Schubert sonatas

Newest Releases

Piano solo and duet
  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: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

My First Violin Album
Various performers
rec. no details given. DDD
NAXOS 8.578215

Experience Classicsonline

Nicolò PAGANINI (1782-1840)
a Caprice no.24 in A minor (from: 24 Caprices, op.1) [4:52]
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
b Rondeau: Allegro (from: Violin Concerto in G, K.216) [6:42]
Edward ELGAR (1857-1934)
c Salut d'Amour, op.12 [3:03]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
d Allegro (from: Double Violin Concerto, BWV 1043) [4:59]
Enrique GRANADOS (1867-1916)
e Andaluza (from: Danzas Españolas, op.37, arr. Fritz Kreisler) [3:43]
Jules MASSENET (1842-1912)
f Méditation (from: Thaïs) [5:16]
Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847)
g Allegro molto vivace (from: Violin Concerto in E minor, op.64) [6:29]
Antonín DVORÁK (1841-1904)
h Slavonic Dance in G minor, B.170 [3:33]
h Humoresque in G flat, op.101 no.7 (transcr. Fritz Kreisler) [3:10]
Antonio BAZZINI (1818-1897)
i La Ronde des Lutins, op.25 [4:55]
Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
j Mélodie (from: Souvenir d'un Lieu Cher, op.42, arr. Alexander Glazunov) [3:26]
Pablo SARASATE (1844-1908)
k Allegro moderato (Aragonaise) (from: Fantasy on 'Carmen', op.25) [2:59]
John WILLIAMS (b.1932)
l 'Schindler's List' - Main Title Theme [4:23]
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
m Allegro con brio (from: Violin Sonata in D, op.12 no.1) [8:31]
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
n Romance (from: 'The Gadfly' - Suite, op.97a) [5:51]
Vittorio MONTI (1868-1922)
o Csárdás [3:59]
a,j Ilya Kaler (violin)
b,c,d,e,f,g,h,m Takako Nishizaki (violin)
b Capella Istropolitana/Stephen Gunzenhauser
c,e,f,h,m Jeno Jandó (piano)
d Alexander Jablokov (violin)
d Capella Istropolitana/Oliver Dohnányi
g Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra/Kenneth Jean
i Chloë Hanslip (violin)
i Caspar Frantz (piano)
j Russian Philharmonic Orchestra/Dmitri Yablonsky
k Tianwa Yang (violin)
k Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra/Ernest Martínez Izquierdo
l Thelma Handy (violin)
l Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Carl Davis
n National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine/Theodore Kuchar
o Ferenc Santa Jr Gypsy Band

This is one of a batch of CDs in the Naxos 'My First Album' series which founder Klaus Heymann declares "one of our most important projects with music for children". Each comrpises around 15 to 25 pieces of music selected as a gentle but inspiring introduction to the subject matter: in this case the violin repertory. Other volumes showcase Tchaikovsky, the lullaby, ballet, ‘classical music’ and so on. Virtually all the music consists of single movements drawn from larger works, with the average timing here just under the five-minute mark.
The CD booklets are attractively designed with youngsters in mind, with a fairy-tale-style pencil/pastel drawing on the cover and many smaller colourful ones on every page - violins feature prominently in this volume. Inside, after a brief introduction to the subject - "The violin is one of the most popular instruments the world over" and so on - each item on the disc is allotted a 'Keyword', ranging from the obvious to the odd, such as 'Thrilling', 'Dance', 'Goblins', 'Film' and 'Sting', and there follows a descriptive/explanatory paragraph, in straightforward language that should be intelligible to children as young as five or six, and unpatronising up to about ten or eleven. The texts enlarge on some of the things going on in the music, either as heard in the instruments or, if the work is programmatic, in the story itself, generally with a mention of the mood of the piece and usually alerting the child to some detail or other.
The blurb states that the booklet "is full of information on every piece of music", but that is a bit of an exaggeration. For a start, only the composer's surname is given in the main text, whereas first names - likely to be of interest to younger children - and dates of birth and death are relegated to the small print at the back of the booklet. Unfortunately, there is not even the most cursory of biographical note on any of the composers - this seems an odd omission when the texts talk freely about them as if they were old friends to the reader. Such detail is certainly more relevant than the titles in their original languages, such as 'Danza Española' or 'Souvenir d'un Lieu Cher' - only some of which have in any case been supplied.
For an important project, there is some surprising inconsistency or rashness in the language used in the notes. It is no good a child knowing that "Carmen is the world's most famous opera" or that a cor anglais "sounds like a dark oboe" if (s)he has no idea what an opera is or an oboe sounds like. "Can you hear the birds fluttering on the violin?" is likely to be understood literally by younger children. To describe the cimbalom as an instrument that "sounds a bit like a very old piano" is facile. The remark that "Schindler's List [...] is about the story of the Jews in World War II" is crass, inaccurate and semi-literate. As for that film's title theme - "incredibly sad music"? Nostalgic, touching, introspective - but surely not "incredibly sad", except perhaps for those who have seen the film.
The back of the booklet is the place to go for details of performers, rightly judged this time to be of little importance to nascent listeners, but a necessary reference for parents wishing to delve further into the music, whether on their child's behalf or perhaps - why not - for themselves. Yet the recordings drawn on for these compilations are not really the best ones to look out for, nor even the cheapest anymore. For the first batch of discs at least Naxos have drawn widely on their back catalogue bargain basement, meaning that performances tend to be rarely more than fair-to-middling, whilst the recordings themselves, some over twenty years old, can show their age in their thin or tinny quality, always most noticeable in the orchestral tracks.
That said, this CD is the best of the bunch so far - most of the performances are perfectly serviceable and the chamber recordings, of which there are many on this album, sound decidedly less lossy. Moreover, it is also true that the intended audiences are neither hardcore audiophiles nor zealous collectors but ordinary children, who will probably not notice anyway! Still, there seems no obvious reason why Naxos did not use newer, better recordings across the board.

Asking a six-year-old to sit through seventy-five minutes of any music is a tall order. Even a few minutes of less immediate material might induce premature boredom, in which case other or at least shorter Mozart and Beethoven might have been included instead, and a different Tchaikovsky melody. In smaller servings, this programme is probably catchy enough to get the young listener off to an enthusiastic start, yet it is difficult to discount the idea that those selecting the music and writing the notes could have thought a bit harder.
Collected reviews and contact at


































































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.