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: AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Michael J. EVANS (b.1964)
The Haunted Palace (2009) [23:14]
Piano Concerto (2008) [26:43]
Nocturne with Sunrise (1993) [7:34]
Dance [2:04]
Karolina Rojahn (piano)
Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra/Vit Micka
rec. Olomouc, Czech Republic, July 2010. DDD

Experience Classicsonline

This is the second CD from Navona of the music of American composer Michael J. Evans; the first, released in 2009, was reviewed here.
One immediately apparent issue with this recording is the sound. Usually "Olomouc, Czech Republic" is sufficient indication of a good quality recording, but not on this occasion. The Haunted Palace in particular sounds as if it might have been recorded in Vit Micka's lounge using a couple of old Tandy microphones. In fact, a photo on the 'enhanced' section of the CD of Evans with recording producer Vit Muzik "in the studio" does little to dispel this idea. It is just possible that the effect is deliberate in the final movement, to add to the general otherworldliness, but really the recording sounds under-resourced and over-processed. Quality improves in the Piano Concerto and subsequent pieces, but it never rises above average - there is a feeling of compressed dimensions throughout.
A second issue is that, though Evans's music is not difficult to play, the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, usually a reliable ensemble under old hand Vit Micka, sound frequently under-rehearsed, especially in the string sections.
All of which does no great favours to Evans's music. On the other hand, it is fair to say that these works are at best on the border between art music and easy listening. Those in search of innovation, profundity, complexity or virtuosity have come to the wrong place. Instead there are formulas, predictability and plainness. The simplicity of Evans's music - or the thinness of his orchestration, depending on how one looks at it - is evident from the swathes of blank space in the scores, which are available in the 'enhanced' material.
Which is not to say that there is no value in Evans's music - there is no denying that he has a remarkable gift for writing atmospheric music full of easy, attractive melodies that would be ideal for the undemanding mass markets of television and cinema.
There are also glimpses of greater potential. The Haunted Palace, based on the poem of the same name by Edgar Allen Poe, comes to life, as it were, in the final movement, which presumably takes its cue from the last two stanzas of Poe's poem: "But evil things, in robes of sorrow, Assailed the monarch's high estate." Suddenly the cloying sounds of the first two movements have been left behind and the listener is thrust into a phantasmagorical world of half-remembered glories, childhood toys and freaky fairgrounds. The burst of noise from nowhere from the electric guitar right at the end is weird but inspired. And the brief Dance, a taster from Evans's as yet unfinished ballet Deirdre - she of Irish legend fame - is folk-like in its rhythm and appropriated melody, but memorable enough to suggest that the rest of the work may be worth investigation.
For those able to read music who would like a second opinion, Evans has kindly made several of his full scores available to download free from his website, including the Nocturne with Sunrise. The CD-ROM also includes a couple of minute-long videos of the recording sessions, unfortunately with worse sound than the CD. The disc case, which is made of card - the booklet has been digitised and put on the CD-ROM - has a printing error: Polish-born Karolina Rojahn is listed as pianist for The Haunted Palace, rather than the Piano Concerto.
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.