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


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10


Obtain 10% discount


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


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom
Ph. 020 8418 0616



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


Piano Concertos and Trio

Devos: English Song Cycles

Christian Grøvlen: Eventyr


The Well-Tempered Consort

The Rachmaninov Collection

Symphonies 4 & 6



piano music Vol 4


Songs of Love and Sorrow

Thomas Agerfeldt OLESEN
Cello Concerto

The female in Music







Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844 – 1908)
The Tsar's Bride – opera in four acts (1898)
Marfa - Ekaterina Kudriavchenko (soprano)
Ivan Likov - Arkady Mishenkin (tenor)
Grigory Gryaznoy - Vladislav Verestnikov (baritone)
Lyubasha - Nina Terentieva (mezzo)
Bomelius - Vladimir Kudriashov (tenor)
Vasily Sobakin - Pyotr Gluboky (bass)
Dunyash - Elena Okolysheva (alto)
Saburova - Irina Udalova (soprano)
Grigory Malyuta-Skuratov - Nikolai Nizienko (bass)
Servant - Nina Larionova (mezzo)
Petrovna - Tatiana Pechuria (mezzo)
Coachman - Vladislav Pashinsky (bass)
Young Lad - Yuri Markelov (tenor)
Sveshnikov Russian Academic Choir
Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra/Andrey Chistiakov
rec. Moscow, 1992
BRILLIANT CLASSICS 93969 [75:33 + 70:41]

Experience Classicsonline

It is unfortunate that this all-Russian recording from 1992 must inevitably be considered alongside the far slicker, starrier Philips set from 1998 conducted by Gergiev with Kirov forces. Apart from rather dry sound, the comparison most to its disadvantage lies in the quality of solo voices: Hvorostovsky for Gergiev is in silkiest, most vibrant voice and baritone Vladislav Verestnikov’s cloudy, laboured sound simply does not measure up to his. One might argue that at least he does not run the risk Hvorostovsky courts by making an essentially repellent, aging rapist too sympathetic but vocally Verestnikov is undistinguished. Similarly, although she is rich and expressive, Nina Terentieva’s smoky mezzo, with its incipient wobble, is not the plush instrument that belongs to Olga Borodina, nor is soprano Ekatarina Kudriavchenko as impressive as Marina Shaguch – although both can become edgy up top in the unattractive Russian manner. Tenor Arkady Mishenkin is nasal and piercing and the basses are trenchant but lumpy. Conductor Andrey Chistiakov is never less than competent but happier in more lyrical passages than those requiring drive and tension.

“The Tsar’s Bride” is a many ways almost a parody of the typical grim Russian opera, with its dark, atmosphere, victimisation of innocents, folksy interludes and the conflict between family and tradition versus the corruption and egoism of the court. Rimsky-Korsakov’s music betrays the heavy influence of Tchaikovsky – immediately obvious in the martial motif and soaring melody which alternate in the overture - and even quotes a theme from Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov” to represent the unseen Tsar. Unfortunately, Rimsky-Korsakov did not have his predecessor’s dramatic gifts; too often there is a static quality to his writing which is probably at the heart of this opera’s never having caught on in the West. Too many of the arias fail to lift off, although there are highlights, such as the anti-hero Gryaznoy’s ruminations which open the opera and the concluding “mad scene” for Marfa. Rimsky said, “Thank God I am, it would seem, no dramatic composer”; it is not always possible to endorse his sentiments despite the compensations of his lyrical gifts. Too often the action seems held up to permit the performance of a set piece in the manner of “Sadko”.

This is the most political and realistic of his operas with suggestions of the combination of epic quality and psychological subtlety found in “Boris” and “Khovanshchina” but little of their sweep and momentum and a rather incongruous emphasis upon bel canto. Rather more of the latter is realised by the singers in Gergiev’s recording. Despite its distinct price advantage, it is hard to recommend this bargain Brilliant issue over the Philips.

A synopsis and cues are provided; a libretto is available online.

Ralph Moore





























































































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.