MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: MDT AmazonUK
Sound Samples & Downloads

Franz Joseph HAYDN (1732-1809)
No. 43 in E flat major [22:11]
No. 44 in E minor [19:50]
No. 48 in C major [20:08]
No. 50 in C major [18:53]
No. 61 in D major [24:29]
No. 91 in E flat major [20:10]
Cello Concerto in D major [26:11]
12 German Dances – Nos. 1-6 [4:43]
Erling Blöndal Bengtsson (cello)
Danish Radio Chamber (Symphony) Orchestra/Mogens Wöldike
rec. Large Concert Hall of Danish Radio, Copenhagen, 1949-1956
DANACORD DACOCD 703/704 [79:01 + 77:34]

Experience Classicsonline

Mogens Wöldike was a familiar name to Haydn enthusiasts in the 1950s and 1960s but may well not be known to younger listeners. For them and for those who remember these discs on their original issue this is a most welcome release, revealing a conductor and orchestra with a clear understanding of Haydn’s idiom and characteristics.

Wöldike (1897-1988) started his career as an organist and choirmaster and was the founder of the Copenhagen Boys Choir. After wartime exile in Sweden - because of his Jewish wife - he returned to Denmark and was appointed as conductor of the newly formed Danish Radio Chamber Orchestra. The recordings on these discs were made variously for HMV, Decca and the Haydn Society. The earliest, and arguably the best, was made in 1949 for HMV of the Symphony No. 91 with the German Dances as a fill-up. This is a performance with real character, making the most of Haydn’s wonderfully individual and inventive writing. Interestingly although the later Haydn Society recordings made use of the revised editions of the texts being produced by H.C. Robbins Landon that of Symphony No. 91 appears to have used an earlier text, varying in several respects from that usually used today. The Haydn Society recordings here – Nos. 43, 50 and 61 – were of works at that date seldom if ever played. The version of No. 50, which Landon thought had never been played since the eighteenth century, makes use of high horns especially produced for the Haydn Society. Although in No. 48 the composer also expected such instruments they are here replaced with trumpets. The Icelandic soloist in the Cello Concerto - at that time the only one by the composer that was known - adopts a similarly understated approach to that of the conductor, although there can be no doubts about his virtuosity or musicianship.

What becomes rapidly clear in listening to this set is the conductor’s self-effacing devotion to the composer. These performances may seem at times somewhat dour compared with modern performers, and indeed No. 44 in particular does lack something of the single-minded obsessiveness that is surely its main characteristic. Nonetheless my main reaction to listening to these discs is wonder at Haydn’s extraordinary and varied invention. It is a great tribute to the performers that they focus attention so much on the music rather than drawing it to any quirks or excesses in their performance.

The recordings inevitably sound their age to some degree, but there is a clarity and immediacy about these transfers by Claus Byrith that puts some modern recordings to shame. There are no less than four lengthy and interesting essays (in English only) in the booklet dealing with the conductor and his various recordings and with the soloist. It is good to be able to enjoy again recordings of such real but self-effacing musicianship in pioneering versions of works which even now are not heard in concert as often as they deserve. I hope that this will lead to more of the conductor’s recordings being reissued, including The Creation and the St Matthew Passion, both of which were recorded in Vienna.

John Sheppard

see also review by Jonathan Woolf


















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

Past 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.