MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2024
60,000 reviews
... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

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

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony No. 7 [8] in B minor D759 Unfinished [28:06]
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90 [39:10]
Staatskapelle Dresden/Sir Colin Davis
rec. 22 October 1992, Semperoper, Dresden

Experience Classicsonline

Sir Colin Davis has a long association with the Staatskapelle Dresden. He first appeared with them in 1981 and the association prospered to the extent that in 1991 he was named the orchestra’s first-ever Honorary Conductor. This disc is devoted to two live performances, given at the same concert in 1992 just a few days before Sir Colin led the orchestra on a twelve-concert tour of Japan, the repertoire for which included both these symphonies. It seems to me that these performances bespeak an excellent rapport between conductor and players.
The Schubert might be termed an “old-fashioned” performance. It’s spacious and romantic in conception and, in my view, none the worse for that, especially when it’s played as well as this. The first movement is especially impressive. Davis and his players make the most of the dynamic contrasts written into the score and, indeed, use these contrasts to enhance – though not exaggerate - the symphonic drama. So the movement begins at the edges of audibility and the familiar first subject steals in: all this feels just right. A bit further on, there’s another example of felicitous dynamics when a long crescendo (between 7:38 and 8:27) is superbly achieved. The sound starts almost from nothing and gradually swells, its growth organic and natural. Davis leads a deeply serious interpretation of this movement, generating a good deal of tension. He’s helped to realise his conception by some glorious, unforced playing; the whole performance is masterly.
In some ways, after this the Andante feels a little anti-climactic. However, the performance is delicate and affectionate. The playing is consistently refined but in the louder passages there’s the requisite degree of weight and strength. One can only admire the lovely wind playing – the principal clarinet is especially pleasing - while the string tone is rich and deep. It’s a glowing performance.
The Brahms Third is no less successful. Indeed this is one of those performances where everything just seems right. The first movement is launched with vigour and throughout this movement – and throughout the symphony, in fact – the strength and tonal depth of the Dresdeners is very satisfying; the sonority of the basses is particularly welcome. The exposition repeat is taken of course, and later the development section is delivered with great energy.
Davis achieves an easy, warm lyricism in II – again the playing is burnished – and I felt that the phrasing was beautifully poised, The reading of III is unforced and natural, enhanced by some singing string contributions. The horn solo at 4:00 has that distinctive East European tone and as I listened I reflected that Brahms may well have been used to hearing such a sound from the horn players of his day.
Davis’s way with the finale strikes me as ideal. He invests the very opening with a fine feeling of suppressed energy but from 0:50 he obtains real vigour from the orchestra. The main allegro material is played with vitality and dynamism. And then, from around 6:23, the extended valedictory coda is beautifully handled, bringing a most satisfying interpretation to a lovely close, the dying embers of Brahms’s music glowing gently but brightly.
The recording emanates from a broadcast by the radio station MDR Kultur. Their engineers have done a fine job in reporting the orchestra. The booklet is well illustrated though the extensive booklet note, at least in its English translation, is somewhat on the fulsome side.
This is an exceptionally satisfying disc, reminding us once again – as if we needed it – what a distinguished conductor Sir Colin Davis is and how fine an instrument is the Staatskapelle Dresden.

John Quinn






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

Past 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.