One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Préalable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases

The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation

such a success

An outstanding performance

make acquaintance without delay

Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc

Strong advocacy
for a British composer

Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted

Piano Music 5CDs

Consistently fine

Rare and interesting repertoire

An excellent introduction

A Celebration on Record

An issue of importance

A splendid disc

both enlightening and rewarding
additional review



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

a vibrant slice of life

stylistically assured

About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs

Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome

An inspired partnership
additional review

A valuable document

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


CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Dieterich BUXTEHUDE (1637/1639?-1707)
Opera Omnia XV - Chamber Music 3
Trio sonatas op. 2
B flat nr.1 BuxWV 259 [8:27]
D nr.2 BuxWV 260 [14:16]
g nr. 3 BuxWV 261 [13:18]
c nr. 4 BuxWV 262 [8:19]
A nr. 5 BuxWV 263 [10:41]
E nr. 6 BuxWV 264 [9:30]
F nr. 7 BuxWV 265 [8:51]
Catherine Manson (violin); Paolo Pandolfo (viola da gamba); Mike Fentross (lute); Ton Koopman (harpsichord, organ)
rec. December, 2010, October, 2011, Waalse Kerk, Amsterdam, Holland. DDD

Experience Classicsonline

Poor Buxtehude! In his excellent "Bach: Essays on His Life and Music" [ISBN-13: 978-0674059269] Christoph Wolff makes the point that Buxtehude is a much greater, more universally relevant, and certainly more influential composer than is usually accepted. He even takes Kerala J. Snyder gently to task for subtitling her book "Dieterich Buxtehude: Organist in Lübeck" [ISBN-13: 978-1580462532] as she does. He was so much more than an organist. Sadly the earlier composer's discography has still only fared a little better than was the case when Wolff was writing - almost twenty years ago.
At the head of what ought to be a veritable revival of Buxtehude - whose music, Wolff shows, comprises almost all genres current in the seventeenth century - is the series on Challenge directed by Ton Koopman. When complete, it will probably comprise in the region of two dozen CDs and CD sets; these will contain all the extant works. In the excellent booklet Koopman states that this is the final volume of the chamber music and that only a 'number of vocal challenges' remain. That in itself would be an amazing achievement. It ought to encourage us: there's a place for ambitious series like this in what is still a somewhat recherché area of the repertoire. That the music-making should be of such a high quality is what counts, though ... and it is! One of the first things you'll notice after you're struck by the just and positive response to the buoyancy, vivacity and delicately uplifting tenor of the music is its variety. These are substantial forward-paced pieces though none lasts less than eight and a half minutes.
Buxtehude varies texture, melody, rhythm and tempi - often within one movement … as in the opening of the delicious Op. 2, nr. 3 (BuxWV 261) [tr.3]. His ideas never run on the spot and never seek a dull centre. At the same time, in the hands of these accomplished experts, no nuance is overlooked; no subtlety underplayed. The music sounds as natural, free-flowing and inevitable in direction as any by Bach.
In the same booklet with this CD, Wolff leads us through the publishing history of these works; sadly he has to allude to possibly lost works. Interestingly, the present sonatas were intended for use both liturgically and as secular entertainment ('zur Kirchen und Tafel-Music'). Published in 1696 this Op. 2 set is as stimulating, adventurous and deeply satisfying a collection of small-scale sonatas as you could wish for. While in places Corelli's influence is unmistakable, they are firmly in the north German idiom; pure Buxtehude. The composer's inventiveness, facility with melody and the quasi-improvisatory and delightfully exciting stylus phantasticus are matched by technical brilliance. There’s a fully expressive command of textures which the strings and plucked instruments can each make. These sound beautiful and compelling together - and in 'conversation' such as towards the beginning of the 3/4 poco adagio of the sonata in C, BuxWV 262 [tr.4].
As has been remarked in earlier reviews of this cycle, Koopman seems to have 'loosened' a little in his playing style as he has moved deeper into the repertoire. There is almost a 'swing' - certainly a gentle lilt - to some of the movements. The players bow and pluck in a persuasive unison. Their aim is wholly interdependent: to expose the most from this marvellous music. They succeed in every regard.
Whether or not the musicians are helped by the fact that these sonatas are constructed as multi-sectional units, rather than from discrete movements is hard to say but it seems likely. The architecture is clearer. One senses that the momentum which is generated so amply and which so positively reinforces the impact of this music would have been brought out of any format, though - so gifted and in tune with the idiom are the four musicians here, and so extremely well do they play together.
The asymmetrical dynamics employed almost throughout by Buxtehude surely adds to our interest. Again Manson, Pandolfo, Fentross and Koopman - all of whom have featured on earlier releases in the Challenge series - are on top of their form. They clearly love the music. They have the will, technique, interpretative impetus and precision to offer an analogous response to the listener.
Anyone already collecting the series will want to buy this CD immediately. However its appeal is surely much wider: to have heard the name of Buxtehude and paid it lip service is not enough. Jump in here and see what's so special about his creativity and originality. Here is a composer who is able to see invention through to profoundly pleasing results.
As has been the case throughout the series, the acoustic is entirely responsive. There is atmosphere without undue addition. The strings sound rich and approachable, the harpsichord and lute contained and constant. In the useful biographies in the booklet that of Pandolfo describes his belief that ancient music can be a 'powerful inspiration' for the future. It's hard not to be in accord when music-making of this quality, weight and insight is made. It’s all done without fuss or undue emphasis on - a still much needed - advocacy for an overlooked genius. Do not miss this issue.
Mark Sealey













































































































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.