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



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

all Bridge reviews

all cpo 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


Chopin Bruce Liu

Ingeneri Volume 2

Mondonville - Titon et L'Aurore

Telemann - French Cantatas 1


March 2022

Brahms Symphony 4
MacMillan Larghetto for Orchestra

Bruch Violin Concertos

Debussy Preludes Book 2

Jan-Peter de GRAAFF
Cello Concertos

La Nuit étoilé
Berlioz. Holmes




CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883)
Die Walküre - music-drama in three acts (1870)
Siegmund - Frank van Aken (tenor)
Hunding - Ain Anger (bass)
Wotan - Terje Stensvold (bass-baritone)
Sieglinde - Eva-Maria Westbroek (soprano)
Brünnhilde - Susan Bullock (soprano)
Fricka - Martina Dike (mezzo)
Gerhilde - Anja Fidelia Ulrich (soprano)
Ortlinde - Mona Somm (soprano)
Waltraute - Eve-Maud Hubeaux (mezzo)
Schwertleite - Bernadett Fodor (alto)
Helmwige - Christiane Kohl (soprano)
Siegrune - Lisa Wedekind (mezzo)
Grimgerde - Tanja Ariane Baumgartner (mezzo)
Rossweiße - Monika Bohinec (mezzo)
Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester/Sebastian Weigle
rec. live, 2010, Franfurt Opera. DDD
Libretto and English translation enclosed
OEHMS CLASSICS OC 936 [4 CDs: 65:59 + 57:04 + 32:14 + 72:29]

Experience Classicsonline

My colleague Gavin Dixon reviewed Das Rheingold from Frankfurt a while ago and made it a Recording of the Month. I haven’t heard it but having played this Walküre I can understand his enthusiasm for the conducting of Sebastian Weigle. I heard him direct Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at Bayreuth some years ago and was impressed. Katharina Wagner’s staging of was controversial, to say the least, but musically it was everything one could wish. Weigle belongs amid those conductors who let the music speak without adding ‘clever’ interpretative details. Really good music doesn’t need that help. What we have here is a reading that obeys Wagner’s intention and makes the drama unfold naturally. In that respect he has a lot in common with Marek Janowski, whose Ring cycle has stood the test of time better than some more illustrious sets. The stormy prelude to the first act is menacing, there is flair in the Ride of the Walkures and the Magic Fire music in the last act burns with an intensity that is almost blinding.
The Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester is in excellent shape and the impact of their playing is further enhanced by the recording, where one can pinpoint the location of every instrument without the feeling of artificial highlighting.
Being boiled over by the overwhelming orchestral and aural sound-feast I had great expectations of the singing. Alas, they were not fulfilled - not to the degree I had hoped. But let me start with the good things.
Terje Stensvold and Martina Dike were Wotan and Fricka in the Stockholm Ring 5-7 years ago and here they are united again, with equally grand success. Stensvold hasn’t the most voluminous voice but he projects well. He has the important lower notes that most baritones more or less lack and he is expressive with words. His tone is also admirably steady. Martina Dike is plainly glorious and the verbal duel with Wotan in the second act is a real thriller. In the first act Ain Anger is a suitably evil Hunding with steady dark tones.
Alas, steadiness is in short supply with the remaining soloists. Frank van Aken’s Siegmund is baritonal and manly. There is steel in his tone and he is an excellent actor with the voice. Few tenors I have heard in this role have been so sensitive to words and so nuanced. He can sing softly without losing the edge and there isn’t a dull moment in his reading. The fly in the ointment? You guessed it: unsteadiness. It varies, fortunately, and sometimes it is hardly noticeable at all, at other times it develops into a wobble. Overall it is anyway a good reading.
Eva-Maria Westbroek has made a name for herself as a leading singing-actor. A year ago she created the title role in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera Anna Nicole at Covent Garden. Like her husband, Frank van Aken, she knows how to colour the voice and create a believable character with vocal means alone. That said, the tone is all too often squally and wobbly.
The Walküre herself? Susan Bullock is reputed to be one of the foremost dramatic sopranos, which unfortunately also means that she is constantly in demand for the voice-killer roles: Isolde, Brünnhilde and Elektra. Such an unbalanced diet takes its toll. Here she is wobbly throughout and some of her top notes are painful to hear. Against this can be said that her powerful voice conveys both warmth and dignity. Anyone who can, so to speak, listen through the shrillness and wobbles will find a deeply human Brünnhilde.
Unfortunately this set is is ruled out due to some less than attractive singing but the orchestral playing and sensitive vocal acting still makes it a version to return to occasionally - and then take the best plums.
Göran Forsling 

See also review by Gavin Dixon

Masterwork Index: Die Walküre
























































































































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.