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


  • Groundbreaking Weber
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Groundbreaking Weber


Captivating scores

Symphonies - Philippe Jordan
A pleasure to see and hear

vital imagination

A harum-scarum springboard

Always expect the unexpected

Berg Wozzeck
This is a triumph!

Bruckner Symphony 3
Revelatory and awe-inspiring

For immediate purchase!

Sibelius 3, 6, 7 Vanska
Outstanding performances

burns with a steady, beckoning light

Vadim Gluzman - A quite extraordinarily good disc

This impressed me mightily

Shostakovich 5, 8 9
Great concentration

Let me tell you
Stratospheric Barbara Hannigan
Birmingham and BBC Proms

Berkeley - Authenticity

Highly Expressive

NØRGÅRD Stunning

Superbly played

One to treasure

One of the finest American
choral-orchestral works

from strength to strength

inspired choice




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]

Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) Piano Concerti 2 & 5, Suite algérienne Jean Doyen (piano) Magda Tagliaferro (piano) Concerts Lamoureux O/Jean Fournet rec. 1954-55 FORGOTTEN RECORDS FR 270 [68:57] [JW]

Great stuff.

Erkki SALMENHAARA (1941-2002) The Complete Solo Piano Music Sonatina, Piano Sonatas 1-4, Thčme et Variations sur le Nom 'Erik Tawaststjerna' 17 Little Pieces, Little Suite. Jouni Somero (piano) rec. 2003 FC-RECORDS FCRCD 9707 [68:18 + 62:23] [Byz]

Played with conviction and nimble fingers … a dependable advocate of Salmenhaara's timeless music.

Pablo SARASATE (1844-1908) Complete works for violin & piano - Volume 4: El Ruiseñor Diego Tosi (violin) Denis Pascal (piano) rec. 2010/11 SOLSTICE SOCD 263 [57:35] [Byz]

Elegance, warmth and wit, quite apart from all the virtuosity. 

Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757) Keyboard Sonatas Joanna MacGregor (piano) rec. 1991 WARNER CLASSICS SOUND CIRCUS 2564 67269-8 [61.07] [RBe]

Altogether a very mixed recital and probably one more for MacGregor enthusiasts. 

Asbjřrn SCHAATHUN (b.1961) ????? (Physis), for amplified piano and five digital see BOULEZ

Johann Hermann SCHEIN (1586 - 1630) Fontana d'Israel (Israels Brünnlein) Rheinische Kantorei/Hermann Max rec. 1989 CAPRICCIO C5069 [53:06 + 34:44] [JV]

Choral performances of a masterpiece from the German baroque, characterised by great transparency and a clear delivery.

Alfred SCHNITTKE (1934-1998) String Quartets 1-4, Canon in Memoriam Igor Stravinsky Molinari Qt rec. 2010 ATMA ACD2 2634 [60:15 + 43:55]  [Byz]

Schnittke the modernist - acrid chromaticism, atonality, serialism, pointillism - little here to appeal to those with mainstream-inclined tastes. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Symphony no.5 in B flat major (1) [26:33] Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Genoveva op.81: Overture (2) [10:37], Symphony no.2 in C major (3) [37:48] Boston Symphony Orchestra/Charles Munch rec. 1962 (1), 18 April 1961 (2), 7 April 1959 (3) ICA CLASSICS [76:00] [CH]

If Munch had set down a Schumann 2 like this in the studio it would surely have been a top recommendation ever since.

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Quintet, Piano Trio 1 The Schubert Ensemble rec. 2003 CHAMPS HILL RECORDS CHRCD007 [72:58] [Byz]

Phrasing splendidly expressive, technique excellent and limning of textures unbeatable. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Piano Sonatas D840 & 850 Shai Wosner (piano) rec. 2011 ONYX 4073 [76:23]  [GD]

A knack for making the familiar sound fresh and new. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Mass 2 Charles GOUNOD (1818-1893) Solemn Mass Luba Orgonášová (soprano) Christian Elsner (tenor) Gustáv Beláček (bass) Bavarian RSO & Ch/Mariss Jansons rec. 2007 BR KLASSIK 900114 [75:05] [MC]

I warmly welcome this addition to the BR Klassik catalogue. 

Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828) Schwanengesang see The Art of Lied

Erwin SCHULHOFF (1894-1942) Ogelala - Suite see Music from the Machine Age

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Violin Sonatas Ulf Wallin (violin) Roland Pöntinen (piano) rec. 2009/10 BIS-SACD-1784 [74:06] [MC]

Highly impressive playing, sound and presentation - it is hard to find fault with this excellent release.

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Violin Sonata 1 see A Piano Evening with Martha Argerich

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Dichterliebe see The Art of Lied

Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856) Humoreske see BEETHOVEN

Mátyás SEIBER (1905 - 1960) Yugoslav, Hungarian and Nonsense Songs Ch of the 21st Century/Howard Williams rec. 2011 SOMM CÉLESTE SOMMCD0105 [60:05] [RB]

Carries these songs into our affections and into the singing repertoire of choirs across the world.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906 - 1975) Cello Concertos 1 & 2 Enrico Dindo (cello) Danish Ntl SO/Gianandrea Noseda rec. 2010/11 CHANDOS CHSA 5093 [60:11] [DC]

A must-have and a life-changer for Shostakovich fans. 

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-75) Symphony 10 Prague SO/Václav Smetáček rec. 1968 ORCHESTRAL CONCERT CDs CD14/2011 [47:23] [JW]

This fine performance, extremely well captured in sound, is a most worthwhile addition to the discography. 

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Symphony 10 Nikolai RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908) The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh (excerpts) USSR State SO/Evgeny Svetlanov rec. 1968 ICA CLASSICS ICAC 5036 [62:17] [DM]

Taut Shostakovich, stretched to breaking point by contemporary events. 

The Soviet Experience Vol. 1 Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) String Quartets 5-8 Nikolai MYASKOVSKY (1881-1950) String Quartet 13 Pacifica Qt rec. 2010/11 CEDILLE RECORDS CDR 90000 127 [60:05] [MC]

The Soviet Experience series has got off to an impressive start with these excellent performances.

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Concerto 1 see Evgeni Kissin

Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975) Piano Concerto 1 see Martha Argerich

Jean SIBELIUS (1865-1957) Symphonies 2 & 5 Royal PO/Charles Mackerras, Ole Schmidt rec. 1994/6 ALTO ALC 1189 [72:21] [RB]

Two friends from the 1990s re-emerge arm-in-arm

Antonio SOLER (1729-1783) Keyboard Sonatas 16-27 Vestard Shimkus (piano) rec. 2009 NAXOS 8.572516 [59:43] [Byz]

Soler's artful keyboard Sonatas seem at their most eloquent on a modern piano.

Charles Villiers STANFORD (1852-1924) Cello Concerto; Rondo in F; Ballata and Ballabile; Irish Rhapsody 3 Gemma Rosefield (cello) BBC Scottish SO/Andrew Manze rec. 2011 HYPERION CDA67859 [70:08] [CH]

The Rondo is new to CD, a good performance of the Concerto, a far better Rhapsody than the previous alternative and the first Ballata and Ballabile complete and with orchestra.

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Lieder Soile Isokoski (soprano) Marita Viitasalo (piano) rec. 2011 ONDINE ODE 1187-2 [64:05] [ST]

If another song recital as good as this comes our way this year, then we will be blessed indeed.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Orchestral Songs Michaela Kaune (soprano) NDR Radio PO Hanover/Eiji Oue rec. 2004 BERLIN CLASSICS 0017812BC [62:32] [MC]

Thoughtful and radiantly beautiful.

Richard STRAUSS (1864-1949) Die Liebe der Danae Manuela Uhl, Mark Delavan, Matthias Klink, Deutsche Oper O Berlin/Andrew Litton rec. 2011 ARTHAUS MUSIK 108 032 [155:00 + bonus: 22:00] [DBi]

A beautiful opera well performed and recorded but further obscured by its production.

Igor STRAVINSKY (1882-1971) Le sacre du printemps, L’oiseau de feu, Scherzo ŕ la russe, Tango 72 Budapest Fest O/Iván Fischer rec. 2010 CHANNEL CLASSICS CCS SA 32112 [63:10] [DM]

Not an unqualified success, perhaps, but for many this new Rite will become The Chosen One.

Adrian SUTTON War Horse Tim van Eyken and John Tams (vocals) War Horse orchestra and company chorus SONY CLASSICAL 88697 983662 [44:50] [JW]

This music stands alone well.

Johan SVENDSEN (1840-1911) Orchestral Works - Vol. 1 Marianne Thorsen (violin) Bergen PO/Neeme Järvi rec. 2009/10 CHANDOS CHAN 10693 [80:03] [JW]

CD-minded listeners will be delighted with this new Chandos series.


(1882-1937) Prelude and Fugue, Sonata see DEBUSSY

Joby TALBOT (b. 1971) Tide Harmonic Joby Talbot, Jeremy Holland Smith (piano, celesta, harmonium) Ensemble/Jeremy Holland Smith rec. 2009 SIGNUM CLASSICS SIGCD260 [72:20] [JW]

Talbot’s reputation as an accessible and enjoyable composer will take no hits from this latest recording.

Jeff TALMAN (b.1954) Nature of the Night Sky NEW DOMAIN RECORDS ND-11011 [50:22] [MMB]

Will relax and re-energise you and if at the end of it, you were unable to travel through space at galactic speeds, blame your imagination - or lack of it; not the recording!

Boris TCHAIKOVSKY (1925-1996) Violin Concerto, Violin Sonata Viktor Pikaizen (violin) Boris Tchaikovsky (piano) Moscow PO/Kirill Kondrashin rec. 1962/1972 HÄNSSLER PROFIL PH11047 [56:48] [MC]

Steeped in energy and expressive power.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Symphony 6, Marche Slave, Romeo and Juliet London SO/Albert Coates rec. 1926-30 PRISTINE AUDIO PASC 301 [74:46] [JW]

Fine transfers ensure that Coates’ message comes across loud and clear.

Pyotr Il'yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) The Nutcracker Marie Lindquist, Anders Nordström, Jens Rosén, Alexandra Kastrinos, Royal Swedish Opera O/Renat Salavatov rec. 1999 ARTHAUS MUSIK 107 086 [95:00] [RMay]

Not a first choice but certainly an interesting supplement for anyone seeking a new slant on a popular old favourite or intending to cast a vote for the Social Democratic Party.

Pyotr Ilyich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Piano Concerto 1 see Evgeni Kissin

Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893) Serenade for Strings see DVORAK

Geirr TVEITT (1908-1981) From A Travel Diary; The Household God; Septet; Midsummer Eve Fragaria Vesca rec. 2009 SIMAX CLASSICS PSC1222 [49:03] [JW]

Full of engaging, light-hearted material excellently performed and recorded.

Chinary UNG (b. 1942) Spirals IX & XI Susan Ung (viola and voice) Thomas Buckner (baritone and percussion) Lynn Vartan (voice and percussion) Stephen Solook (voice and percussion) Chinary Ung (conductor) BRIDGE 9368 [47.42] [PCG]

The disc is short measure. It would be perverse to wish it were longer.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) Otello Jon Vickers (tenor) Renata Scotto (soprano) Cornell MacNeil (baritone) Metropolitan Opera Ch & O/James Levine SONY CLASSICAL 88697 910129 [144:00] [RJF]

Vickers, Scotto and Levine overcome old technology in a truly memorable realisation of Verdi’s greatest dramatic work.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813 - 1901) La Forza del Destino Alastair Miles (bass) Nina Stemme (soprano) Ch & O Wiener Staatsoper/Zubin Mehta rec. 2008 UNITEL CLASSICA 708108 [161:00] [DBe]

The best modern recording of Forza del Destino – if you can stand the staging.

Giuseppe VERDI (1813-1901) La Traviata Marlis Petersen, Giuseppe Varano, James Rutherford, Graz PO and Opera Ch/Tecwyn Evans rec. 2011 ARTHAUS MUSIC 108036 [110:00 + 20:00 (bonus)] [RJF]

With competition from the likes of Fleming and Gheorghiu, this unusual production and minimalist set is only for those who like their imagination challenged in the extreme and do not mind the cuts.

Sándor VERESS (1907-1992) Hommage ŕ Paul Klee, Piano Concerto, Six Csárdás András Schiff, Dénes Várjon (piano) Gábor Takács-Nagy (violin) Budapest Festival O/Heinz Holliger rec. 1997/8 TELDEC 0630 199922 [63:22] [BB]

An ideal starting point for beginners – and absolutely essential for those already familiar with his music.

Louis VIERNE (1924-1984) The Organ Works, Vol 1 The 6 Symphonies Pierre Labric (organ) rec. 1969-1970 SOLSTICE SOCD 277-9 [3 CDs: 70:38 + 73:09 + 78:45] [Byz]

A must-hear for all organ fans, and for anyone who likes their music profound, thrilling and loud enough to blow the local church roof off.

Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959) Bachianas Brasileiras 5 see CANTELOUBE

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) The Four Seasons Op. 8 nos. 1-4 [38:01]; The Assumption of the Virgin Mary RV 581&582 The London Mozart Players/David Juritz (violin/director) rec.1999 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6149 [62:07] [JWh]

Radiant, beautiful and full of detail.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concerti per fagotto II Sergio Azzolini (bassoon) L'Aura Soave Cremona/Diego Cantalupi rec. 2011 NAÏVE OP 30518 [76:47] Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concerti with bassoon II Frans Robert Berkhout (bassoon) Georgia Browne (transverse flute) Franc Polman (violin) Cassandra Luckhardt (cello); La Suave Melodia/Pieter Dirksen rec. 2010/11 ET'CETERA KTC 1428 [71:46] [JV]

Whatever the differences, I have enjoyed both recordings and would not want to choose between them.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Teuzzone Paolo Lopez (male soprano) Raffaella Milanesi (mezzo) Delphine Galou (contralto) Le Concert des Nations/Jordi Savall rec. 2011 NAĎVE OP30513 [3 CDs: 60:00 + 48:03 + 45:08] [MS]

Another success from all angles in Naďve’s Vivaldi Edition; great singing, perceptive playing, superb, characterful direction.

Antonio VIVALDI (1678-1741) Concerto Grosso see Toscanini

RECORDING OF THE MONTH Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Götterdämmerung Christian Franz, Deborah Polaski, Wolfgang Koch, John Tomlinson, Anna Gabler, Philharmoniker Hamburg/Simone Young rec. 2010 OEHMS CLASSICS OC 928 [4 CDs: 266:10] [GD]

As good as you could want.

Richard WAGNER (1813-1883) Orchestral excerpts see Toscanini

William Vincent WALLACE (1812 – 1865) Maritana Majella Cullagh, Lynda Lee, Paul Charles Clarke, Ian Caddy, RTÉ Philharmonic Ch & Concert O/Proinnsías Ó Duinn rec. 1995 NAXOS 8.660308-09 [64:19 + 44:55] [GF]

Beautiful, hummable melodies, rhythmically interesting, good orchestration but lacking in true dramatic power.

William WALTON (1902-1983) Piano Quartet in D minor (1919) [28:49] Frank BRIDGE (1879-1941) Phantasy in F minor (1910) [12:24] Guillaume LEKEU (1870-1894) Piano Quartet (1893) [23:25] Frith Piano Quartet rec. 2010 NIMBUS ALLIANCE NI 6183 [65:38] [PCG]

Glorious performances of some wonderful music.

Karl WEIGL (1881-1949) Cello Sonata, Variations on an Eight Bar Theme Johanna MÜLLER-HERMANN (1868-1941) Cello Sonata Anton WEBERN (1883-1945) Cello Sonata & other short pieces Othmar Müller (cello) Leonore Aumaier (piano) rec. 2000 CAMERATA CMCD28245 [71:31] [RB]

An attractive and even provocative recital.

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996) Symphony 6, Sinfonietta 1 Vienna Boys Ch, Vienna SO/Vladimir Fedoseyev; SO Vorarlberg/Gérard Korsten rec. 2010 NEOS 11125 [66:59] [MC]

An ideal starting place for anyone wanting to explore Weinberg’s music.

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996) String Quartets - Vol 5 String Quartets 1, 3 & 10 Quatuor Danel rec. 2007-2009 CPO 777 566-2 [77.18] [GH]

A good place to start your investigation of a very considerable twentieth century figure.

Mieczyslaw WEINBERG (1919-1996) Three Palms; String Trio; Trumpet Concerto 1 Talia Or (soprano) EOS Quartett Wien; ad hoc trio; Jürgen Ellensohn (trumpet) Vorarlberg SO/Gérard Korsten rec. 2010 NEOS 11129 [61:13] [Byz]

Good performances throughout this programme.

Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996) Cello Sonata 2, Piano Quintet Christoph Stradner (cello) Luca Monti, Doris Adam (piano) EOS Quartett Wien rec. 2010 NEOS 11128 [67:06]  [Byz]

As brilliant and memorable a work as any written in the genre. 

Hugo WOLF (1860-1903) Möricke-Lieder see The Art of Lied

Oswald von WOLKENSTEIN (c.1377-1445) Lied/Love Songs Ens Unicorn/Michael Posch rec. 2009 RAUMKLANG RK2901 [71.17] [GH]

Performed with real character. Makes this disc a very attractive acquisition. Definitely worth searching out.

Iannis XENAKIS (1922-2001) Complete Cello Works Arne Deforce (cello) Ensemble Fabrik/James Wood rec. 2010 AEON AECD 1109 [67:56] [GD]

A great place to start if you want to get your head around the relationships between higher mathematics and Modern music. 

Eugčne YSAźE (1858-1931) Andante see Franck

Benjamin YUSUPOV (b.1962) Viola Tango Rock Concerto Aníbal Dos Santos (viola) Bogotá PO/Ricardo Jaramillo rec. 2009 NAVONA RECORDS NV5865 [52:00] [JW]

A kind of multimedia event. Predominantly dark … intense outbursts of pummelling rock back beat and Tango intensity.

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.