One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 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

Puertas de Madrid

Eugène Ysaÿe: Violin Discoveries


new releases


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


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom
Ph. 020 8418 0616



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10


Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month


Symphonic Works

Frederico Mompou

Extraordinary Music for Organ


Gunnar Kristinsson Moonbow

Mozart and Contemporaries


La clarinette Parisienne



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

Musicweb Purchase button

Sound Clips and Downloads

A Japanese Journey
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano)
Masahiro Saitoh (piano)
rec. Forde Abbey, Somerset, England, 14-16 April 1999. DDD

Experience Classicsonline

Hachidai NAKAMURA (1931-1992)
I Want to Go Far Away [4:14]
Tadasuke OHNO (1895-1930)
Evening Primrose [3:04]
Tohroku TAKAGI (1904-2006)
Watercolour Waltz [2:54]
Kosaku YAMADA (1886-1965)
Red Dragonfly [2:37]
I Came Here Before [3:12]
Torreya Nuts [2:47]
Waiting in Vain [1:52]
Wild Rose [2:09]
Fumihiko FUKUI (1909-1974)
White Gourds [1:25]
Haseo SUGIYAMA (1889-1952)
Setting Sail [2:19]
Hidemaro KONOYE (1898-1973)
When Little Plovers Sing [2:40]
Akira NAKATA (1885-1931)
Early Spring Poem [2:37]
Yoshinao NAKATA (1923-2000)
Pond Snail [2:05]
Cherry Alley [2:46]
Dandelion [2:06]
When Summer Comes [2:50]
Rentaro TAKI (1879-1903)
Flower [2:30]
Tatsunosuke KOSHITANI (1909-1982)
First Love [4:01]
Kozaburo HIRAI (1910-2002)
Shore of Kujukuri [2:25]
Tsuneo FUKUHARA (b.1932)
Banana Orchid Leaves [3:58]
Tamezo NARITA (1893-1945)
Beach Song [2:21]
Toraji OHNAKA (1896-1982)
Coconuts [3:46]

As if to underline the universal power of art music, a lack of knowledge of the language is no impediment to being moved by this lovely recital of Japanese songs from the 19th and 20th centuries. Itís by the experienced English soprano Charlotte de Rothschild and Japanese pianist Masahiro Saitoh.
Their programme is divided into four sections of six or five songs, one for each season of the year - albeit the groupings seem rather tenuous at times. Rothschild - probably the only soprano ever to have a rhododendron named after her - begins with 'Autumn', a selection characterised by a suitably reflective, 'setting sun' mood. The listener will be struck immediately by the European diatonic nature of the music, and the folk-like intimacy of the majority of songs, which are straightforward and strophic. There are one or two more upbeat items in 'Spring' and 'Summer', but on the whole emotional differentiation is insignificant. The quality is one of wistfulness, oddly reminiscent of Scottish or Irish ballads, which translates into a feeling of subtle depth and sometimes heart-rending beauty. The last song on the disc, the unlikely-sounding 'Coconuts', is a gorgeous specimen. The poems themselves are of a fundamentally Romantic ilk, concerning eternal themes like nature, unrequited love, homesickness and the happy past. Many Japanese songs, in fact, are predominantly gentle, reflecting the culture of politeness and privacy that has long dominated Japanese society.
Rothschild has an attractive voice. In her mid-forties when these recordings were made, she may well be at the height of her powers, possessing great control over range, dynamics and above all emotion. Native reviews of this recording indicate that Rothschild's Japanese pronunciation is very good, ditto her understanding of the Japanese psyche - to her credit, she has spent a good amount of time in Japan, touring again indeed in 2011 and 2012. Within the parameters set by the composers, Masahiro Saitoh's piano playing is marvellously expressive, with an impressive attention to fine shadings.
The booklet has notes, biographies and song texts in both English and Japanese (kanji and kana), with translations by Rothschild herself. The poet's name is given in each case. The only real omission is information about the various composers.
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.