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

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Moravec - Twelfth Night Recital
15%off £17.21 (until Dec 7)

Katerina Englichová - harp
15%0ff £10.83 (until Dec 7)

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo

Sibelius Symphonies Maazel
4CDs + Blu-ray audio
Special Price £36.75

RVW A Sea Symphony - Elder

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Piotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Piano concerto no.1 in B flat minor, op.23 (1875) [31:13]
Piano concerto no.2 in G major, op.44 (1880) [33:26]
Emil Gilels (piano)
Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano della RAI/Fernando Previtali (op.23)
Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra/Kirill Kondrashin (op.44)
rec. venues not stated; 3 February 1959 (op.23) and 23 December 1959 (op.44)

Experience Classicsonline

We completists are an obsessive bunch. Given news of an undiscovered Toscanini performance or a newly unearthed recording of Heifetz, we're straight onto the internet or on the phone to a specialist supplier.

So here's a new offering for those who just have to own every single Emil Gilels performance that they can get their hands on - though I'm afraid that it's unlikely, quite frankly, to be of much interest to anyone else.

Gilels completists will already have a great number of accounts of these works on their shelves. The discography on the authoritative memorial website lists no less than 16 complete recordings of the first Tchaikovsky concerto between 1947 and 1980 and four of the second (two from 1959 and two more from 1972).

Other than describing their recordings as being of live performances given in February 1959 (concerto no.1) and December 1959 (concerto no.2), Istituto Discografico Italiano's utterly minimal annotation tells us nothing about their provenance. The website discography suggests, however, that the first concerto was recorded in Milan – presumably, given the orchestra involved, for radio transmission - and has since circulated widely, with previous CD incarnations on the Arkadia, Hunt, Classica Musica, WJM and Urania labels.

The recording of the second concerto is rather more problematical. The website discography lists a live performance with these forces from 1959 that has previously appeared on an EMI LP and on an MK CD. However, given the very seriously flawed performance, as detailed below, I find it really difficult to believe that EMI would have given their prestigious imprimatur to this particular account. Perhaps, one might speculate, it comes instead from a second performance given in the same concert season? I welcome any further enlightenment on this point from anyone in possession of the EMI or MK issues.

The sad fact is that both Gilels’ playing and the recording quality are insufficiently distinguished to make these accounts worthy of anything more than cursory attention. Ay pianist can have a bad day – but here Gilels appears to have been having a couple of them, with playing nowhere near his usually consistently high standard. While careless fingerwork may be excused in the white heat of a live performance, this will not do for repeated listening. And the fact that, at about 3:39 into the finale of the G major concerto he seems to go completely awry for about 10 seconds, throwing the orchestra into confusion and nearly derailing the whole performance, rules his account completely out of court except for anyone seeking a graphic illustration of a lapse in concentration or memory or simply of a sadistic disposition.

The sound quality leaves much to be desired, too. Dull, lifeless and lacking in any sort of bloom in the first concerto, it becomes clangorous and shrill to an extent that makes it positively unpleasant to listen to the piano in the second.

An issue for diehard Gilels admirers only, then, though an interesting piece of evidence to demonstrate that even artistic giants can sometimes have feet of clay.

Rob Maynard




















































































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.