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

Shostakovich 4, 11 Nelsons
Transparent Granite!

Nothing but Praise

BrucKner 4 Nelsons
the finest of recent years.

superb BD-A sound

This is a wonderful set

Telemann continues to amaze

A superb disc

Performances to cherish

An extraordinary disc.

rush out and buy this

I favour above all the others

Frank Martin - Exemplary accounts

Asrael Symphony
A major addition

Another Bacewicz winner

match any I’ve heard

An outstanding centenary collection

personable, tuneful, approachable

a very fine Brahms symphony cycle.

music that will be new to most people

telling, tough, thoughtful, emotionally fleet and powerfully recorded

hitherto unrecorded Latvian music


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Northern Flowers
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get
Alphabetical Listing


Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[Part 1 New] [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R] [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] [Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]

John CARBON (b.1951) Piano Music Steven Graff (piano) rec. 2011 ZIMBEL RECORDS ZR121 [79:22] [Byz]

Quality music addressing universal themes … lingering modal timelessness.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Alfredo CASELLA (1883-1947) Orchestral Works Vol. 2 Concerto for Orchestra, A notte alta, Symphonic Fragments from ‘La donna serpente’ Martin Roscoe (piano) BBC Philharmonic/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHAN10712 [73:26] [IL]

The adventurous listener will be very well rewarded by this very imaginative and colourful music. 

Ernest CHAUSSON (1855-1899) Concerto, Poème Bruno Monteiro (violin) João Paolo Santos (piano); Lopes-Graça Qt rec. 2010 CENTAUR CRC 3120 [54:14] [Byz]

Chausson's marvellous score takes flight, like beautiful butterflies on a summer zephyr. 

Luigi CHERUBINI (1760-1842) Symphony see Guido Cantelli

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Frédéric CHOPIN (1801-1849) Piano Music Vol. 2 Louis Lortie (piano) rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHAN10714 [75:16] [DMcC]

Thoughtful, engaging, and gorgeous.

Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849) Polonaises Marcel Ciampi (piano) rec. 1952 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR281/2 [45:15 + 39:11] [JW]

Vitality and energy … communicative drive. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Francisco CILEA (1866-1950) Adriana Lecouvreur Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann, Ch & O Royal Opera House, Covent Garden/Mark Elder rec. 2010 DECCA 074 3459 [2 DVDs: 150:00] [ST]

Two and a half hours of unalloyed operatic pleasure. 

René CLAUSEN (b.1953) Life & Breath - Choral Works Kansas City Chorale/Charles Bruffy rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHSA5105 [62:25] [NB]

At the end of a long frustrating day this would be a disc to offer balm and great beauty in equal measure.

Carson COOMAN (b.1982) Canzona Erik Simmons (organ) Artist self-production [49:06] [Byz]

In short, this disc has to be one of the bargains of the year. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Images, Jeux, Nocturnes, La Mer, Prélude à l’après-midi d’une faune, Marche écossaise sur un thème populaire, Printemps, L’Enfant prodigue Royal Scottish Ntl O/Stéphane Denève rec. 2011/12 CHANDOS CHSA 5102(2) [78:04 + 68:22] [DC]

Sumptuous sonic bathing: thrillingly superb. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Songs Vol. 2 Lorna Anderson (soprano), Lisa Milne (soprano), Malcolm Martineau (piano) rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67883 [66:47] [SA]

Thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding in every way.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, Rapsodie, La mer Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937) La valse, Boléro New York PO/Kurt Masur rec. 1993/6 WARNER APEX 2564 677174 [75:54] [SV]

This will please New Yorkers and fellow-travellers who collect Masur era recordings. 

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) String quartet, Deux Danses, Piano Trio, Reverie Chris Laurence (double-bass) Sioned Williams (harp) Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) Brodsky Qt rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHAN10717 [65:29] [DC]

Superlative quartet - excellent programme.

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin sonata see GRIEG

Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) En blanc et noir see MESSIAEN

Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934) Orchestral music arranged for two pianos – Vol. 1 Simon Callaghan, Hiroaki Takenouchi (pianos) rec. 2011 SOMM SOMMCD0112 [68:04] [NB]

Ultimately a disc for the Delius aficionado.

Erno DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) String Quartets 1 & 3 Aviv Quartet rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572569 [57:29] [Byz]

Attractive phrasing and a reasonable if not compelling case for these engagingly conservative works.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) L’Elisir d’amore Angela Gheorghiu (soprano) Roberto Alagna (tenor) Ch & O Ntl Opera Lyon/Evelino Pido rec. 1997 DECCA 4783416 [67.24 + 55.31] [RJF]

Even at bargain price this loses out to the earlier Erato set with the same tenor.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Messa da Requiem Leyla Gencer (soprano) Mirna Pecile (mezzo) Armando Moretti (tenor) Alessandro Cassis (bass) Ch & SO RAI Milan/Gianandrea Gavazzeni rec. 1961 ARCHIPEL ARPCD0475 [69:19] [JS]

This has been a disc from which I have obtained much pleasure. 

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) Lucrezia Borgia Edita Gruberova (soprano) Pavol Breslik (tenor) Franco Vassallo (bass) Alice Coote (mezzo) Ch/O of Bavarian St Op/Bertrand de Billy rec. 2009 EUROARTS 2072454 [133:00 + 54:00 (bonus)] [RJF]

Gruberova left her assumption of Lucrezia much too late in her career.

Gaetano DONIZETTI (1797-1848) L’elisir d’amore Bidu Sayão (soprano) Bruno Landi (tenor) Metropolitan Opera Ch & O /Ettore Panizza rec. 1942 PRISTINE AUDIO PACO 072 [68:40 + 51:42] [GF]

A flawed performance saved by the tenor and the soprano.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Jonathan DOVE (b. 1959) The Passing of the Year Convivium Singers/Neil Ferris, Christopher Cromar (piano) rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572733 [69:23] [DMcC]

Gorgeous and poignant, performed with wholehearted fervor.

Ludovico EINAUDI (b. 1955) The Calm of Einaudi Christine Rayner (piano) rec. 2011 ATTUNED HEART RECORDS AHR001 [63.14] [MM-B]

Lifts the spirits of those in need … an hour of serenity and peaceful harmony.

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Cello Concerto, The Dream of Gerontius Jian Wang (cello) Sydney Philharmonia & TSO Ch, Sydney SO/Vladimir Ashkenazy rec. 2008 ABC CLASSICS 476 4297 [63:39 + 58:53] [NB]

Ultimately a rather disappointing set. Fitfully engaging.

Edward ELGAR (1857-1934) Cello Concerto, Introduction and Allegro, Military Marches, Pomp and Circumstance Paul Watkins (cello) BBC Philh/Sir Andrew Davis rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHAN10709[74:44] [DC]

A stunning and steamy hip-bath of refined Elgar-Elgar.

Manuel de FALLA (1876-1946) El Sombrero de tres picos; Noches en los jardines de España; Homenajes Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (piano) Raquel Lojendio (soprano) BBC Philharmonic/Juanjo Mena rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHAN10694 [76.40] [RBe]

Outstanding playing.

Julian FONTANA (1810-1869) Deux Romances, op.18 (1855) [8:05] Feuilles d'Album - Deux Mazureks, op.15 [5:54] 12 Morceaux Caractéristiques en Forme d'Etudes, op.9, nos.7-12 (Livre II) (1905) [14:51] Deuxième Grande Valse Brillante, op.13 [5:10] Fantaisie Brillante sur les Motifs du 'Freyschütz', op.6 (1843) [8:32] Philippe Devaux (piano) rec. 2011. DDD ACTE PREALABLE AP0259 [42:32] [Byz]

A characteristic poetic expressiveness through irrepressible figuration, Polish folk rhythms and lyrical harmony.

César FRANCK (1822-1890) Piano Quintet, Violin Sonata The Schubert Ens rec. 2003 CHAMPS HILL CHRCD 004 [65.19] [Byz]

For all-round, no-nonsense quality there is no good reason not to favour this disc.

Robert FUCHS (1847-1927) Gesänge für Frauenchor see SCHREKER

Andrea GABRIELI (c.1533-1585) Missa Dominicalis Pierpaolo Turetta (organ) Ivan Florjanc (voice) rec. 2008 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802100 [63:27] [MS]

Major recording and editing errors make it impossible to recommend this disc.

George GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Piano Concerto, Rhapsody 2, I Got Rhythm Variations Orion Weiss (piano) Buffalo PO/JoAnn Falletta rec. 2010 NAXOS AMERICAN CLASSICS 8.559705 [58:40] [DM]

A decent concerto, but the fillers steal the show.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Carlo GESUALDO (1566-1613) Madrigals Book 4 Delitiæ Musicæ/Marco Longhini rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572137 [68:57] [MS]

Stylish, convincing, profound and lovely performances. Buy it! 

Umberto GIORDANO (1867-1948) Andrea Chénier José Cura, Maria Guleghina, Ch & O Teatro Comunale di Bologna/Carlo Rizzi rec. 2006 ARTHAUS MUSIK 107287 [123:00] [RMay]

José Cura is the real thing and undeniably one of today’s most exciting operatic tenors. 

Giovanni Francesco GIULIANI (c.1760-1818) Harp Sonatas Lisetta Rossi (harp) rec. 2010 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94305 [78:54] [Byz]

Played with poise and style, light but sure of touch and with an ear for fine, lyrical phrasing. 

Mauro GIULIANI (1781-1829) Scottish and Irish Songs, Etudes, Rossiniana Tullia Cartoni, Elena Càsoli, Massimo Scattoli (guitars) rec. 1990-2011 NEWTON CLASSICS 8802101 [3 CDs: 172:20] [Byz]

Brief, inventive, endlessly tuneful, unbeatable listening for a lazy sunny weekend afternoon.

Eugene GOOSSENS (1893-1962) Complete Music for Violin and Piano Robert Gibbs (violin) Gustáv Fenyö (piano) rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572860 [71:34] [NB]

An excellent collection - passionate interpretations - a winner.

Henryk GÓRECKI (1933-2010) Little Requiem, Concerto-Cantata, Harpsichord Concerto, Three Dances Anna Górecka (piano) Carol Wincenc (flute)
Warsaw PO/Antoni Wit rec. 2011 NAXOS 8.572872 [69:33] [PCG]

After the commercially successful Symphony of Sorrowful Songs what was Górecki to do next?

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) String quartets arranged for string orchestra Arne NORDHEIM (1931-2010) Rendezvous Oslo Camerata/Stephan Barratt-Due rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572441 [76:45] Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) From Holberg’s Time, Lyric Suite, Melodies Malmö SO/Bjarte Engeset rec. 2006/09 NAXOS 8.572403 [72:13 [RMo]

Music that falls pleasantly in the ear.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) Violin Sonatas 1 & 3 Claude DEBUSSY (1862-1918) Violin sonata Joseph Fuchs (violin) Frank Sheridan, Artur Balsam (piano) rec. 1951/55 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR635 [54:29] [JW]

Collectors who admire Fuchs will welcome the restoration of this material.

Edvard GRIEG (1843-1907) An Old Norwegian Folksong see Byways of Beecham

Johan HALVORSEN (1864-1935) Orchestral Works - Vol. 4 Rhapsodies norvégienne 1 & 2, Passacaglia, Norwegian Festival Overture, Norwegian Fairy Tale Pictures Bergen PO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2010/11 CHANDOS CHAN10710 [72:53] [JW]

Folk-based, evocative compositions sporting brevity and wit. 

RECORDING OF THE MONTH George Frideric HANDEL (1685 - 1759) Concerti grossi Concerto Copenhagen/Lars Ulrik Mortensen rec. 2009 CPO 777 488-2 [58:35] George Frideric HANDEL Concerti grossi Les Musiciens du Louvre/Marc Minkowski rec. 1992 WARNER APEX 2564 68162-3 [56:15] [MG]

Minkowski offers virtuosity and excitement, but Mortensen gives us state of the art. 

Georg Friedrich HANDEL (1685-1759) Theodora Lorraine Hunt, Dawn Upshaw, David Daniels, Glyndebourne Ch, O Age of Enlightenment/William Christie rec. 1996 GLYNDEBOURNE GFOCD 014-96 [3 CDs: 200:39] [RMo]

Consistently inventive and arresting. 

Georg Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Complete Cantatas Vol. 4 Stefanie True & Klaartje van Veldhoven (sopranos) Contrasto Armonico/Marco Vitale rec. 2010 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94257 [50:29] [JV]

The performers have managed to display Handel's mastery in the depiction of human emotions.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Violin Sonatas Riccardo Minasi (violin) Musica Antiqua Roma rec. 2009 DEUTSCHE HARMONIA MUNDI 88697 705312 [78:36] [JV]

Virtuosity at the cost of expression and emotion.

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) Alceste Lucy Crowe, Benjamin Hulett, Andrew Foster-Williams, Early Opera Company Ch & O/Christian Curnyn rec. 2011 CHANDOS CHACONNE CHAN0788 [63:16] [RMo]

Not quite a masterpiece but charming nonetheless. 

Howard HANSON (1896-1981) Symphonies 4 & 5, Elegy in Memory of Serge Koussevitzky, Dies Natalis Seattle SO/Gerard Schwarz rec. 1988-92 NAXOS 8.559703 [69:44] [WK]

Another Naxos re-release of Gerard Schwarz’s persuasive Hanson series.

Johann Wilhelm HÄSSLER (1747-1822) Harpsichord Music Michele Benuzzi (harpsichord) rec. 2011 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94293 [67:43] [JV]

An excellent introduction to Hässler's music.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross Petra Labitzke (soprano) Gabriele Wunderer (contralto) Daniel Sans (tenor) Christof Fischesser (bass) Chamber Ch of Europe, Mannheim Kurpfälzisches CO/Nicol Matt rec. 2002 BRILLIANT CLASSICS 94290 [55.29] [PCG]

All in all this is a very good performance.

Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809) Symphony 55 Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827) Symphonies 7 & 8 Boston SO/William Steinberg rec.1962-1970 ICA CLASSICS ICAD5067 [86:00] [CH]

Useful documentation of a conductor whose time with the orchestra was short.

Jake HEGGIE (b. 1961) Dead Man Walking Joyce DiDonato, Philip Cutlip, Frederica von Stade, Measha Brueggergosman, Houston Grand Opera/Patrick Summers rec. 2011 VIRGIN CLASSICS 6024632 [77.27 + 64.25]  [PCG]

One of the great operatic success stories of this century. 

Gustav HOLST (1874-1934) The Collector`s Edition rec. 1956-1993. ADD/DDD full contents and track list at end of review EMI CLASSICS 50999 4 40471 2 2 [6 CDs: 449:00] [RB]

This set should sell like a house of fire and further fuel a revival in the fortunes of Holst’s music.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Christian Frederik Emil HORNEMAN (1840-1906) Gurre Suite, Suite from ‘The Contest with the Muses’, Ouverture Héroique, Suite from Kalanus Danish Ntl SO/Johannes Gustavsson rec. 2010-11 DACAPO 6.220564 [image] [66:07] [DC]

A wealth of discovery, and with performances to match.

Alan HOVHANESS (1911-2000) Symphony 1; Armenian Rhapsodies 1-3; Concerto for soprano saxophone; Song of the sea Kenneth Radnofsky (saxophone) John McDonald (piano) Boston Modern Orchestra Project/Gil Rose rec. 2011 BMOP SOUND 1020 [67:39] [PCG]

A superb performance of the Exile Symphony, three gloriously contrasted Armenian Rhapsodies and a valuable glimpse into Hovhaness’s earliest style.

Herbert HOWELLS (1892-1983) Clarinet Sonata see British Clarinet Sonatas

Engelbert HUMPERDINCK (1854–1921) String Quartets; Piano Quintet Diogenes Qt, Andreas Kirpal (piano), Lydia Dubrovskaya (violin) rec. 2007 CPO 7775472 [79:24] [MC]

Agreeable geniality: benign, attractive melodically with gloriously yearning themes.

Marcus HUXLEY (b. 1949) A Song of the Light Birmingham Cathedral Ch/Marcus Huxley (director) Timothy Hooper (organ) rec. 2010 REGENT REGCD361 [68:42] [JQ]

Well-crafted music but insufficiently distinctive for domestic listening. 

Vincent d’INDY (1851-1931) La Forêt Enchantée see Byways of Beecham

John IRELAND (1879-1962) Fantasy-Sonata see British Clarinet Sonatas

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Leos JANÁCEK (1854-1928) Taras Bulba, Lachian Dances, Moravian Dances Warsaw PO/Antoni Wit rec. 2010-11 NAXOS 8.572695 [54:27] [BR]

This is the best Taras Bulba I’ve heard, full of original gestures and sumptuously played.

John JENKINS (1592-1678) The Pleasing Slumber Sophie Gent (violin) Romina Lischka (bass viol, lyra viol) Francois Guerrier (harpsichord, organ) Philippe Pierlot (lyra viol, bass viol) rec. 2008 FLORA 1809 [68.51] [RH]

A lovely disc. Relax and listen to some finely intelligent music-making.

Karl JENKINS (b.1944) The Peacemakers Lucy Crowe, Chloë Hanslip, City Birmingham SCh, London SO/Karl Jenkins rec. 2011 EMI CLASSICS 0843782 [72.42] [PCG]

The many excellent elements do not cohere, and the climactic moments are at once too easy and too overblown.

Friedrich KALKBRENNER (1785-1849) Piano Concerto No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 85 (1826) [32:58] Piano Concerto No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 107 (1829) [24:11] Adagio ed Allegro di bravura, Op. 102 (1830) [11:03] Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Howard Shelley (piano/conductor) rec. 2010, HYPERION CDA67843 [68:41] [DJ]

Another superb reissue from Hyperion, excellently engineered

Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962) Liebesfreud, Liebesleid Béla Bánfalvi (violin) Budapest Strings/Karoly Botvai rec. 1995 CAPRICCIO C5120 [64:16] [IL]

A delight.

Fritz KREISLER (1875-1962) String Quartet Efrem ZIMBALIST (1890-1985) String Quartet Eugène YSAŸE (1858-1931) Harmonies du soir Fine Arts Quartet Philh O of Europe/Otis Klöber rec. 2010 NAXOS 8.572559 [71:36] [NB]

No lost masterpieces here but a disc of real interest.

Fred LERDAHL (b.1943) String Quartets 1-3 Daedalus Qt rec. 2010/1 BRIDGE 9352 [67:53] [Byz]

Frankly atonal, yet not mercilessly so, melody, if not necessarily hummable, and the dissonance is neither relentless nor particularly harsh. 

György LIGETI (1923-2006) Horn Trio see BRAHMS

Click for alphabetical listings by composer:
[Part 1 New] [Part 2 A-B] [Part 3 C-L]
[Part 4 M-R] [Part 5 S-Z]
[Part 6 Misc A-L] [Part 7 Misc M-Z]
[last 5 days] [Recommended recordings]



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.