One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

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 cpo reviews

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

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Sound Samples & Downloads

Jeffrey RYAN (b.1962)
The Linearity of Light, for orchestra (2003) [11:24]
Equilateral Concerto, for piano trio amd orchestra (2007) [23:54]
Symphony no.1 Fugitive Colours (2006) [33:55]
Gryphon Trio (Annalee Patipatanakoon (violin); Roman Borys (cello); Jamie Parker (piano))
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra/Bramwell Tovey
rec. Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, 2-4 February, 2008 (Equilateral, live); 4-6 October 2008 (Linearity, live); 3 June 2010 (Symphony, studio). DDD

Experience Classicsonline

This is the inaugural CD of the new Naxos 'Canadian Classics' series, and what better place to start than with three varied orchestral works by Jeffrey Ryan. His music has appeared sporadically on disc over the last decade or so, but this is only the second devoted entirely to it. Full marks again to Naxos scouts for recognising an original voice. Though his language is undeniably modern, Ryan can be considered 'old school' in that he writes for traditional forces - no electric guitars, laptops or gamelan here - using many of the forms beloved of his European predecessors, albeit disguised by idiosyncratic titles.

The Linearity of Light is a good opener: overall reminiscent perhaps of Jerry Goldsmith, its vivid orchestration and episodic character would stand it in good stead in a dystopian or sci-fi film score, particularly the last three minutes, which bristle with excitement and drama. Ryan's music is angular and sometimes brash, but never out-and-out modernistic; indeed there are occasions when he calls on minimalist devices, particularly in Equilateral. Really there is nothing here to frighten the horses or neighbours, and anyone who has enjoyed Goldsmith's finest soundtracks should be quite comfortable with Ryan's music. That is not to say that this is film-grade writing - far from it. Ryan's orchestration is considerably more sophisticated, his ideas much more original than anything by his older compatriot Howard Shore, or for that matter by John Barry or Hans Zimmer.

Despite the title, Equilateral is not exactly a concerto, at least not in the archetypal Romantic format. If anything, the trio's role is often fairly modest, and the 'equality' could easily refer to the orchestra's role, which is substantial and important. At any rate, this is an impressive work that is sure to have wide appeal. Such a pity, then, that its requirement for three gifted soloists as well as an accomplished orchestra is likely to doom it to concert-hall neglect from the outset - but all the more reason to have this fine recording!

The Symphony is even more terrific, though wisely left to the end of the programme, as Ryan at last turns to modernism and atonality, although only in moderation - as the work progresses, so does the move back towards a diatonic idiom that will broaden its audience. This big, four-movement work is a cornucopia of orchestral detail and effects that never resorts to ostentation or gimmickry - often, indeed, the music is contemplative and gentle.

Besides Ryan, these are debut appearances on Naxos for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Bramwell Tovey and the Gryphon Trio. The Gryphons are, unfortunately, "committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st Century", but for this recording at least they continue with the Old Ways and, like the VSO and Tovey, turn in creditable, ingratiating performances.

Sound quality is very good too: the first two works are billed as live recordings, but there is almost no sign of an audience or any other noises off. The bilingual booklet notes - English and French, naturally - include Ryan's own description of these works, albeit focusing on technical aspects.

The odd Canadian composer has cropped up previously in the Naxos catalogue - Healey Willan, for one (review, review). Nonetheless, there remains a huge variety that Naxos might consider for subsequent volumes, both living and dead. With luck they will press on with this Canadian series as with the American and Spanish Classics, rather than take the tortoisy approach of the Japanese Classics. Either way, a Jeffrey Ryan follow-up should be high on the 'Things To Do Next' list.

Collected reviews and contact at



















































































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.