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

in the first division

extraordinary by any standards

An excellent disc

a new benchmark

summation of a lifetime’s experience.

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati








Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
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
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Lawrence DILLON (b. 1959)
Violin Sonata Motion (2008) [18:44]
Mister Blister, for solo violin (2006) [2:18]
Façade, for violin and piano (1983) [8:54]
Bacchus Chaconne, for violin and viola (1991) [5:15]
Spring Passing, for violin and marimba (1997) [7:13]
Fifteen Minutes, for solo violin (with kazoo) (2006) [14:53]
The Voice, for violin and piano (2008) [4:05]
Danielle Belén (violin, kazoo)
David Fung (piano)
Juan-Miguel Hernandez (viola)
Stan Muncy (marimba)
rec. St John Chrysostom Church, Newmarket, Ontario; Glenn Gould Studio, CBC, Toronto [Façade, Sonata, Voice]; 5-8 February 2009. DDD

Experience Classicsonline

By coincidence, Bridge Records have recently released a disc of American composer Lawrence Dillon's chamber music. It’s entitled "Insects and Paper Airplanes" and was warmly reviewed here. This release by Naxos brings his discography to four, following a 2002 chamber works volume on Albany Records (TROY 513) and another with voice, also on Albany (TROY1170).
The Naxos blurb says: "A love for lyricism, a dash of wit, and what he has called “an irresistible urge” to connect with the Classical music heritage have remained easily identifiable hallmarks of Dillon’s music." These words give a pretty accurate idea of what the potential listener can expect from this disc. Dillon does have a blog on Sequenza, a trendy American site which grandly bills itself as "The Contemporary Classical Music Community", but which leans heavily towards music that "refuses to be pigeon-holed": experimental-cum-crossover. But the nearest the music on this CD gets to that is the short 'duet' in Fifteen Minutes for violin with kazoo - otherwise this is an hour of music that is often profound without being pretentious, sometimes light-hearted but never 'lite', humorous without being arch, and immensely appealing but never frivolous. According to Naxos's usual formula, {American composer} always = {American Classics}, but sometimes there is more than a touch of prescience about such fundamentally commercial choices.
This CD also represents the debut recording of up-and-coming Mexican-American violinist Danielle Belén, who was Grand Prize winner at the 2008 Sphinx Competition. Her award charged her with choosing an American composer with the intention of recording his or her violin works - she chose Dillon. Her website, at the time of writing, features a YouTube video of her performing the Bacchus Chaconne. Her musicianship on this disc bristles with expressiveness, technical agility and considerable enthusiasm for Dillon's writing.
The recording covers 25 years of the composer's work. There are two pieces for solo violin, the brief and zippy Mister Blister and the quarter of an hour long Fifteen Minutes. The two are related in that they are in a way the same commission, one done right, one done wrong - the amusing story is in the notes! Fifteen Minutes - with a nod to Andy Warhol - is really 16 individual shorts moulded into a polystylistic and often technically challenging suite, which includes a variety turn on the kazoo.
There is one work for violin and marimba, Spring Passing, an atmospheric, nebulous elegy Dillon wrote by way of tribute to his father, who died when he was two; and one for violin and viola, the Bacchus Chaconne, which Dillon composed as a cathartic response to the very late cancellation of an almost-finished commission for a cello concerto. The work starts slowly and deliberately solemnly, all the better to contrast with the dancy, rock-inflected chaconne that follows, in which the soloists try to outplay each other, before the work ends, figuratively, in tears!
The remaining three works are all for violin and piano. The Voice is Dillon's melancholic, dramatic embellishment of a transcribed aria for an "unstable" soprano, from his own 2001 opera Buffa. Façade is one of Dillon's earliest works. In his own words, it takes "an 1890ish waltz, a pretty salon melody, and twists it through some increasingly irrational harmonic shifts until it shatters into inarticulate fragments. After a minute or two of stumbling about in confusion, it gradually reassembles itself into a fragile version of its former self." A lovely, sharp, innocuous piece, Dillon reports that it caused a bit of an uproar at its university premiere, with a "distinguished professor" instructing his students never to perform such a shockingly unmodernistic piece!
The final work is also the most important one: the Sonata, which started out as a flute sonata - indeed it was in that form that it received its premiere in 2005. Dillon adapted the work for Belén for this recording. Subtitled Motion, the intriguing titles of its three movements are: Motion/Emotion, Emotion/Commotion, and Commotion/Motion. According to Dillon, the movements explore the conflict implicit in the titles. The finale contains what he describes as a "whimsical tribute to early rock and roll", but that should not deter listeners: from beginning to end this is a fine, impassioned, attractive work, played alternately with great vigour and delicacy by both Belén and Australian pianist David Fung, one that deserves a place in the violin sonata repertoire.
Sound quality is excellent, with little difference between the church and studio venue, save the atmospheric resonance and barely audible background traffic of the former. The booklet notes are fairly detailed and interesting, and all biographies present and correct. Quality music, quality performances, quality production.
Collected reviews and contact at














































































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.