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: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Piano Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op 5 (1853) [36:36]
Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Piano Sonata in B minor, S178 (1853) [29:08]. Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S514 (1859/60) [11:31].
Jitka CechovŠ (piano)
rec. Live, Rudolfinum, Prague, 31 March 2001 (Brahms) and 22 March 2008 (rest)
SUPRAPHON SU40212 [79:22]

Experience Classicsonline

Jitka CechovŠ has been producing a steady stream of well-received discs for the Czech company Supraphon. Back in 2009, I welcomed a disc of chamber music by Smetana and Tchaikovsky; a year earlier I found much to cherish in her solo Smetana. She is a musician of great talent, and the present disc of works central to the piano repertoire does not disappoint. Strange that there is a seven year gap between the recordings of the two pieces, though.

CechovŠ brings unbridled virtuosity to the first movement of the Brahms, a virtuosity she puts in tandem with excellent projection of the workís huge canvas. The second movement is all crepuscular tenderness, though, beautifully pedaled and delivered with a most welcoming tone and balanced by the outgoing, Viennese-ball like swing to the Scherzo (Brahms at his most extrovert) and the dark overtones of the Intermezzo (RŁckblick). Perhaps she is at her interpretative finest in this latter movement, where she brings out all the menace inherent in the music. Her pacing of the finale is exquisite - she pits playfulness against granitic monumentalism to fine effect. History brings čechovŠ in competition with Curzon (Decca) and Solomon (Testament), in particular, but her reading has its own steadfast integrity.

The Liszt Sonata carries even greater weight in terms of recording history. Once again CechovŠ gives a reading of the utmost integrity, an interpretation that is clearly the result of many yearsí study. As such it comes as a welcome contrast to the plethora of youthful pianists who treat it purely as a virtuoso vehicle. Her reading is still exciting, and if it does not highlight the workís pointers towards the composerís late period (as Polliniís DG recording does), nor stimulate as much as Lazar Berman, it is hugely impressive nonetheless. CechovŠís sweet tone enables the lyrical sections to sing beautifully - her sound is magnificently caught by the Supraphon engineers - yet she has the strength to deliver strenuous chordal work with seeming ease. Vastly to her credit is the fact she takes her time in the lyrical moments, letting the lines sing. The resultant impression is of a vast song transcription. Interestingly, the Mephistophelean elements (around 19:00ff in particular) are somewhat toned down, in keeping with the overall reading. Yet the Mephisto Waltz itself - which concludes the disc - contains spiky, almost blackly, elemental playing. If the glissando soon before the two minute mark could have more abandon, there remains much here to fascinate and, indeed, titillate the ear. CechovŠís fine feeling for texture means detail is rarely if ever obscured, even in the densest passages. The perilous leaps around 8:50 are expertly negotiated.

A fascinating disc from a pianist whose career is most definitely worth following.

Colin Clarke
































































































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.