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

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Moravec - Twelfth Night Recital
15%off £17.21 (until Dec 7)

Katerina Englichová - harp
15%0ff £10.83 (until Dec 7)

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo

Sibelius Symphonies Maazel
4CDs + Blu-ray audio
Special Price £36.75

RVW A Sea Symphony - Elder

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

Hiraeth - Celtic Guitar Music from Wales
TRAD Tros y Garreg (Crossing the Stone)* [4:56]; Gwahoddiad (Arglwydd Dyma Fi) [3:15]; Fantasia on Ar Lan Y Mor* [11:39]; Dafydd y Garreg Wen (David of the White Rock) [3:18]
Grace WILLIAMS (1906-1977) Hiraeth* [2:53]
Robert SMITH Amanda’s Delight (from 2 pieces for guitar) [3:45]
Thomas TOMKINS (1572- 1656) A Short Verse for Edward Thornburgh* [1:37]
Hilary TANN (b:1947) A Sad Pavan - Forbidding Mourning [4:05]
Gareth GLYN (b:1951) Olwyn Ddwr (Water Wheel)* [4:16]
Simon THORNE (b:1954) Crossing Water Alone* [10:52]
TRAD Teifi’s Dream (Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau)* [1:49]
*Arranged for the guitar by Gerard Cousins
Gerard Cousins (guitar)
rec. no details provided

CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS

A Gift - contemporary music from Japan, Cuba and the UK
Takashi YOSHIMATSU Wind Color Vector (1991) (Leeward [5:53]; Calm [1:19]; Windward [4:55]); from Around the Round Ground (1997): Canticle [5:09]
Gerard COUSINS Elystan (1997) [3:14]
Leo BROUWER Viaje a la Semilla (2000) [10:02]
Gerard COUSINS July 18 (2006) [4:14]
Robert JACOB A Gift (2005) [3:42]
John TAVENER Chant (1984) [14:15]
Leo BROUWER Hika in Memoriam Toru Takemitsu (1996) [8:38]
Mark-Anthony TURNAGE arr. Gerard COUSINS Tune for Toru (1996) [2:05]
Gerard Cousins (guitar)
rec. no details provided
Experience Classicsonline

We know the word Hiraeth - A longing for that which life can never give - from the harp piece by Grace Williams which I first heard from the harpist Sioned Williams.

Tros y Garreg instantly engages with the listener in its melancholy slow beauty. Similarly winning, with its pensive progress, is Gwahoddiad. In both pieces it may be my failure of imagination but the music shifts in flavour between Cambrian harp evocation and in-character Iberia. The music is restful without being bland. I loved the rustle and breeze shiver of the start of the Fantasia on Ar Lan y Mor. There is more tremble and hush in this work than the other two. At times this Fantasia is not that distant from Myers’ Deerhunter music. David of the White Rock is heard in a virtuosic arrangement. Grace Williams’ plangent and subtly-toned Hiraeth has been arranged from its harp original. It is memorable for its inconstant shifting motion: subtle and lissom. Robert Smith was organist and lecturer at the University of Bangor. His Amanda's Delight pleasingly fuses elements of baroque and cool jazz. Tomkins' short verse ‘drips’ slowly. Hilary Tann has taken quotes from Tomkins' A Sad Pavan for these Distracted Tymes and woven three extracts from it into her A Sad Pavan. There is, about this, a forbidding sense of mourning in which the intervening gaps between notes are beautifully calculated to allow the guitar sound to decay and fall. Gareth Glynn's orchestral works have appeared on various light music collections over the years. His Olwyn Ddwyr is from his suite for solo harp, Child's Play. It is angular and spare - more objective than its disc companions here. It is not lured by the sentiment of the other tracks. The piece by Cardiff-based Simon Thorne weaves silence and sometimes dry sounds to make this the most unusual of the works here as well as almost the longest original composition featured. Written originally for cello it is obsessive, chiming with muted resonance. The nagging Teifi's Dream is not self-indulgent but is delicate and elusive,. It ends 52 minutes of the most beautiful playing.

There is a reviving freshness about these arrangements and it’s far distant from the Welsh equivalent of tartanry. One can see Cousins moving to an O’Carolan album at some point.

The other disc - A Gift - alights on various compositions for guitar from the widest international span. Yoshimatsu might be known to you from his various orchestral discs issued by Chandos. Wind Color Vector is restful and betokens calm through the carillon clarity of the guitar. It's a lovely piece and part of a larger sonata (Wind, Water and Sky). Canticle is in much the same pulse-stilling vein. It comes as part of a late addition to the tripartite sonata Earth.

The guitarist’s own Elystan or Noblestone relates to the image of an ancient lone stone which has seen so much down the ages but which cannot recount what it has witnessed. It reminded me at times of the equally compelling and attractive Fantasia on Alan y Mor on the Hiraeth disc.

Cousins’ July 18 is a study of odd time-groupings - very sparse and quiet and ruffled with flurries of sound. A Gift by Robert Jacob was salved by Cousins from Jacob's computer after the composer’s untimely death in 2005. Silence, calm and internal peace are the order of the day. Tavener's Chant is simple and repetitive, leaving the player scope to explore and voice the melody. Brouwer’s Hika in Memoriam Takemitsu and the Turnage piece are more angular and testing.

Two discs here from the guitarist Gerard Cousins: one with a restful Wales as its focus and the other a tangy and provocative mix of contemporary pieces.

Cousins’ Galles Music label has, to date, recorded three CDs of his playing: the two featured here and GMCCD1001 Una Leyenda - Spanish guitar classics. They are all minimalist in design. Samples and other information are also available from the artist's website.

Rob Barnett

































































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.