52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

£11 post-free anywhere
Normal service resumed


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

Bruno Monteiro (violin)

More Preludes to Chopin
Kenneth Hamilton (piano)

Gloriæ Dei Cantores


Recordings of the Month


Beethoven Piano Concertos

Stradal Transcriptions

LOSY Note d’oro

Scarlatti Sonatas Vol 2



Feinberg Piano Sonatas

Schoenberg Violin Concerto

Early Keyboard

Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God



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
Sound Samples & Downloads

Henryk GÓRECKI (1933-2010)
Little Requiem for a certain Polka, Op.66 (1993) [25:55]*
Concerto-Cantata, Op.65 (1992) [21:26]**
Harpsichord Concerto (version for piano and orchestra), Op.40 (1980) [7:46]*
Three Dances, Op.34 (1973) [14:26]
Anna Górecka (piano)*; Carol Wincenc (flute)**
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra/Antoni Wit
rec. Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, 26-29 April and 6-7 September 2011
NAXOS 8.572872 [69:33]

Experience Classicsonline

Having produced what was probably the most commercially successful symphony since the Second World War, what was Henryk Górecki to do next? Some of the answers are given in this CD, which includes the world premičre recording of the Concerto-Cantata. Both this piece and the Little Requiem - which has been previously recorded - come from the early 1990s when the influence of Arvo Pärt seems to have been particularly strong on Górecki. Both composers shared a similar aesthetic – a move away from the serialistic and avant garde techniques of their youth to a style which has been described not unfairly as ‘holy minimalism’. But there is a degree more strenuousness and muscular about Górecki’s music in these works. We have the tolling bells familiar from such works as Pärt’s Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten, but Górecki’s writing for the strings sometimes breaks out violently and there are unexpected eruptions from the brass in the Little Requiem. It should be noted, incidentally, that despite the use of titles for this and the Concerto-Cantata which might lead one to expect vocal pieces like the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, these are purely instrumental works. The brass eruptions in the Little Requiem form the second movement in a symphony-like structure, with tolling repeated piano chords underpinning the texture. The music subsides back into a very beautiful clarinet solo before the tolling bells return. Anna Górecka (the composer’s daughter) comes into her own in the dynamic and scherzo-like third movement, the ‘polka’ which is almost jazzy in feel. The final movement returns us to the calm of the opening.
The Concerto-Cantata is a very much less troubled work, and the gentle suspensions from the flute over the static background produce a feeling of untroubled calm. This is music of real beauty, balm to the troubled soul, and the sudden eruption of the third movement into a Shostakovich-like scherzo comes as a real shock. The grandiose climax brings a mood of frantic triumph which is not to be found elsewhere in Górecki. Incidentally the composer here at the end uses (from 4:43 onwards) a repeated syncopated triplet phrase from my own composition The Fall of Gondolin (written six years earlier but not publicly performed at that time, so simply a coincidence of course) which brought a moment of delightful and very personal familiarity! The final movement returns us again to the calm of the opening. This is a superb piece and it is very surprising to discover that it has not been recorded in nearly twenty years since it was written.
The Harpsichord Concerto is a much briefer and more turbulent work, and it works well in its guise for piano. It has previously been recorded in its original harpsichord version with string quartet but this seems to be its first recording for piano and orchestra. The flavour here is almost like Prokofiev. The piano lends a percussive edge which works better for that instrument than it did for the harpsichord. The use of a full orchestra helps too.
The much earlier Three Dances do not sound like the Górecki we know and love at all; the first is a Bartók-like Presto marcatissimo which is firmly in the line of familiar central European folkdance arrangements. Even the calmer central movement sounds more like Kodály or Janác(ek than anything we would nowadays identify as Górecki. Only the static harmonies betray any hint of the composer of the Third Symphony. The final dance is a Presto perpetuum mobile which again brings reminiscences of Prokofiev, this time of the Overture on Hebrew themes.
There are other recordings of the Little Requiem, the Harpsichord Concerto and the Three Dances, notably of the first two by the London Sinfonietta (coupled with the beautiful Good night). These performances are fully the equal of those rivals that I have heard. The fact that this disc contains world premičre recordings of the Concerto-Cantata and the Harpsichord Concerto in its piano-and-orchestra form makes this issue self-recommending.
Paul Corfield Godfrey




















































































































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.