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 & Download: Pristine Classical

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Symphony No.2 in D Op.73 (1877) [37:45]
Academic Festival Overture Op.80 (1880) [10:43]
Frederick DELIUS (1862 -1934)
North Country Sketches (1913-14) [24:25]
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Thomas Beecham
rec. Abbey Road, London 1949 (Delius), 1956 (Overture) and 1958 (Symphony)

Experience Classicsonline

All three performances here are studio recordings. The preferred version of the Brahms Symphony is the 1958 stereo, rather than the pre-war 78 set. But otherwise this is a Brahms-and-Delius disc that, whilst it offers no surprises other than promoting unlikely disc bedfellows, does offer thoroughly sound traversals in good sound.
There may be a hint of the lukewarm about that opening paragraph of the Symphony, and if there is it relates to the solid, colour rather than explicitly architecture-conscious reading of the symphony. Sometimes too much can be made of the pre-war and post-war Beecham, not least in Mozart performances, where the former is accounted ‘good’ and the latter ‘erratic’. Nevertheless there is more than smidgen of truth in that when it comes to this symphony. Certainly there are many moments of affectionate moulding, eloquent lower string cantilena, spirited and bronzed horn playing and the like. And equally, one finds that this approach cements Beecham’s sense of the work as a lyric watercolour, generously - indeed often affectionately - moulded. Nevertheless, though one feels him bestirred in the finale in an almost galvanic, Vesuvian way, the results do feel a little out of scale, somewhat forced, and at points unconvincing.
The Academic Festival Overture brings out Beecham’s caustic wit, and once again the Baronet responds with unconcealed flair. Drama is never far from the forefront of the matter.
An almost complete contrast is felt in the Delius North Country Sketches. This is certainly amongst the composer’s less well performed works, and consequently one’s interpretative parameters tend to be set early, by his great, though not earliest champion, Beecham. There are four sketches and they are ripely characterised. The suggestive wind sough is expertly realised whilst there’s delicious animation in the third of the sketches, the Dance movement. Beecham’s ear for balance, texture and colour - often wrongly equated with an inability to construct symphonic form (the two qualities are not contradictory) - finds rich reward in a piece such as this.
The Symphony has been issued on CD before; on EMI CDM 7632212 and the Delius on Sony SMK89429, for example. This Pristine Audio has retained some tape hiss, but at a much higher level - therefore less immediately audible - than the Sony transfer.
Jonathan Woolf





























































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.