One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

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

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

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



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month



From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience



Buy through MusicWeb
for £12 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

The Scottish Viola Ė A Tribute to Watson Forbes
Pietro NARDINI (1722-1793)
Violin Concerto in E minor arr in G minor by Forbes/Richardson (pub. 1950) [9:57]
Robin ORR (1909-2006)
Viola Sonata (1947) [16:17]
Alan RICHARDSON (1904-1978)
Viola Sonata (1949) [19:49]
Sussex Lullaby (1938) [3:17]
Sebastian FORBES (b.1941)
At Andrews Solo (2009) [4:36]
William ALWYN (1905-1985)
Viola Sonatina No.2 (1944) [8:37]
Jean-Philippe RAMEAU (1683-1764)
Tambourin arr Forbes/Richardson (pub.1943) [1:24]
Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Sinfonia from Ich steh mit einem Fuss Im Grabe (1729) and Keyboard Concerto in F minor BWV1056 (1742) arr Forbes (pub.1948) [3:13]
Martin Outram (viola)
Julian Rolton (piano)
rec. July 2011, Wyastone Concert Hall

Experience Classicsonline

There have been a number of eminent Scottish violists but William Primrose (1904-1982) and Watson Forbes (1909-1997) are the best known internationally.
In its title this disc pays geographical tribute to Forbesís place of birth, but itís by no means a geographically propagandist exercise. After all, Forbes studied the violin in London at the Royal Academy with a phalanx of English luminaries Ė Editha Knocker, Marjorie Hayward, and Paul Beard - and also with Albert Sammons with whom he took some lessons. The booklet notes are in error here in implying that Sammons taught at the Academy: he taught at the Royal College, and then only later on. Forbes went to Czechoslovakia to study with the great pedagogue äevcŪk but then switched to the viola, studying with Raymond Jeremy, a proponent of the music of Elgar and Bax amongst many others.
Forbes was a member of Beechamís LPO and also the Stratton Quartet. If youíve ever wondered which performers made those recordings of the Piano Quintet and Quartet to which Elgar listened on his death bed, it was the Stratton (in 1944 it became the Aeolian). Subsequently Forbes joined the LSO and then the Boyd Neel orchestra, and he was an eminent chamber player. He was also a considerable editor and arranger of music. This disc pays him due homage.
It begins with an arrangement in E minor by Forbes and his good friend Alan Richardson, of Nardiniís Concerto in G. Those expecting a Ďstand and deliverí baroque transcription will be in for a small shock as the piano part doesnít often sound terribly baroque at all, being spiced up with some lush harmonies. A few surprising twists and turns shadow the Concerto, not least in the restless slow movement. Robin Orr was a fellow Scot and exact contemporary of Forbes. His Sonata is cogently and tautly argued, a touch Hindemith-like in places, quietly moving in the Elegy second movement, alternately quizzical and vigorous in the finale.
Alan Richardson, born in Edinburgh, was a colleague, and friend and a professor at the Royal Academy. His Sonata was premiered in 1949 and is a genial, voluble work with a brief Lento introduction and successively, a chattering Allegro of a scherzo, a rather elusive Lento and a confident finale that ends with a satisfying scrunch.
William Alwynís cheeky little Sonatina No.2 is an airy delight with a supple folk-like finale; the whole thing is over in eight and a half minutes. Sebastian Forbes, the violistís son, contributes a very clever test-piece written for the Watson Forbes Centenary Viola Competition. I particularly admire its fusing of technical demands and narrative colour. The three small pieces that end the disc are Richardsonís charming Sussex Lullaby, Forbesí arrangement of Bachís Sinfonia and a Forbes-Richardson arrangement of Rameauís Tambourin. Interestingly, so far as I know, this is the only piece in the recital that Watson Forbes recorded. His 10-inch red Decca included more Rameau movements. He and Denise Lassimonne zipped through it in under a minute, whereas Martin Outram and Julian Rolton take half a minute longer. This relaxation of tempo is good in that it brings out the piano harmonies, but a zestier speed doesnít half sound fun.
Perhaps this is an opportune time to plead for some of Forbesí recordings to be transferred to CD. Iím thinking of the Bax Sonata with Maria Korchinska in 1940 Ė he followed his old teacher Raymond Jeremy in recording it with her. Then thereís Blissís Sonata and Walthewís Mosaics and Sonata in D, all with Myers Foggin and all on Decca 78s from 1938. Iíd also very much like to have his Mozart Duos with Frederick Grinke transferred, along with the Schubert Arpeggione Sonata with Foggin. There are many excellent things on Decca from that time still languishing in shellac limbo.
Meanwhile, back to the matter in hand. Outram is the esteemed violist of the Maggini Quartet, great ambassadors for British chamber music. Heís also a well known soloist. Rolton is his duo colleague, and he too, as a member of the Chagall Trio, has done very fine things on disc and in recital. Together they are outstandingly successful in this repertoire, catching its moods and colours with great charm and sensitivity. An excellent booklet note and well judged recording balance helps no end. This is a really worthwhile salute to a splendid musician.
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.