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


Reger Violin Sonatas
Renate Eggebrecht violin

Brahms Symphony 3
Dvorak Symphony 8
9 cello sonatas
Piano Music

Clara Schumann
piano concerto

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: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Engelbert HUMPERDINCK (1854–1921)
String Quartet in C major (1919/20) [17:46]
Piano Quintet in G major (1875) [30:00]
Menuet in E flat major for Piano Quintet (1872) [7:17]
String Quartet Movement in E minor (1873) [12:10]
String Quartet Movement in C minor (1876) [6:56]
Notturno in G major for Violin and String Quartet (1879) [4:54]
Diogenes Quartet (Stefan Kirpal (violin); Gundula Kirpal (violin); Stephanie Krauß (viola); Stephen Ristau (cello)); Andreas Kirpal (piano - Piano Quintet; Menuet); Lydia Dubrovskaya (violin) (Notturno)
rec. 19-21 December 2007, August Everding Saal, Grünwald, nr. Munich, Germany
CPO 777 547-2 [79:24]

Experience Classicsonline

There are a number of composers who are best known almost exclusively for writing one particular work from a substantial compositional output. The principal names that spring to mind are Gustav Holst for The Planets; Max Bruch for his First Violin Concerto and Carl Orff for Carmina Burana. Falling into this category is the German late-Romantic composer Engelbert Humperdinck who is really only known for his much loved opera Hänsel und Gretel composed in 1891/92. Based on the Brothers Grimm fairytale the composer described his score as a Märchenoper (Fairytale opera- based on Brothers Grimm). The richly scored opera has become inextricably associated with children and families, and is traditionally performed at Christmas time.
Humperdinck wrote a considerable number of works in several genres including a number of stage works but none have come anywhere close to attaining the popularity of Hänsel und Gretel. I am told that the Königskinder (The King’s Children) is sometimes staged but I have never come across it. Contained on this CPO release are six chamber scores the majority of which were composed in the 1870s and only published in recent years with the exception being the String quartet in C major from 1919/20.
The earliest work on the release is the single movement Menuet in E flat major for Piano Quintet marked Allegro composed in 1872 as an alternative for a Christmas programme. Bearing a dedication to Johannes Degen, a judge and amateur violinist, the substantial String Quartet Movement in E minor was written in 1873. With regard to completing the score Humperdinck got as far as sketching out another two movements. Cast in three movements, the Piano Quintet in G major was completed in 1875. It seems that it was played by Johannes Degen music group in which Humperdinck would sometimes stand in as the pianist. The score of the central Adagio bears an inscription to the memory of Humperdinck’s sister Ernestine who died aged only seventeen. In the concluding Allegro Humperdinck blends a Scherzo with a Rondo. The String Quartet Movement in C minor takes around 7 minutes. Humperdinck won the Frankfurt Mozart prize with the C minor score. The Notturno for Violin and String Quartet in G major is marked Andante tranquillo. After its completion in October 1879 Humperdinck before the ink was almost dry prepared an alternative arrangement of the score for violin and piano doing away the quartet. Cast in three movements the String Quartet in C major was written some thirty years after Hänsel und Gretel and is Humperdinck’s final chamber score. Humperdinck explained that the central Gemächlich (Leisurely) is a contrasting combination of a slow movement and Scherzo.
Irrespective of the tempi indications Humperdinck’s undemanding writing tends to inhabit a similar mood. The prevailing character of the slow movements is one of agreeable geniality: benign, highly attractive melodically with gloriously yearning themes. The outer movements, although occasionally squally and moderately windswept, offer more of the same but with a quicker speed. There’s no whiff of German Sturm und Drang or late-Romantic Wagnerian or Straussian excess in any of Humperdinck’s chamber scores. Owing to the lack of stylistic, melodic and dynamic contrast one can understand why these scores have remained neglected for so long. Out of the six Humperdinck works the String Quartet (1919/20) with its catchy central movement Gemächlich is certainly agreeable as is the Notturno for violin and string quartet but it is the Piano Quintet that I consider to be the finest. Without plumbing great emotional depths I also greatly enjoyed the central Adagio of the Piano Quintet for its tender yearning quality; serving as a fine tribute to Humperdinck’s deceased sister Ernestine.
The Diogenes Quartet is a Munich based ensemble and was founded in 1996. The Diogenes number the Amadeus and La Salle quartets amongst their teachers. I couldn’t fault the beautiful playing of the Diogenes who adopts a straightforward unadorned style that feels wholly convincing. Glorious string tone and impeccable ensemble are trademarks of this first-rate quartet. For the Piano quintet in G major and the Menuet for piano quintet the Diogenes are augmented by pianist Andreas Kirpal who makes a terrific contribution sharing this music with tightly matched teamwork. The Notturno for violin and string quartet in G major is a real find with the Diogenes joined by Lydia Dubrovskaya who takes the solo violin part. With assurance and refined musicianship Dubrovskaya plays this nocturne quite beautifully. I can easily imagine this score becoming quite a hit on a Classic FM Relaxing Classics programme.
The recording was made at the August Everding Saal, Grünwald on the outskirts of Munich and the sound quality is spectacular. It’s vividly clear and superbly balanced too which is something that I rarely encounter where piano and string quartets are concerned.
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.