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


colourful imaginative harmony
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 n/a
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


Sound Samples & Downloads

Jesper NORDIN (b. 1971)
Pendants I-III23 (2005) [27.26]
Undercurrents123 (2007) [16.39]
Surfaces scintillantes23 (2008) [10.31]
Cri du berger1 (2004) [11.58]
the aisle2 (2001) [7.09]
Benjamin Caray (cello)1
Gageego2/Pierre-André Valade3
rec. SR Studio 12, Gothenburg, 13-17 June and 1-2 December 2011

Experience Classicsonline

Although the booklet informs us that Swedish composer Nordin “has been making improvisational music for years,” the works on this disc appear to be very precisely notated, if the extracts from the scores that are included in the booklet are to be regarded as typical. The performances certainly appear to be much more than simple improvisations. One also looks in vain for any obvious signs of the other two influences on Nordin that the writer of the booklet notes cites: the composer’s “old family of folk musicians whose musical roots stretch back at least to the provincial 18th century” or his first musical steps in the genre of punk. The composer told the writer of the notes that when Pendants had its première in France it “was labelled as Noise Music”. It is not clear what – if anything – is meant by this, but the implications are unfair. There is certainly a sense of the composer’s enjoyment of sound for its own sake. His fascination with these sounds is sometimes carried to extreme lengths. That said, he has a sense of what instruments can and cannot do, and there is no impression that the players are having to struggle against the natural tendencies of this in order to convey the composer’s meaning.
What remains to be considered, however, is whether that meaning justifies the efforts that the indefatigable players here put into the performance of these scores. Although three of the works here – Undercurrents, Cri du berger and Pendants – add live electronics to the mix the electronics are distinctly subordinate to the live performances of the instrumentalists among whom the superlative Benjamin Carat has the greatest part to play. Mention should also be made of rich-toned clarinettist Ragnar Arnberg whose contribution to the aisle (lack of capitals apparently obligatory; is it not time this annoying “cummingsesque” habit was decently laid to rest?) blends beautifully with the string quartet players at the beginning; no electronics here. Then he launches out into a stunningly skittering series of fast-running passages before a meandering song brings the piece to a conclusion. It is not clear what, if anything, the piece is intended to convey. It is rather beautiful.
Overall one gets the constant impression that the composer is allowing his fascination with the sounds he produces to get the better of him. Despite their apparently evocative titles, none of the pieces here have any programme which would allow the listener to come to grips with the often interesting sounds that the composer elicits from his live and electronic forces. The constant bending of notes and pitches comes eventually to seem like a musical tic which Nordin is using to disguise his lack of sense of direction. This is certainly unusual and interesting music, but its purpose remains unclear.
This request for more guidance as to what is in the composer’s mind is not merely a whim, or a wish for a ‘prop’ to enable one to impose on the music extra-musical preconceptions. It is fundamental when one is approaching modern music, especially when the titles given to the music are clearly designed to be evocative. That is not to say that this music is meaningless. It is to say that the meaning of it cannot possibly be fully appreciated unless the composer gives the listener some pointers. There is a substantial school of thought which says that music should stand or fall entirely on its own merits. However, one really needs as much help as possible from the composer in works like these. The six pages - one in very large type - of enthusiastic endorsement in Swedish and English by Erik Wallrup, music critic of the Svenska Dagbladet, are maddeningly short on specific detail. French listeners should be warned that these have been cut down by more than half in the French translation.
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.