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

£11 post-free anywhere

Special Offer
Complete Chopin
17 discs
Pre-order for £100


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Works for Voice by György Kurtág


Best Seller

Symphony for solo piano

Chopin Piano Concerto No.1

Schubert Piano sonata

Schubert symphony No. 9

Katherine Watson (Sop)

From Severn to Somme


We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

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
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



St.Laurent Studio

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Carnaval Op.9 [23:01]
Sergei RACHMANINOV (1873-1943)
Melodie in E major Op.3/2 [3:49]
Humoresque in G major Op.10/3 [3:31]
Moment Musical in E flat minor Op 16/2 [2:55]
Prelude in G flat major Op.23/10 [3:18]
Prelude in E major Op.32/3 [2:21]
Prelude in F major Op.32/7 [2:14]
Prelude in F minor Op.32/6 [1:23]
Etude-Tableau in C major in C major Op.33/2 [2:18]
Etude-Tableau in E flat major Op.33/7 [1:49]
Daisies Op.38/3 [2:13]
Oriental Sketch [1:48]
Sergei Rachmaninov (piano)
rec. April 1929 (Schumann) and March-April 1940 (remainder)
ST-LAURENT STUDIO YSL 78-019 [50:44]

Experience Classicsonline

These famous recordings are part of the historical lexicon of great piano recordings, so I donít propose to comment on them but to concentrate instead on the transfers.

This French-Canadian restoration outfit has been causing me headaches in that respect. I listen to one of their CDs and itís excellent, albeit with a relatively high ratio of shellac crackle. In goes another one, of different music, and itís terrible. There are scratches, thereís blasting, the sides donít join. No wonder I squint coolly when I see a St-Laurent in the in-tray. How many copies do they work with? Probably only one. Fair enough if you only have one Ė St-Laurent isnít alone in that respect by any means - but youíre then vulnerable to heavy usage, to their ownersí use of the wrong sort of needles, to blasting and peak distortion, to pitch waver if youíre not careful and so on.

This time Iím not at all unhappy. Yes, youíll have an easier aural ride if you listen to Rachmaninovís recording of Carnaval on Naxos 8.112020 where itís coupled with Chopinís Second Sonata and third Ballade amongst other things. But it wonít be quite as immediate an aural ride. St-Laurent prides itself on the immediacy of 78 sound and this could easily be taken as code for Ďstraight transfer without any real restoration work at allí. I donít think that would be quite fair however. If you line up this disc alongside RCAís ĎComplete Rachmaninov plays Rachmaninoví set, a 10 CD box with all his recordings, both as pianist and conductor, you will find a stark difference in philosophies. Frankly RCA, like EMI in many of its GROC and other releases, needs to take a good, long hard look at itself. In the same way that EMI is content to peddle often rather unattractive old transfers in contemporary boxes Ė vinegary old wine in new bottles Ė RCA really canít be allowed any longer to keep going with its horrible over-processed and tubby transfers.

I much prefer St-Laurentís work, limitations noted, to those by RCA. The sound is far more open. Going from one to the other is like opening a sonic window on a stifling day. Yes, those who dislike 78 restorations will blanch in any case at this restoration. But they are not really the market for a disc such as this. A more amenable kind of transfer is the kind of thing Naxos Historical does, in the main. But this disc fortunately doesnít enshrine side-joins, so one can rest easy in that respect. I think St-Laurent has a considerable way to go yet to make their releases ideal for the collector. But I can say that in this release they have, at least, effortlessly outstripped RCA.

Jonathan Woolf




















































































































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.