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

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati








Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Ariadne auf Naxos - opera in one act with prologue; libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal (1911/1916)
Haushofmeister (the major-domo) - Alexander Pereira
Ein Musiklehrer (a music master) - Michael Volle
Der Komponist (the composer) - Michelle Breedt
Der Tenor / Bacchus - Roberto Saccà
Ein Tanzmeister (a dance master) - Guy de Mey
Zerbinetta - Elena Moşuc
Primadonna / Ariadne - Emily Magee
Harlekin - Gabriel Bermúdez
Scaramuccio - Martin Zysset
Truffaldin - Reinhard Mayr
Brighella - Blagoj Nacoski
Najade - Eva Liebau
Dryade - Irène Friedli
Echo - Sandra Trattnigg
Orchestra of the Zurich Opera House/Christoph von Dohnányi
rec. Stage performance, Zurich Opera House, 2006.
Notes included with cast-list
ARTHAUS MUSIK 107 249 [127:00] 

Experience Classicsonline

Hofmannsthal ‘s original concept for the opera Ariadne auf Naxos was as a half-hour addition to his version of Moliere’s Bourgeois Gentilhomme, with Monsieur Jourdain commanding a group of Italian players and an opera company to perform simultaneously. This version did not work out, but the idea of an opera about Ariadne with both classical and commedia dell’arte characters remained with Strauss and Hofmannsthal. Eventually, after four years they produced their definitive version of this idea - see the fascinating correspondence between the two. In this we have a Vorspiel in which the two groups of players, once they have gotten over the shock of having to perform together, debate questions of art and life. During the opera proper Ariadne, supported by the commedia dell’arte characters, longs for death after her abandonment by Theseus. She is eventually rescued and transformed by Bacchus.
The staging in this production is slightly unusual in that the Vorspiel is enacted before a set of very heavy curtains and no other props, while the opera itself takes place in a reproduction of Zurich’s famous Kronenhalle Restaurant. The curtains do well for the characters of the Vorspiel but the restaurant setting that follows provides a number of staging problems. Even today certain emotions and actions seem out of place in a restaurant.
In the role of the Komponist Michelle Breedt is very convincing both vocally and dramatically, though she is given some unreal stage business to do. Emily Magee as Ariadne is also convincing, but occasionally loses vocal control, although by the time she sings the famous “Es gibt ein Reich” this is no longer a problem. Roberto Saccà did not have the ideal voice for the role of Bacchus but his performance was appropriately forceful and commanding overall. Both he and Ms. Magee are superlative in the final scenes of the opera. The star of the show is Elena Moşuc as Zerbinetta, a role that she plays with a mixture of whimsy and seriousness that is quite convincing, while simultaneously negotiating all the vocal difficulties of her part. Lesser roles in the cast are variably handled, but the Najade, Dryade, Echo trio are a joy to watch as they deal with the varying stage requirements.
I had never really thought of Christoph von Dohnányi as a Straussian, but here he shows a complete mastery of the Strauss idiom and an almost unparalleled understanding of the importance of the small orchestra required by Ariadne. His is a performance of more heft than the version by Sinopoli (see review), more reminiscent of the Solti recording or the live Böhm. As regards the orchestra, the first horn and several of the woodwinds of the Zurich Opera should be commended, although the sound quality of this disc does not always serve them well. Overall, the visuals present no major problems, although this production was originally for television. This is a Region “0” release of a DVD previously available in North America (also on Blu-ray). One can warmly endorse this DVD musically, if not scenically, but the deciding factor would have to be Dohnányi’s overall conception and his firm command of the score.
William Kreindler 










































































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.