One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,928 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

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

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

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

Johnny Bradley
Handmade Kitchen Knives



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


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom



Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

Eloquence recordings
All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

(short month)

Orphic Moments

Metamorphoses Books I & II


Donizetti - Le Convenienze ed Inconvenienze Teatrali

Chamber Symphonies 2 & 4

French Cello Concertos






Buy through MusicWeb
for £12 postage paid World-wide.

Musicweb Purchase button

Ralph VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958) Sonata for Violin and Piano (1954) [29:00]
Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) Five Pieces for violin and piano: Lied ohne worte* [4:36]; Maya* [2:14]; Greeting* [3:03]; A Spring Song* [3:48]; Valse-étude [2:40]
Henry WALFORD DAVIES (1869-1941) Sonata for Violin and Piano in E-flat major* (1893-95) [18:03]
Rupert Marshall-Luck (violin); Matthew Rickard (piano)
rec. 13-14 April 2012, Wyastone Concert Halls, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, Wales
*World première recordings
EM RECORDS EMR CD006 [63:23]

Experience Classicsonline

A relative newcomer to the market EM Records is releasing attractive and often rare repertoire. These discs will be of significant interest to lovers of late-Romantic English music. This release is highly appealing with a score each from renowned Vaughan Williams and Holst together with a sonata from the more obscure Henry Walford Davies. All three are close contemporaries of each other and had studied with Stanford at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London.
Both Holst and Vaughan Williams are far better known for their orchestral works than for their chamber scores. Performances of Vaughan Williams’ chamber music are only occasionally encountered in the concert hall. Certainly this aspect of his extensive and richly rewarding output is inexplicably neglected. For my money the String Quartet No. 1 in G minor (1908), the String Quartet No. 2 in A minorFor Jean, on her birthday’ (1942/44) and the Phantasy Quintet (1912) are of high quality and worthy of significant attention. Vaughan Williams’ Sonata for Violin and Piano is a late score from 1954. It was introduced the same year by the dedicatee violinist Frederick Grinke and pianist Michael Mullinar for a BBC Radio broadcast on the occasion of the composer’s 82nd birthday. Serious, full of nervous energy and a tad unwelcoming the G minor Sonata seems miles away from Vaughan Williams’ pastoral style. Here the composer tends to rely mainly on motifs rather than long lyrical lines. In the opening movement Fantasia the writing is windswept with an agitated intensity as if persistently searching for something. Carrying on where the Fantasia left off the Scherzo contains driving rhythms full of angst and anxiety. Lengthy, at fourteen minutes, the finale is a theme and six variations. These range widely from mystery to stark solitude, from earnestness to a desperation for tranquillity.
To see a Holst chamber score on a recital programme is a very rare event. Holst wrote a small number of chamber scores including a Quintet for Piano and Winds in A minor, Op. 3 (1896) and a Wind Quintet in A flat Major, Op. 14. (1903). I have no date for his Five Pieces for Violin and Piano however they were published individually between 1902 and 1904. It seems that the Valse-étude was the only piece performed during Holst’s lifetime. Dedicatee violinist Marie Hall made a recording of it as early as 1924 but it seems the other four pieces have had to wait until now for their première recordings. I found the opening piece Lied ohne worte (Song without words) lyrical and highly romantic. Maya, an Allegretto is also highly lyrical radiating a warm and summery disposition. Marked Andante, Greeting is impassioned. A Spring Song is intense and serious. Constructed with varying tempi, Valse-étude is buoyant, expressive and agreeable. Owing to their appealing nature it’s hard to imagine why this work is not a repertoire staple.
Walford Davies served as a ‘Master of the King’s Music’ and wrote a substantial body of work including a great deal of sacred choral music. These days almost all of his works are ignored. Undoubtedly the best known is the R.A.F. March Past (1921) which the composer had written in short piano score whilst serving as Director of Music for the Royal Air Force. Some time later Sir George Dyson (another Stanford pupil) added some extra music and prepared the orchestration. The Solemn Melody (1908) in its various arrangements is still heard today. Walford Davies composed five violin sonatas and the Violin Sonata in E-flat major presented here is closely contemporaneous with the Violin Sonata in A Major (1893 rev. 1895) played by the same performers on EM Records EMR CD001. Walford Davies wrote his Violin Sonata in E-flat major in 1893. Unsatisfied, he provided a new finale in 1895. This elegant and splendid three movement score maintains a slight degree of reserve yet is deserving of praise. Commencing with an Allegro moderato the writing is stormy and somewhat stern. There are many long lyrical lines yet one discerns swift shifts in key and character. A variety of subtle moods are experienced in the Largo yet nothing feels too extreme. I was struck by the agreeable and passionate Finale and the clever shifts in textural colour.
On this recital disc Rupert Marshall-Luck and Matthew Rickard concentrate on communicating the music without any idiosyncratic or intrusive exaggeration. This high calibre partnership speaks of sanguine spontaneity and a natural warmth and affinity for the music. I was impressed with Marshall-Luck’s appealing timbre and Rickard has a fine sense of keyboard colour. Recorded earlier this year the sound has splendid presence, clarity and balance.
Michael Cookson


































































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.