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

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

absolutely thrilling

immediacy and spontaneity

Schumann Lieder

24 Preludes
one of the finest piano discs

‘Box of Delights.’

J S Bach A New Angle
Organ fans form an orderly queue

a most welcome issue

I enjoyed it tremendously

the finest traditions of the house

music for theorbo
old and new

John Luther Adams
Become Desert
concealing a terrifying message

ground-breaking, winning release

screams quality

Surprise of the month

English Coronation, 1902-1953
magnificent achievement


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


CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Leonard BERNSTEIN (1918-1990)
Symphony No. 3 Kaddish (1963, revised)* [42:58]
Chichester Psalms (1965)** [18:40]
Karita Mattila*, Joseph Mills**, Michelle Norman-Webb** (soprano)
Yehudi Menuhin* (speaker)
Soazig Grégoire** (contralto)
Masao Takeda** (tenor)
Patrick Ivorra** (bass)
Maîtrise de Radio France*; Chœur de Radio France
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France/Yutaka Sado
rec. Salle Olivier Messiaen, Radio France, 18-20 May 1998. DDD.
Texts not included.
WARNER APEX 2564 67717-9 [61:56]

Experience Classicsonline

Don’t expect Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 to be as approachable as On the Town and West Side Story. Like Mass, it’s not at all an easy work to come to terms with – in a sense, we aren’t meant to do so, because it deals with Bernstein’s difficult and unresolved relationship with his Jewish scholar father and his father’s Judæo-Christian God, both of whom he simultaneously loved and hated – or, at the very least, with whom he maintained a strenuous, questioning and critical argument. The Holocaust and the death of President Kennedy also enter the equation. The first performance took place in Israel, shortly after Kennedy’s assassination and the work is dedicated to his memory.

I tried without success for many years to come to terms with Bernstein’s own CBS recording on LP (reissued on a Sony CD with the Chichester Psalms, but no longer available), so it’s a measure of the success of this twice-reissued Erato recording that I came closer to appreciating the music than ever before. Its first reissue, on the Elatus label, still appears to be on sale from some dealers, at a slightly higher price than this super-budget Apex version, so take care which version you order. Some even still offer the full-price original.

The success of Yutaka Sado’s recording is largely due to his direction – the music is never over-hyped – but that alone would not have been enough. Yehudi Menuhin’s sotto voce delivery of the spoken role – set down separately from the rest of the recording, though the joins are not apparent – is far preferable to the stridency of the Sony/CBS version. I could, however, have preferred the narration to have been mixed at a higher volume.

Karita Mattila is also a huge contributor to the success of this version: not only does she sing well, but her voice is nicely integrated with the other performers, thanks in no small measure to the recording engineers.

The Chichester Psalms, commissioned by Dean Hussey for Chichester Cathedral, are better known and much easier to come to terms with. Here we do have reminiscences of West Side Story, as requested by Hussey. They, too, receive a performance and recording which does them justice. I imagine that many will buy this CD as one of the least expensive ways to obtain them and find themselves grappling with the Kaddish Symphony – and, I hope, coming to terms with it.

The Apex reissue is not without serious rivals, some of them identically coupled, including a Naxos American Classics recording in the same lowest price bracket (Yvonne Kenny, Willard White and others with Gerard Schwarz, 8.559456: ‘a valuable addition to any library’ according to Dominy Clements – see review). The Naxos has one huge advantage in that it comes with notes, totally absent from the Apex, which makes me wonder what the novice is meant to make of the music – there’s not even a note of the fact that Kaddish is the Jewish prayer associated with remembrance of the dead. The only information given concerns which verses from which psalms are set. That’s not very helpful for those whose Hebrew or Aramaic is not up to scratch, which includes me – I’m afraid that what little success I had in learning Hebrew is well in the past.

Subscribers to the Naxos Music Library will be able to read the very detailed Naxos notes on these two works, together with their texts and translations. The notes even include a consideration of the links between the Church of England and Judaism which underlie the Chichester Psalms. Chandos also make available the booklet which accompanies their recording of these two works (CD, CHAN10172 or SACD CHSA5028): the narrator’s text on that performance differs slightly from the version employed for the Apex and Naxos recordings – a rewrite by the composer’s daughter.

That Chandos version, conducted by Leonard Slatkin, is another serious rival to the Apex reissue; though it comes at full price, it has a useful extra coupling, with the Kaddish Symphony and Chichester Psalms joined by the Missa brevis. It can be downloaded – here – for £7.99 (mp3) or £9.99 (a choice of lossless versions) if you wish to bring the cost closer to that of the Warner Apex. You won’t save much, if anything, by trying to download the Apex: HMV Digital have its earlier Elatus reissue as a download for £3.49 – here.

Though Bernstein’s own recordings of the Symphony seem no longer to be available on CD, have his DG version, again coupled with the Chichester Psalms as an mp3 or lossless download (447 9542 – here: reduced at the time of writing to £3.99/£4.99 respectively). No texts or notes again, however.

If you want the fire and fury of the Kaddish Symphony, you need to download that DG version with Bernstein at the helm. I’m very much of the opinion, however, that Yutaka Sado and his team offer a more palatable version – a Kaddish for all seasons. With an equally fine version of the Chichester Psalms and consistently good recording at an attractive price, only the lack of texts is a drawback.

Brian Wilson


































































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.