MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

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

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos 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

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing


Alphabetical Listing


Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[Part 1 New] [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R] [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] [Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]

Superbudget £5.99 or less Budget £6-7.99 Medium £8-10.99 Full price £11+ Download

Harald SĂVERUD (1897–1992) Peer Gynt see Scandinavian Classics

Camille SAINT-SA╦NS (1835 - 1921) Violin Concertos 1-3 Fanny Clamagirand (violin) Sinfonia Finlandia Jyvńskylń/Patrick Gallois rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572037 [72:30] [Byz]

Quality music in quality performances.

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) String Trio see BACH

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Pelleas und Melisande Gustav MAHLER (1860-1911) Symphony 3 Iris Vermillion (mezzo) Deutsche SO Berlin/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. 1995/96 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 3479 [75: 00 + 64:14] [DM]

I cannot recall a more dispiriting, disjointed Mahler performance, either in the concert hall or on record.

Arnold SCHOENBERG (1874-1951) Variations on a Recitative, Two fragments of a Sonata see HINDEMITH

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Divertissement Ó la Hongroise Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Hungarian Dances Nos 1-3 Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) BolÚro Marzena Kasprzak-Godeaux, Bernard Godeaux (piano 4 hands) rec. 2009 DUX 0774 [61:36] [BR]

Graceful pianism, but the hyper-intellectual train wreck of a liner essay is more memorable.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Complete Piano Works Michel Dalberto (piano) rec. 1989-95 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94093 [14 CDs: 861:41] [DC]

Well worth the asking price.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Arpeggione Sonata see HOFFMEISTER

William SCHUMAN (1910–1992) Orchestral Works Seattle Symphony/Gerard Schwarz rec. 2003-2008 NAXOS 8.505228 [5 CDs: 317:46] [GH]

A fine box with impressive and oftentimes magnificent music that should be heard more regularly. There’s a whole lifetime of discovery here.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Album für die Jugend Alessandra Ammara (piano) rec. 2010 ARTS 47756-8 [73:52] [RBe]

The best performance of Album for the Young I have ever heard and probably one of the best discs of Schumann piano music I have ever listened to.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Robert SCHUMANN (1810 - 1856) Symphonies 1-4 Robert-Schumann-Philharmonie/Frank Beermann rec. 2009/10 CPO 777 536-2 [64:19 + 57:00]
Complete Part Songs For Male Voices
Die Singphoniker rec. 2009 CPO 777 521-2 [61:00] Sammlung von Musik-StŘcken alter und neuer Zeit Alsfelder Vokalensemble/Wolfgang Helbich rec. 2009 CPO 777 595-2 [3 CDs: 190:43] [RB]

A glorious Schumann cycle for the ages, highly accomplished and pleasurable male choral works and a provocative collection of Schumann’s work as a music journalist and agitator-advocate.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Liederkreis, Dichterliebe Franz Paul LACHNER (1803-1890) Sängerfahrt Mark Padmore (tenor), Kristian Bezuidenhout (fortepiano) rec. 2010 HARMONIA MUNDI HMU907521 [68:53] [SR]

Rich and sympathetic communicative powers. 

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Fantasie Franz LISZT (1811-1886) Piano sonata Lars Vogt (pno) rec. 2010 BERLIN CLASSICS 0300064BC [64:34] [GD]

An impressive disc then and the Schumann is up there with the best of them.

Alexander SCRIABIN (1872–1915) Piano works Vladimir Horowitz (piano) rec. 1953-56 ISTITUTO DISCOGRAFICO ITALIANO IDIS6602 [60:28] [PS]

Recommended as an introduction to the range of Scriabin’s solo piano music, by one of his finest interpreters.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Music for the theatre – Hamlet, The Human Comedy, King Lear á St.áPetersburg CO/Edward Serov rec. 1984 áNORTHERN FLOWERS NF/PMA 9905 [46:35]
(1906-1975) Hamlet and King Lear – Complete incidental music Louise Winter (mezzo) David Wilson-Johnson (baritone) Igor Khokhlovin (player-king) Luba Stuchevskaya (player-queen) City of Birmingham SO/Mark Elder rec. 1994 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD052 [73:03] [DM]

Mandatory listening for all Shostakovich fans.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Festive Overture see RACHMANINOV

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 9 see TCHAIKOVSKY

Jean SIBELIUS (1865–1957) Violin Concerto, Four Lemminkainen Legends see Scandinavian Classics

Santeri SIIMES (b. 1981) Organ works Santeri Siimes (organ) rec. 2010 FUGA-9298/PADME-CD017 [73:04] [DM]

A recital that’s fully deserving of your time and hard-earned shekels.

Bedrich SMETANA (1824-1884) Mß Vlast Czech PO/Jakub Hruša rec. 2010 SUPRAPHON SU4032-2 [78:53] [BR]

A mature account, lacking fire but intimate and with hypnotic wind solos.

Louis SPOHR (1784-1859) Violin Concerto 8 Franz DANZI (1763-1826) Variations on Mozart’s LÓ ci darem la mano Josef REICHA (1752-1795) Cello Concerto Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Concerto Grand potpourri Raphael Wallfisch (cello) Northern CO/Nicholas Ward rec. 2009, NIMBUS NI 5868 [75:24] [BR]

If the repertoire interests you, go for it, but many will find this a bit dull.

Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Choral Music Schola Cantorum of Dean Cl. Prep. School/Benjamin Nicolas rec. 2009/10 DELPHIAN DCD34087 [77:28] [JF]

An exciting release.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Poesie - Orchestral Songs Diana Damrau (soprano) Munich PO/Christian Thielemann rec. 2009 VIRGIN CLASSICS 6286640 [71.09] [CF]

Damrau is a wonderful singer, she has line in the voice, colour like a kaleidoscope, and wears her emotional heart on her vocal sleeve.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Ariadne auf Naxos Natalie Dessay (soprano) Deborah Voigt (soprano) Metropolitan Opera Ch & O/James Levine rec. 2003 VIRGIN CLASSICS 6418679 [134:00] [BW]

A strong contender – and less expensive than DVD rivals.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864 – 1949) Complete works for wind ensemble: Sonatina 1, Aus der Werkstadtt einer Invaliden; Suite; Serenade; Symphony, Fr÷hliches Werkstatt Academy Symphonic Wind/Keith Bragg rec. 2003-2006 ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC RAM034 [53:21 + 43:21] [BBr]

This is an exciting issue and should not be missed at any cost.

Richard STRAUSS (1864–1949) Metamorphosen, Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme Maurice RAVEL (1875–1937) Piano Concerto Hélène Grimaud (piano) CO Europe/Vladimir Jurowski rec. 2009 IDÉALE AUDIENCE 3078734 [88:31] [BW]

Well worth having, but if you don’t mind audio-only alternatives, you may well choose to forego the visuals.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Petrushka see MENDELSSOHN

Josef SUK (1874-1935) Serenade for Strings see DVOŘÁK

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Sir ARTHUR SULLIVAN (1842-1900) Overtures and Choruses Royal PO, New SO London/Royston Nash, James Walker, Isidore Godfrey rec. 1959-82 DECCA ELOQUENCE 480 1285 [69.09 + 77.52] [GH]

This is a marvellous and well-presented double disc compilation.

Gilbert & Sullivan - A Motley Pair Tony Britten (director) CAPRIOL FILMS CAP107 [150:00 + 59:00] [JS]

These programmes are unquestionably far superior in quality and depth to the majority of arts documentary programmes seen on the television today.

Arthur SULLIVAN (1842-1900) & W. S. GILBERT (1836-1911) Iolanthe, Overture di Ballo Pro Arte O/Sir Malcolm Sargent rec. 1958 CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE 2134392 [64:26 + 43:05] [SV]

Mostly succeeds though it falls short of the highest expectations.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Giles SWAYNE (b. 1946) Magnificat I; The silent land; Ave verum corpus; Stabat mater Raphael Wallfisch (cello) Dimitri Ens/Graham Ross rec. 1982/2010 NAXOS 8.572595 [68.18] [RH]

This is contemporary choral music at its best, and it is available at super-budget price.    

Aleksander TANSMAN (1897-1986) 24 Intermezzi, Petite Suite, Valse-Impromptu Eliane Reyes (pno) rec. 2009-10 NAXOS 8.572266 [56:59] [Byz]

Profound music; distantly reminiscent of Chopin's Preludes.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Complete Piano Works Franco Trabucco (piano) rec. live, 2007 DYNAMIC CDS 665/1-7 [7 CDs: 487:08] [GD]

Good as these performances are, they are at least a rung below those of Postnikova, Pletnev and Richter.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto 2 Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 9 Andreas Boyde (pno) Freiburg PO/Johannes Fritzsch, rec. 1997 MINERVA ATHENE ATHCD16 [73:34] [RB]

Galloping swooning romantic exuberance. All the frisson of risk and spontaneity of a live concert.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Violin Concerto see HIGDON

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 6 see PROKOFIEV

Sir Michael TIPPETT (1905-1998) Triple concerto, Piano concerto Martino Tirimo (piano) Ernst Kovacic (violin) Gerard CaussÚ (viola) Alexander Baillie (cello) BBC PO/Sir Michael Tippett rec. 1990/1 NIMBUS NI 5301 [72:32] [DC]

Uniquely special, but up against serious competition.

Donald TOVEY (1875-1940) Piano Trio, Sonata Eroica, Piano Quartet London Piano Trio, Ormesby Ens rec. 2007/8 GUILD GMCD7352 [74:40] [JF]

A testament to the interest being shown in so called ‘forgotten’ composers.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813–1901) Aida Giannina Arangi-Lombardi; Maria Capuana; Aroldo Lindi; Armando Borgioli; La Scala Ch, Milan SO/Lorenzo Molajoli rec. 1928 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO 054 [76:22 + 60:56] [RMo]

This set has a special historical value and aesthetic quality which have been greatly enhanced by Pristine’s superb remastering.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Simon Boccanegra Marina Poplavskaya (sop.) Placido Domingo (ten.) Royal Opera House Ch & O/Antonio Pappano rec. 2010 EMI CLASSICS 9178259 [2 DVDs: 171:00] [RJF]

Forget that Verdi wrote the title role for a baritone and enjoy Domingo’s penetrating acted assumption of the role despite the compromises this involves.

BARGAIN OF THE MONTH Antonio VIVALDI (1678–1741) Ottone in Villa Maria Laura Martorana (soprano) Tuva Semmingsen (mezzo) L’Arte dell’Arco/Federico Guglielmo rec. 2008 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94105 [72.08 + 67.51 + CD-ROM] [MM-B]

Truly excellent.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concerti Grossi: Le quattro stagioni, La Stravaganza John Holloway (violin) Taverner Players/Andrew Parrott, La Stravaganza Köln/Andrew Manze rec. 1983/91 DAL SEGNO DSPRCD058 [64.17]  [DC]

Nice enough, but no longer really competitive. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Ercole dul Termodonte Rolando Villazon (tenor) Patrizia Ciofi, Diana Damrau (sopranos) Joyce DiDonato, Vivica Genaux (mezzos) Philippe Jaroussky (counter-tenor) Europa Galante/Fabio Biondi rec. 2008-10 VIRGIN CLASSICS 6945450 [65:05 + 78:56] [ST]

Whether you buy this set for some magnificent singing or to get to know a once lost opera, you will find plenty to enjoy. 

Vivaldi and Friends Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concertos Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) Concerto for Four Harpsichords RenÚ DUCHIFFRE (b. 1961) Concerto for Two Violas Apollo’s Fire/Jeanette Sorrell rec. live, 2000/8 AVIE AV2211 [74.34] [MM-B]

Accomplished, well judged, satisfying and extremely pleasing ... pure delight from beginning to end.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concerto Grosso see BRAHMS

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1813–1883) The Ring Without Words – A Symphonic Synthesis (arr. Lorin Maazel) Berlin PO/Lorin Maazel rec. 2000 EUROARTS 2057604 [88:00] [DM]

Early days yet, but this is already on my list of picks for 2011.

Carl Maria von WEBER (1786-1826) Concerto Grand potpourri see SPOHR

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919–1996) Complete Music for Solo Cello Vol. 1 Twenty-Four Preludes, Cello Sonata 1 Josef Feigelson (cello) rec. 1996 NAXOS 8.572280 [57:16] [BR]

The sonata is more accessible, the preludes generally austere and enigmatic.

Scott WHEELER (b.1952) Songs William Sharp (baritone) Susanna Phillips (soprano) Joseph Kaiser (tenor) Krista River (mezzo-soprano) Donald Berman (piano) rec. 2008/9 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559658 [72:07] [Byz]

Much of quality here.

Eric WHITACRE (b. 1970) Light and Gold Eric Whitacre Singers, Laudibus, King’s Singers, PavŃo Qt, Christopher Glynn (pno)/Eric Whitacre rec. 2010 DECCA 2743209 [71:16] [WH]

A hugely successful and widely admired disc which nonetheless does not appeal to this reviewer at all.

Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) Italian Serenade see DVOŘÁK

Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[Part 1 New] [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R] [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] [Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]



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

Past 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.