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

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

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



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Frédéric CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Ballade No. 1 in G minor [10:06]
Ballade No. 2 in F [7:47]
Ballade No. 3 in A flat [7:50]
Ballade No. 4 in F minor [12:02]
Impromptu No. 1 in A flat [3:50]
Impromptu No. 2 in F sharp [6:02]
Impromptu No. 3 in G flat [5:44]
Impromptu No. 4 in C sharp minor Fantaisie-impromptu [5:05]
Bella Davidovich (piano)
rec. February 1981, Watford Town Hall, England, and December 1982, Switzerland (Impromptus 1-3)
NEWTON CLASSICS 8802047 [58:25]

Experience Classicsonline

Bella Davidovich’s Chopin tends toward the slow, heavy, poetical side, relying on well-judged rubato and tonal bloom for its effect. There are great turns of phrase in her Ballades, and a grounded solidity which recall the simple, powerful expressiveness of Rubinstein, but there’s also something missing. I would like a bit more lightness of touch, a greater readiness to gamble with pianissimo notes and whispered melodies. The main theme of the first ballade, in particular, can be a little too middling in its appearances, and the first impromptu sounds rather - if this is a word - promptu.
It’s a little interesting to me that the booklet notes explicitly contrast Davidovich’s Chopin with the “more sombre versions by Claudio Arrau”. Davidovich seems sombre too, except in moments like Ballade No. 3 and the final pages of the first impromptu. When the theme of Ballade No. 2 returns after the first stormy episode, it lacks uplift and sags instead; the closing chords of No. 4 simply don’t work out well. Other episodes often sound beautiful; Davidovich coaxes gorgeous sounds out of her instrument. But so does Arrau, and so, for that matter, does Ivan Moravec, whose ballade recordings with Supraphon (and No. 4, live, on Vox) are master-classes in how to combine lightness of touch, emotional depth, and resplendent color in this music.
There are good things on this mid-price disc. The “Fantaisie-impromptu” is given an outstanding reading, fresh and stirringly emotive. The first impromptu opens stiffly but ends well, and the momentum carries over into a powerfully hewn second impromptu, the central section of which rings out clear and emphatic. The third ballade, as mentioned, goes well too. Still, these performances won’t be dislodging Moravec, Rubinstein, or Arrau from the top of my Chopin shelf. The sound quality, for what it’s worth, is very fine, though the piano has a tendency to clang about at its loudest. I am not sure I understand the acclaim which these recordings receive in some quarters, but acclaim there certainly is. It’s all a matter of taste. This is well-done Chopin, in the steak sense of the term: cooked to safety all the way through, but a little dry in consequence. I happen to prefer my Chopin rare: tender, with greater give and a hint (just) of rawness at heart. Bella Davidovich feels differently, and even when her recipe leaves me unmoved it does command respect.
Brian Reinhart 



















































































































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.