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

Mauricio KAGEL (1931-2008)
Works for flute
Das Konzert for flute and orchestra (2001-2)1 [25.27]
Phantasiestück (1987): versions for flute and piano2 and flute and chamber ensemble3 [17.34; 17.58]
Pan for piccolo and string quartet (1985)4 [4.45]
Michael Faust (flute123; piccolo4); Paulo Alvares (piano)24;
Ensemble Contrasts34/Robert HP Platz3; Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä/Patrick Gallois1
rec. Suolahti Hall, Jyväskylä, 3-7 May 20101; Beethoven-Haus, Bonn, 17 November 2010234
NAXOS 8.572635 [65.44]

Experience Classicsonline

Back in the 1960s I used to think of Kagel as an arch avant-garde-ist. Listening to these later works I’m not sure how I reached that conclusion. More to the point it is fascinating to see how he changed and developed towards the end of his life. The earliest work recorded here (Pan) was composed when he was in his mid-50s.
I began listening to the CD with Pan. It’s a sort of eccentric Scherzo, a fantasy with its changing textures and tempi which lasts less than five minutes. I’ve never, from my own experiences, found the piccolo to work in a chamber music context. Here it is an absolute delight and makes me realize how important it is to have a full-time piccolo player playing for you. It is I think a matter of embouchure control and an ability to balance the sound that counts. Both are achieved supremely here by Michael Faust.
Kagel was born in Argentina and came to Cologne at the height of the Stockhausen era. He experimented with improvisation and chance elements in his work right up to the 1980s. There was a time when Naxos would not have dreamt of recording his music. The fact that this is the second disc devoted to him is extraordinary. The first was of his mini dramas Szenario and Liturgien (Naxos 8.570179) which I’ve not heard.
Anyway, moving on, I then tackled Das Konzert. It’s a flute concerto in one movement. I found this to be a terrific and fantastic piece, multi-layered and one in which it can be felt that one walks in on the music after it has started. Scored for strings, harp and percussion it is a fount of imaginatively coruscating sounds. These are never-ending in fecundity of energy and emotional turbulence and never displeasing.
I was most impressed by Richard Whitehouse’s notes and his detailed and not overly technical description of what to listen out for. Flutter tonguings of various strengths combine with various breathy noises and percussion from xylophone, marimba and tam-tam to create a unique sound-world. It is always attention-seeking, full of fantasy yet never meandering.
Kagel’s approach to flute writing is to use all of the colours available - all you can possibly imagine. I mentioned the word Fantasy above. Kagel had a Schumann obsession and Schumann wrote a Fantasy Op. 73 and another Op. 88 and there is the Piano Fantasie Op. 17. Kagel’s Phantasiestück exists in two versions. In the one with piano, a true dialogue is opened up between the two sound-worlds. The flute uses quarter-tones and what Whitehouse brilliantly describes as “virtual breathing”. There is another passage in which the player sings down the flute in unison with what is played by the keys. The pianist also taps, early on in the piece, on the woodwork. All of these otherworldly sounds help to create a ‘fantasy’ ecosphere unique and like no other.
The other version is for flute, piano and ensemble and was made at the same time. Obviously there is a broader spectrum of colours. The music’s wit and atmosphere are brought out even more without any change of structure. There is also more counterpoint or as Richard Whitehouse observes there “there is more textural and timbral variety … more tonal allure”. The fact is that the flute is more a member of the ensemble now. It does not take the sort of prime soloist role we are accustomed to hearing in a sonata.
Naxos has however tripped up again in adopting a practice that is a bit of a bête noir with me. The CD booklet has photos, some in colour, of all of the performers - all fifty-one of them in fact - but not one of the composer. This makes me furious and is an approach that needs to be re-assessed by the company.
The recordings are first class and without exception the performances superb and completely committed. The star however is the brilliant Michael Faust.

Gary Higginson


































































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.