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.