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
Sound Samples & Downloads

Gavin BRYARS (b.1943)
After Handelís Vesper (1995) [11:47]
Ramble on Cortona (2010) [12:34]
Piano Concerto (The Solway Canal) (2010) [28:21]Ļ
Ralph van Raat (piano)
Capella Amsterdam
Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic/Otto Tausk Ļ
rec. August 2010, Sweelinckzaal, Amsterdam and February 2010, Muziekgebouw aanít IJ, Amsterdam (Concerto)
NAXOS 8.572570 [52:42]

Experience Classicsonline

Gavin Bryarsí music tends not to deal in opacity. It can loop, gaining reserves of emotional response through repetition Ė the most obvious example is Jesusí Blood Never Failed Me Yet Ė and it can allude, but it doesnít obfuscate.

But Bryars has cast his net widely over the years and we should welcome evidence of his versatility. This latest disc includes two works for solo piano and his Piano Concerto, titled The Solway Canal. After Handelís Vesper was written in 1995, originally for the harpsichord, but is heard here in a sanctioned version for piano. The calm start leads to more dynamic writing which casts off the air of relatively static post-minimalist writing. It embodies, to a degree, the kind of freedoms to be found in a fantasia, a feeling that is, for me, intensified at 8:40 when a sudden trill and simple figure announces the emergence of more explicitly baroque-leaning affiliations.

The title of his next solo piano piece, Ramble on Cortona, sets up Graingeresque expectations, but these arenít wholly met. This is the composerís only work originally conceived for solo piano, and bases its themes on Laude, a recent vocal work of his. These in turn derive from thirteenth century Italian music in manuscripts found in Cortona. Slow and meditative, itís flecked with ghostly ascending treble steps. But one senses too the impress of Spanish textures as the music slowly speeds up in its journey. It casts something of a spell, as itís quietly expressive.

The Concerto (The Solway Canal) was also written in 2010. It sets poems by the Scot Edwin Morgan whose death last year was either the catalyst for the setting, or a coincidence Ė weíre not told which. This isnít, and one would not expect it to be given itís Bryars, in any sense a traditional cut-and-thrust Piano Concerto. Here the solo voice is interwoven into the musicís textures. One might think that the Busoni Piano Concerto Ė which has a chorus too Ė is a spur, but if so itís only in the vaguest of terms and I would prefer to think of that work only as a precedent. The work is wistful, often romantic and without flourish, and again deeply intimate in reach.

The Ramble and Concerto are both dedicated to the highly able soloist in this recording, Ralph van Raat, who shows every sign of becoming a Bryars muse of the first order.

Jonathan Woolf

see also review by John France













































































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.