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 Prealable again!

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


with Eggebrecht we get all the excitement we can handle

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

Asmik Grigorian

Breathtaking Performance
controversial staging
Review Westbrook
Review Hedley
Every lover of Salome should see this recording
Mullenger interpretation

Vraiment magnifique!

Quite splendid

Winning performances

Mahler Symphony 8
a magnificent disc

a huge talent

A wonderful disc

Weinberg Symphonies 2 & 21
A handsome tribute!

Roth’s finest Mahler yet

Mahler 9 Blomstedt
Distinguished performance



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 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

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

Tomaso ALBINONI (1671 - 1751)
Trattenimenti da camera Op. 6
Sonata in C, op. 6,1 [9:23]
Sonata in g minor, op. 6,2 [12:14]
Sonata in B flat, op. 6,3 [8:45]
Sonata in d minor, op. 6,4 [10:14]
Sonata in F, op. 6,5 [9:28]
Sonata in a minor, op. 6,6 [10:45]
Sonata in D, op. 6,7 [8:51]
Sonata in e minor, op. 6,8 [10:35]
Sonata in G, op. 6,9 [10:46]
Sonata in c minor, op. 6,10 [10:44]
Sonata in A, op. 6,11 [9:08]
Sonata in B flat, op. 6,12 [11:40]
Sergio Balestracci (recorder), Silvia Rambaldi (harpsichord)
rec. 8-14 June 2003, former refectory of the Basilica di San Vitale, Ravenna, Italy. DDD
NEWTON CLASSICS 8802098 [61:50 + 63:01]

Experience Classicsonline

Tomaso Albinoni is one of the rare composers in history who wasn't a professional musician, but an amateur, or - as he described himself - a dilettante. His father worked as a manufacturer of playing cards, and after his death Tomaso inherited his business. He left it to his younger brothers to take care of it, and concentrated on composing. This he did with considerable success. Despite being an amateur he was highly respected, and his oeuvre is quite large and versatile. The largest part of his output is music for the theatre, but he also composed various collections of instrumental music.
His chamber music entirely comprises music for one or more violins, which reflects his own education as a violinist. Albinoni's music is not as theatrical as that of some of his contemporaries, for instance Vivaldi. Michael Talbot, in his liner-notes, states that "several commentators have pointed to the classical, almost austere quality of his musical language. It is true that chromaticism and emotional display are exceptional, rather than standard features of Albinoni's musical language (...)". That is also the case in the twelve sonatas opus 6 which were printed as Trattenimenti da camera around 1711 in Amsterdam. The tempo indications already suggest a great amount of regularity. All sonatas are in four movements. The standard structure is grave - allegro - adagio - allegro. In a handful of sonatas Albinoni deviates from this, and then only in a single movement; in three sonatas the second movement is a larghetto.
One could think that Albinoni follows the example of the Corellian sonata da chiesa, but in fact these sonatas are a mixture of sonata da chiesa and sonata da camera as some movements are dances, like allemanda, corrente and gavotta. They were composed for violin, and as the recorder's tessitura is narrower than the violin's some adaptation is needed. There are two ways of making them playable at the recorder. They can be transposed upwards to another key, or they can be played at the original key, with some passages or individual notes being played an octave higher. The latter option is chosen here. Obviously double-stopping has to be ignored completely.
Sergio Balestracci plays two instruments: a treble recorder in F and a tenor recorder in D, also known as voice flute. He gives a nice account of these sonatas, but I would not advise listening to these discs at a stretch. That is not because of the quality of the sonatas, but because of the lack of tension in the performances. These sonatas may not be really dramatic but I believe there is more to them than comes out in Balestracci's interpretations. The use of rubato, a more different treatment of tempi and in particular more dynamic shading - especially in the slow movements - could have wrought wonders. As a result the performances would have been more gestural.
Another issue is the performance of the basso continuo. Silvia Rambaldi is a pupil of Jesper Christensen, a strong advocate of full-blooded realisation of the basso continuo. In her hands the basso continuo almost takes the form of a concertante part. At various moments the harpsichord even moves above the recorder, which is quite odd. The basso continuo should deliver not only harmonic support but also should play an important role in the exposition of the rhythmic pulse. In this department Ms Rambaldi's performance falls a bit short. These performances would have been more engaging if the rhythms had been delineated more clearly. Moreover, as important as the harpsichord in this kind of music is, it should never take the attention away from the melody instrument; that is what is sometimes the case here.
These critical remarks wonít stop me from assessing this recording positively. Itís just that it could have been better.
Johan van Veen



















































































































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.