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

Pristine Classical

Carl Schuricht - Studio Recordings
Schneider Wibbel: Overture [7:36] (1)
César FRANCK (1822-1890)
Le Chausseur maudit [14:32] (2)
Riccardo ZANDONAI 1883-1944)
Serenata medioevale [11:45] (3)
Emil Nikolaus von REZNICEK (1860-1945)
Donna Diana: Overture [3:59] (4)
Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Symphonia Domestica op.53 [39:52] (5)
Berlin State Orchestra (1, 2), La Scala Orchestra, Milan (3-5)/Carl Schuricht
rec. 1942, Berlin (1-2), 1941, Milan (3-5)

Experience Classicsonline

Mark Obert-Thorn, the producer of this CD, describes the La Scala items as “particularly rare”, and I’m sure this is so. Not so rare, though, that I haven’t already reviewed a transfer of the Domestic Symphony on Urania (RM 11.905). Obert-Thorn apologises for the level of surface noise remaining “on the lower-grade wartime shellac”. As is his wont, he has concentrated on retaining a good body of sound even at the cost of some residual swish. The Urania transfer, on the other hand, has surfaces almost as silent as a modern CD. Before you run for cover, I must say that Urania’s no-noise process, or whatever it is, has not dried the sound out so completely as it sometimes does. What remains is quite warm and pleasant. However, the removal of the surface noise seems to have removed also the sense of an acoustic, the sound seems almost disembodied. So I would prefer the Pristine transfer, but maybe not to the extent that I would let it sway me if I preferred the Urania coupling of a richly lyrical Brahms 2 from 1953. Either way, Schuricht is a warm-hearted, flexible and highly musical interpreter of the Domestic Symphony, reducing the bombast as far as possible in what is, after all, one of the composer’s less palatable creations.
The remainder of the Pristine disc is a fascinating mix of the well-known and the virtually forgotten.
Mark Lothar was a new name for me. He was born in Berlin in 1902 and studied there under Franz Schreker and under Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari in Munich. He quickly became known as an accompanist, a role he continued after the war, working with Hermann Prey among others. His first big success was a light-hearted opera “Tyll” (1928), followed by “Munchausen” (1933), “Schneider Wibbel” (1938), “Rappelkopf” (1959) and “Momo und die Zeitdiebe” (1978). By 1933, too, he was a member of the Nationalist, anti-Semite “Kampfbund für deutsche Kultur” and he was Musical Director of the Prussian State Theatre in Berlin from 1934 to 1944. Several of his commissions came directly from Goebbels, who awarded him the “Reichstelle für Musikbfarbeitungen”. In August 1944 Hitler himself mentioned him favourably in his “Gottbegnadeten-Liste”. He did not founder with the regime that had brought him success. In 1945 he began to work with the Bavarian State Theatre and he was a freelance composer in Munich from 1955. His “Musik des Einsamen”, a setting of poems by Hermann Hesse, was recorded by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau for EMI. He was a prolific film-composer and the Internet Movie Database lists 29 scores, all for German films, from 1921 through to 1967. He died in Munich in 1985.
Such a career raises a host of questions that readers can ask - and answer from their various points of view - just as well as I can. So I’ll only make two points that mightn’t occur to you. Firstly, all the above information is found on the Internet only in the German Wikipedia - a sometimes comprehensible automatic translation into English is available. No site I found in English refers to the darker areas of his career. His curriculum at his publisher’s site leaps from the 1920s to the 1950s. Secondly, and you can consider this irrelevant if you wish, between gathering this information and settling down to write the review, I watched the TV News. One item described the visit of the Italian football team to Poland, where they are to play tonight. In the morning they visited Auschwitz, and some of them wept at what they saw.
Lothar’s overture to “Schneider Wibbel”, written, remember, on the threshold of war in 1938, is a merry, tuneful, occasionally sinister and sometimes lyrical piece. Stylistically, it might be a potpourri from a Korngold film score. Nice light listening. After a while I longed for a Kurt Weill cabaret song to come and cock a snook at it.
Schuricht, too, was a German artist who stayed on. However, he did make some sort of a stand, conducting Mahler for as long as they’d let him and getting heckled from the public when he came onto the platform to conduct “Das Lied von der Erde” in occupied Amsterdam: “Deutschland über alles, Herr Schuricht!”. In 1944 he fled to Switzerland, following a tip-off that he was about to be arrested. He gives a vividly characterized performance of Lothar’s overture. In the Franck, he inspires considerable tension from the orchestra. His flexibility and his alignment of the music with Franck’s restless spirituality rather than with Liszt’s “Les Préludes” makes the score seem less vulgar than it often does. Be warned that the first horn is a rather shaky player.
The title of Zandonai’s “Medieval Serenade” makes sense as an evocation of the succulent, decadent, Pre-Raphaelite pseudo-medieval world the composer later explored in the opera “Francesca da Rimini”. The Serenade came five years before the opera and was written in 1909. The outer sections are luscious, the central part - the serenade proper - slightly more conventional. Not a bad find for a short cello piece. Schuricht draws the right tinsel from the orchestra and gets a lively rendering of Reznicek’s agreeable little overture.
I’m not quite sure what sort of a recommendation this adds up to, and for whom, but it certainly shows that Schuricht was more than just a German conductor of German classics.
Incidentally, I see that in my review of the Urania disc I was for some reason under the impression that the Strauss was recorded in 1949, shortly after the composer’s death. I apologise for this error and cannot understand why I made it since the Urania accompanying material, like that of Pristine, clearly dates the recording to 1941.
Christopher Howell

See also review by Jonathan Woolf

Masterwork Index: Symphonia Domestica

















































































































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.