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


Buy through MusicWeb
for £13.50 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Violin Sonata no.1 in A minor, op.105 (1851) [17:21]
Violin Sonata no.2 in D minor, op.121 (1851) [31:22]
Clara SCHUMANN (1819-1896)
Drei Romanzen, for violin and piano, op.22 (1855) [9:51]
Bruno Monteiro (violin)
Joăo Paulo Santos (piano)
rec. Great Hall, Escola Superior de Música, Lisbon, Portugal, 1-2 March 2010. DDD
CENTAUR CRC 3086 [58:35]

Experience Classicsonline

Robert Schumann's three Violin Sonatas belong to the last five years of his life, a significant portion of the extended period when some music historians have it that he was tormented by deep depression and thoughts of suicide - so much so that some even claim an attendant deterioration in the quality of his writing. In the notes that accompany this CD, pianist Francisco Sassetti does not go as far as that, but does say that Schumann's choice of A minor for the First Violin Sonata and several later works "is symptomatic of the composer's state of mind, tense and introspective".
Yet what composer is not introspective? Who does not experience tense times? Clearly Schumann's mental health was in serious decline in the final year or two of his life, but in the two Sonatas of this attractive recital by Portuguese violinist Bruno Monteiro and his stalwart pianist Joăo Paulo Santos there is little sign of anything but vitality and an imagination looks unequivocally to the future. Minor key tonalities do not always mean doom and gloom, and there is barely an unilluminated corner in either of Schumann's Sonatas. All claims to the contrary must be treated as possible cases of cod-psychology applied after the fact.
Schumann's wife Clara was a better composer than history has tended to give her credit for. What a pity that she decided to put an end to her composition career after Robert's death. Her Three Romances, op.22 - not to be confused with her Three Romances op.21, which were for piano only! - are important in that they constitute her only surviving work for violin and piano. Broadly stated, the pieces soar and sear like mini-tributes to Robert's First Sonata, both works overflowing with lyricism and personality.
Robert's writing for the violin is not exactly idiomatic, yet far from producing awkward music, a highly engaging soundscape is hewn that is rarely found in violin sonatas of the period. Anyone familiar with Schumann primarily through the Piano Concerto, a Symphony or the piano miniatures cannot fail to enjoy - and may indeed be rather thrilled by - these idiosyncratically vivid, dramatic and always poetic works.
There are many recordings available already of the two, frequently paired: choice picks among single-CD recordings include Marwood and Tomes on Hyperion (CDA 67180), Gringolts and Laul on Onyx (4053), Wallin and Pöntinen on BIS (SACD 1784), Widmann and Várjon on ECM New Series (4766744), Kaler and Slutsky on Naxos (8.550870). Yet this one on the American independent Centaur has plenty going for it too, not least the coupling with Clara's Romances, which is seldom encountered. Moreover, along with Carlos Damas, Bruno Monteiro is one of Portugal's leading violinists. His approach to Schumann's music may be characterised as approachably intellectual, with good attention to tempi and phrasing and very little vibrato. He is never drily academic, expressing emotional aspects effectively through an appealing smattering of rubato. Monteiro's violin has a tone that will not be to all tastes, however, being a little more on the fluorescent side than glowing.
Sound quality is good overall, if very bright, and Monteiro is rather closely miked. The notes by Sassetti are standard fare, written in not altogether elegantly rendered English. Surprisingly there is no Portuguese or German translation. An amusing typo in the German changes Schumann's "mit zartem Vortrag(e)" (literally 'with delicate expression') into "mit zartem Vortag", 'Vortag' being the German for 'previous day' or 'eve'. The CD is a bit on the short side: Schumann's Märchenbilder op.113 or Fantasiestücke op.73 would have filled up the disc and rounded off the programme nicely.
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.