One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 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

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



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month


From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Symphonies 1, 2, 3


MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Nobel Prize Concert 2009
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Festive Overture
, Op. 96 [7:12]
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Piano Concerto in G Major [25:30]
Sergey PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Romeo and Juliet
: excerpts from Suites Nos. 1 and 2 [38:23]
Martha Argerich (piano)
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra/Yuri Temirkanov
rec. live, Stockholm Concert Hall, Sweden, 8 December 2009
Audio Format PCM Stereo, DTS-HD MA 5.1 Video Format 16:9 1080i
DTS-HD MA5.1 surround tracks.
EUROARTS 2057894 [79:00]

Experience Classicsonline

EuroArts continue to issue concert discs with music over the menu-titles. As if this wasn't bad enough, they manage to show pictures of Martha Argerich playing the Ravel against the sound of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet! The orchestral tune-up sound is obviously a different take to the picture as revealed by a violinist finishing his tuning in complete silence. The tea-boy responsible must be sent on an appropriate training course. Please EuroArts, stop this nonsense.
None of this prevents the disc being a great musical record of an important occasion, the Nobel Concert of 2009 dedicated to the Nobel Laureates of that year. The concert opens with the entrance of the Swedish Royal party and the playing of the National Anthem. This gives the viewer time to take in the curious pillared auditorium of the Konserthuset. It seems this building has undergone several major redevelopments of décor and acoustic since 1926 which probably accounts for the interesting mixture of old and new. It sounds excellent on this disc save for a slightly too powerful rear channel during the Shostakovich. The audio engineers have not spotlighted anything and the unfussy video direction is up to the standard one expects from producer Paul Smaczny. With such a huge dynamic range it is worth turning this one up a bit to get the quiet passages into focus.
Shostakovich's Festive Overture is given a virtuoso performance with outstandingly clean string ensemble in the many fast passages. The work is a touch bombastic but serves well as an exciting opener. Shostakovich wrote it in a great hurry as a last minute commission for the 1954 celebrations of the October Revolution. It has been suggested that it also celebrated the death of Stalin, but that was doubtless not mentioned at the time!

The big attraction of this Nobel concert was the presence of the great pianist Martha Argerich who turns in yet another spectacular performance of the Ravel Piano Concerto in G major. The trumpet and clarinet are a bit reticent at the start, one would have appreciated a bit more jazzy inflection, though with this very realistic concert-hall perspective it is possible one has got too used to spotlighting on soloists. This is rightly avoided here because it is the conductor's job to balance the orchestra not that of the engineers. Argerich is her usual fluent self propelling Ravel's fast tempi as if there are no limits and relaxing into his delicate lyricism like the great master (mistress) she is. The wind soloists in the slow movement are simply gorgeous to hear, especially the cor anglais. In the final presto the wind again excel, which they have to given Argerich's chosen tempo! She is obviously as pleased with the orchestra as they are with her and she and Yuri Temirkanov get the expected rapturous applause. Argerich plays a short and very beautiful encore, Chopin's Mazurka in C Op.24 No.2.

The second half brings a selection from Prokofiev's great ballet score Romeo and Juliet. Most of the popular extracts are here formed into a dramatic sequence suitable for listening but out of score order: Montagues and Capulets, Juliet the young girl, Friar Laurence, Dance, Romeo at Juliet's before Parting, Romeo at Juliet's Grave, Scene, Masks and the Death of Tybalt. This is dispatched with rhythmic panache by the excellent Stockholm orchestra with Yuri Temirkanov singing along not-quite distractingly! It is a vivid and passionate performance with a huge dynamic range which has the audience applauding loudly, as it should.
Dave Billinge 

see also review of DVD release by Christopher Fifield (September 2010 Recording of the Month)

























































































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.