52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Chopin Edition 17CDs
now available separately
£11 post-free anywhere


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets


Recordings of the Month


Jean-Baptiste LEMOYNE

Enescu Ravel Britten

Debussy Images etc.

53 Studies on Chopin Études 1
Konstantin Scherbakov (piano)



Che fai tù? - Villanelles

Cyrillus KREEK
The suspended harp of Babel

violin concertos - Ibragimova

Peteris VASKS
Viola concerto - Maxim Rysanov

The Complete Lotte Schöne





Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


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


CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Felix WEINGARTNER (1893-1942)
String Quartets, vol. 3
String Quartet no.2 in F minor, op.26 [29:38]
String Quartet no.4 in D, op.62 [28:23]
Sarastro Quartet (Ralph Orendain (violin); Roman Conrad (violin); Hanna Werner-Helfenstein (viola); Stefan Bracher (cello))
rec. Kirche Marthalen, 16-18 October 2008. DDD
CPO 777 253-2 [58:02]

Experience Classicsonline

This is the third and final volume in CPO's survey of Austrian composer - and famed conductor - Felix Weingartner's complete String Quartets. Volume 1 was released in 2008 and is enthusiastically reviewed here. Volume 2 contains his fifth and final Quartet paired with his single String Quintet. CPO have also issued six volumes of Weingartner's impressive Symphonies, with a final seventh, containing his Seventh, still to appear (see warm review of Second).
As a conductor Weingartner was instrumental in deflating the cult of showmanship that had grown around soloists and conductors throughout the nineteenth century, and turning the focus once more on music and composer. Opinions regarding his quiet, economical style at the podium have no relevance here, though. Weingartner considered himself first and foremost a composer, and his music, though conservative to a degree, is almost without exception emotive, beautiful and profound. None more so than these two highly imaginative Quartets, which are quite outstanding in their expressiveness, lyricism and brilliance. They reflect a deeply engaging amalgam of Beethoven and Schubert on the one hand, and - in their harmonic lushness and frequent chromaticism - Strauss and Zemlinsky on the other.
The Swiss Sarastro Quartet have by now internalised Weingartner's style, having recorded both previous volumes. Here, once again, they are sympathetic and charismatic in their technical prowess and emotional insight.
CPO's resident note-writer, musicologist Eckhardt van den Hoogen, has previously shown a tendency towards prolixity and highfalutin phraseology. This release is no different, but his essay on Weingartner is remarkable for another, altogether more unsavoury reason - an extraordinary twelve-column character assassination of the musician whose music CPO and the Sarastro Quartet are trying to sell! Hoogen portrays Weingartner in loaded, often sarcastic language ("turning up his nose", "crucified with the rusty nails of his craving for glory", "people wished he would go to hell", "schizoid" and even "in virtually psychotic manner") as an almost universally unloved aristocratic prima donna, flitting from one conducting post to the next when things did not go exactly his way. There seems little doubt that Weingartner was argumentative, easily offended and something of a self-serving Machiavellian, but Hoogen's notes are astoundingly personal, to the degree that he comes across more as a twenty-something academic blogger with a grudge than as a balanced biographer. At least Hoogen has the decency to recognise the brilliance of Weingartner's music, yet even when discussing the Quartets he uses the opportunity to resurrect, amid flimsy insinuations and unsubstantiated accusations, the old shibboleth as to whether any music-lover - right-minded, no doubt - should take an interest in the works of an artist with an unpleasant personality.
At least the translation into English is good. But the overall prestige of the note-writing is not improved by a semi-literate biography of the Sarastro Quartet. On the other hand, there is a Weingartner-on-CPO discography for all those - surely everyone - left wanting more by this superb volume. Sound quality is very good - much better than many CPO recordings. As is virtually de rigueur in quartet recording, some breathing sounds are audible, but nothing excessive.
Collected reviews and contact at reviews.gramma.co.uk


































































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.